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Thread: Need Some Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Tyler, Texas

    Need Some Help

    My boss's boss had seen a pic of one of my turnings and expressed an interest in them. He thought that his wife, an interior decorator, would especially be interested in them as accent pieces for her customers.

    Well, I e-mailed him a pic of the SW Hollowform and Vase that I posted here and he wants to buy both pieces for his wife as a Valentine's day gift.

    I have no idea what to ask for the pieces as I've never sold any turnings before. This could also lead to additional sales from rather high-end customers in the Houston area, too, so I don't want to undercharge.

    But, the big boss is a great guy and great to work for so I don't want to gouge him, either.

    Can y'all give me some guidance on pricing? I'm really lost here.
    Last edited by Cody Colston; 01-13-2008 at 02:33 PM. Reason: Add Pics

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    I'm not a pro, and I don't sell a lot of stuff, but I'd say at least $200 for the SW HF yo showed, it is NICE.

    Don't sell yourself short, if you price your handmade one of a kind turnings cheap, he will think of them as cheap, and not really worthy of a nice gift to his wife, if you want a fair price, he will hold you and your work in a much higher regard. Now if you were some famous known turner, then $200 would be CHEAP.

    I'm sure others will chime in here.


    PS post some pics of both pieces here for everyone to look at, if you like.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I agree with what Stu said. If he baulks at the price, don't lower it and just keep them otherwise he'll expect to get all future turnings on the cheep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    I agree Cody. Tell him $200 for the SW HF and $150 for the other one. I sold one to a gentleman for his wife as a gift for like $75 because like you I didn't know what to charge. Now he wants the walnut/maple HF I posted here for the same price. I told him it was $250 and he thought I was gouging him. I price what I think they are worth and if they want them fine. If not they look good on my shelf to.
    Last edited by Bernie Weishapl; 01-13-2008 at 03:10 PM.
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    I agree with Stu and Bernie on principles, but I think they're still lowballing a bit. I would push it up to 400 and 300, for the reasons stated. And I would make sure the work is signed! You want that interior designer showing them off, and other potential customers to be able to find you. There are people on here who can laser engrave medallions made of wood, with your name, an image, and some contact info. You could turn a recess into the base, and glue that in.

    Just a thought,



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    If the Big Boss is a great guy to work for...and "it could also lead to additional sales from rather high-end customers in the Houston area, too"...., why not give the pieces to him! Let him know that you hope his wife enjoys them and you would be willing to make additional pieces for her to sell to her clients.

    This way, you can make points with the Big Boss, maybe open the door to future lucrative sales of your turnings, have some time to check the local market for future pricing, and.....your Big Boss won't feel he got gouged, or ripped you off by what he paid (since he didn't) for the ones for his wife....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Toledo, OH
    I think the prices mentioned by others are too high. The SW HF is 4.5"x7"(H x W) and the upright form is 7"x4"(H x W). These are what I consider medium size pieces with nice forms (not spectacular) with nicely spalted wood. I would ask for $125 for the SW HF and $75 for the other piece. Remember that you don't have a name and a reputation yet. In the future that may change but you shouldn't be charging Bill G prices ($400) for Cody C work (no offense meant...I'm no Bill G either!!!).

    If you want to hedge your bets, you could sell them for my prices to your boss and let him know that you gave him a big discount and that it is a one time deal only. In the future all other pieces (regardless of circumstances) will be priced closer to those mentioned by others.

    Greg also has a good suggestion about giving them to him except that the boss may just be blowing smoke about future sales to get a discount. I've run into this situation more than once.

    good luck,
    Last edited by Dick Strauss; 01-13-2008 at 05:32 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I'd suggest a middle-of-the-road on pricing. I agree that you don't want to underscore your work with too cheap a price, but you don't want to gouge either (especially not The Man).

    For a piece in the size range of the SW vessel I'd suggest pricing in the neighborhood of $160 or $170. I also agree with Dick about hinting that this is your "special" price to him, and that the same pieces would normally go for $200 (or more).

    I see $160ish as a fair price for someone who has reach a point where their pieces are in demand. As your name and rep grow, so should your prices.

    That said, there is something to say for just giving The Man these pieces with a wink, and hinting that you'd be glad to do commission work for his friends. He would understand you wanting to get your work "out there".

    One other thought... those pieces are NOT finished until they are signed! Your signature adds value to the piece. And Sharpies over the finish is not permanent. Look into a burner or something that will permanently mark the piece.
    I may be lost but I'm making good time!
    Three Seasons Woodturnings

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Last month I asked Don Pencil about pricing the turned items. Those of you who don't know him, see this thread,

    He laughed and said that it doesn't matter how good the piece is but what matters is who makes it. The signature on the piece determines the price.

    $200 seems a bit high to me. I do agree with Greg though that if he is a great boss then maybe you should give him those bowls as a gift.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Houston, Texas
    Hi Cody ,
    A different way of looking at it is this............

    Knowing how much time you have in it, and how much you like each piece, how much would it take to seperate you from your work. I have some paintings I know I would sell for $1000.00 but not for $900.00 and not for $975.00. I would rather keep them. These turners and other forum members are giving honest advise but you are the man in the spotlight! Why? Because you made something that someone else is willing to pay a price for. Fair is a good price. Good luck with your decision.
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