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Forum topic by rhett posted 12-07-2009 02:33 AM 1393 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3696 days

12-07-2009 02:33 AM

Got an e-mail this week, and can only describe it as WTF. The woman sent me a link to a furniture store and a table with a $1500 price tag plus $400 in shipping. Wanted to know if I can replicate the table. Oh, and she had only a $300 budget.
I mean, come on. Is that even a question worth asking. That is just another reason I don’t spend money to be in the phone book.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

11 replies so far

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3412 days

#1 posted 12-07-2009 04:00 AM

I had almost the same thing happened this week but not on as large as scale. I answered an ad on Craigslist for someone wanting a child’s table and toy storage bin. She said she had pictures of exactly what she wanted. I assumed it was something of her design until I emailed her and she emailed me back some pics. She sent me three pictures: a table, roll out drawers, and a storage bin. I found the exact pictures all on the same website for a furniture store. I emailed her back and very politely told her I could not do the pieces for less than what was listed on the website and included a link. She emailed me back and said she didn’t want them cheaper than that, she had just wanted them done locally. Of course she didn’t want me to make them for her anymore either so that leads me to believe I was correct, that and the fact that she mentioned she may want to barter for them rather than pay cash. It’s hard to undercut the cheap mass-produced crap and I can’t do it without taking absolutely nothing for labor. I will continue to answer the ads and hold out hope that they are looking for something unique and at least willing to pay me a little for my labor.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3746 days

#2 posted 12-07-2009 04:04 AM

Hmmm…what was she willing do barter, Dale? LOL

-- Have a blessed day!

View thiel's profile


387 posts in 3321 days

#3 posted 12-07-2009 04:08 AM

If she just wants the LOOK of that table,but without the quality and durability? Think “movie set.”?

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3412 days

#4 posted 12-07-2009 04:22 AM

Pashley, somehow I don’t believe my wife would have let me barter for that. LOL.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3903 days

#5 posted 12-07-2009 05:19 AM

Yeah, I get that. I had someone ask for a bid on a conference table – they had bought a mass-produced dining table for use as a conference table in their office, but after a couple of years, it was wobbly and falling apart. They wanted something that looked more like a conference table and something that would last. I gave them the bid and they said, “But we only paid $300 for the one we have.”

-- -- --

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3493 days

#6 posted 12-07-2009 05:47 AM

I’m a complete hobbyist, amatuer and had a proposition for a flag and sword display. My labor was easily worth more than the ad they showed me hoping to match, and that’s with a very cheap shop rate. We all want something for nothing but damn, at least throw me a bone. Later, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3921 days

#7 posted 12-07-2009 06:59 AM

People do this all the time to me. Some think that “Do it for you” is the same thing as “Do it yourself”.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View JasonIndy's profile


187 posts in 3464 days

#8 posted 12-07-2009 08:20 AM

In defense of the clueless, one of the most surprising things to me when I first started was the price of wood. I think most of the general public thinks the price people pay for quality hardwood is no different than what they would pay for nominal SPF studs at Lowes or Home Depot. On top of that, I’m sure they assume there’s some kind of ‘shop discount’ with whatever saw mill they go through. If you add up the cost of making a lot of the stuff we see in Woodcraft or Wood or Fine Woodworking, you’re talking hundreds of dollars apiece.

I can’t imagine how anybody could make a decent looking table for $300, even if it was nothing but MDF and veneer and it was assembled at a factory. Material costs are incredible. I suppose that’s why woodworkers can be so scrupulous with even the smallest scraps of wood, because they have to be.

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 3690 days

#9 posted 12-07-2009 08:35 PM

Sometimes I think customers need a short lesson as to what is real quality and what is not. To someone not familiar with woodworking, what’s obvious to us is not to them. My previous landlady thought her maple PLam RTA furniture is solid maple, and my wife thinks Ikea RTA furniture is every bit as good as real furniture.

Perhaps the customers need a demonstration like that FWW joint strength test, or how much more durable 2 coats of poly is compared to 1 coat of NC lacquer. Something that shows them what they’re getting for their money, not simply having a big price tag slapped on them

-- Ed

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3404 days

#10 posted 12-07-2009 11:40 PM

So she wants you to make a $1900 custom hand crafted table for $300? Tell her you can’t even buy the wood for $300, and send her a link to or IKEA.

Most people have no clue what they’re really asking.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View SNSpencer's profile


133 posts in 3142 days

#11 posted 12-08-2009 01:27 AM

Happens to me all the time with the people in my circle of friends. Usually when one of their Ikea pieces has those cheap drawers. They overfill the drawer and the flimsy bottom busts out. Or even better the “sliders” fall apart. Then comes the “sorry, can’t help you”. Ususally due to the cost of trying to fix something right, when it starts as junk. Not to mention, it is no practical, easy, or cosmetically feasible way to reliably repair busted out laminated fiberboard. On the flipside, I work in the furniture industry, and I hear all the time about a customer insisting on and purchasing a solid wood piece of furniture. Then they don’t heed the advise on how to propery care for it with the seasonial expansion and contraction of the wood. It gets all dried out and eventually develops a split somewhere. Then the customer service nightmare begins, just glad I don’t have to deal with that.

-- Jef Spencer - Refined Pallet -

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