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making my own custom seat covers and visors


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1 hour ago, Jesse J said:

I don't really know specifically how to do the buy/sell stuff. if someone could help me out with that shoot me a pm. 


Best thing I can suggest is to finish your product and take good pics. You have to demonstrate that you can repeat the process too, so you’ll want to make more than one cover. I did the same with the switch trim covers. I have a stack of failed prototypes lol but that’s the way it goes. Once you have a product and price, post up in the “vendors” section and see what interest there is. 

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2 hours ago, ghetdjc320 said:


Best thing I can suggest is to finish your product and take good pics. You have to demonstrate that you can repeat the process too, so you’ll want to make more than one cover. I did the same with the switch trim covers. I have a stack of failed prototypes lol but that’s the way it goes. Once you have a product and price, post up in the “vendors” section and see what interest there is. 

good idea. thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, after doing yours, any more thoughts on cost?

 

What you did looks good. Would you just sew up the back and bench covers and send them, or do you need the seat?

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4 hours ago, BeatCJ said:

So, after doing yours, any more thoughts on cost?

 

What you did looks good. Would you just sew up the back and bench covers and send them, or do you need the seat?

so it's complecated. I spend 9 hours on friday and 5 hours today working on them but a lot of that was head scratching.

total breakdown on cost for seat covers (I haven't started on visors yet but it will be considerably cheaper)

my fabric 89$ a yard +shipping (the standard vinyl is 79$)

a thing of piping 5$

4 yards of sew foam 30$

canvas for the back 15$

 

I would really like to make it worth my time but also keep costs low as possible. so I am kicking myself that materials are so expensive. need to look into buying whole sale or something. If anyone has any input on that.

 

for If I would need someones seat cover. Yes if they where cloth or the bench seats without a cuttout or was a 91/92 and had headrests. No if it looked like my bench. also It would be better to reuse the jclips off the old seat to keep costs down if that makes sense.

 

thoughts? opinions?

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4 minutes ago, Pete M said:

nice!  :L:  

yep so stoked to get the new interior buttoned up. what with the new trim pieces to the seatbelts actually work and the headliner and seats. gonna be exellent

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  • Jesse J changed the title to seat cover and visor feelers SECOND UPDATE

It's really not a question of what WE would want, more a question of what you would want to make.

 

In general, you need to take ALL of your costs, materials, shipping, labor, and double that to be a business. That's a really rough rule of thumb. Could you make a go of it for less? Of course.

 

Your niche, at this point is custom. That always costs more.

 

So, as a starting point, paying yourself $20 an hour, I come up with about $440. And that's pretty close to what I have paid for seats on my fleet at work to be recovered. Of course, that's drop the truck off, and pick it up in two days with seat reinstalled, driver side electric 10 way bucket, but high end leather. So not necessarily apples to apples.

 

I think I priced a replacement cover for my 87 bench, pretty much the same as yours, at like $320? Shipped to me to install.

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hey I will take 20 bucks an hour. would rather go per job but you know.

 

I also would like to actually sell these so I am trying to keep costs low. but yes custom is a niche I would for sure do.

 

I think once I get all the interior buttoned up take a day and actually crunch the numbers and figure everything out, for both covers and visors. shipping as well uggh lol so many things to think about. 

thanks for the input!

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my suggestion is to make one for yourself (for both practice and to show off your skills), then make another and offer it up for sale at a price you think is fair to yourself to gauge interest.  as far as businesses go, it's hard to go right from "made one for myself" to "taking orders", especially with something that labor intensive. 

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1 hour ago, Pete M said:

my suggestion is to make one for yourself (for both practice and to show off your skills), then make another and offer it up for sale at a price you think is fair to yourself to gauge interest.  as far as businesses go, it's hard to go right from "made one for myself" to "taking orders", especially with something that labor intensive. 

I have mine 98% done. I need to get to the foam store to rebuild my seat foam before I get it all buttoned up. But that is smart actually. I would really really like to make these. especially to fuel the addiction

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On 2/7/2021 at 10:49 PM, Jesse J said:

so it's complecated. I spend 9 hours on friday and 5 hours today working on them but a lot of that was head scratching.

total breakdown on cost for seat covers (I haven't started on visors yet but it will be considerably cheaper)

my fabric 89$ a yard +shipping (the standard vinyl is 79$)

a thing of piping 5$

4 yards of sew foam 30$

canvas for the back 15$

 

I would really like to make it worth my time but also keep costs low as possible. so I am kicking myself that materials are so expensive. need to look into buying whole sale or something. If anyone has any input on that.

 

for If I would need someones seat cover. Yes if they where cloth or the bench seats without a cuttout or was a 91/92 and had headrests. No if it looked like my bench. also It would be better to reuse the jclips off the old seat to keep costs down if that makes sense.

 

thoughts? opinions?

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I don't know if you said it already but what is the material this is made of? also do you have any intensions of doing something like this but in black. and finally what is your instagram. 

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11 hours ago, Muncher said:

I don't know if you said it already but what is the material this is made of? also do you have any intensions of doing something like this but in black. and finally what is your instagram. 

