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Forum topic by bill1352 posted 04-20-2010 04:38 AM 1381 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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130 posts in 2540 days

04-20-2010 04:38 AM

I’m at an Artisian Market, runs every Sunday from April until the week before x-mas. I’m selling boxes and other items I make. My boxes start at $30 for a small bandsaw box out of canarywood. $22 a BFT. but they are scrape pieces & I need cash. At the other end of the sidewalk is an older lady with 2 drawer and a hinged double tray jewlery box. $40!!!. out of what looked like was oak. She had 2 rocking chairs, real nice. $150. Now I know the boxes cost at least $30 for wood and hardware, at least. But I have no clue as to the cost of a handcrafted rocker. I’d just like a hint, I wouldn’t ask someones selling price but I’m guessing it would have to be over $300 and thats somebody that is new to making and selling rockers. the wood looked like walnut too.

-- Keep Your Stick On The Ice

10 replies so far

View rhett's profile


734 posts in 3086 days

#1 posted 04-20-2010 01:58 PM

Would not be the first time someone has sold a previously bought cheap item and then sold it as a hand made piece. Or her husband is retired and makes them for something to do. Both situations are bad for anyone who tries to make an honest living crafting wood. The first example is a lie and the second is someone unknowingly undervaluing the craft so they have something to do.

I wish more people would grasp the idea that even if you are making something for “fun”, selling it cheap and below the cost of production, is hurting the craft and all the people who depend on it for a living.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 2459 days

#2 posted 04-20-2010 02:53 PM

You can only control what you are doing, Not what someone else does.

If she is happy with what she is selling, then that is all she needs.

If I personally want to sell my own property for cheap, noone else is going to tell me what to sell it for just because they think my stuff is worth more.

Sorry rhett, I don’t think anyone has a right to enforce their beliefs on to someone else.

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 2503 days

#3 posted 04-20-2010 03:29 PM

Welcome to the real world. Don’t compete with the hobbyist or resalers of import cheaps.

If you are a hobbyist yourself, that’s your competition and good luck.

Remember some people just don’t make money at their hobbies.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View bill1352's profile


130 posts in 2540 days

#4 posted 04-21-2010 06:31 AM

What gets me is I only do shows that forbid manufactured items. This farmers type market is in the city that holds the biggest show in the state every year. I didn’t say anything of course, to each their own, but I’m curious what a crafted rocker would cost if sold by a non-famous woodworker. The end tables I sell cost $100 in wood and supplies to make. these rockers took some time to build. they even had some carving across the top.

-- Keep Your Stick On The Ice

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2996 days

#5 posted 04-21-2010 06:37 AM

It happens all the time some hobbyist selling products for less than what materials cost just to say there in the woodworking business.

-- Custom furniture

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 2503 days

#6 posted 04-21-2010 07:18 AM

The rocker I’ve posted has to sell for $1200 plus or I’ll go broke. But I’ve only done two so I won’t get rich.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View rhett's profile


734 posts in 3086 days

#7 posted 04-21-2010 02:11 PM

DaddyZ – I do not feel I am trying to enforce a belief on anyone. You can sell what you make for anything you like, it still doesn’t change the fact that underselling any type of handcrafted object be it wood, glass etc hurts the overall dynamics of what a handmade object is truly worth. If you sell a handcrafted good for the cost of materials, just to say you sold something, then you are valuing your time and skill at zero.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3637 days

#8 posted 04-21-2010 02:59 PM

Rhett and bill1352, I see your points and I feel your pain, but welcome to capitalism.

It’s not that these people are selling cheap just to say they sold something, or just to call themselves professionals. They are more likely just interested in covering the cost of materials to enjoy their hobby. If I took my boxes to any of the local craft shows where I live, I would have a very hard time getting a fair price (in terms of paying for the time involved in producing them). People at these shows in my corner of the world are not looking for high-end stuff. But I could probably recoup my material cost with no trouble.

I don’t mean this to sound cold, but in a free market economy, if you are trying to make a living doing what someone else is willing to do for free, you are going to be frustrated a great deal of the time. It’s really not reasonable to expect someone else to hold out for a higher price if their only goal is to sell quickly so they can buy more wood and get back to having fun in the shop.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View michelletwo's profile


2587 posts in 2434 days

#9 posted 04-22-2010 01:03 PM

Hi Bill: I hear & know your pain. I solved this problem years ago by making items others don’t. As I go about selling I watch what others make & the prices they ask. If I can’t “undersell or at the same price, for comparable quality, I don’t make it. If I make it better I charge more. See what others are making, and then figure what you can like to make & try again. If people are looking for quality, they know quality when they see it and will open their wallets

View wdwrkr's profile


26 posts in 2420 days

#10 posted 04-27-2010 03:22 AM

A point to consider in all this is offering a product at a below-cost price to get your NAME out there – think of it as a marketing expense. After a while you begin to raise your prices to reflect the actual direct cost, material cost, etc.
Another point is that a lot of people will deal with a person they like, even if the cost of doing business with that person is higher than what might be available elsewhere. To wit, your reliability, quality, friendliness, ease of talking with, the fact that you listen (as opposed to hearing) are valuable characteristics that people absolutely will pay for. I know in the marketplace of small, low-cost products these attributes are not significant in the grand scheme, however, you can grow a loyal clientele that will support you and you efforts in ways you would not expect. Be honest, be direct, and deliver the very best product you can make.

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