Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Pricing Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Posts
    336

    Pricing Advice

    I'm doing my second show this weekend near Houston. It's a craft show sponsored by the local FFA. To go with the few bowls, vases and HF's I had left from the previous art show I did, I also turned some pewter-lidded potpourri bowls, mushrooms, birdhouses, duck calls and antler pens...to satisfy the craft element.

    My pricing question regards the pens. They are all 24k gold slimline kits from PSI. About half of them I did in antler and the other half are 30-06 cartridge lowers with antler tops. I used the supplied nib with the cartridge pens.

    I'm considering asking $20 for the straight antler pens and $25 for the cartridge pens. The $5 difference is to cover the 30-06 brass and the 10" long 7 mm tubes that I had to buy.

    What do y'all think of the pricing? I don't want to overprice the pens but I don't want to be undercutting others who may depend a lot on craft show income. I just do this for grins and to supplement my tool budget.

    This is in an affluent suburb just north of Houston but being a craft show sponsored by the Future Farmers of America, I don't expect too many deep-pocketed patrons.

    What do y'all think?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 491f491e0128926b.jpeg  
    Cody


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
    Posts
    5,719
    Cody, I can't help with the pen pricing (I've never turned one) but those are great looking pens.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,833
    Your pens look fine and should be good sellers. Cartridge, antler and the combos are popular.
    The pricing question comes up frequently on the penturning forums. Everyone has their own take.
    For many, they simply go 3X cost of materials.
    I have modified my pricing from that and, so far, am satisfied that I'm not cheating myself. My formula is 2X cost of materials plus $10.00. Even if I cut my own wood blanks, I assign a minimum of $5.00 value to it for pricing purposes.
    Of course, this is unrealistic for slimlines that many sell in the $5.00 to $15.00 range. I stopped making slims a long time ago and concentrate on high end models plus a lot of Europeans. All my pens are made with either titanium gold or rhodium/platinum platings so both my initial costs and selling prices will be higher than other similar styles made with inexpensive platings.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,264
    Cody and others I will offer my 5 cents on this topic.

    Price is a matter of what people will pay. I dont believe it has anything to do with cost. So get cost out of the way.
    Then look at presentation. Many people creating a product fail to recognize that presentation and packaging form and important part of the whole value perception equation.
    Take as an example the perception one has of a basket of goodies when they are all carefully presented and packaged in cellophane in a nice wicker basket. If you took those same products and put them in a shoe box and offered them at the same price I doubt you would sell them at all.
    If you therefore want to derive a better value for your pens, consider that most expensive pens come in a case that makes it easier to wrap and give as a gift that when open creates its own presence and sense of value without even writing with it.

    Then small additional things add perception of value.....numbering them as a collectors edition, providing a small certificate of authenticity and a few words about the craftsman and about the natural material and finish to convey the effort that went into crafting the item.

    These are all elements that add percieved value. Eg you go to a auto parts dealer and buy a piston. A no name brand piston arrives in a cheap grey cardboard box that is nearly falling apart. Now order a BMW or Mercedes piston and you will see it is printed with BMW etc on the outside and is in a sturdy box etc. All of these elements (true or false) are what is called ques to quality and enhance the price perception.

    Too many woodworkers are great craftsman but poor marketeers. All of these items fall under the heading of marketing. Being genuine characters, craftsman have a distaste for marketing. But it is a neccessary evil since the consumer has been trained to look for these elements and when they are missing discounts the value proportionally.

    If you can add a story as to where the wood originated and how old it is etc this all lends itslef to the buyer having a story to tell when someone inquires about their pen. So the pen is not a pen at the end of the day. You are selling something that is unique and hand made and all the mystic that accompanies it should be conveyed in the process.

    Sharpen up on the marketing and you will no doubt command a higher value for your work. Think why do galleries add lighting to show off work. This is highlight the piece ensure that the care and attention that went into the selection of wood and grain and finish all get to shine in their glory. Without the lighting some of the beauty would not be seen and with it the value would deminish.

    There is much more to this subject this is just some food for thought.
    cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Drums, PA
    Posts
    292
    Rob is on the mark, listen to him

    I always shutter when I hear people say they sell at 3x the price. I think these people love leaving money on the table.

    Asking what to charge is not an easy task. You need to know both your costs and what the market will bear. There are books written just on this subject and there is no easy way to describe how to do this in a single post.

    I will leave you with this advice
    1. It is easier to lower your price than it is to raise your price

    2. I haven't turned a pen in about 18 months. When I was selling a basic custom slimline, meaning a little longer lower tube with wood centerbands and finials, I would get $60 each. I charged more for burl and inlays. I don't do plastics!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,353
    Cody,
    Lots of good advice here... pricing really has no set cut and dried formula... lots of factors.. what will sell well and at a higher price in one area may not even be looked at in another... When I was in Houston, I could get between $35 and $45 for slimlines in wood, plastics and antler... I got the higher price for the antler. At that time I didn't do cartridge pens, so no feel there. For higher end pens I got up to $125, depending on the kit and materials. My market place here in TN doesn't allow quite the same pricing.

