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!
-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: email@example.com / www.rhoadesclan.com