What would you pay?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Sweating for Bucks Through Woodworking forum

Forum topic by madts posted 05-31-2013 03:26 AM 1782 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View madts's profile


1862 posts in 2364 days

05-31-2013 03:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: business

I see a lot of posts on this site. Many have to do with pricing. ” How much should I charge for this” is a common question. What if we all put a price on an project that we comment on in the project section. It is great for everybody to say ” great job; looks cool etc.” Lets put a price on the work, that you would pay for it if you needed it. I think that this would be more honest and also give some idea of what a piece of work is worth.

I do not comment on anything that I do not like.

Just an idea for some of the members that are trying to get into business. More power to them. I did that once and it was hard for the first couple of years.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

37 replies so far

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2889 days

#1 posted 05-31-2013 07:00 AM

Its difficult to put a price on many items woodworkers post in here. I see where you are coming though. Interesting

Some of the workbenches people build are amazing. It would cost thousands to get a comparable bench via retail. Same goes for some of the furniture and craft items.

There are those who build for the love of the hobby, and some are building heirloom quality projects with no intention of selling. You just cannot put a price on those things in my opinion.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#2 posted 05-31-2013 07:57 AM

Problem question I think.

If you want to get paid for woodworking at a level
that is like having a decent job, you need to sell
the work to people who make significantly more
money than you want to make.

It’s the disposable income factor.


Recently I asked a guy on the projects pages how
much a piece sold for. I wanted to know because
I know the style and I knew it would be a lot of
labor (esp. sanding) and not insignificant lumber
costs to build the piece. He didn’t really answer
my question and I suspect he was underpaid in
the sale, but he did get a check and a great set
of portfolio shots.

... and that is a sort of compensation that matters
if your gig is original furniture pieces and you want
to get your portfolio filled out. Unfortunately,
underpricing labor-intensive work in order to sell
it and move on to the next build can lead to
financial problems for the builder.




Wait for it….



Affluent people have more money.

That’s it.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2994 days

#3 posted 05-31-2013 08:47 AM

Too many variables for it to work. One guy on his own with a home workshop and no overheads can do a job for labour + materials, enter the bigger boys, rent, insurance, wages, leases to pay etc, it’s a different kettle of fish altogether. Maybe including hours spent on a project would give a better idea of what’s involved. Even then, I don’t think there’d be a great take up on it, no-one wants to be thought slow and it doesn’t matter how long something took to do if you are doing it for the love of doing it and just enjoy pottering around doing it. Where money is concerned, it depends on what part of the world you live in too.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3459 days

#4 posted 05-31-2013 09:46 AM

this is a very awkward question to answer, given all the variables of the WW concerned, and I feel that only the Professional WW who make a living from WW can answer.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1893 days

#5 posted 05-31-2013 10:50 AM

Value is subjective. Money is currency, which is constantly re-valued.

It’s almost a pointless question.

The real question: what are my talents and efforts worth?

I doubt you can learn a satisfactory answer to that in reality, let alone from a forum.

I suppose we could all get together and collude about pricing, set a standard and attempt to control pricing. Centralization is usually a bad idea with unintended consequences.

I have heard it posited that most people spend 80% of their working time doing what earns them 20% of their money. Successful business people learn to focus on what earns them 80% of their money.

I’m thinking sales is a more valuable service than woodworking labor. Shoot the messenger. :-)

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View tncraftsman's profile


92 posts in 3164 days

#6 posted 05-31-2013 12:49 PM

What would I pay? As a consumer… I want to pay as little as possible. As a maker what would I charge?... as much as possible. Somewhere in between I need to manage my raw materials and overhead to sell a piece at a price the market will bear while making a profit.

