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What to charge for your work (Read 202 times)
 
Ed Weber
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What to charge for your work
Sep 26th, 2019 at 11:02am
 
Here is an article I've come across that, while not targeted at woodworkers, is very insightful when it come to many of the same areas of pricing and quality of work, which has been discussed here many times before.
Just substitute woodworker/turner for photographer.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: What to charge for your work
Reply #1 - Sep 26th, 2019 at 2:54pm
 
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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: What to charge for your work
Reply #2 - Sep 28th, 2019 at 8:29am
 
It's a good article. However, at least in the area of woodworking, one of the factors frequently discussed is the "competition" between professional turners and hobbyists. I've read many, many debates generally initiated by professional turners - those turning and selling for a living. Their complaint is that hobbyists don't need the money, so can undercut prices. It's a bit simplistic to say that quality will always show and that it can command a higher price. Even if true, it is equally simplistic and somewhat derogatory to suggest that there are no hobbyists who can produce work of equal quality to some professionals. I've seen some pretty fine work from hobbyists. I've seen crap, too. I've seen some pieces in galleries produced by professionals that I would not buy for half of the asking price. I don't want to take this too far off topic, but in any sales transaction, taste comes into play, as does the experience of the buyer, and the environment in which the piece is being displayed. People go to a gallery expecting to pay more than if they are at a craft show.
Maybe, just maybe, I'm rambling.   Smiley
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Ed Weber
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Re: What to charge for your work
Reply #3 - Sep 28th, 2019 at 11:39am
 
Grant Wilkinson wrote on Sep 28th, 2019 at 8:29am:
Maybe, just maybe, I'm rambling.   


Personally I don't think you're just rambling. It's more like reading my mind, stay out of there.

Your post is really what I think the article is getting at but try to assuage your concerns about it.. The main problem is that we're talking about art, there is no correct or incorrect answer.
I try to not worry about what others do or charge and for the most part I'm successful. I do work myself up and get angry when I see high prices for things I would have put in the burn bin. Undecided
The pro's that complain the loudest are a bit hypocritical IMO, since they were once hobbyists themselves. There is no singe set way to ascend and increase your skill level.
I could go on but then I would also be rambling  Grin
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Ron Sardo
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Re: What to charge for your work
Reply #4 - Sep 28th, 2019 at 2:04pm
 
A few random thoughts

1) No matter what you are selling or what your price is there will always be someone more expensive and less expensive than you.

2) Its easier to lower a price than it is to raise a price.

3) If you are not making a profit than you are selling the wrong product.

4) If you are not having fun you are selling the wrong product.
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Ed Weber
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Re: What to charge for your work
Reply #5 - Sep 28th, 2019 at 4:02pm
 
The only thing I might add to Ron's items would be this.
Know your own skill level and the value of your own work.
If you don't know, ask for critiques and listen to them.
Either thinking you're better than you really are OR thinking you're not as good as you really are can be detrimental to any potential sale.
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chris lawrence
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Re: What to charge for your work
Reply #6 - Sep 28th, 2019 at 6:27pm
 
Sometimes hobbyist can price themselves out of the market as well by undercutting by to much.  If they are to far below the price of others some customers can start to preceive that there is something wrong with the item even if there isn't.  I did a show in the spring where the organizer put me next to another turner that was charging far less then i was for bowls.  I did not notice any real difference in quality but customers left his tent and came to me to buy similar bowls.
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Ed Weber
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Re: What to charge for your work
Reply #7 - Sep 29th, 2019 at 9:32am
 
That's exactly it, not knowing how good you really are.
Many times on this site, we've had similar discussions and advise members to go and check out a show or gallery, just to get an idea of the level of work.

I was at a craft show once looking at a turners items that weren't very nice IMO and a stranger next to me said "the guy by the so-and-so has better quality stuff".
I went down the way and found the other turners tent and while it was indeed better quality, it still wasn't at the level of what I would sell.
Along with knowing your own works worth, there are basically two ways of selling
This is a gross generalization.
Sell to everyone on the planet once. This is usually identified by lower quality items and prices to match, sold by a salesman more than an artist.
OR
Sell to a reasonable number of people and get return business. This is usually identified by higher quality work and price sold by an artist who can better explain their work.
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Re: What to charge for your work
Reply #8 - Sep 29th, 2019 at 11:39am
 
The explosive growth of Amazon, besides killing small local retail, suggests that many people today are interested only in price, and willing to accept whatever quality accompanies a low price.

A woman stopped a couple weeks ago saying she needed three slats for a platform bed she just purchased, because three won't stay in place. Knowing that potentially this would be a situation to avoid like the plague, I kept asking questions and referring the the picture on her cell phone. Eventually she said she bought the bed on Amazon for $100. Given that there were perhaps almost 40 different pieces of wood that had to be milled, some fitted with KO fittings, the wood purchased, employees paid, overhead paid, the item boxed and shipped to the US, handled and shipped from a warehouse to her, I wanted to shout out "WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FOR $100" but instead quietly suggested she get a 1/2" thick sheet of plywood cut to size at a big box store and live with the platform.
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Ed Weber
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Re: What to charge for your work
Reply #9 - Sep 29th, 2019 at 12:29pm
 
Don Stephan wrote on Sep 29th, 2019 at 11:39am:
The explosive growth of Amazon, besides killing small local retail, suggests that many people today are interested only in price, and willing to accept whatever quality accompanies a low price.


This is partially true IMO
You only see those who purchase from amazon, you're not seeing those who do not.
It's difficult to say who is in the majority if you can't measure both sides equally.
It's also a factor that everyone has a different level of expectation of quality for their dollar, which complicates things further. Two people can purchase the same thing for the same price and have entirely different reactions as to the level of quality.

Don Stephan wrote on Sep 29th, 2019 at 11:39am:
I wanted to shout out "WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FOR $100"


I admit, I probably would have said it.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: What to charge for your work
Reply #10 - Oct 1st, 2019 at 8:06am
 
Know your market.

You can't expect top dollar at a farmer's market or a craft show at a fire hall.

You will get a better price at a juried art show where people pay admission just to get in.


Ed Weber wrote on Sep 29th, 2019 at 12:29pm:
Don Stephan wrote on Sep 29th, 2019 at 12:39pm:
I wanted to shout out "WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FOR $100"


I admit, I probably would have said it.


I have
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Re: What to charge for your work
Reply #11 - Oct 1st, 2019 at 8:31pm
 
Ron Sardo wrote on Oct 1st, 2019 at 8:06am:
Know your market.

You can't expect top dollar at a farmer's market or a craft show at a fire hall.

You will get a better price at a juried art show where people pay admission just to get in.


Ed Weber wrote on Sep 29th, 2019 at 12:29pm:
Don Stephan wrote on Sep 29th, 2019 at 12:39pm:
I wanted to shout out "WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FOR $100"


I admit, I probably would have said it.


I have



Yep the Biggest thing!!

What I charge in Iowa/Nebraska will not be enough in higher income areas like Cali or NYC or other places like that so I have to charge what my area can handle or even in a higher price neighborhood I will charge more.   Why?  Perceived value!!!!!
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