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Forum topic by pashley posted 12-04-2013 03:19 PM 2258 views 0 times favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1043 posts in 3647 days

12-04-2013 03:19 PM

In my latest ShopNotes blog post, I explore why sometimes you need to charge more.

-- Have a blessed day!

50 replies so far

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417 posts in 2874 days

#1 posted 12-04-2013 05:28 PM

I agree with your post wholeheartedly. This applies to smaller items as well as larger items like your desk. It is all in the customer’s perspective. If you can’t sell your product at a fair price, don’t lower the price, change your customer base. If you get too busy and can’t get all of your work done, you must be in demand. When in demand, you can get a higher price.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

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2581 posts in 2891 days

#2 posted 12-05-2013 12:56 AM

I saw a demo by a master wood turner. When asked about his fee, he stated that he charges $1.00 per minute on the turning plus cost of material.

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10081 posts in 3578 days

#3 posted 12-05-2013 01:13 AM

You didn’t say whether the customer accepted the higher price.

There’s the rub.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2899 days

#4 posted 12-05-2013 01:48 AM

Is it moral to charge someone more because they have electric gates?

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3000 posts in 2187 days

#5 posted 12-05-2013 02:20 AM

I was in the pharmacy business and the drug manufacturers priced their new products to be just less than competitive therapies. For example, if the standard treatment for you-name-it-osis was $10,000 the drug company might charge $9,000 for their product. It then was an easy sale in that their product was 10% cheaper than the standard therapy. The cost of production is irrelevant.

In your case, the cost of new office furniture is astounding as you have learned. You need to price just less than comparable products. Take a look at this USED Gunlocke desk. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any prices listed for new items, but this starts to give a basis for comparison.

-- Art

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1043 posts in 3647 days

#6 posted 12-05-2013 03:58 PM

Loren: Yes, I did get the job.

The Lumberjock I think you would have a point if the customer didn’t have a choice – for instance, if his basement was flooding, and I demanded a higher price then I would for the average Joe in the same situtation. However, this customer is at his leisure, and can shop around, and I have that pressure that he may go somewhere else to keep in mind when I set the price.
My brother works in the pharmaceutical business – the markup on drugs would make your eyes explode. This is why you are seeing drive through pharmacies, and Rite-Aids popping up all over the place like dandelions – because there is a lot of money in it.

Regarding comparisons for this desk – I looked at 12’ conference tables made by the Amish, and their filing cabinets as well – which is comparable work to what I’m doing – and they were high as well. They even up charged for QSWO by a lot. If you look at this Amish conference table,
select the QSWO option, you come up with $7290 – and that’s not even including the three large cabinet drawers I’m making for him. My price was more, of course, but if you add in even just two two-drawer small filing cabinets, you add another $2k. I came in under that.

-- Have a blessed day!

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1043 posts in 3647 days

#7 posted 12-05-2013 04:03 PM

By the way, here is a rendering of the project – the desk goes against the back wall and touches both side walls, 12’ x 3’ x 1”

-- Have a blessed day!

View Loren's profile


10081 posts in 3578 days

#8 posted 12-05-2013 04:50 PM

Learning how to bid jobs is one of the trickiest things
in professional woodworking.

In the end for casework I don’t think there’s any substitute for
acquiring the specialized machinery that assists in getting more
boxes made faster. A one-off built in is not a very big
job in the bigger scheme of things, but in bidding on
longer runs of cabinets the client liking us or being charmed
by the other work we’ve done lessens in value because
they will often be getting several bids. While they will
look at price and a small minority of clients will go with
the highest bid (and slickest presentation), they are not
that common. On the other hand, many clients rightly
are not sure about hiring a lowball bidder. Stories of
take-the-money-and-run cabinet guys are common
and of course some cheaper vendors are barely competent
and wiser clients understand this.

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Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2291 days

#9 posted 12-05-2013 05:45 PM

You have to resolve the ethical issues yourself. If the customer accepts a bid that you adhere to, then shame on him if he pays “too much.”

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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1276 posts in 2040 days

#10 posted 12-05-2013 08:54 PM

Is it moral to charge someone more because they have electric gates?

What the market will bear…

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7787 posts in 2258 days

#11 posted 12-05-2013 09:05 PM

Does anyone esle find it ironic that the Amish conference table is sold on the internet :^)

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 1657 days

#12 posted 12-05-2013 09:13 PM

Is it moral to charge someone more because they have electric gates?

Question is, do you charge less because they don’t?

View mporter's profile


253 posts in 2508 days

#13 posted 12-05-2013 09:17 PM

I am confused, how in the heck did you come up with 2K in materials? Especially if part of it is made by plywood.

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Mainiac Matt

7787 posts in 2258 days

#14 posted 12-05-2013 09:26 PM

I wish I could get the sales crew where I work to buy into this…. as they routinely under price (IMO) short order custom jobs.

One of our competitors is the BIL of our old sales manager, and the guy is a 65 year old dynamo of energy who knows our industry and region like no one else. We jokingly call him the Grand Poobah!

He can look at a job and snap his fingers and tell you what it “should” cost….. as in, what the market will bare.

On large volume repeat business, he goes in very competitively and then focuses on efficiency.

On low volume, infrequently run business, he goes in high and doesn’t blink an eye for one second of hesitation if he loses the job.

Excellent sales guys can smell money and quickly and intuitively “qualify” their leads. If it’s not worth their time, they politely pass it on to the next guy.

Your time is money… and you can’t waste it where there isn’t any.

Unfortunately, most small businessmen are desperate these days.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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Monte Pittman

28542 posts in 2268 days

#15 posted 12-05-2013 09:53 PM

I am bringing up my prices to meet the local market. I am not sure that I would charge more just because I think that the client can pay more. Maybe part of that is that I am in a small market and I am not faced with high-end buyers regularly. Nest year I am hoping to get into our largest store featuring custom furniture. My opinion might change then.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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