Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Pricing your work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI
    Posts
    5

    Pricing your work

    How does everyone come up with pricing for thier work whether it be pens or bowls or whatever? Vaughn suggested I ask this question here, as I sent him a private message asking him the same thing, as to how he prices his pen at craft shows.

    Thanks
    Robert Koster

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    241
    That's the toughest question there is. The simple answer is "whatever the market will bare".

    IMHO, a lot depends on where you are selling them. I sold a lot of pens around the office when I first got started. In the DFW mid-cities a Plain Jane slimline ball-point would easily sell for $25. Rollerball/fountain pens (made from exotics) went for $40 and up.

    If I were selling at an office in a larger urban area (such as downtown Dallas) I probably would have bumped everything up $5 to $10 at least.

    On the other hand, if you are selling from a high-traffic gallery or boutique you could probably get away with starting at $40 or $50. Might not sell as many though. Frankly, I'd rather sell 200 pens at $25 than 100 at $30.

    Just my $.02.
    Last edited by Neal Addy; 09-01-2007 at 12:39 AM.
    I may be lost but I'm making good time!
    Three Seasons Woodturnings

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,582
    Hi Robert!

    I think that Neal has nailed it, whatever the market will bear, works fine, the problem is figuring that out

    I suggest starting a bit low and seeing how it goes.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Drums, PA
    Posts
    292
    I don't know Stu...

    I figure it is always easier to lower a price than to raise it once it's given.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    29,079
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Sardo View Post
    I don't know Stu...

    I figure it is always easier to lower a price than to raise it once it's given.
    I've heard a lot of sellers echo Ron's advice. Better to start high and have a sale than to raise your prices. I've also seen suggestions to not lower prices in the middle of a show, but I don't have any firsthand knowledge of the problems that can cause. (I'd suspect it could cause some earlier customers who'd paid higher prices to be upset.)

    Robert, on bowls, I've read of some folks who price by the inch (in diameter), and add or subtract from that number based on the uniqueness of the wood. Here again, your market will dictate the price, but I've seen some guys who shoot for $5 per inch, and others who go for $10. I'm thinking of taking a similar approach with my bowls and hollow forms, but still haven't nailed down what the multiplier(s) should be. (Hollow forms would be more per inch than bowls.) I have about 4 weekends from now to figure it out, since that's when my first show will be.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    363
    I have a friend who is an accomplished turner and has sold bowls for many years. He prices his work (bowls) by measuring the diameter and multiplying that by the height. For example a bowl that is 16" in diameter and 4" high would be priced at approximately $64. He also makes turned lamps (mesquite) that he gets $10 per inch of height. The lamps do not include shades.

    As I said, he is an accomplished turner and most of what he turns is mesquite. I judge my work to be maybe 3/4 as good as his--if that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    4,834
    I agree with Ron start high and lower your price. It is a whole lot easier to lower than to raise. Vaughn hit another point. Do not lower your prices the last day of the sale even if you don't sell a thing. People will figure you out and won't even look at your booth or items till the last day knowing you will lower your price. I have did pretty well selling my bowls for $5 per inch of diameter. Vase's I sell for $10 per inch of height. Again this depends on the wood. If it is rare or expensive wood like Amboyna or Coolibah vases, those will get pretty high up to maybe $400. Slimline pens for $20, Euro's for $35, El Grande's and other high end pens $55 up. Birdhouse ornaments I get $25 to $35 depending on wood. I just sold two sets of El Grande fountain pen and pencils for $125 per set. I have found what you can charge is what your local market will bear. These work pretty good for me here in a farming community.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lyons Ohio
    Posts
    25
    Hello Robert,

    I do not have a size formula for pricing. I know tha Richard Raffin was the first one I heard of that did this. But he can turn a bowl in the time it takes me to decide which chuck to use.

    There is so much more to consider. It depends on the wood you use, it depends on the shape you choose, it depends on the skills you have. And it depends on your market.

    I judge every piece when it is finished. It it is one of my best efforts and I feel bad about letting it go... I price it higher. I was once told by a very good turner to price my work by this method. I have always followed this rule. It has worked so far.

    But I know one thing, I would never sell a 16" x 4" bowl for $64.00. But that is just me. I would burn a bowl before I sold it that cheap.

    Best wishes,
    Dave

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for answering my question, and making me feel at home here on this forum. I think I will enjoy this for many years to come. Again thanks for the advice.

    Robert Koster

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,582
    My advice to start out lower is for several reasons, first, I do not have any idea what level Robert is at, are these the first dozen or so pens he has turned or is he in the hundreds now?

    Does he sell straight to the customer, or through a gallery?

    When you first get started, I think it is better to price your pens to sell, so you can justify keeping at it , in fact, the first two dozen or so pens I made, I gave away, to family and friends.

    I think that starting out with the basic slimline or Euro is good, use common woods, nothing too exotic, then, as you build up skill, and some customer base, you can move to the higher end pens, even moving within a style, say from the standard Euro to the Titanium Euro, and an exotic wood, on these you can certainly up your price, without problem. I do not know if any of you could be selling your 10th or 11th pen for $150, I guess there are some out there than can, but I figure most went through a learning process, which would be step by step. I think we could all agree that a basic slimline made from ordinary Maple, is not going to sell for as much as a titanium slimline made from some exotic burl.

    I was also not talking about selling at a show, at a show, I agree, I'd start at a fair price, and keep it there, I'd certainly not drop my prices at the end of the show, because if people come to know this, they might just wait to the end of the show to buy something, at the cheaper rate.

    I also understand established pros, or semi pros not enjoying the fact that someone new comes along and sells the same pen, maybe not as well done, for 1/4 of the price the pro asks, as the average buyer may not be able to spot the very well made pen, for just something that is OK.

    Still, if you can get $100 for a basic slimline pen in ordinary Maple, go for it!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

Similar Threads

  1. Dealer Pricing
    By Dan Mooney in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-20-2014, 08:06 PM
  2. outrageous pricing
    By allen levine in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 08-12-2011, 10:59 AM
  3. Pricing?
    By larry merlau in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-11-2010, 04:12 AM
  4. Pricing ones work.
    By Don Baer in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-30-2010, 06:26 PM
  5. pricing??
    By larry merlau in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 06-25-2009, 07:45 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
  •