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Thread: Pricing for a newbie?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Pricing for a newbie?

    I have not even attempted to sell any of the few things I have made on the lathe, but a co-worker has asked me to make her a salt/pepper mill set similar the ones I made for my mom and mil

    I had copied the design from a mill at www.peppermillguy.com that sold for $195.

    I was considering $200 for a set? What do you all think??

  2. #2
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    If you believe your work is worth that and the market will support your price, go for it.
    In the end, it is the buyer that sets prices.

  3. #3
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    Is she aware that it could cost this much?
    If I weren't aware, and had asked you to make my wife a set of salt and pepper shakers off of your lathe thinking two pieces of drilled wood with holes for contents to fall out of, cork to keep contents in, and turned using your talents, I might pay $50.00 but if you came to me and asked for $200.00, .
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

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  4. #4
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    I share Jonathan thoughts. Prices are set by the buyer, too high and they walk away. You may also put your co-worker on the spot when he/she feels obligated to buy, or just says no thanks.

    Please don't get me wrong Keith, your work is very nice, and the set you made for your mother and mother-in-law are super, but look at craft turners to see what they are asking, and run it against your co-worker.


    One thing to remember is a copy of something isn't necessarily as valuable as the original.
    For example the following painting sold, at auction, for $254,900,000.
    If you made a copy do you think you could/should get that much.




  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Palmer View Post
    ...a co-worker has asked me to make her a salt/pepper mill set
    ...
    I was considering $200 for a set? What do you all think??
    I think your co-worker may get a bit of sticker shock.

    In my experience, most regular folk I talk to have no concept at all of what is a fair price for custom woodworking. What they see is prices in Sears and Ikea and don't realize how much mass-produced-factory prices do not correspond to prices for custom work.

    When I start discussing with friends/co-workers what I think a price would be for custom woodwork (ie: this is how much the would costs me to buy, and how much a fair hourly labour rate would be...) most of them quickly agree that yes it's fair, but still more than they really want to pay.

    (aside: I don't sell my work. If I did, I'd do the research first, and set prices first, and probably not talk it out like I mention in the previous paragraph)
    Last edited by Art Mulder; 01-07-2009 at 04:31 PM. Reason: terribul spellur
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
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  6. #6
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    Frank's example is both good and bad. Art is in the mind of the beholder. Not long ago I discarded a broken toilet. But, I have seen broken toilets in art galleries selling for upwards of $5,000.00. Go figger.
    A member of one of my pen turning forums lives near LasVegas. He made a very fine pen and sold it to an upscale shop in one of the casino resorts for $300.00, probably a fair price but a bit on the high side. The same day he sold it to them, they resold for $3,000.00. Go figger. The buyer established what it was worth to him.
    My pricing formula for pens is: 2X material cost + $10.00. Even wood I cut, I give a baseline value of $5.00 for the blank.
    So, if a kit costs me $15.00, the blank $5.00 = $20.00 x 2 = $40.00 + $10.00 = $50.00. That's what I price it at.
    The art gallery, and other stores, that have my pens simply double my prices. That $50.00 pen would retail for $100.00.
    Are they worth it? But, the customers seem to think so and both I and the store owners all the way to the bank.

  7. #7
    Peper Mill guy set his price based on his previous accomplishments and Reputation as to his talents. I have seen your Mills and think they are quite handsome and the workmanship looks fine (from the pictures) but has your reputation and skill as a turner determined that they are worth that much? You be the judge as we cannot.

    Often the Internet price is searching for a buyer... Just like the old tale of the fellow who asked every gal he saw "for a kiss" and got slapped, the bar tender asked him why he continued when he was going to get slapped. response was "Sometimes I don't get slapped" Same is true with the pricing, a great profit margin for $10 worth of materials and some time, don't have to sell many to clear a lot. Be realistic, would you pay that much? If not, then what would you pay? That would be a fair price, what you would pay...

  8. #8
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    You may want to ask them too. "They usually go for $150...that ok with you?"
    That could help broach a touchy subject and avoid embarassment. My favorite peppermill is a wine bottle shaped out of maple about a foot tall with laser engraving I picked up at Cost Plus for $20. Go figure
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Burr View Post
    You may want to ask them too. "They usually go for $150...that ok with you?"
    That could help broach a touchy subject and avoid embarassment. My favorite peppermill is a wine bottle shaped out of maple about a foot tall with laser engraving I picked up at Cost Plus for $20. Go figure

    Thats pretty much what I decided on. I did some further searching and found that most solid mills went for $75 to $100 and most laminated mills went for $100 to $180. My coworker is a fan of woodturning, she has informed me of a few galleries having turning exhibits and taken me to a couple. I told her I would sell the laminated mill for $100 normally, but would sell her a set for $150. She has been very supportive of my work since I began turning and I really appreciate her confindence in me. Her birthday is coming up so I am planning on making one for her with some pupleheart she has given me.

    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Palmer View Post
    I told her I would sell the laminated mill for $100 normally, but would sell her a set for $150. She has been very supportive of my work since I began turning and I really appreciate her confindence in me. Her birthday is coming up so I am planning on making one for her with some pupleheart she has given me.

    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions!

    This would burn my kiester if it were directed to me. "I give you the wood and you charge me for my generosity and call it a Birthday present?" I don't think so...

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