How much do you sell your cutting boards for?

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Forum topic by Cole Tallerman posted 05-07-2013 03:18 PM 18680 views 4 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2212 days

05-07-2013 03:18 PM

Hey all, I have been making lots of really nice cutting boards recently. A guy in my town showed some interest in selling them at his store. I have no idea how to price them. It seems that to make any worthwhile profit, they would need to sell for over $80 (the store takes a chunk). What are your prices? I attached a photo o one of my boards.


45 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2514 days

#1 posted 05-07-2013 03:34 PM

For simple boards I add up the rough board footage. Edge grain I charge at $20/bd ft. plus $30 labor.
Fancier boards, edge grain, $35/bd ft plus $40 labor.
Edge grain boards are charged out at $50/bd ft. plus $40 labor.

This means that I measure all the wood I start with and get total bd footage, not the bd footage of the finished product. I add in the extra for supplies and labor to cover costs on that end.

I haven’t had any trouble selling boards at all by those prices. One at our yard sale went for $175 (end grain, walnut, maple, cherry, 2” thick, 16X20”).

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 2971 days

#2 posted 05-07-2013 07:40 PM

If you are selling to a store, you will be charging wholesale pricing. I believe Dallas is discussing retail pricing.

To calculate your minimum price, you need to know your costs. There are several threads discussing this here on LJ.

The basics are: cost of materials (wood, finish, glue, blades, etc.)? cost of labor (hours per items times hourly rate)? estimated cost of shop ( lighting, heating, tools)?
Figure at least 10% more for profit and you will have calculated your wholesale price.
Double that to determine your retail price.

Run the numbers to insure that you are making a profit. Don’t sell to the store for less than your calculated price.
If you are not making a profit, then I wouldn’t sell them.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View SteveMI's profile


1102 posts in 3321 days

#3 posted 05-07-2013 08:52 PM

Most people I know selling cutting boards are making them with the cut-offs from band saw boxes, shelves or small tables, so the material is free. Actually, it helps them avoid dumpster fees.

In my area, most boards with domestic wood are $30 – $40. Haven’t seen an end grain cutting board locally.

The ones with some exotics (band saw box guy) are $45 – $55.

I bought couple maple / walnut glue-up panels from a local mill for $30 and cut them down to 4 cutting boards. Only needed to route the edges smooth, couple minutes with ROS and wipe down with oil. Didn’t sell too quick so I didn’t repeat. Was just trying to have another item.


View Timberwerks's profile


360 posts in 3188 days

#4 posted 05-07-2013 09:34 PM

View Dwain's profile


536 posts in 3886 days

#5 posted 05-07-2013 09:40 PM


That is a unique and beautiful cutting board. It looks like these have a strong Japanese influence, correct? Really nice work…

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View Timberwerks's profile


360 posts in 3188 days

#6 posted 05-07-2013 09:51 PM


Yes, more of a sushi board actually. Here is a couple more shots of one.


View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3186 days

#7 posted 05-07-2013 11:44 PM

It’s a shame that people undervalue their work like they do. It’s an insult for that GORGEOUS sushi board to be sold for $65. Double that price.

I put a small 7×10” edge grain board (similar to the one in my projects) in a charity auction two weeks ago and it sold for $75. While it is for charity, I wouldn’t sell them for less, even though I can knock one out in 3 hours, start to finish…even faster if I made several at once.

Of course, I’m a hobbyist with little shop time. You would have to pay a premium to get me to spend time building things I don’t want to build.

-- jay,

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2514 days

#8 posted 05-08-2013 12:57 AM

SteveMI, Just a question, and not being smart-alecky, but why devalue your work by selling the boards for less than they are worth?
Even ends and cutoffs have value…. sometimes more than the value of the original length of lumber.
What has happened by selling at cut rate prices is that you have lowered the value of your total production. You would be better off burning the scraps and selling for higher prices.

