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Pricing? (Read 5,397 times)
 
Austin McClune
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Pricing?
Mar 28th, 2015 at 5:45pm
 
Is there like a general guide that is followed for the pricing of bowls? i recently made a ceder bowl about 6 inches tall and with a 6 inch circumference of the interior. But i'm not sure what i could sell it for.
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #1 - Mar 28th, 2015 at 6:48pm
 
This Topic was moved here from Turning Talk by Ed Weber.
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #2 - Mar 28th, 2015 at 6:52pm
 
Austin, this is a tough question for many reasons, such as skill level achieved and wood species.
Here is a thread discussing exactly what you're asking,while the thread is two years old, the same things apply today
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Don Stephan
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #3 - Mar 29th, 2015 at 10:24am
 
The first question is who are you selling against.  There are turners who are most interested in the thrill of having sold than what they are making per hour making the item.  My personal opinion is that cheapens the craft of woodturning in the eyes of the public, but not everyone agrees.

When the cost of being in a show (art, craft, sidewalk, et cetera) is low (entry fee, application process, distance to show, need for pop-up and tables, et cetera) turners with lower prices are more likely to be there.  That's not necessarily saying lower quality products, just turners willing to price their items lower.

As a rule of thumb, one can visit a show to see what relative prices are, then decide whether to enter the following year.  But that still doesn't guarantee someone new will enter with low prices.

Ideally, one markets his or her professionalism, skill and persona as much as the turned items, but I don't know how to do that (or maybe simply don't have then, lol).
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Steve Doerr
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #4 - Mar 29th, 2015 at 5:14pm
 
Austin,
Figuring out the formula for pricing is the $64K question.  I have been in a gallery for over 4 years and the only thing that has been consistent in my pricing have been my pens and some of those will be going up in price soon.  Right now, my beginning price is $12 per linear inch for bowls and platters and $15 per inch for length plus width for hollow forms.  As I said, this is base price.  The type of wood, figuring in the wood etc. also adds to the price.  I guess one of the things that has added to my knowledge of pricing is what the painters sell their painting for.  (Don't look at potters, their prices are usually low.)  I am not the most expensive turner in my region of the country nor am I the cheapest--probably upper 2/3.  For example, the dyed HF with a pedestal and finial is 12" in total height and 7 1/4" wide, I'm selling for $325.  The HF of spalted oak is 11 3/4" x 5 1/2", I'm selling for $300.  Both of these are the exception to the rule because of the uniqueness of the wood etc. I have even had some people tell me I could sell either of them for $400 + depending on the location.

I think as turners, we all need to set the standard for price to help establish what the expected price of our artwork is really worth.  I have seen too many of our fellow turners selling their work at what I believe to be give away prices.  Even if we are turning for fun or for something to do in retirement, we owe it to the woodturning community to value our work and to help raise the level of value of our art form.  HTH and just my 2 cents worth
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Alan Hollar
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #5 - Mar 31st, 2015 at 8:24am
 
Whatever pricing formula you decide to use, if you can't make a profit you come out ahead by not making the product.  If you can't sell what you want to make for a reasonable living wage, don't lower your price, find a new market. The practice of retired folks with skill levels from rudimentary to amazing selling work at any price just because they don't require more to pay the bills cheapens the craft and makes it very difficult for those of us who depend on our work to support ourselves and our families.
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Steve Doerr
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #6 - Mar 31st, 2015 at 8:55am
 
Alan Hollar wrote on Mar 31st, 2015 at 8:24am:
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #5 - Today at 07:24:25 Mark & Quote Quote
Whatever pricing formula you decide to use, if you can't make a profit you come out ahead by not making the product.  If you can't sell what you want to make for a reasonable living wage, don't lower your price, find a new market. The practice of retired folks with skill levels from rudimentary to amazing selling work at any price just because they don't require more to pay the bills cheapens the craft and makes it very difficult for those of us who depend on our work to support ourselves and our families.


Well said Alan, I totally agree.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #7 - Mar 31st, 2015 at 10:44am
 
Steve Doerr wrote on Mar 29th, 2015 at 5:14pm:
I think as turners, we all need to [highlight]set the standard for price [/highlight]to help establish what the expected price of our artwork is really worth.  I have seen too many of our fellow turners selling their work at what I believe to be give away prices.  Even if we are turning for fun or for something to do in retirement, we owe it to the woodturning community to value our work and to help raise the level of value of our art form.

1. How would you do that?
2. That sound dangerously close to artificially increasing the price

Steve Doerr wrote on Mar 31st, 2015 at 8:55am:
Alan Hollar wrote Today at 05:24:25:
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #5 - Today at 07:24:25 Mark & Quote Quote
Whatever pricing formula you decide to use, if you can't make a profit you come out ahead by not making the product.  If you can't sell what you want to make for a reasonable living wage, don't lower your price, find a new market. The practice of retired folks with skill levels from rudimentary to amazing selling work at any price just because they don't require more to pay the bills cheapens the craft and makes it very difficult for those of us who depend on our work to support ourselves and our families.


Well said Alan, I totally agree.

IMO
While I understand and agree with the basic sentiment of your comments. Your comments regarding profit are fine for a professional but it ends there, You simply can not tell people what they can and can not do.
Sorry, no hobby for you, you sell too cheaply and you're hurting my business.  Roll Eyes
No matter how much you might want to say things like that, you just can't.
I know it stinks but it's a fact of life and you just have to deal with it, all artists do.
All I can say is if the "retired folks" are hurting your business, than you need to figure out a different strategy.

