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  • What Did It Sell For?

    For those who sell their carvings, and care to share the information, I thought it would be helpful if a picture of the item sold, size, etc., along with the price it sold for would be posted. It would be of great help for those who don't have any idea how to realistically price their pieces.

    This could give members a real world estimate rather than a guess of "What should I ask"...which, if you ask a carver who knows what goes into a carving will probably be higher than a lay person would think it's worth without an appreciation or care for the effort and skill involved.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by Arthur C.; 12-16-2018, 08:04 AM.
    Arthur

  • #2
    Hi Arthur
    When I carve an item I am going to sell, I factor the cost of the wood blank, time it takes to carve item and time it takes to paint item, using my Happy Grinch for this I land at a selling price of $10(carve 5 mins, wood $.25,paint time 15 mins, total cost $5,labor @ $.20 per min)
    This seems to work well for me
    Bruce

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    • #3
      I do very little carving to sell other than commission work. I price by material cost + $10 to $25 an hour is the base I work from. Depending on the subject and detail work in the carvings.
      Randy

      WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!

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      • #4
        I get the feeling sometimes, people think, oh it's just a wood carving, how much can it be worth, so I just give my stuff away to the kids and friends. Grumpy old man
        . . .JoeB

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        • #5
          I should clarify that I don't sell what I carve, so I don't have a dog in this hunt. This pricing thought just occurred to me and I thought it would be helpful for those who do sell.
          Arthur

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          • #6
            I sold one of my "Santa by the Inch' square rulers for $25.00, and one of my 'Pete' the Christmas Penguins for $20.00. The ladies didn't even bat an eye...I have about 3 hours painting and carving on the stick, and about 3 hours on the Penguin...painting and carving time about the same on both, but I had $5.00 in the stick. Maybe there was some more upside on the price, but they are the receptionists at my orthopedist's office, so I have to really treat them right!
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              I think a lot of the pricing of a carving depends on how bad you want to get rid of it and how bad someone else wants it! I have a sack of carvings that I give away, because I was mainly just practicing and it's fun to give people stuff. And I have given away larger carvings to people who really appreciated them. But I find most people, aside from close family, value my carvings a lot more when they have to give up some of their money. It then has a monetary value and is not just a sentimental knickknack that someone gave them. So depending on how big it is, and how much I like it, that is how I price them. Small ornaments sell for $20-$25 and larger ones will usually sell for $30-$35. Bottle stoppers range anywhere from $20-$50 depending on size, but I have couple that I really like that I would have to ask $200 for, because I really don't care to sell them. If I get tired of looking at something on my shelf, I can reduce the price and see if it sells better. I buy a lot of rough outs at seminars and I carve and sell those to recover my costs for the seminar. Depending on size and how well they turn out, they may sell for $80, but most go for $120-$150. Original carvings and scenes of my designs go for around $150-$250. Walking sticks have sold for $25 up to $330. But I have been carving about 10 years now and I have won a few ribbons and met a few people at shows and seminars and people usually contact me about something I have posted. I have a website with an online store and am active on Facebook, so most of my sales come from out of state. My prices generally attempt to cover shipping costs which keeps increasing. And I usually charge more for shipping to Canada and over-seas. I'm not getting rich, but it pays for whatever tools I want and trips to carve with people I would like to meet. I still work full time and I really prefer carving as self-sustaining hobby rather than a business that I would have to work much harder at!
              'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

              http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-...61450667252958
              http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                The principal difference between hobby wood carving and business wood carving is that the IRS will allow one to deduct expenses (wood, tools, shipping, etc.) from gross sales for a business, while a hobby wood carving is required by law to declare the income, but cannot deduct any of the expenses.

                Claude
                My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

                My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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                • #9
                  You can see my Etsy shop link below for what I currently have for sale as a direct response to the original question posed. However, as far as how I come up with these prices: one of my guiding principles is to put myself in the buyer's shoes. Without knowing (or necessarily even caring) what went into making it, just considering what I the buyer will go home with, how much am I willing to pay for this thing? With that starting point, I then take into account the intricacy or difficulty that goes into the design. Ones that require more skill, even if not more time, get a modest price bump. So, with these things in mind, when I crunch the numbers, I find that around 60-70% of the sale price is profit. In other words, my final sales price is my material costs multiplied by somewhere between 1.8 - 2.2.

                  Note: A surprisingly engaged observer will see that my Etsy items' prices are higher than the range I stated above. This is because the pricing above does not include shipping, which I generally charge actual costs for if necessary and possible. However, I just wrap an approximation into the price on Etsy to be more attractive to buyers (i.e. "free shipping" per Etsy's suggestions).
                  www.AgainstTheGrainChipCarvings.weebly.com
                  www.facebook.com/AgainstTheGrainChipCarvings/
                  www.etsy.com/shop/AgainstTheGrainChips

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What do they sell for? Each area will price differently, I find. Larger centers can support higher prices, but smaller communities can still surprise you by time. It depends on several things: your skill at carving and finishing, the market, the availability of other carvers (competition), your designs, and the uniqueness of your work. If your work is known, or juried, your prices can be worthwhile, but if you just nibble away as a hobby, your prices should reflect that.

