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  • Looking for price advice...

    Folks, I need some advice. The attached photo is my first commission. Some women who own a cross-stitch needlework shop asked me to carve their store "symbol", an acorn with a crown, to hang on the wall of the store. This store is the one that sold my "quilting Santa" for me, also. The colors are the same they used on their business cards and stationary, etc. The carving is on red oak, and measures roughly 14 inches tall, 11 inches wide, and 1.5 inches thick. I had to laminate a couple of oak boards to get the thickness I needed. The advice I need is about how much should I charge them? We didn't discuss price before I started (I know I should have...). The materials cost of the wood was $20.00. If you don't want to comment in the public forum, please feel free to send me a private message.

    Thanks,
    Claude
    My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/
    My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/
    My Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/claudeswoodcarving/
    My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

  • #2
    Re: Looking for price advice...

    Claude, It all depends........if the ladies shop is quite successful and in an upscale 'hood, I think a good price, more than $100.00
    however if they will be selling your work, being a bit generous would be good for you in the long run.
    very nice Carving... good luck
    Art

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    • #3
      Re: Looking for price advice...

      C O O L !
      You could set your price high and take half or more of it in trade. Then they see the value of your work and time, and feel that you gave them a great deal. Makes it easy on them too that way.
      Wade

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      • #4
        Re: Looking for price advice...

        That's a good question.......does a person factor in time at a certain hourly rate?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Looking for price advice...

          Claude, sorry, I don't have any idea about pricing (hope you've received lots of PM's about that). I just wanted to say what a great job you did on it! It really is beautiful! Deborah

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          • #6
            Re: Looking for price advice...

            Claude,

            In reading your post, I get the impression that you are carving with a business venture in mind.

            In any business venture you need to know your costs. You need to know exactly what your costs are. I can't emphasize this enough!
            Then you need to establish how much you are willing to work for, like in $$/ hr.

            When you put the two together,then you can establish a price on your work.

            When you have that price, you then have to take a look at what the market will bear for your item. This can be a difficult part of the process. My advice here is don't use Ebay as a price guide! Toooo many people are giving their work / product away there, foolishly thinking that they're in business.

            After you have checked the market out for simular items and have compared prices. You'll have to decide for yourself whether this venture was worth it or not to you.

            Actually, all of the above should be done before you accept to do any job.

            Just remember, that your work is Art and should be priced accordingly. Don't give your work away!

            I make custom furniture and have after the fact kicked myself for pricing my work to low just to keep busy. Don't fall into that trap.

            Just my 2 cents from a sore butt poster.

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            • #7
              Re: Looking for price advice...

              Claude,
              Time factors heavily in the prices for my pieces. Also what the market will bear, I always try to give them a fair price BUT you should never sell your self short. It is art and they have to be willing to pay for art. Another way to come up with a price is to take to the square inchs and multiple it by X$ per square inch. So if you charged $1 per square inch the price would be $154. I've always felt that the time it took me to make something was more importent then how big it was. The buyers think that big should be more, small should be less but when you look at the time it takes that is not always the case.
              Hope that this helps. It's a nice piece.
              Dylan

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              • #8
                Re: Looking for price advice...

                Also depends on location. Meaning is it a depressed area. Carvings around here SEK go for lower prices as it is a very depressed economy area. Factor that in also. That piece will be with the business tilll they close.

                I think your carving is fantastic.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Looking for price advice...

                  Never done pricing myself, but here's a link to an article Joe Dillet wrote for the carvers companion online magazine.

                  http://carverscompanion.com/Ezine/Vo...odcarving.html

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                  • #10
                    Re: Looking for price advice...

                    This is a bit of hind sight, but I would think it bad practice to do ANYTHING without areeing on the price, upfront. At this stage, though I think the only reasonable option is to approach these folks with a copy of your materials bill and a list of the time you spent, along with an estimate from a sign shop on the cost of a similar piece, then ask them what they think is a fair price. All this negotiation should have taken place before hand, but that's not where you are at now.

                    Last year I turned down a commision for two carvings....after figuring out my time and material, i quoted them at $150 each, and they thought $25 was fair....guess what?

                    Just as a quick estimate, I'd say that a sign like the one you did would fair market out at $100 to $150, with no problem at all.

                    Al

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                    • #11
                      Re: Looking for price advice...

                      Nice job on the carving. And OUCH on the first step you took. Sorry but ya asked right? Anytime someone approaches you for a commission the first thing is to get that price in a contract no matter how small or large. It's called "meeting of the minds". Then you both won't be dissapointed spending the time and effort and the pressure of worrying and get the "HOW MUCH"??!!! and then you get that terrible feeling you now want the customer to be happy but you feel SO cheated so you come down to where your feeling not so good about dealing with anyone else and just to make a sale. Your going to make yourself sick everytime someone wants something without a price ahead of time. People who want you to spend hours on something and get it for peanuts have NO idea what is involved. All they see is the results. Now think of it this way. If you go uptown and go to get your car fixed. You think they are going to come down just to keep your business? Don't think so. Everyone wants to sell but you need to remember don't ever sell cheap. You do that and they will be telling others and that's not good in the long run and then it's really hard to up the prices later on and you will be expected to be doing them in quanities for peanuts. We all make some bad decisions selling and we all learn the hard knocks. Head Bange Since this one wasn't already priced asking $100-$150.00 IMO would be fair. If they want it bad enough and it is especially made for them you'll just have to go for a price that YOUR comfortable with and if they don't take it you'll just have to chalk it up for this time. You want your commissions to be fun and putting things upfront makes it worth all the effort you put into each one.
                      If your more comfortable by going $ per square inch go that way. Good luck and let us know what ends up happening. Sorry this was long...
                      Krum

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                      • #12
                        Re: Looking for price advice...

                        A quick method in woodworking for a bare bones estimate is 3 times the material cost.

                        You have to be careful with this though as you can easily burn yourself.

                        Krum - repair services ( car, plumber, electricians, etc.) have you over a barrel. You need their services right now and they can pretty much set their own price. Unfortunately carvers don't have that leverage.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Looking for price advice...

                          Beautiful carving,although I think the bottom point on the acorn would look better if it was symmetrical. With commisions, I'd take a 50 percent deposit once a design was agreed upon, maybe 25% if it covered my costs. This weeds out the dreamers. At his point, I would talk to them honestly and propose your price, they'll either agree, refuse or negotiate. If they agree, great. If they negotiate, tell them how much work is involved,and don't come down too much, if they refuse, you've learned a valuable lesson. I usually ask how much they are willing to spend right off the bat, then decide how much i will do for that price. I think I should earn as much as any skilled tradesman, at least.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Looking for price advice...

                            Lots of good information that I do agree with completely. Set your price before you start, stick to that price, even if you loose. The people will be selling for you, and word of mouth is the best advertisment you can get. Do them a favour, it will return 10 fold I'm sure.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Looking for price advice...

                              Some good advice ^^

                              AlArchie pretty much hit the nail on the head with his advice (IMO)....whatever you come up with, provide them the details of how you arrived at that price.

                              I tried to price my work based on my material cost (used the expected cost to replace what I used), my time ($/hr), and factored in a cost for "depreciation" and "overhead". The depreciation was to cover some cost associated with keeping my tools sharp and equipment in order... 5-10%. The overhead was for energy costs, set up cost, bandaids, emergency room visits, etc... again, 5-10% (for example).

                              The drawback to this method is that it does not take into account your artistic talent - unless you build that into your $/hr. You also need to add an amount for profit. If carving is your business, you should make a profit on top of your expenses.

                              Ultimately, you should charge enough so that you don't feel like you cheated yourself. As someone mentioned earlier, you will be beating yourself up later - and that should not be a deterent to carving.
                              Member of Caricature Carvers of America
                              My website: https://mitchellcartledgewoodcarvings.com

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