I would just add one more thing.
As much as I myself don't like the perceived under-priced selling, I also don't like the overpriced items either, of which there are just as many.


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Ron Sardo
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #8 - Mar 31st, 2015 at 11:46am
 
While I agree you can't dictate another person's pricing I tend to agree with Steve on this.

One thing that I have noticed is that lowballers don't stay around for long leaving an expectation of cheap prices for buyers which in turn, hurts the woodturning community in the long run.

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Ed Weber
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #9 - Mar 31st, 2015 at 1:37pm
 
I don't totally disagree, it does stink.
I've seen more than my fair share of "lowballers" as you call them, as I'm sure most everyone here has, you just have to deal with it.
I just know that trying to manipulate (either for good or bad) the market can be a slippery slope.
Example
Hobbyists are sent away,
then
Woodturnings start to fetch higher prices,
then
Wood suppliers start to charge more
then
Tool venders start to charge more
then
Venues start to charge more
Then,
Even though your lowball competition is no longer around, everyone has to pay more for the entire process and therefore nothing was accomplished.
Just another reason pricing is an almost impossible task to quantify
This scenario is not as far fetched as some of you might think.
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JimQuarles
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #10 - Mar 31st, 2015 at 2:31pm
 
A lot depends on where you are trying to sell.  Some places you can't sell a fancy slimline made with an exotic wood for $20, but here I sell even plain Maple and Walnut slimlines for $35.
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #11 - Mar 31st, 2015 at 2:49pm
 
Ed Weber wrote on Mar 31st, 2015 at 1:37pm:
I've seen more than my fair share of "lowballers" as you call them, as I'm sure most everyone here has, you just have to deal with it.
Of course, all businesses deal with this and the smart ones won't get into a pricing war.



Ed Weber wrote on Mar 31st, 2015 at 1:37pm:
Woodturnings start to fetch higher prices,
then
Wood suppliers start to charge more
then
Tool venders start to charge more
then
Venues start to charge more
I don't think you can compare a retired person lowballer at a show to a real business in your example. Surprisingly, many business don't go out of business for charging to much, they go out of business for charging to little. This happens when they don't charge enough to maintain their profit, pay their employees and satisfy suppliers. A retired person Many lowballers are happy to just get back their cost on materials and make a buck or two and as a result their prices are artificially low.
Ed Weber wrote on Mar 31st, 2015 at 1:37pm:
Even though your lowball competition is no longer around,
There will always be lowballers thinking they can fill that void. I've met a few turners that could make more money flipping hamburgers at Burger King then selling their wares at a craft show.



Ed Weber wrote on Mar 31st, 2015 at 1:37pm:
Wood suppliers start to charge more
then
Tool venders start to charge more
then
Venues start to charge more
Ed Weber wrote on Mar 31st, 2015 at 1:37pm:
everyone has to pay more for the entire process and therefore nothing was accomplished.
I disagree, this is what happened right after WW2 and this country's economy grew and became strong as a result.



Ed Weber wrote on Mar 31st, 2015 at 1:37pm:
I just know that trying to manipulate (either for good or bad) the market can be a slippery slope.
I seriously doubt anyone on this forum or any woodturner for that matter can manipulate the woodturning market even if they wanted to. (The Hunt brothers tried to do that with silver and look where it got them)
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #12 - Mar 31st, 2015 at 3:37pm
 
I guess the idea here is to make sure that your work is good enough that it LOOKS like it is worth the higher price.

Have a look at what the Lb'ers are making and make it better, cleaner, more intricate...fewer tiny flaws in the turning, sanding, finish, etc.

The only way to convince a customer to buy yours is to be better at it than the other guy.

There will always be customers who  buy based on price and nothing will change their minds. Make sure you are selling at places where the"other" people go to buy art... assuming your bowls don't hold soup!

There will always be frame shops who are cheaper than I am, but very few who are as good at it as I am.

So... are you REALLY good enough to charge more or are you down at their level of workmanship/prices?

Another thing to consider is the type of shows you sit at.  Try to find out the reputation of the show and go for the ones that cater to higher end buyers. 


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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #13 - Mar 31st, 2015 at 3:43pm
 
Just thought of an example from my past...

Years ago, i used to do art & craft shows selling my photography. I had my cards priced at $2.50 each and really wasn't selling at this one show.

The guy in the next booth suggested raising my prices to $5.95 a card. He said it was all about perception. If YOU don't think they are worth much, then neither will the customer.

I raised my price and proceeded to sell cards the rest of the day. I made 3 times what I normally would at the old price.

The hardest thing to do is find that "Goldilocks" pricing zone. Not too high and not too low, but juuust right!
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Re: Pricing?
Reply #14 - Mar 31st, 2015 at 4:20pm
 
While I don't disagree with what's been said, I definitely fall into Ralph's camp.
Ralph Fahringer wrote on Mar 31st, 2015 at 3:37pm:
The only way to convince a customer to buy yours is to be better at it than the other guy.

I do know that just being better than the other guy is no guarantee of anything, it's all you can do.
I set my prices to reflect the workmanship of the piece, while others are just happy seeing chips fly off spinning wood and are happy to break even.
I can't change it and i really don't know it it would do any good if I could.  Huh
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