Pricing advice

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gregmcateer

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Phil, I think Paul is probably indicating a bare minimum acceptable rate.

I agree with you, though, that you basically have to decide your chosen rate and them work out if you can sell at a price you cover that.
 

Trainee neophyte

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There are two ways of looking at this - cost of production, and the price the market will bear. They are not in any way dependent on each other.

You can calculate the cost of production: electricity, raw materials, consumables, labour etc (and don't forget depreciation). Once you know that, you then add a profit element and there is your price. Will the market pay that price? Almost certainly not, because you will be competing with amateurs who do it for fun, and slave labour from the third world. Fundamentally, making stuff is easy; selling it at a profit is the tricky part.

It seems to me that buying handmade, wooden kitchen utensils is entirely conspicuous consumption, so the price should be nosebleed high to take account of the unique, handmade artisaniferousness of the objet d'art. In other words, they are not buying a wooden bowl, they are buying the bragging rights to show their friends how cultural, tasteful, individual and unique they are. Price very, very high, and market to people who conspicuously consume. Otherwise you become a poorly paid labourer, and no one wants that, do they?
 

Oakay

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Hi guys I need your help/advice, since the girls at work found out I make pots/bowls etc on the lathe and seen a couple of pieces I've made as retirement and birthday gifts they have all been pestering me about when I will be selling my works, there are 2 issues here, the first is that I currently only have 6 pieces ready that are (in my opinion) good enough to sell but that's my problem to deal with, what I need help with is what to price the pieces at as I've been told by a friend that I always undervalue my work and time.
View attachment 123727 View attachment 123728 spalted birch box
Plain birch bowl/pot
Sycamore box with pine finial
Oak pot
Spalted birch dish
Oak pot
I've added a ruler to the picture to give you an idea of sizes, they are all sanded to 320 and finished with Briwax furniture wax polish. I'm going to take these in next week along with any more I make this week.
I really appreciate your advice
Do your own research by looking on selling sites such as Etsy to get an idea of the going rate.
 

Richard_C

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I turn for fun and satisfaction, occasionally give things to friends or family. I occasionally get asked to make something and be paid but I've always said no - it adds a level of responsibility and liability. Sometimes friends will give me a bottle of wine, but that's up to them. Probabaly equivalent to the cost of the blank.

I doubt many people can make much money from turning alone, unless they are a established name or can churn out work much faster than I can. Need to supplement by teaching and demonstrations or other things to make it a living.

I did some sums 'working back' as if you were doing it full time.

Most people in conventional jobs work about 1800 hours in a year. Even minimum wage jobs get paid holiday, ssp and pension contributions so to match those you need to make £18k - thats an absolute minimum and few would be happy with that long term.

Now, of those 1800 hours you might get, at best, 1000 turning hours. The rest is selling, buying wood, maintaining machines and tools. So you have 1000 hours at the lathe to make a year's worth of minimum income. I doubt many would enjoy 1000 hours a year at a lathe but they might enjoy it more than 1000 hours stacking shelves - its solitary though, very different.

If you sell through a gallery of some kind you may get 50-60% of the selling price - they have overheads, staffing, VAT and all sorts so I'm not accusiing them of profiteering. If you sell direct at fairs etc. you have your own costs, time, travel and so on, if you sell online you have their cut. Lets say on average you get 70% of the selling price. So - ticket price £25, you get £17.50

But you have costs, fixed costs and variable. Depends what you are making but let's say the average blank costs £6 (some small some big...varies a lot) and the overheads, consumables etc. add £1.50.

So - each item you sell at £25 gets you £17.50 net but costs £7.50 to make so gets you £10 profit.

Now lets come back to 'turning hours' - to make £18k a year profit you need to make/sell 1800x £25 items in 1000 hours. Hmmm.

You can change that if you get costs down, or selling price up, but the thing you can't do is make more hours.

Now, I recognise its wholly different of you make top end stuff or if you are doing it part time to fund a hobby, but the economics don't work out if you try to make it a full time job. The OP isn't wanting to make it a job but running through the numbers above: don't under-charge.
 