    I have since derived a formula that I use. I do use cost as a starting point, since there's no sense in selling below cost. And like Frank (matter of fact got the idea from him) of assigning a value to every blank, even those I pick up in the woods or along the river. Also assign a flat factor as cost of running the shop... it's nominal but there is an ongoing cost of the shop, even though everything in my shop has long since been paid for, except for the glue, sandpaper, electricty, etc.. I also have an assigned "shop rate" that I apply to whatever time I feel that I have spent working on the turning. Plus I have a percentage mark-up over that... it sounds complicated, but since it's a working formula that I can put in place in my spreadsheet that I use to catalog every turning and then only have to fill in the three colums that are variables.. blank cost, kit cost and time factor... the spread sheet does the rest.
    My formula is:
    ((Blank cost + kit cost)x110%+labor at (x) shop rate) x 150% (profit mark-up) = sale price. I use this on every piece I make. When I wholesale, I drop the Profit Mark-up. I've still covered my labor cost in the formula.

    This is based on my market area and if I were selling in another market place, I would probably have to vary either the shop rate or mark up percentage - or both.

    In the end, you have to decide what you want to get and make that your guide to your pricing...

    BTW, I get $45 - $50 for my cartridge pens here.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,833
    Thanks Chuck.
    My $10.00 added is an arbitrary shop cost. I don't know if it is high or low but my mini-business is not sophisticated enough to fret over that.
    I should also have said that if I do a high end pen that comes out exceptionally beautiful, I will add to the formula price for the 'art' value, or whatever.
    Not asked, but I very rarely do non-wood pens. An occasional antler, cartridge, snake skin or even (choke) a rare synthetic, very rare.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020
    Chuck, the better pen kits don't cost a lot more than the slimlines, and I think you can get a higher price for the finished product. Also, I'd recommend staying away from the gold plated hardware, since the plating is not real durable. Instead, go with the titanium, chrome, or satin finishes for better wearability.

    As far as kit suppliers, there are a bunch.

    Craft Supplies - www.woodturnerscatalog.com
    Berea Hardwoods - www.bereahardwoods.com
    Penn State - www.pennstateind.com

    There are a number of smaller shops that sell either Penn State or Berea kits at equal or lower prices. I've dealt mostly with www.arizonasilhouette.com. They sell Berea kits, but are nicer to deal with in my experience. (My one experience dealing directly with Berea was not to my liking, but I know others who've not had the same issues.)

    I've read that www.woodturningz.com sells Penn State kits at better prices than Penn State sells them for.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,264
    [quote=Chuck Thoits;130888]Thread jack. All this talk of pens has me thinking that I should do some.
    That being said it is going to drive up the cost of each pen by the cost of the box."


    Chuck sure you are right about the cost being driven up by a box. But if you look at any of the classy pens you buy in a store and sometime even in a Jewelry store, the box and is embossing is as much a part of the creation of an image for the product. It sort of sets the scene and expectation. Maybe the trick with the pens is to not only stop at the pens which a lot of the pen turners seem to do. Think about a small stand out of a block of wood with some nice rounted edges or carving so that the pen becomes a desk piece and stand. Maybe a scallop for holding a paper clip alonside the pen. To me its about adding percieved value to woodwork that will drive the price point up without the cost going up horifically.

    There are minature wooden crates that one can buy and those of us that have a spray gun, could easilt finish a number of these crates very quickly with one blast of the gun. I dont mean finish and in mirror finish just change the color of the crate. Put a little wood straw in it and wrap a bit of cellophane over the top and place a laser printed business card inside with a story and contact details for futher orders or website.

    There is not much cost in this but there is whole lot more to the presentation now than just the pen dont you agree?

    Think of a
    cheers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,264
    [quote=Chuck Thoits;130888]Thread jack. All this talk of pens has me thinking that I should do some.
    That being said it is going to drive up the cost of each pen by the cost of the box."


    Chuck sure you are right about the cost being driven up by a box. But if you look at any of the classy pens you buy in a store and sometime even in a Jewelry store, the box and is embossing is as much a part of the creation of an image for the product. It sort of sets the scene and expectation. Maybe the trick with the pens is to not only stop at the pens which a lot of the pen turners seem to do. Think about a small stand out of a block of wood with some nice rounted edges or carving so that the pen becomes a desk piece and stand. Maybe a scallop for holding a paper clip alonside the pen. To me its about adding percieved value to woodwork that will drive the price point up without the cost going up horifically.

    There are minature wooden crates that one can buy and those of us that have a spray gun, could easilt finish a number of these crates very quickly with one blast of the gun. I dont mean finish and in mirror finish just change the color of the crate. Put a little wood straw in it and wrap a bit of cellophane over the top and place a laser printed business card inside with a story and contact details for futher orders or website.

    There is not much cost in this but there is whole lot more to the presentation now than just the pen dont you agree?

    Think of a pendant box like these added cost is only $2.46 http://www.usbox.com/Box/accu-vel_ve...ollection.html

    There are loads more cheaper and more expensive. These are pendant boxes but you could fit a pen in them.

    I notice this site has mini wooden crates for a similar price. Of course one would have to look at size but to add $2.46 to the cost if it adds $$$ to the selling price or even helps to sell the object that is what its all about.

    For the record I have never had any contact or affiliation to this site, just looked them up as an example.
    cheers

Similar Threads

  1. outrageous pricing
    By allen levine in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 08-12-2011, 10:59 AM
  2. Pricing?
    By larry merlau in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-11-2010, 04:12 AM
  3. pricing??
    By larry merlau in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 06-25-2009, 07:45 PM
  4. borg pricing
    By Frank Fusco in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-15-2009, 03:59 PM
  5. Pricing your work
    By Robert Koster in forum General Woodturning Q&A
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 09-22-2007, 02:10 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •