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  • Pricing Your Work

    I work in a office and after displaying projects made on my desk I have people wanting to make things for them.

    I have no clue how to price my work as I have only made things for friends and family as gifts.
    Any suggestions as to how you come up with a fair price would be greatly appreciated.

    Dan

  • #2
    There are tons of different approaches to pricing your work. Some folks will simply take the cost of materials and triple that and charge that (bad idea in my mind).
    The way I price all of my products is labor + material + margin. Some folks will add a 4th category of overhead (electricity, expendable supplies and such) but I use the margin to cover those costs. To give a specific example:
    I cut a stack of 4 pieces of an 11 X 14 portrait piece out of 1/8" bb ply recently and it took me 9 hours. The way I will arrive at the selling price for this is:
    $178.20 (labor @ 33 cents per minute) + $21.75 (the cost of the ply + 4 frames + blades) + $60 (30% margin) = $260 (rounded up to the nearest whole dollar). This is the minimum price or the wholesale price for these 4 pieces. So the end result is that at wholesale these portraits will sell for $65 a piece. I typically add 35% mark-up the retail price as that is what the shops carrying my stuff add so they would retail for $90. I use this formula whether it's for a stack of pieces or 1 of a kind.
    Kevin
    Scrollsaw Patterns Online
    Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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    • #3
      Personally, I think it depends a lot on whether you want this to be just a hobby or if you want it to be a sideline business. I prefer to keep this as a hobby and sell enough things for the hobby to pay for itself and a little extra for more tools and a night on the town occasionally. There are a few scrollers out there that can get $20 or more per hour for their time. Your geographic locations can play a large part into the formula. I've sold wildlife and dog portraits for as little as $15 or $20. I've had people tell me that I don't charge enough. Ironically, these people are the same ones that don't buy anything. I do try and make sure I make at least $7 per hour for my time. Of course, I also factor in materials cost. That's not much, but how many hobbys actually do pay for themselves? I also fish as much as I can and I have yet to have anybody pay me to do it. I enjoy scrolling but if I can't sell what I scroll, what would I do with everything?

      This is my personal opinion, of course. I believe it is worth at least 3c.
      Mike

      Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
      www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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      • #4
        Not being able to sell anything is a great excuse to build more walls in your basement...Something I've sure been thinking about!
        Jeff Powell

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        • #5
          Hey Mikey,
          If you do ever find someone that will pay you to fish--please share!

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          • #6
            Dan,

            DON"T SELL YOURSELF SHORT! Production of quality items takes time and money. Quote a price that you feel is fair. If they agree, you'll both be happy. If they don't, you get to move on to something different. The worst they can say is "No". How they say "No" is what usually upsets us.

            And I've been paid many a time to fish......with gillnets, seines, various traps, dipnets, electroshockers, rod and reel...
            ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

            D. Platt

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            • #7
              Dan,
              Your talking about fellow office workers, so you might want to take that into account. I'm not saying to try to make a fortune, but keep it a fair price so you feel your effort and skill makes it all worth it! There's alot of armchair experts in this world who suggest this or suggest that,but turning out a high quality item will warrant higher profits in the future!

              Rick
              Old Scrollers Never Die...They Just Saw Away!

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              • #8
                I also just do intarsia as a hobby, but I also want to sell things so it pays for itself and new tools, etc. I try to price low enough to sell, but high enough so if someone says "make me two more like this one" I'm happy to make two more. So I think, "what price would make me feel good about making another one?"

                Chris
                What! There's no coffee?!!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Randy Huckeby
                  Hey Mikey,
                  If you do ever find someone that will pay you to fish--please share!
                  Randy, if I do, you'll be the first I share with.
                  Mike

                  Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
                  www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you're just selling to friends and co-workers, it's nice to get a little something out of it. However, nothing annoys me (and other woodworkers and vendors) more than someone at a show selling their work for mere pennies compared to what it's worth. Not only does it devalue everyone elses, but it shows that they don't think much of their own work either. I will still usually outsell these types of folks because people can compare them and see the effort I put into my work. If they want flea market prices and quality- they can go to the other guy and it doesn't bother me. It took me a long time to have enough confidence in my own work to charge what I think is a fair price. That confidence came from the "right" people buying my work and appreciating the efforts I make.
                    Janette
                    www.square-designs.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the responses.