@slc_manche

 

Pmed :L:

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Just remember that sales tax, self employment tax, income tax, wholesale costs, labor costs etc all take a chunk of your profit. If you just make enough to cover your costs and pay yourself a little then it’s not a business it’s just a hobby (and there’s nothing wrong with that). As @BeatCJ mentioned, it’s a really good rule of thumb to have a solid 50% margin. 

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What you have there is a very good first effort, and I strongly encourage you to keep going and hone your skills. That being said, upholstery work is super expensive for a reason - customers generally will expect perfection since the seat is such a prominent part of the interior. As you've already seen, the materials are expensive too, and it's pretty time intensive to put together.

 

Take it from me as someone who started a business and quickly realized he wasn't charging enough - $20 per hour is WAY too cheap for this kind of work. You better be doing it for the fun of it at that price. Especially if you're doing custom or semi-custom work, and not just something you can make in batches and keep in inventory.

 

So once you've built up your MJ upholstery empire, how about a set of reproduction factory leather bucket seat covers? :))

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My suggestion of $20 per hour was intended for him to use to calculate cost, I expected him to add his markup AFTER that. In my mind, his labor has to be before he adds overhead and profit.

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Hey I know everyone is telling you the exact right things and I totally agree with them.

 

 

I will give you a picture of what you want to know too, demand and customer interest. 

 

Shamefully I am saying - and I know this doesn't matter with all the other above figures - i would buy for 200, maybe 250. 

 

I may not be your ideal customer. I have a tear along the seam in my bench seat and have a vinyl repair kit i've been putting off. My whole interior is blue pleather or whatever. I LOVE the fabric you have with the jeep logo but the color scheme doesn't exactly match my setup. 

 

 

I promise i'm not trying to be negative or anything, and I am not lowballing you, I am just offering an unbiased response that I like it and would want one but i probably wouldn't spend over 250 right now. Contrast that with the SMS headliners guy I really want to buy a headliner but his are up to like 400 something and i just don't have that in the budget right now compared to other work i would do, like an OTK steering upgrade for around 400. 

 

I highly encourage you to continue though because we need stuff like this available 

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8 minutes ago, billyblankss said:

Hey I know everyone is telling you the exact right things and I totally agree with them.

 

 

I will give you a picture of what you want to know too, demand and customer interest. 

 

Shamefully I am saying - and I know this doesn't matter with all the other above figures - i would buy for 200, maybe 250. 

 

I may not be your ideal customer. I have a tear along the seam in my bench seat and have a vinyl repair kit i've been putting off. My whole interior is blue pleather or whatever. I LOVE the fabric you have with the jeep logo but the color scheme doesn't exactly match my setup. 

 

 

I promise i'm not trying to be negative or anything, and I am not lowballing you, I am just offering an unbiased response that I like it and would want one but i probably wouldn't spend over 250 right now. Contrast that with the SMS headliners guy I really want to buy a headliner but his are up to like 400 something and i just don't have that in the budget right now compared to other work i would do, like an OTK steering upgrade for around 400. 

 

I highly encourage you to continue though because we need stuff like this available 

exactly that's why it's killing me that the fabric is so expensive. :fistshake1: I also love the fabric I have now. I think I am going to get my interior all buttoned up and take some better pictures to show actually how they look. 

 

2 hours ago, BeatCJ said:

My OEM seat is cloth, with vinyl around the sides. Can you do one like that?

I would need you to send me your seat cover but yes. 

 

1 hour ago, Minuit said:

What you have there is a very good first effort, and I strongly encourage you to keep going and hone your skills. That being said, upholstery work is super expensive for a reason - customers generally will expect perfection since the seat is such a prominent part of the interior. As you've already seen, the materials are expensive too, and it's pretty time intensive to put together.

 

Take it from me as someone who started a business and quickly realized he wasn't charging enough - $20 per hour is WAY too cheap for this kind of work. You better be doing it for the fun of it at that price. Especially if you're doing custom or semi-custom work, and not just something you can make in batches and keep in inventory.

 

So once you've built up your MJ upholstery empire, how about a set of reproduction factory leather bucket seat covers? :))

that's a good idea with the inventory wise. I might be open to bucket covers I wouldnt want to do actual leather until I make a couple out of "cheap" materiel. 

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16 minutes ago, billyblankss said:

. I LOVE the fabric you have with the jeep logo but the color scheme doesn't exactly match my setup. 

 

I think I am going to call sms to see if they have that type fabric in different colors order up some samples

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I am close(ish) to SMS, I wonder if I could take mine there and see if they have something close to matching my interior. Probably not with COVID. I like your material choices, but don't enjoy sitting on a vinyl seat in 100 degree weather, with no A/C. 

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3 minutes ago, BeatCJ said:

I am close(ish) to SMS, I wonder if I could take mine there and see if they have something close to matching my interior. Probably not with COVID. I like your material choices, but don't enjoy sitting on a vinyl seat in 100 degree weather, with no A/C. 

that's a good point. I think the vinyl will be hot and sticky but the fabric I got is more rubbery than vinyl. only time will tell

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  • Pete M changed the title to making my own custom seat covers and visors

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