I got a message recently from my “Dry-Cleaners” (I wonder why they all call themselves that when indeed they are Washamen) informing me of an increase in their prices “due to economic conditions”. They effectively increased their prices from N15,000 to N18,900 for 60 pieces of clothes a month. In order words a piece of clothing now cost me N315 from N250, a whopping 26% increase. Its no wonder a lot of people venture into the business. I hear the trend is that they charge between N250-N500 for smaller “Dry-Cleaners” and between N1000 and N2000 for Bigger ones. Specialized washing attracts a different fee template.
To make matters worse, these guys don’t actually differentiate clothing (well apart from Suits and wedding dresses) the fee is flat. If you inadvertently include a piece of boxer shorts you bought for N500 into the mix then you pay N315 or more for it. Same for bedsheets, T Shirts, Singlets, Jeans etc. It is pretty easy for most business to hide under the cloak of power and fuel price increases as a justification for incessant price increases. As plausible as their arguments may seem, I do believe it is misguided. Washing a piece of clothing for N315 or as much as N1k smacks of ripping off in my opinion. They simply ride on the imbalance in demand and supply to charge high rates rather than figure out means of cutting back cost and efficiency.
So how do I mitigate this latest price increase? Simple! Any piece of clothing I have that cost me below N500 simply gets washed by myself. This is because it makes more sense to replace the clothing than wash them. For more luxurious dry cleaning out fits who charge above N1000 per clothing, same principle applies. That’s my solution to the rip off that I am getting.