Pricing for sale

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    • #3728
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      I never know how/what to charge for my turnings when people ask to buy. I don’t actively promote my stuff for sale, for various reasons, but still get asked to sell what I’ve made and get the odd commission.

      I found this recently during one of my many episodes of blog reading:

      So maybe if you are starting out you could aspire to earn £20,000 and if you have 20 years experience you might aspire to earn £40,000. Divide your wage down to an hourly rate so £20,000 is £10 per hour but you will do well if you are actually making for more than 50% of your working time so double it to £20 work out the time it should take to make the piece add material cost and this gives you the bare minimum cost price you can afford to make the piece for. It just pays your wages and your bills, it includes no contingency and no sales cost.  If all your customers arrived at the workshop paid up front took whatever stock you had and took none of your time this price would give you the wage you were aiming for. This never happens. All sales cost time whether time spent at the craft fair, time spent on the website for mail order or time dealing with retailers or gallery owners. You need to add a significant amount in for your sales cost, I think many craftspeople cost in their workshop time but not the time they spend preparing for and standing at craft fairs, if we did probably fewer of us would sell that way. Some would advise doubling the basic cost price to arrive at sales price and I think that is not a bad idea. If you do this then you are far more likely to hit your targeted wage. It gives you a little leeway when someone wants to bulk buy for resale and gives you the margin to spend a little time getting all those other parts of the sales context looking good, to look after your customers a little better.

      This came from a website I found through Andy Coates’ blog.It’s an interesting concept. To replace my current income rather than running a sideline, adding in the time taken to source timber and tools/consumables, contingency, premises, electricity, and sales costs, I would be looking at charging around £35-£40/hour for my work.I understand now why professional turners get a bit sniffy at the prices of stuff appearing for sale on the web. OK, I know I’m much slower than a pro, but my purpleheart bowl for example had around 3 hours work in it. That’s £100-£120 to make a living. I can see why it could be difficult getting a foothold and making a living.

    • #3731
      ed (the amateur) turner
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      I think the pro turners look for around 20.00 – 25.00 per hour for labour they could properly turn a bowl 8″ x 3″ in under an hour, the finished bowl would take them under 2 hours so you would look at 40.00 – 50.00 labour plus the cost of the wood. In that labour rate because it’s taken less than 2 hours they would cove the cost of electric, tooling and finishing products.

      So you have a sales price of around 50.00 – 60.00.

      But the pro’s go a stage further by adding features to the bowl which also adds value or they find wood that have the features built in like the natural edge or heavily burred timber, then the same size bowl could be 100.00 + but the turning time would still be about the same and the cost of finishing would be the same.

      You don’t see pro turners doing craft fairs, for the simple reason that many turners that just turn in their sheds in the evening or at the weekend think they have to clear some of there work to make space for the next lot of turning so they don’t cost their time and have no idea what to charge so that cause’s the pricing problem.

      I think that you can make a living out of woodturning, but you need to firstly you need to identify your target market, then turn products to fill that target market. You also need to build a reputation in that area of woodturning so you can command a higher price than the next man. Job done 🙂



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