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Trying out the Consignment Route #3: Questions answered on pricing, etc.......

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Blog entry by KnotCurser posted 1153 days ago 5346 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: And away we go! Part 3 of Trying out the Consignment Route series Part 4: A bit of feedback and a photo! »

Good Morning!

I was asked a couple of questions yesterday about my recent foray into the sales world, so i thought I would take a minute and answer some of them….........

William asked a bunch of very good questions yesterday, so I’ll start with those.

I won’t go into the actual prices they placed on items – mainly because I am not quite sure what those prices are yet. However, I will state the prices are most certainly fair to me and I hope fair to them.

When we sat down and looked at each piece, I was asked what I normally charged for it and then to consider what I would be willing to receive for it, knowing that someone else is now doing the work of selling this piece for me. All prices we discussed were what I expected from each piece – the prices they set are really up to the ladies at the shop as I trust they know much better than I do what will sell at what price.

The agreement we made was for a 60% / 40% split, which I believe to be both “standard” and totally fair. That means 60 percent goes to me, not them. ;-)

William, it’s a shame you had such a poor experience trying this route. I sure hope mine is better, but it’s just starting so I can’t tell yet. Please don’t think that all of these shops are the same – if you are still event he least bit interested in this try out other shops! You done some really great work – I particularly love your full-form horses and animal items! I am sure a shop will make room for those if you choose that route.

As far as seeing prices as low as 10 dollars for a cutting, I think I can shed some light on this – If you were to do a really simple pattern, you could easily finish a piece in a half an hour. Now, combine that with stack cutting five at a time an you are now making 100 dollars an hour! Even with a 60/40 split you are making 60 bucks an hour.

I recently saw an article where an artist would do a REALLY complex work and use two pieces of BB Plywood and sandwich as many as 50 pieces of card-stock colored paper in between them. He would sell the two pieces of wood for as much as he could get for them and then sell the paper cuttings for two or three dollars a piece. He wound up making around 200 dollars for each cutting effort – works for me!

Now my prices are nowhere nearly this low – mainly because I do really detailed work which takes a lot more time than 30 minutes per piece. I also work a lot in solid hardwoods which cost more money as well as not allowing one to stack cut more than two at a time sometime.

Sheila asked if I took anything with me other than portraits? At the last moment I tossed in a couple of puzzles I made (a dollar bill and a playing card). The ladies were impressed with them and we talked about how they would be really good for gifts, but I think they really didn’t have the shelf space to display them. They had a lot of walls and not a lot of shelves.

I was told that my work went up on the wall yesterday, so we will see how they sell. Fingers are crossed! :-)

Also a few pictures are promised which I will post in a follow-up to this blog when i get them.

Thanks for all the encouragement and wished luck!

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com



9 comments so far

View William's profile

William

8923 posts in 1444 days


#1 posted 1153 days ago

The consignment shop I tried did a 50/50 split.
I do stack cut my portaits, and I actually have a couple that if they had sold at a price where my cut would have been ten dollars, I would have been happy. However, even stack cutting four at a time, I couldn’t make them understand that the ones they were most interested in dropping to ten dollars (that’s five dollars for me), there was no way I could do it. One of the ones the lady told me she was sure would sell at ten dollars was this.

That measures 10”x20” before being framed in a mahogany frame that I built. I just couldn’t do it.
Now granted this shop sold mostly smaller items. They were the ones that contacted me saying they were trying to find local craftsman to help put nicer items in there shop. The problem is that nicer items don’t sell as cheaply as, well, not so nicer items. My price on this was $20, my cut. I think that was reasonable. I told them that if someone came in wanting to haggle (as some people do in these type of shops), I would take $18 (my cut).
I also set a wanted price and a bottom dollar price on all my items, as they did tell me that they often get customers that want to haggle over prices.
They were also interested in (as they put it), “higher end children’s toys”. So I offered to put this in their shop.

Now this is normally a $150 item. I told them though that I could drop my cut down to $100. That’s the best I could do and was only willing to do that because I figured with the exposure they could sell a lot more of them than I could. They immediately requested for me to come down to $50 for my cut. That would be them selling them for less than I do and still keeping 50% of the profits.
It became apparent quickly that I just wasn’t compatible with this shop.
All shops are not created equal though. I am aware of that. At the time I tried this, that shop was the only shop of it’s kind around here. It has since went belly up. I was recently contacted though. There is a shop opening downtown in an area where there are a lot of tourists and quite a few art stores and higher end merchandise stores. There is a lady that seen my work who wants to open a gift type consignment shop and wants to know if I’m interested. As soon as plans are final she’s supposed to let me know so I can go check out the location and discuss details with her. We will see.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1799 posts in 1671 days


#2 posted 1153 days ago

William,

The last supper work would sell in my area for 60 dollars without a frame. The store I deal with is located in a tourist area as well and would charge upwards of 70 bucks for this. That would be 42 dollars to you per piece. If you stack cut a few of them…........ pretty nice!

I am not sure about the toy, but I most certainly wouldn’t drop the price below a hundred.