                      I have no intention to have this be anything but a hobby.So no worries about me going to fairs and selling cheap ;-).

                      I know my co-workers dont make alot of money and most of the projects I will be making will be simple ones like nameplates ,pens etc. But I will definatley compensate for my time and materials. If I make enough to save up for a new tool(like a inflatable drum for intarsia) I will be happy. I am leaning towards about $15 for a nameplate. I can cut them quick and cheap and still make a profit.

                      And they are happy to have something handmade on their desk.

                      Once again thanks for all the input...now if i could get someone who has used woodtrax software to tel me if its worth it...... :-)

                      Dan

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Janette
                        If you're just selling to friends and co-workers, it's nice to get a little something out of it. However, nothing annoys me (and other woodworkers and vendors) more than someone at a show selling their work for mere pennies compared to what it's worth. Not only does it devalue everyone elses, but it shows that they don't think much of their own work either. I will still usually outsell these types of folks because people can compare them and see the effort I put into my work. If they want flea market prices and quality- they can go to the other guy and it doesn't bother me. It took me a long time to have enough confidence in my own work to charge what I think is a fair price. That confidence came from the "right" people buying my work and appreciating the efforts I make.
                        Excellent point Jeanette. This is one of the reasons I try to do only juried fairs. I have seen a few folks selling things for pennies and it really bothers me. It not only devalues our work, but cheapens the show as a whole.
                        I do sell to my family at the wholesale price, but everyone understands that for me this is a business, not a hobby.
                        I've heard that a lot of folks who do intarsia charge by the piece? I've only made and sold a couple of pieces of intarsia but I based my price on the previously mentioned formula. I wonder if I short-changed myself. The swan in my album sold for $275. That was my first (and still really my only) intarsia piece.
                        Oh, and just to qualify my "armchair" experience, I do 15 - 20 shows a year and make about 20% of my income from my woodworking. I'm hoping to double or triple that percentage this year which will push me over the point to where I'll be doing this full-time.
                        Kevin
                        Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                        Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Minnesota scroller
                          Randy, if I do, you'll be the first I share with.
                          You can try tournament fishing. No not at the pro level but on the local level. It will be the hardest job you every had but one bite can make it worth while.
                          Scott
                          Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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                          • #14
                            While being new to the saw world I too have wondered this. I have been surfing the net to see what sites are selling thier finished work for and got a rough estimate. I figured I would do my work and then when it warms up I would go to flea markets and festivals to see what people are asking and then price mine accordingly. I want to do mine for the love of it but the extra dollar would be nice. and besides where would you store them all. I figured you could price high and come down but if you start low its over until you cut another.

                            I also seen where the pricing flucuates due to add a second person or object, the amount of detail(saw time involved)and whether you frame it or not, or in a position like I am where I have to drive some distance to get materials.

                            Anybody has any thought on this method of pricing
                            Last edited by kyscroller; 02-07-2007, 11:38 AM.

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                            • #15
                              The majority of the shows I do are juried shows - although that is no guarantee that you will not get the hobbyiest or all good quality stuff. We've seen a trend out here (Oregon) that if the vendors don't do well, they won't be back (makes sense)- but promoters are lowering their standards to fill the voids unfortunately. Price for a booth isn't necessarily a good guide either. It's basically a crap shoot! I do about the same # of shows as you Kevin. There are a few that are consistently good, but many, it just takes one great customer to make your show- and they don't always show up. The last couple of years have been funny in the show circuit whether it's because of the economy, the war, or who knows what- people are hanging on to their money more. I tend to do better at "Festivals" such as Scandinavian Festival or Oktoberfest- where people are there to have fun or on vacation. We've applied for several new high end juried shows this year and hope to try some different venues. Ones with a good reputation for people coming for the purpose of buying art.

                              It's also important to always have new things to sell. A lot of repeat buyers become "collectors" and they want to see what you have that's new to offer and will sometimes come to the same show every year.
                              Janette
                              www.square-designs.com

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