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sawdustandwax

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Under-pricing just adds to the perception that items made from wood are 'cheap' (I know some items in wood are expensive but in general the 'public' perceive smaller items to cost peanuts) price along similar line to those on Etsy. They still take about 13% I think. You are still putting the same effort as those doing commercially and taking the time and care to produce a good piece. List some pieces on Etsy and put in the ad the process of making, the stages you go through, a story if you like of how a piece is created. You may surprise yourself as to how much is actually involved you don't even think about. Then point people towards the ads and offer them a discount if bought directly from you.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Or what you'd like as a salary if you were doing it for a living, and divide that by 2000 to get an hourly rate. It's close enough.
In the press a day or two ago -

In a survey last week for Raja Workplace, participants said their perfect job would offer a four-day week on £44,000, with a 17-minute commute, free hot drinks, “duvet” days on request and six weeks’ holiday a year.

:ROFLMAO: might be difficult selling basing prices on those figures.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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In the press a day or two ago -

In a survey last week for Raja Workplace, participants said their perfect job would offer a four-day week on £44,000, with a 17-minute commute, free hot drinks, “duvet” days on request and six weeks’ holiday a year.

:ROFLMAO: might be difficult selling basing prices on those figures.

I'd want a shorter commute (that's about 10 times my current journey to the office) and a lot more money than that. I like the four day week idea though - as I recall that's generally been shown to increase both overall productivity and happiness, so it's good for the company and the employee.

I don't sell any of the stuff I make; partly it's not good enough, partly I've done that before and it ruins a good hobby, and partly I'd want to charge ludicrous amounts for my time if I'm not spending it doing what I want to do. I do sometimes compare the time it'll take me to do something with the cost of having someone do it for me, the enjoyment (if any) I would derive for it, and what I could be earning in the time. I find it helps me focus on doing things I enjoy in my spare time, not things someone else will do better and faster for a bit of money.

I do think it's worth having a think about how one values one's time.
 

Stigmorgan

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So I've read everyone's comments and it seems this is a subject akin to sharpening, everyone has a different opinion 🙂
I've looked on Etsy and factored in what I would be happy to pay if I was to see it at a craft show and I think I've come up with prices I'm happy with.
20211208_183508.jpg

£20 £25 £25
£10 £15 £10
I guess I'll find out if that's OK next week when I take them into school for the girls to see
 

HOJ

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I cant tell you what to charge, your call, I bought a couple of pieces at a "farmers market" a spalted fruit bowl and a platter, both of which had been laid up for 12 months to "dry" paid £65.00 for the bowl and £40.00 for the platter, I understand the amount of effort that went into making them, but still cheap in my view, I'm not rich either.

On your pricing, so you sell one piece for £10.00 how much would you charge for the same thing as a commissioned piece for the friend of the person who bought it?

Don't undersell yourself, I'd stick at least another £20.00 on all of them, for a start.
 

Nick S

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Hi have been selling these at Xmas and craft fairs big snowmen £15/£25
Bowls start at £7.50
Smaller decorations start at £5
I started turning about a year ago as a hobby am now on long term sick so spend most days in workshop .
First few fairs I did were useless and I thought the stuff is rubbish or to expensive got bit depressed about it and then had two great fairs sold a few hundred quids worth never going to make a living but if it pays some costs and people like and appreciate the product that's good enough for me
Nick
 

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Sean33

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Hi guys I need your help/advice, since the girls at work found out I make pots/bowls etc on the lathe and seen a couple of pieces I've made as retirement and birthday gifts they have all been pestering me about when I will be selling my works, there are 2 issues here, the first is that I currently only have 6 pieces ready that are (in my opinion) good enough to sell but that's my problem to deal with, what I need help with is what to price the pieces at as I've been told by a friend that I always undervalue my work and time.
View attachment 123727 View attachment 123728 spalted birch box
Plain birch bowl/pot
Sycamore box with pine finial
Oak pot
Spalted birch dish
Oak pot
I've added a ruler to the picture to give you an idea of sizes, they are all sanded to 320 and finished with Briwax furniture wax polish. I'm going to take these in next week along with any more I make this week.
I really appreciate your advice
Firstly, lovely work. Might be worth having a look on Etsy or similar. Difficult one as I assume your not getting the timber for free, same with finish, sandpaper electric etc. If your making them just for the love of it at least the cost of another blank and a couple of hours labour ?
 

Stigmorgan

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Firstly, lovely work. Might be worth having a look on Etsy or similar. Difficult one as I assume your not getting the timber for free, same with finish, sandpaper electric etc. If your making them just for the love of it at least the cost of another blank and a couple of hours labour ?
At the minute I have mountains of wood from trees felled around my school grounds ( I'm a live on site caretaker in a primary school) my only cost so far has been sanding mesh, any money I make will almost be entirely profit.
 
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