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"Will You Make Me One?"

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  • "Will You Make Me One?"

    How do you respond when people (other than immediate family and best friends) want you to make them wood crafts for free?

  • #2
    If they simply say "Will you make me one?", you reply could be "Sure! That particular one is $ xxx , does that work for you?"

    If they want one for free explain to them that "This is what I do for a living. Wood, blades and other materials cost me money to buy, not to mention my time"

    if they get snarky, I'd say "What would you say to your boss if he asked you to work for free today?". that'll usually end the conversation


    • #3
      Perfect answer Janette..
      "Still Montana Mike"

      "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
      Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


      • #4
        Direct to the point and not in anyway rude.

        I like it. Thanks Janette
        Last edited by HAMMER; 03-27-2012, 02:01 PM. Reason: corrected an letter from cap. to lower case


        • #5
          Janette, I have used the boss answer many times....people just look at you, not knowing what to say. We had a party at our house a few months ago and my wife had set out a couple bandsaw boxes I had just made for everyone to see...she was proud of them I guess. One of guests noticed the box and started showing it to others..she just went on and on about how lovely it was, then she asked how much I sold them for.......I said that one is $200. She walked over, returned the box to where it was setting and walked away....guess it wasn't as nice as she thought after all


          • #6
            I think it's a no-win situation, no matter how diplomatic you try to be. There's no way to avoid the fact that they are asking if you will make it for them for free, and you are saying "no", no matter how reasonable your explanation.

            You all know that I don't sell my work, but I've had the same thing happen with my cake business. Even if someone agreed on the original price, they would often try to get more detail or some other extras. I quickly learned to say "yes", but that it would cost a certain amount more, because of the time involved. Sometimes they went for it and sometimes not, but at least I didn't feel like I was being taken advantage of.

            Sometimes it helps to educate folks, but some are just boorish clods with a sense of entitlement. If you don't want to do something for someone like that, just double your price. Then if they go for it, at least you're getting a good return on your work. I know that a lot of tradespeople do that if they don't want a particular job.

            Too bad everyone isn't nice, like us!

            Follow me on my blog:


            • #7
              i usually tell them ill see when i can get a spare moment, if they keep bugging me i tell them as this my living i have to take care of paying customers first, that usually settles them down, i told one guy to buy the materials and id let him use my extra saw and show him how, but havent heard from in quite a while after that


              • #8
                I take it as the best compliment anyone could get.

                Now you have to know I do this as a hobby and would much rather receive a THANK YOU vs the 50 cent an hour wage most are willing to pay. My favorite saying is "I HAD A JOB ONCE AND DO NOT WANT ANOTHER ONE". I even pay the postage.

                I also respect those that do this for an income and feel it is only fair to get paid for what you do. Time, Materials, and the cost of patterns.

                For me the out way the costs.

                I have often wondered what something I have cut is worth monetarily. How do you know?
                The other John A. Nelson
                I just follow the lines and make sawdust
                on a Seyco ST-21 and a Yellow DW788


                • #9
                  Originally posted by keystonecop View Post

                  I have often wondered what something I have cut is worth monetarily. How do you know?
                  An old time tested saying holds true here: The more you pay, the more it's worth.

                  . . . . we all come to our own decisions about how much money we place on our time and effort on anything we do. For people that I love and those who I hold close to my heart I do not put a money value on the time and effort I spend on a piece for them. For people who fall outside that circle they pay money for the time and effort I spend on a piece for them.

                  I've Got A Lot More To Learn
                  About Leaving Battlegrounds Alone
                  "~~ Molly Venter


                  • #10
                    If I'm not inclinded to comply with the request, I usually tell them that I'm backed up with other projects (just about always the truth anyway) and couldn't possibly get it done in a reasonable amount of time. I've had a couple people persist, claiming; "Oh, it's real simple, it shouldn't take you any time at all." Usually a brief explanation of how involved and time consuming the process really is, from prepping the lumber (almost all my projects start from rough sawn lumber), to cutting, sanding, assembling (if required) and finishing, will suffice.

                    The fact is, I rarely get any requests for free work. Almost everyone who has ever asked me for anything has offered to pay for material and "whatever my time is worth". If I decline, I make sure to tell them it's not about the money. I have no interest in turning my hobby into a job, so it doesn't matter what they are willing to pay.
                    Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


                    • #11
                      I seem to have the opposite problem, I have family and friends wanting to commission me. I always say no and then do it anyway and present it as a gift. I have some very loyal and supportive customers that I periodically do something for. They protest and want to pay me.
                      Others ask what would it cost for me to have one of those.
                      RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                      Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                      Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                      And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association


                      • #12
                        Most of my friends are fabric and mixed-media crafters so they are interested in quilt racks, shelves, frames, and shadow boxes to display their wares. I appreciate everyone's response. It's interesting and helpful to know how different people deal with a similar situation.


                        • #13

                          Maybe your response to a request for free, is to turn around and ask for a "free" quilt in return. More than one way to get your price.
                          Steve in Richmond, VA with a DW-788


                          • #14
                            SteveK, That's a great idea, except I know them as a fellow quilter & crafter. I've made enough quilts & crafts to last me a lifetime. I shifted gears and now I'm scrolling.


                            • #15
                              I like your thread very much because it's exactly what some people are thinking : we, craftsmen (and craftswomen), are often considered as pople working for free, or for peanuts. In my case, nobody has ask me yet to work for free, but when they see my work, especially my celebrities portraits in a craftshow, they say "what a wonderfull work" and when they see the price they are all thinking "it's too epensive" and some of them says it. 25 hours to do a work sold 100 € : too expensive ? Considering the frame, the baltic birch plywood (12 x 16 inches), the blades for about 25 € inclued in the prize ?
                              People pay, without complaining, € 45 an hour their plumber who does the plumbing that is often simple (I do also know, that's why I allow myself to speak), 50 to 100 € for their garagist, 30 € (1/2H) their doctor, their lawyer € 100 minimum, but they have a terrible trouble to want to pay 10 €, 5 € even € 1 an hour for a craftsman who has yet applied for hours to create an object that lasts a lifetime.
                              (excuse my bad english and google translate :-)


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