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Forum topic by nate22 posted 06-04-2011 06:46 PM 2140 views 1 time favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nate22

453 posts in 2338 days


06-04-2011 06:46 PM

I want to know if I am to low on my prices for my furniture or sould I go higher. Here are my prices for my beds.

Twin/twin $814
twin/full $836
full/full $868
twin loft $704
full loft $736
xl twin loft $725
twin bed $536
full bed $547
queen bed $557
king bed $568

These prices for if I make them out of pine. Let me know if you guys would charge more for them. These prices I have include material, hardware, labor and delivery. I know prices will vary a little depending on what part of the country you are in but I just wanted to get a idea if I was charging enough. Here are some of the pictures of them.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.


34 replies so far

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nate22

453 posts in 2338 days


#1 posted 06-04-2011 06:48 PM

And all of my beds are mission style to. Here is another picture.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

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Greedo

470 posts in 2423 days


#2 posted 06-04-2011 10:21 PM

depends, if you are getting enough orders or not.
if not, then it may be to expensive or your not getting enough publicity.
if you have trouble keeping up with new orders, then you could be to cheap and you can increase your prices.
you can also see what the others charge, like stores and such. try to be better either in price or in quality

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2313 days


#3 posted 06-05-2011 05:03 PM

You say that you’ve included “material, hardware, labor and delivery.”

Have you marked up your materials and hardware?

And where is overhead: electricity, insurance, saw blade sharpening, heat, sandpaper, internet, glue, phone?

And finally, most important, where is profit? Is there money in every sale to assure that your business will grow and thrive, and that you’ll be able to buy the great bandsaw deal you see on CL tomorrow?

These are numbers that only you can specify, but they need to be there for your business to be robust and for your spirit to soar when you open the door in the morning and turn on the lights.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2537 days


#4 posted 06-06-2011 02:55 AM

I don’t want to be a bearer of bad news but I will share my honest opinion with you.

You are trying to compete with factory produced products. I’m sure you do a very good job and you could demonstrate how your product is better than theirs but it will be a tough sale. Factories have such an advantage with the machinery, their ability to buy material in large quantities and their production line approach. Their cost of production will be much lower than yours and that gives them an advantage that is very hard to overcome.

IMO – The job of an independent woodworker is to make products that the customer cannot buy elsewhere – custom products that they cannot buy in a store.

Recently I encountered a situation where 2 plant stands were needed. They were to look alike in virtually all regards but one needed to be 16” tall and the other was to be 22” tall. That’s a custom job and one could not buy plant stands that fit this criteria at a conventional store or catalog. That’s where an independent woodworker has an advantage.

Just my opinion.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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BobTheFish

361 posts in 2015 days


#5 posted 06-06-2011 04:40 AM

I agree with rich.

As for your prices, they seem to be ok with what I’d pay, but I have a sneaking suspicion you could tack on another $100-150 and be more in the ball park of what you should charge.

Also, I’d start looking to see what you can do about switching from pine (stereotypically considered a cheap wood) for cherry or oak (oak and walnut aren’t that much more expensive compared to exotics, but people sometimes have this feeling like it’s worth 3-5x the price over pine. Cherry is more in line with mission than walnut.) and work on a few stains.

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rance

4245 posts in 2623 days


#6 posted 06-06-2011 04:59 AM

I too agree with what Rich said. I’m also interested in how many of these you are selling per month.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2531 days


#7 posted 06-06-2011 06:10 AM

Only you can decide if your prices are right. How much do you get to keep from your work? Is that amount worth the effort you put into it?

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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DrDirt

4169 posts in 3205 days


#8 posted 06-06-2011 06:32 PM

What is key in Rich’s response, is you must be able to answer why not just buy a commercial piece. Is it workmanship, design, a “buy Local” vibe in the community etc. Really it is as Greedo said… are you booked with orders?
In your first picture (the unpainted version)- it looks as though the steps on the ladder are either screwed or nailed together two fasteners per side.
Why pay 814 for that versus:

For 299 at Sams Club?
I bought a sams club bunk bed 11 years ago now and the two boys are still jumping on it. It isn’t ‘fine’furniture but be prepared to defend your product – as the big box stuff is NOT all particle board crap. In my set it is all solid oak (mostly laminated) but still solid and staying straight.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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BobTheFish

361 posts in 2015 days


#9 posted 06-06-2011 07:34 PM

Ungh….