For instance: you buy a 25 bd ft pack of lumber for $4/bd/ft. You build a cabinet or something that uses up 22 bd ft leaving 3 bd ft of ends and pieces.
the cost of the lumber you used was actually $4.54 per bd ft. not $4 because you have not used the other 3 bd ft.
Now you could sell those shorts and ends on eBay, (many people do) and reap maybe $7/bd/ft with no more labor than listing, tossing it in a flatrate box and mailing it.
If you make a really decent cutting board out of those pieces and charge $40 you have much more invested in labor, materials and time selling (if selling locally). I’m not sure how much your labor rate is, but even if it’s $10/hr. and it takes 2 hours to make it plus $3 in glue and $2 in finishing materials, that 3 bd ft is now only worth $15, minus the time it takes to sell it, and you have devalued your product.
If many people do that you have undercut a market that could be lucrative.

Never under value your worth or skill….. what else do we have?

Would you do the same thing if you were an electrician and had enough left over material to wire a garage for someone on the side?
How about if you were a sheetmetal worker and built sheet metal geedunks being paid by the piece and all of a sudden, the owners tell you that since you built too much product they were going to sell the last 20% at 1/4 of it’s value?

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2067 days

#9 posted 05-16-2013 07:43 PM

Like somebody pointed out, you have to give a store wholesale prices. I usually go opposite what some here have said about pricing for items like this. I figure out the prices based on what the market will pay. You can kind of get an idea by looking for similar items in other stores and see what they are selling them for. Then I work backwards from there. If I know (or think) I can sell a cutting board for $80 then I figure out what it costs me to make it and decide if it’s worth it.

As a general rule of business a retail store is going to want to price an item about 100% over what they pay for it. (That figure can obviously vary) So if a cutting board will sell for $80 they are going to want to pay $40 for it. Maybe $50 at the most. Otherwise it isn’t worth it to them. The good news is a retail store can probably sell it for more than you can sell it for on EBay or at a swap meet or other similar places.

In running my own little one man business, I have found it’s much better for me if I can get others to do my selling for me. I’ve actually started a little network of people (sort of like Avon) who sell things for me and I give them 20% of the price. It’s worth it to me because when I’m trying to sell stuff I spend as much time selling as I do making. So if I can get somebody else to do that part and only take 20% it works out good for me because it frees up 50% more time to make more stuff.

View mds2's profile


310 posts in 1971 days

#10 posted 05-16-2013 08:23 PM

I grandpa sold 250 cutting boards over the last year. He changes anywhere from $35 to $50.

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3604 days

#11 posted 05-16-2013 08:37 PM

It’s not what you ask or how many you sell, it’s how much profit you make assuming your trying to make money,As an example if you sell 200 boards and make a $1 dollar each verses selling 10 boards an making $20 each.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2212 days

#12 posted 05-16-2013 08:49 PM

Thanks for the great info guys! I think it’s going to work out. As I am only 17 and have no bills I’m happy with very little profit. It is profit enough to see people admiring my work. I love woodworking and as long as they can cover the costs to make them I’m happy. Again, thanks for all the info! Feel free to keep adding input!

View mporter's profile


253 posts in 2605 days

#13 posted 05-16-2013 10:57 PM

It all depends on where you live. Why has nobody mentioned this? Live in New York City and charge 200 ea, live in Columbia Mo and charge 40 for the same board. And damn glad to get 40.

No offense dallas, but you would sit on your boards for 50 years selling them for 50 bd/ft and 40 in labor in the area I live in.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2514 days

#14 posted 05-16-2013 11:57 PM

mporter, I’m not too worried about selling them for my price.

What I sell does quite nicely at providing for my shop and other extras. A quality made product will sell itself. Because you choose to sell to a lower economic class of clientele for a lower price doesn’t make a profit.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 2325 days

#15 posted 05-17-2013 02:27 AM

35 to 40 for mine domestic woods only nuttin fancy

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

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