                    For example: A small Christmas ornament , a Santa say, will sell here for $25.00. A cane, say an Golden Eagles head, will sell for $400.00. A carving of a dog, say a Yellow Lab, 8" high will sell for $350.00. A relief carved Celtic knot work, 8" round will sell for $75.00, while a Celtic knot pin will sell for $40.00. A relief carved sea scene, 12" x 10" goes for $125.00 . I just sold a set of three small Norwegian Gnome Christmas ornaments for $50.00, and a carved Osprey for $500.00.

                    Your work must be of a high quality, finish and design so as to attract customers and keep them coming back. Repeat customers will develop, as will your reputation and skill.

                    Bob
                    Attached Files
                    Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Claude View Post
                      The principal difference between hobby wood carving and business wood carving is that the IRS will allow one to deduct expenses (wood, tools, shipping, etc.) from gross sales for a business, while a hobby wood carving is required by law to declare the income, but cannot deduct any of the expenses.

                      Claude
                      The answer to this, if gross income rather than net is taxable under a hobby (I haven't personally looked into this lately) is to style your carving sales activity as a sole proprietor business rather than a profitable hobby, no real difference but semantics. You then deduct your expenses and pay taxes on your net income. Perfectly legitimate.
                      Arthur

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Arthur C.
                        The answer to this, if gross income rather than net is taxable under a hobby (I haven't personally looked into this lately) is to style your carving sales activity as a sole proprietor business rather than a profitable hobby, no real difference but semantics. You then deduct your expenses and pay taxes on your net income. Perfectly legitimate.
                        Yes - that's exactly why I have my ETSY shop. It's a business, so I can write off the expenses on my 1040 Schedule C and pay tax on the net income. My tools are a direct write-off in the year in which I buy them, as is my wood. Large items such as my new 14 inch bandsaw and my computer have to be amortized over several years, but each year part of their cost reduces my gross income. My trips to TN for the Renegade Woodcarving Rendezvous, including meals, lodging, driving expense, and class cost are expenses for education in carving. Trips to the p_ost office, trips to Hobby stores for paints, trips to the office supply store for paper, printer ink, etc are all deductible expenses. Download a copy of Schedule C instructions from the IRS and read up on it. Many towns/counties do not require a business license (deductible cost), so no need to get one unless you live in a place that does. It is also legal to deduct a certain amount for your work space in your home from your mortgage payment, but I don't do that - it really complicates the picture when you (or your heirs) eventually sell your home.

                        A side benefit to having a business and selling carvings, is that I don't have years worth of carvings stacked up on shelves all over the house. If something hasn't sold in a couple of years, I send photos to family members and friends ask if they want one (or more...). Probably half of what I sell are "made to order" - so someone buys one, and then I carve and paint it.

                        Bob K. is another active ETSY seller. You can ask him questions about the business also.

                        Claude
                        My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                        My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

                        My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A big factor in pricing is if you are creating something on spec and simply hope it'll sell at a craft show or on Etsy vs something on commission. People looking at shows or on Etsy aren't typically going to pay thousands or even hundreds for the most part. However, if someone commissions you to design and craft a custom piece for them....well, that's a different story. They need to pay for the fact that they want something specific that you likely can't sell if they bail (BTW, get a 50% deposit up front), that they will have a hard time buying elsewhere, they also need to pay for your design time (don't laugh...for a custom piece it can run into dozens of hours between sketches, scale drawings, mock ups, etc), obviously the wood and finally, your skill. If it were that easy they'd make it themselves. Factor all of those into your pricing. If they immediately walk away, be glad they did. If they think about it, that's good - maybe offer to simplify the design to bring the price down. Or maybe they'll bite. Generally, if you get a lot of requests and a lot of buyers, you're not charging enough. Anyone would rather do two pieces at $1,000 each than 10 at $200 each.
                          Last edited by rhcarving; 02-11-2019, 11:57 AM.

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                          • #14
                            It is hard for me to put a price on a piece. The easy part is your direct cost, wood & paint, but about the cost of your equipment? As you say they time getting to the woodcarving, can be a while.
                            I know when I work for engineering firms the would have a standard rate of three times the person wages doing the work. I'm sure that there are a lot of carvers out there that are faster in all phases than I'm.

                            With all this in mind, I'm coming to a point that I will have to answer some of these questions. A Lady who doses my nails has seen some of the stuff I do. She is getting ready to open a rustic furniture/knickknack store, and she told Pam she would like to have some of my stuff in it.

                            I've never sold anything, just gave it away to family and friend, so I'm kind of wonder how to process.
                            And whos to say anything will come of it.
                            . . .JoeB

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                            • #15
                              Joe , im hoping you keep us posted with the outcome.
                              Denny

                              photos at........ http://wiscoden.jimdo.com/

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