hi all, when pricing a fret job for a costomer, what do you include or charge extra for in the price. fret wire? ab dot replacement? broken strings? etc.

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Hi David.

Here are my "usual & customary" guitar & bass rates for CY 2012:


Unbound RW or Ebony FB:  $150 & up.

Unbound Maple FB: $185 which includes refinishing the FB.

Bound RW or Ebony FB: $250 & up. Up-charge of $75-$125 if customer wants existing nibs restored.

Bound maple FB: $285 and includes finish touch-up. Up-charge of $75-$125 if customer wants existing nibs restored.

The price of the customer specified fretwire is included in the basic price as is FB leveling/re-profiling/preparation of the FB and any work to the existing nut.  If the nut needs to be replaced, I charge an additional $45 on up for a hand cut & fitted bone nut. I do not accept jobs from customers that won't allow proper FB prep as I consider it a vital component of a properly done fret job.

My prices also include a complete setup after the refret

A simple exact fit pre-cut standard size Ab dot (or mop or clay or black) dot replacement is $15 per dot + the price of the part.  Unusual sizes or custom size dots are negotiated on a per-piece basis.

I ask the customer to provide 2 sets of their preferred strings.  If they don't, I provide strings at full bore MSRP.  That covers the discount price of the strings and my time & acquisition costs. That's a real motivator for my customers to bring in their own strings. (: BTW: If only one set is required, the other set is returned unopened to the customer. I prefer to use one new set during post refret refinements as there is usually a good bit of tuning, slacking, retuning, etc., as nut work is almost always required. After that, I prefer to restring with a new "final presentation" set.

I don't get the "broken strings" part.  New strings are a non-negotiable requirement when refretting.  If I break a string while restringing, I eat the cost. 

Best of luck (:

At Gryphon, we charge a flat rate for refretting acoustic guitars, and that includes all setup work, fret wire, new strings, plastic bridge pins if needed, minor dot inlay replacement, filling fingerboard divots, leveling and straightening neck.

Ideally, we'd price everything at an hourly rate, including consultation time, but that's simply not practical because folks really want a set price to avoid the obvious surprise.  

Instruments with fancy inlay do sometimes become a "time-and-materials" jobs.

Same price - bound or unbound.  

Thanks for the detailed responses.

I decided to resist my tendency to over complicate and include as much as possible in the price counting on time to average it all out. The exception being strings. If someone wants something other than my bulk strings, they will have to supply them.

Thanks again

I agree 100% with that approach. I charge the same for unbound or bound boards, and a flat fee for partial refrets no matter how many frets (and I usually do more than I say just to mess with people). I charge a PITA fee for Gibsons with little binding bumps, or to replace rather than shim the nut.


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