My unscientific research says that joe consumer doesn’t want to pay much more than $500 for custom pieces… including shipping. Source: job board.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2938 days

#7 posted 05-31-2013 12:54 PM

I recently visited an Amish Furniture Store and was awakened to the cost of quality pieces. It sure made me re-think what each of my furniture projects could fetch, if I ever decided to sell. Needless to say, I am currently only interested in building for myself as a hobbiest.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1917 days

#8 posted 05-31-2013 01:28 PM

Sales and Marketing 101 – Retail Pricing (Supply and Demand Economics):

If you keep raising the price of something that people are buying to a point where people are considering no longer buying it – that is the ideal retail price. Whether its household goods, fashion or $500 shovels being sold during the Yukon gold rush.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2715 days

#9 posted 05-31-2013 01:52 PM

Something I learned early on in my custom cabinet career. Pricing has no reality. All of these formulas are great for the bean counters. But if you think you can survive by making a 10%, 20% or 30% profit, you are wrong. You will also be shocked when you try to sell through a retail outlet. They will take your price and double it. First it will piss you off that they will actually make more profit than you. Then you will wonder why you can’t sell for that inflated price. I’m here to tell you, you can!

If you ever look at a piece and decide it’s just not worth such and such money. That thought is only good in your head. Someone else, that earns a whole lot more than you, will look at the same piece and think, Wow, that’s cheap! See – No Reality!

The way it works here in our capitalistic society is this – You get what you can and try not to leave anything on the table.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2950 days

#10 posted 05-31-2013 03:24 PM

I totally agree with Sam’s post above.

Some people are shocked when they learn our construction company does 3 to 5 million dollar renovations on some of our client’s homes (recently completed one reno closer to 8), when they struggle to buy a $250,000 home.

No reality is right, Sam!

I am not in the same ballpark or even in the cheap seats when it comes to comparison of my total home value to their reno, yet if I had the wealth, I would see things differently too.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2311 days

#11 posted 05-31-2013 03:29 PM

I don’t usually tell what an item sold for, but I sometimes list my cost for others who want to build the project. I’ve sold my turnings as high as 150$ and Adirondacks go for around 125-175$ around here.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View madts's profile


1862 posts in 2364 days

#12 posted 05-31-2013 03:36 PM

I agree with the Adirondack prices. $175 using cypress 4 quarter lumber and stainless screws, nuts and bolts. See that was easy. Now everybody knows what to expect from a quality Adirondack chair.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#13 posted 05-31-2013 03:37 PM

If you want to get premium prices, your execution has
to be appear to be flawless.

Finishing skills, especially at faux painting, antiquing,
gilding and things like that can boost the perceived
value of an otherwise unremarkable piece.

You can buy legs and skirts online and make tables
and nobody will pay a whole lot for them, but if
you put some fancy inlay in there or do a faux
finish that looks like whatever’s hot in Architectural
Digest right now, people will want it and will pay
for it.

People with extra money do spend it on BLING. Not
everybody with money, and certainly not everyone
has the same taste in bling, but the appetite to
consume and impress is embedded in capitalistic

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2050 days

#14 posted 05-31-2013 03:37 PM

I dont sell alot of things, but I do make a few extra frogskins once in a while. If somebody asks me if I can build something, we talk about price. whatever we agree upon is the actual value from my perspective. i do not make a living at it, I would probabaly get into unit cost calculations and such if I did.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View firefighterontheside's profile


18351 posts in 1881 days

#15 posted 05-31-2013 03:52 PM

I had someone ask me to build a nightstand to match one that they already had and so I did. It was made out of aspen. I charged them 220 and they could not believe it was not more. I then posted a picture of it on Facebook. One of my “friends” said she wanted 2 and that the same price was fine. She is not my friend anymore and I still have the night stands. I have tried to sell them on Craigslist with no luck. Currently they are on there for 200. It just depends on what someone wants as to how much a thing is worth. I think they’re worth what I charged because I know how much time I had in them, but someone else looks at them and the other night stands that are $50 and says that guys crazy and they’re not even finished. It boils down to finding the right person who agrees with you as to what something is worth. With that being said, it would be interesting to hear what someone thinks something is worth, especially since

I’m not selling to you all.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

showing 1 through 15 of 37 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics