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Woodworking accessories - rant!

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Lee J

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I'm absolutely gob-smacked at the price some 'Woodworking Supplies' places are charging for accessories. For example, I'm looking for some clock inserts (approx 37mm diameter) to fit into some oak to make some mantle clocks for a craft fair. I want silver/chrome bezel clocks with a white face. Just your standard quartz style clock/watch face, nothing fancy. I'm gonna need about 4.
I was horrified when I went to purchase them and found them from about £7 EACH!
I mean I don't mind paying a 4 quid for one but 7 quid? then theres the £3.95 postage making each clock insert 8 quid!

Add this to the cost of the oak and the time to make them and I may as well not bother. I may as well just burn the oak on the ruddy fire and not waste my time.

How do these places expect woodworkers and craft makers to do what they love doing and make a small return when they price stuff like this?

anyone know anywhere for good value accessories like clock inserts?
 

thomvic

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You buy cheap accessories, clock movements, faces, bezels, box locks, hinges etc. etc. and you make cheap products. £7 for a decent bezel is cheap. I doubt that it would be anywhere near the quality of any bezel on a clock in a decent watch and clock shop. If you want your clock to look the bee's knees at the end then you have to start with good quality at the begining.

Richard
 

Lee J

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I've found a 37mm silver bezel clock insert, quartz movement for £6.35

thats the best deal I can find
 

Cheshirechappie

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You've found somebody selling what amounts to a quartz clock for £6.35, and you're grumbling?

First, there's the design and development costs for said clock. There's the capital cost of a clock factory and all it's equipment. There's the cost of materials for said clock, the cost of making those materials into clock components (some of them quite complex), the cost of assembling said components and the cost of the packaging (even if it's just a plastic bag). Then someone had to transport it from manufacturer to distributor, and then again to retailer, each of whom had their business costs to bear. Then there's the cost of postage and packing materials.

All that for the cost of a pub meal. What the hell is your problem?
 

deserter

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I agree the price seams reasonable to me, but I also sympathise with the OP quite often it doesn't swam that a profit can be made for the work you do, either professionally or as a hobby. I don't however think on most instances it's the suppliers at fault but the consumer. In these days of Ikea and the like people expect to pay £5 maximum for things like this and don't understand why we need to charge more.
It's time to start educating customers rather than squeezing suppliers/manufacturers in my opinion.
 

Grahamshed

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Somebody on here ( I must take more notice ) has a signature line saying that he would rather explain the cost of good quality than apologize for poor quality ( or something along those lines )

I think I agree with that.
 

Steve Maskery

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Ask the question, "What do you want for your own time?", and then ask, "How much of other people's time has gone in the production of this?"
Then add the cost of the materials and then add 20% VAT and then you might ask how this can possibly be produced for such a low price.

S
 

wcndave

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I made a toy monster truck, and someone said they wanted to buy one. I worked out that with materials, overheads, labour etc, was going to cost about £700. Even if i batched them, still about £400.

They said no way, what are you doing?
I replied, having fun, creating unique and high quality pieces for my own enjoyment.

Makes you realise why that £20 wooden toy you found made in china, insome toy shop, is such a complete piece of rubbish. I don't complain anymore and just smile knowingly.

SWMBO bought some document trays for the kids to paint and give to nursery teacher. I was appalled at the materials and construction and quality. They were £2 each, i'd have to make one in 30seconds to make that a living!
 

Lons

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The problem is too deep seated now as most people are used to cheap imports and rip offs of everything. tools included. Gone are the days when you would spend more than a weeks wages on a single handtool (well maybe some of us still would :) ). I buy a number of throwaway tools, especially hardpoint saws and such things I include as disposables in the cost of a job. I can buy a saw for a fiver - can't sharpen one for that :roll:

There are still folk willing to pay top dollar for quality harder to find with many potential craft fair buyers having a "bootsale" mentality. - Nothing wrong with bootsales BTW. :)

Bob
 

Lee J

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I just thought near 7 quid was dear for a clock insert on an item I was going to price up at a tenner, thats all.
 

yetloh

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Most of it has been said, but perhaps not the nub of the problem. This is that it is impossible to make any sort of sensible money making things that compete with cheap Chinese imports, which many craft fair goods try to do. The inevitable outcome is that the makers end up working for next to nothing but carry on (if they do) because they enjoy it. The only way to get round this is to make something that does not compete with these products but has something unique that makes it stand out. This does not mean that it necessarily has to be expensive to make, but if it has that unique something that makes people want it then you can charge more. By way of example, I have a friend who used to make small wooden toys to sell at craft fairs. They were simple and easy to make but they were also instantly appealing and made people smile. He charged an economic price and they sold. He has stopped due to ill health, but it worked because of his inventiveness and creativity. If you want to sell run of the mill stuff you can only charge a run of the mill price and, these days run of the mill means the sort of stuff brought in from China by the container load, and the market has already decided what the price of that is.

Jim
 

Lee J

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Steve Maskery":1f7be4t0 said:
Then perhaps you shouldn't be pricing them up at a tenner.
S
i shall purchase said clock insert and restructure my pricing to reflect.
 

Steve Maskery

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I can't help feeling that we've all been a bit harsh towards you. :)
But the fact is that if you are making an "ordinary" item, you can't do it economically and compete with people who can live like everyone else they know on a dollar a day. If you want to live like they do, then you are in the right business, because that's all you'll make and that's all you'll have to spend on life. We can't compete, in that way, with developing countries.
We can, and must, compete in quality. That is the challenge. I'm not suggesting it's easy - my goodness I am as well aware of that as anyone. But it is our only ace, until such time that energy becomes so expensive that it is impractical to ship stuff half way around the world. But by then we won't be able to afford to switch on our lathe anyway.

<Fraser> We're doomed, we're all doomed! </Fraser>
 

TheTiddles

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Maybe it's just me, but if I paid £10 for a wooden clock I'd be expecting total, utter rubbish. I'm sure your work isn't, you've got to be aiming too low

Aidan
 

Phil Pascoe

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There was an article in the woodworking press about 20yrs ago by a turner who was selling on commission in a gallery. He had a really beautiful bowl in the window at £45, and it had been there for 18 months. He was just about to take it home, when he read an article on marketing, had a re-think and asked the owner to mark it up to £90. It sold within a week.
It's to do with perceived value - if you make something cheap, people will attach no value to it.
 

Lee J

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I'll post pictures of the clock once I've completed them. They'll be made from a single block of oak approx 50 x 50 and 200 tall (£1.00), clock insert (£7.00) plus time and finishing. They'll have a series of holes 3mm deep drilled in the front and these holes will be plugged with walnut. Think I'll mark them up at £20 and called them 'ltd edition', only 4 made!

thanks for all your help
 
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