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Thread: I sold some pens ???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    I sold some pens ???

    So far I've made a total of 10 pens. I gave them to my wife and kids.
    My daughter who is a radiology tech at a big hospital in Massachusetts took hers to work showed it to some coworkers. She called me last night to tell me to make a dozen fast because everyone wants to buy one
    I made a teachers pen for my wife and 4 other teachers want one One of my other daughters works for Brookstone and said her boss wants me to make him one

    I never planned on making these to sell but with the job situation being what it is I'll take what I can get

    What do you folks charge for pens ? 5 or10 times the kit cost??

    This is kind of exciting. Getting me thinking about visiting some of the local touristy shops around here and seeing if they are interested. I'd obviously have to sell them cheaper than I than I would to a regular person.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Bob you haven't sold any pens until money changes hands
    Buy that rule neither have I
    From the research I have done it seems to be pen kit plus blank times three plus 20%
    Rosewood, Honduras blank $2
    Copper Finish Slim Style Pen Kit $5
    total $7
    2+5=7
    7x3=21
    20% of 21=4.20
    21+4.20= 25.00
    And we all know your can't have a number like 25.20 so I round to 25
    Last edited by Chuck Thoits; 01-27-2010 at 01:15 PM.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Thoits View Post
    Bob you haven't sold any pens until money changes hands
    Buy that rule neither have I
    From the research I have done it seems to be pen kit plus blank times three plus 20%
    Rosewood, Honduras blank $2
    Copper Finish Slim Style Pen Kit $5
    total $7
    2+5=7
    7x3=21
    20% of 21=2.10
    21+2.10= 23.10
    And we all know your can't have a number like 23.10 so I round up to 25
    what math class did you take chuck??? 20% of 21 is 4.20 in my state
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    what math class did you take chuck??? 20% of 21 is 4.20 in my state

    All fixed Larry and see it still came out to the same number
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
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    Bob,
    There are dozens and dozens of formulas to figure pen pricing... it's a major discussion on the pen turning forums... the bottom line is, get what you think your work is worth... you can get the slimline kits for $2 and nice blanks for around $3-5 depending on where you shop.. or if you cut your own blanks from your own wood, you only have time and labor....
    As Chuck mentioned, I normally get $25 for a slimline, but I also know others claim to get $35 and $40... There are turners out there that have $100 up price tags on some of their pens... don't know if they get them, but they ask.
    You might think about how long it takes to make a pen and what you want as a shop rate or return rate.... I can do a simple all wood slimline in 10 to 15 minutes.. not counting the set up or finish time... I always drill and glue and let them sit overnight... just my way... I use a CA finish and have that down to about a 10 minute process... all told, I would estimate that a simple slimline takes me about 30-35 minutes start to finish... based on that timing, at $25 each, I think I'm getting a shop rate of about $35 or $40 per hour.... I say I think because I use a fuzzy math method of calculation.
    In the end, decide what works for you and what you are satisfied with.
    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.

  6. #6
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    LOL Chuck you got that right. Being in sales all my life I can attest to the saying "the sale isn't made until the bill is paid".

    I just bought a whole bunch of different kits from Penn State. ( to me 30 is a whole bunch ) The slim line kits were $1.60 each If I remember correctly. The most expensive kits were the Executive, Polaris and some others that I can't remember. About $5.00 ea.
    The blanks I've made are basically free. Butternut, cherry, curly maple, from shorts I've had kicking around my shop. Rockler was selling a whole variety of blanks at their Salem store for 3 for $.99 so I bought about $40.00 worth a few months ago.

    If you sell them to a store would you put them on consignment or get payment for the whole lot up front ?
    I guess I need to make a gift box too

    Oh yeah, to clarify my first statement about only making 10 pens so far. That's 10 pens that came out really well. I have a small pile of 5 or 6 that I totally screwed up.

    Maybe "You tube" has some videos of pen making so I can get some pointers from someone who actually knows what they are doing.

    Thanks for the info Chuck
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gibson View Post
    LOL Chuck you got that right. Being in sales all my life I can attest to the saying "the sale isn't made until the bill is paid".



    If you sell them to a store would you put them on consignment or get payment for the whole lot up front ?
    I guess I need to make a gift box too


    Maybe "You tube" has some videos of pen making so I can get some pointers from someone who actually knows what they are doing.

    Thanks for the info Chuck
    Bob,
    Consignment is tricky and risky... you need to make sure you have a solid agreement that if something happens to your pens, the store is still liable to you... if they get "lost" or damaged or whatever....
    I'm talking to a local gallery about doing some consignment, but my preference is an out right sale... then you have your money and they can take the liability for "lost" or damaged pens.... just my opinion... the gallery I'm talking to is one I've dealt with for a couple of years, and I've made several very nice outright sales... the consignment is because they're not in a position to buy right now, I don't have any shows planned for a few months and it's better to expose the goods to potential buyers than to just store it in the garage...

    On the videos, check with PSI... they have a couple of videos that show the pen turning and there are a number on Youtube... do a search and you'll find enough to fill several evenings of TV watching... Good Luck.
    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.

  8. #8
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    The one thing about the videos. Is there are a bunch floating around that the guy that made them know no more or less than you do about pen turning.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Escondido, CA
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    Try these folks: www.penturners.org

    One more thing. Probably too late. But I always wing a price by them before I actually buy the materials. I do not wing a price at them without doing my homework on costs. Just because someone would like your product doesn't mean they have a clue as to what a fair price is.

    Wean out the wanna have's. I begin with, "Wooden turned pens begin at $25 depending on the hardware and wood species. What is your favorite wood? What kind of a pen do you like best? If this is for a special person or special occasion, perhaps you'd like to explore some options." Then offer some pictures of different woods and different kits. They do not have to be something you have already done, just something you are able to do.

    The point being, you are not supplying $1.49 Bics.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Congrats on the business boom.

    All good advice so far. I've been using a rough formula of material costs x 2, plus anywhere from $5 to $20 added for "shop time" and other markup. (I buy all my blanks...either acrylic of fancy stabilized wood, and use only the better platings like titanium and rhodium.) I don't do Slimlines, but my low-end kits (like the Streamline, which is similar) get sold for $25 or $30 depending on the venue, and the better kits go up from there. My pens generally range from $25 to $65, although I'm tempted to try a few real high-end kits and go for the $100 barrier.

    You mentioned making your own boxes. I considered it for about 2 minutes, then realized I couldn't make one for the price it would cost to buy one. I just include the price of the box in the materials cost.
    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

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