Thoughts on Pricing #3: Thoughts on Pricing, #3: I'm such an idiot!

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Blog entry by pashley posted 06-17-2012 11:59 PM 4480 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Thoughts on Formulating the Right Price Part 3 of Thoughts on Pricing series no next part

I’m lucky I can walk. Apparently, I’ve had my head up my rear end for so long now regarding pricing, that I’ve come to that conclusion.

I’ll explain. I’ve been working on the Limbert #240 table for a client. I’ve been keeping track of my hours – looks like about 35 hours total, when it’s all said and done. I think that’s quite a bit for that project, BUT, it was my first time making it, and I’m sure I could trim off several hours when I do it again.

What did I price this piece at? $375, and $50 shipping.

WHY did I put that price on there? Because I just looked at it, and did a mental evaluation of how much time it would take, wood needed and so on.

In other words, I guessetimated.

Well, turns out, after the math is all done, I made less than $10 an hour. For skilled craftsmanship. I could skillfully make a Big Mac for that wage, and not inhale as much dust.

And then I looked around the ‘net for other craftsman making the same table. Their prices? $1400, $1800 and $2200 bucks. After doing this project I understand why. I thought prices like that were really high, and these guys had the attitude, “Well, I don’t want to make one for others, but if I have to, you’re going to pay dearly.” Well, now I see they are being paid properly. If they took the same 35 hours or so to make it, as I did, the least they’d make is $40 per hour – a reasonable amount for a skilled craftsman. Hell, plumbers make more.

So, I’m seriously going to up my prices – at least double. If I’m going to take the time and pain, and use my rather decent woodworking skills to make a piece, probably for someone that can afford to burn some money, then dang it, I’m charging good money for it.

And for that matter, double the damn shipping – i always get burned on that too!

-- Have a blessed day!

3 comments so far

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3013 days

#1 posted 06-18-2012 01:35 AM

There’s a difference between “If I have to make it, you’re going to pay dearly for it” and and a fair price, too…. Can you find proof that these guys are GETTING $1500+ for this item? At $1400, you’d be getting $35/hour if your materials cost is $0…

I guess I’m just trying to say- just because you can find people selling it for a high price doesn’t mean people are necessarily buying it at that price. Would you rather sell one or two of this item at $2000, or would you rather be making them regularly, maybe at $600-800?

And of course the other big questions—would ever build of this take 35 hours? (Likely not)

One small thing—I always make a point to not quote a price for shipping, at the initial phase. (For items that may cost a large amount) Once I know the appx. weight and size of it I shop around and give them choices. If you’re going to spend the better part of a grand on a table, you should be prepared for some serious shipping costs.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3744 days

#2 posted 06-18-2012 01:54 AM

Well, that is the going rate, in the plus $1200 range, from my shopping around. I’d rather sell one at $1000 then 2 at $500.

That 35 hours…I think that yes, every build would be that, probably much less, like 30 or 25, simply because of familiarity of the build.

Shipping…yes, good point. I am so terrible on that.

What would you charge for that table I’m talking about?

-- Have a blessed day!

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3013 days

#3 posted 06-18-2012 02:28 AM

I had a little trouble finding pictures of the table.. or at least.. I found a lot of similar-but-different tables when I searched for it.. so I refrained from saying how much I think that particular table may be worth. :) Also, I am not a furniture builder, so there’s that. My work is measured in fractions of hours so the price range is quite different.

I’ve just seen a lot of people say “I found the same thing I make being sold online for 2x, 3x, 4x the price, so I should match that and make way more money!” without finding evidence that it is within “the going rate”.

I figure, for myself and what I make, I am happy if I fall solidly in the middle of the average price I can find for that thing.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

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