Small wall cabinet

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Forum topic by therookie posted 05-24-2011 01:50 PM 2073 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View therookie's profile


887 posts in 2794 days

05-24-2011 01:50 PM

I was in a local consignment shop the other day and as I was talking with the owner, one thind led to another, and he asked me to quote him a price for a cabinet the measures 6”x18”x24” this was just a rough set of dimensions, he said that I could modify it how I wanted. He then gave me the price that he was looking to pay. He wanted to buy them from me for $35 and then sell them for $50. On top of the cabinet itself he wanted a door and crown molding at the top. Well after drawing up my own plan I ound out that its going to cost me $30 in materials. I was just wondering what everyone thinks. What woudl be a fair price. The cabinet is poplar and primed with white primer so the new owner can paint it.


12 replies so far

View lew's profile


12019 posts in 3722 days

#1 posted 05-24-2011 03:06 PM

So that means you get $5.00 to cover electricity, glue, sand paper, brads/nails and wear and tear on your equipment. Plus you get to take the approximately 2 hours of your time out of that, too.

Not a deal I would even consider.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10268 posts in 3614 days

#2 posted 05-24-2011 03:24 PM

I don’t think you’ll be able to make money working with that
guy unless/until he develops the skill to upgrade his clientele.

People actually can and will pay more, but not all merchants
understand that. If you want to make little cabinets for stores,
make them, paint them cute/chic yourself and get something

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3035 days

#3 posted 05-24-2011 03:51 PM

I wouldn’t touch that deal with a ten foot pole!! The only way you could make any money with that margin would be to mass produce them.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4044 days

#4 posted 05-24-2011 07:07 PM

We were getting between $100 and $200 for a similar sized paint grade cabinet such as a surface mount medicine cabinet in primer!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4185 days

#5 posted 05-24-2011 07:33 PM

I agree with Sawkerf. With this guy’s expectations, you’d be better off not getting involved in the first place.

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

View savbooks's profile


6 posts in 2973 days

#6 posted 05-24-2011 10:46 PM

I have found that make 5 to 8 cabinets doesnt cost much more than building 1 or 2. and the set up time would be divided between each. I think you could make them for around $20 each and put a good day to a day and 1/2 into making 8 and at then end of the job you would have labor + $160 materials + $20 supplies and a pay day of $280. When you figure out the $180 you are gettng paid around $100 to do the work. If it is worth it to you do it and then send me a message and I will have you build stuff for my store. I hope I helped

-- Savbooks

View driftwoodhunter's profile


273 posts in 2653 days

#7 posted 05-25-2011 03:15 AM

It sounds like the deal I had with a catalog years ago. I used to do dog shows as a vendor, selling custom art & jewelry. I was picked up by a national catalog – great, right? Not so…selling wholesale meant I made so little after time & expenses, yet the catalog marked up my wholesale price by 45%. Nearly pure gravy for them (the addition of my items took up little of the total catalog = not much expenditure for photography and printing). I was killing myself to keep up with orders & a short time frame. I’ll never do it again. I say mark your wholesale price up so you can make a living without running yourself into the ground, or pass on the “deal” if the buyer balks at paying a fair price. If he doesn’t have a clientele that will pay more, that’s his tough luck.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10268 posts in 3614 days

#8 posted 05-25-2011 04:19 AM

catalog business costs:

list rental, postage, printing.

It adds up. Featuring your product over another costs the
mailer substantially if your product is a weak seller. The costs
of direct mail are considerable and most catalog businesses

It’s not all gravy. It’s a very tough business.

Regardless, unless you get your yayas manufacturing basic
wood stuff for pooh money, don’t do it. You can do better
if you’re even marginally gifted and willing to take on
fabrication challenges, and capable of marketing yourself
as a capable wood problem solver.

View driftwoodhunter's profile


273 posts in 2653 days

#9 posted 05-25-2011 04:47 AM

I do understand the costs involved in catalog production, I didn’t mean to sound flippant – however my items numbered around six, in what was normally at least a 55 page catalog. (some of my items were consistently high sellers, several of my items stayed in the top ten sellers) I don’t believe the catalog could have upped the retail price and maintained that selling rate, but what I set as wholesale was naive, and not profitable to me in the end. I made much greater profit going to dog shows, even after travel/booth/supplies and misc expenses. It’s different for everybody…

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4052 days

#10 posted 05-31-2011 05:19 PM

Rookie, I know of a local fellow who acquired a large stash of old orchard props for free.. each ten feet, 1”x3”, probably pine. He made a really cute ‘birdhouse garden bench’ with them and they sold like crazy, at $45 each. Then one day he ran out of wood, went back to the orchardists and guess what? No more free wood. Guess what else? No more benches, because the retailer couldn’t sell them at $100 each. He sort of shot himself in the foot, I guess.


View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 3172 days

#11 posted 06-06-2011 03:57 AM

When you quote a price to someone do you want them thinking your work is not any good by being really cheap and beating everyone elses price? People tend to think you or your work is not any good if you are selling things at a really low price.

You will be surprised at how many people will pay top dollar just because they believe that the product is expensive it must be good.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen people/products that are overpriced that are just plain awful.

It’s almost like negotiating for a salary in a job. You do not want to start out with a low figure because the employer will think if he’s that cheap he must not be that good at what he does.

Hopefully that makes sense.

-- Williamsburg, KY

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2518 days

#12 posted 06-06-2011 05:02 AM

Tell him you want to make them for $50, and he can sell for $75. If he wants them cheaper, tell him you’re not cheap chinese labor, and he’s not getting MDF bookcases from walmart. Detail out your wood costs, and ipad your costs by $10 each for misc. Misc includes nails, screws, and other hardware, plus waste and the “S#!%” factor for when you accidentally make a mistake.

If he balks, tell him you can do cheaper by getting rid of the door in favor of an open design, or by trying a more “contemporary” look without the molding.

In fact, bring along your test model to the shop. start of with “well, here’s a prototype. It’s got X,Y,and Z, as per your request, and it should be able to do A,B,and C (at least C being an “additional feature” sort of BS that sounds impressive but was inherent to your design anyhow). It’s made of 100% solid (insert some mild exaggeration of the wood. If it’s poplar, say tulip poplar, or if it’s hard maple, it’s rock maple, which sounds harder and more durable than just “maple” ), and it should last (insert a reasonable but impressive sounding lifespan of the piece). I’m pretty proud of it, but it cost a little bit more than I thought to make. When I tallied all the expenses, it looks like I’m just going to go over a little just on the cost of materials. Do you think we could do $50?” and then argue from there.

You sell him on the piece, and hopefully, he’s smart enough to turn around and sell that piece the same damned way to his customers.

Best o’ luck.

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