I don’t blame you for buying at Sam’s club Dr.Dirt, and you’re absolutely right,but this sort of thing really irks me about society these days. Everyone’s out for themselves, and it seems like a race to the bottom. On the one hand you have some people who think their products are so amazing they overcharge by an arm and a leg, and on the other hand, you have people like walmart, so desperate to make up in volume they either cut corners, (though apparently my bookcase and your table are not made at the same factory ;) ) hire slave labor, or simply mechanize till the point where nobody can compete. And customers are no better. They want hand made, high value materials (not “good” materials, just really expensive ones), customer service, delivery, lifetime warrantees, free repairs, and a low price (with massive discounts on top of that).

When is anything going to be “good enough” or to be happy being paid “enough” or willing to pay someone “enough”.... Hell, in general it just sounds like people aren’t saying “enough” yet!

I still think staining would help you with pricing it better, and partially because painted furniture rarely looks good (maybe only 10% of the time, the other 90% it looks cheap), and a bit more design work, but I still say prices are reasonable. You should be able to defend it.

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nate22

453 posts in 2338 days


#10 posted 06-06-2011 07:48 PM

Thanks for all of the replies, and all of the opions. Just to answer some of your questions Lee I have marked up my materials and hardware. And I have included all the other things that you have mentioned. Like electricty, insurence, saw blades, sand paper, heat, glue, internet, and everything else. And Rich I am starting to do more custom orders and I am starting to make other furniture to. Bob I could charge about $100-$150 more. And I do already offer hardwoods. I offer maple, ash, cherry, and oak. The loft bed in the one picture that isn’t finished in any color is maple. And I will post a few pictures of my beds that I have done in maple that are stained. And rance I right now I usually make about 2 to 3 a month depending on what month it is. Sawkerf I usually make enough on them. I don’t really tell people the amount I really make I don’t even tell my family only my wife knows. I hope you guys understand. And Drdirt I agree with you not all beds in stores are crap. And sams club has better furniture than walmart even though they are pretty much the same company. I would buy anything at sams club before I would buy it at walmart. I was looking at furniture in walmart this last week end and some of there furniture like the small tables and coffee tables don’t look very sturdy. Don’t take me the wrong way all stores aren’t like that. And Drdirt I am curious on the bed you bougt 11 years ago what was used to attach the bed rails to the ends (head board and foot board). That and where I live there is a lot of amish and people just drowl over there furniture even though guys like us make the very same thing but people think if it’s amish made it is special. And I have decided to start making livingroom, office, and bedroom furniture. And I am thinking of making outdoor furniture like picnic tables and adironic chairs and other things. And I live in a area where the economy took a huge crap where everything went bad. And people in my area still aren’t buying expensive things. It’s getting better but not that good though. And you wouldn’t believe how many people call me and tell me they bought a bunk bed and it didn’t last for there kids. Thats when I usually ask them where they bought there beds.

And to ask you guys a question where you live how much do people pay for furniture. And I can tell you my number 1 problem is a lot of people don’t know that I make furniture. And that is one thing I am working on doing is getting my name out there. And everything I do sell I usually deliver it a half and hour to a hour away from me. Not to many people in the town I live in has bought from me.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

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rance

4245 posts in 2623 days


#11 posted 06-06-2011 07:58 PM

I hear ya. Advertising seems to be the biggest hurdle. Thanks for the explanations. Hey, maybe you should wear an Amish hat. :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2156 days


#12 posted 06-06-2011 08:00 PM

I was actually shopping for bunkbeds not too long ago. The production models I looked at were around your prices. The handmade one’s were about 25-50% more expensive. The “rustic” log ones were multiples of your price. I ended up just building my own, although not as nice as yours.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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nate22

453 posts in 2338 days


#13 posted 06-06-2011 08:05 PM

My problem is I don’t know a lot of the advertising part of the business and thats where it hurts me. And I have had a lot of people tell me just to say my furniture is amish made. And if anyone wants to see the beds that I make go to my home page. And Bertha I would of done what you did and make my own why buy a piece of furniture that you could make yourself and it would save you money and you know it was built right.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2156 days


#14 posted 06-06-2011 08:09 PM

Well, I’m not so sure about “built right” but I built it anyway ;) If I were to begin selling stuff seriously, I bet the advertising part would suck all the fun out of it. I don’t envy you having to worry about it. A cheap website with some good pictures and a lot of focus on the “handmade” part might help out. If you don’t have one yet (and you may), that’d be where I put my first few hundred bucks.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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dbray45

3185 posts in 2240 days


#15 posted 06-06-2011 08:10 PM

Another thing you may want to look into for customers in your local area are built-in bunk beds. This might get 100% more return for 20% more cost. If you are good with trim, it is something to consider.

-- David in Damascus, MD

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