Do you have any “Info Cards” for your items that let people know that the piece was entirely hand-cut and the process you go through to do this? If not, I would suggest you take a minute or two to do so.

Most certainly pursue other shops if that’s your interest – and be sure to go to the with your eyes open – forget about that one bad shop. Your work is far too good for those prices.

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View William's profile

William

8923 posts in 1444 days


#3 posted 1153 days ago

Your price suggestion for the Last Supper repeats what I have found out too often. Sometimes the area dictates price more than anything else. That’s why I’m interested in getting into this new shop that’s opening in the area where there’s tourists. For several years now the area I live in is broke. Tourists usually bring spending money with them though and don’t mind spending it on unique items they may not be able to buy wherever they come from.
I live in Vicksburg, Mississippi. We were once a great toursit destination because of the history here. Back in the nineties though, they built a casino. We now have a total of five casinos and they’re talking about building another one. Back when the vote came up for casinos, I was one of the voters that voted no. It seems a majority of the people here though wanted to allow them. Anyway, now the majority of people in Vicksburg are broke, jobs are scarce, but the casinos make plenty. The ba things is that since the local government gets a percentage of those casino profits, as long as the casinos do good, they don’t care about anything else. The additional kick in the guts comes from our local “tourism committe” who used to promote our hitsorical distinations, now only promote the casinos. We even have locals that have no idea about the Civil War history here, or that we have a museum dedicated to Coca-Cola, because it was first bottled in Vicksburg.
I’ve gotten off topic. I apologize. I’m trying to explain though that the money just isn’t here except for very few select areas. That’s what I want to do, is to get into those select areas. I’m hoping the lady I talked about in a previous reply can close the deal on her shop downtown.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1799 posts in 1671 days


#4 posted 1153 days ago

That is a shame – I feel for ya.

Have you ever thought about making wooden poker chips? ;-) When in Rome…......

Good luck!

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View William's profile

William

8923 posts in 1444 days


#5 posted 1152 days ago

I do my wood work mostly for the joy of doing it. I think going into production mode to make poker chips would eliminate that joy.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1799 posts in 1671 days


#6 posted 1152 days ago

William,

That was kind of a joke, hence the ” ;-) “

Maybe a bad joke, but a joke nonetheless…...........

I DO agree with you however – I love what I do now because it’s what I love to do and not what I’m paid to do.

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View William's profile

William

8923 posts in 1444 days


#7 posted 1152 days ago

I’m sorry. I think the best comeback to a joke is a serious response when I come up with, eh, nothing. I tried to think of somthing funny to respond with, but today hasn’t been a funny type of day.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View HorstPeter's profile

HorstPeter

117 posts in 1432 days


#8 posted 1152 days ago

I looked at that bike and then I saw 150 and I thought “what?”. When I read on and came to the 50 I had already hit the emergency button. 150 already seemed too low for what it is when I compare it to run off the mill crap that’s shoddily mass-produced. Now I have no idea how this really works over there, but it sounds like that store had no idea about pricing, or anything much at all. Just looking at that small photo of the bike one can see it’s not a cheap throwaway item.

Good luck with finding a better store and the right customers base. Just don’t let yourself get pushed down to such ridiculous prices. 50$, pff, I still can’t get over that, so I can just imagine how you must’ve felt at the time.

View William's profile

William

8923 posts in 1444 days


#9 posted 1151 days ago

You’re absolutely correct. That motorcycle, to give you an idea of the size, is 50” long. The tires turn. The entire handle bar and front fork assembly rotates. It takes me on average about thirty five hours to complete one. I can sell them at $150 because I have a good source for good lumber for free. I went once and priced, just out of curiosity, just what the lumber would cost of I bought it to build one of these. The lumber, not even counting glue, metal hardware, finish, or equipment wear, would have cost me over a hundred bucks. So, yes, I was a little offended at the $50 suggestion, to say the least.
Pricing is something that amazes me though. I’ll give you a perfect example.

I built this cradle. It is big enough for twins. It’s all hardwood. I could even stand up in it (I weigh 220) to verify it’s structural integrity. I had it for sale for $100. I had a guy that thought I was nuts because “I could buy a name brand cradle at Wal-Mart for $79.99”. Now here is the rub. I priced it. Yes he could get that price on a crib, not a cradle. That’s nitpicking though. The thing is, the crib at Wal-Mart is mass produced out of particle board. The bottom is nothing more than a piece of cardboard held up with a wire mesh. It’s basically crap.
As I found out later, the guy did go buy that Wal-Mart cradle. He came back wanting to buy the one I built. The Wal-Mart cradle had torn up. I had sold the one he had previously looked at. I was nice though and built him another one.
I don’t understand some people who will pay top dollar for foreign made junk that is of easy to recognize inferior quality. They refuse to pay even a fraction of what hand made items are worth. These same people though complain about what is happening to jobs in America.
I haven’t given up though. It’s been rough, but I firmly believe that somewhere I will find the right area, with the right clients, to sell my work for what it’s worth.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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