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Mulgabill
25th Jan 2011, 09:18 AM
I'm sitting around feeling sorry for myself after a hernia repair op and got to thinking of my last exhibition before Christmas.

In the past I have been generally happy with my pricing and the level of sales, but at the last exhibition I received a comment that my pricing was too low :o and also a further comment that my pricing was too high :o. Bearing in mind that this was at a Art & Craft exhibition and not a market as such.

I looked at the basis that Richard Raffan suggests which I think relates more appropriately to production turning.

What other methods are used for pricing your work (other than what the market will bear) ??? Preferably something not as complex as RR's method.

I have already done a search for this but could not find anything specific!

rsser
25th Jan 2011, 09:50 AM
Isn't Raffan's formula just 5x the cost of materials Russell?

Anyway, it's tricky I agree. If I counted my time at sweatshop rates some bowls would still be too expensive. And some folk have no idea of the time involved and whinge regardless.

I just had a prospective customer SMS and say she'd take a bowl she'd seen, it was going to be an ideal present for her Mum and she'd already told her Mum about it and how much was it? When I texted back the figure there was no reply. This particular bowl has something special and I add a premium for that. I'd rather it stayed on the shelf than underprice my work.

Partly of course you take into account the market you're selling into. A simple salad bowl for a friend might be much the same work and cost overall as something a bit more stylish bought as a corporate gift but I price them very differently.

Mulgabill
25th Jan 2011, 10:29 AM
Thanks Ern,

Maybe I'm thinking about this too much! The more I think the trickier it becomes.

RR's method expounded in "Turn Bowl Design" goes something like this for a small bowl;
Size (15cmx7.5cm) =112.5 divided by 6 = 18.75 mins
@ hourly rate (say $40 p/h) = $9.38
Plus cost of wood (say $15) = $24.38
Plus margin for overheads, electricity, sanding, finishes etc (say 5%) = $1.22
Total $26.82. to which a premium can be added to suit one's ego, market into which you are selling, etc.
I feel this is on the low side and really does not transfer to items such as boxes, Salt and Pepper mills etc.

mick61
25th Jan 2011, 11:04 AM
G`day what sort of finish would you have on a bowl that took you 18.75 mins to turn and finish?
Mick

Mulgabill
25th Jan 2011, 11:26 AM
Exactly Mick! However if you are familiar with RR's work it is usually Linseed oil and bees wax and a little burnishing. Remember this is his suggested method of pricing a bowl not mine.
I'm looking for possible alternatives.

Paul39
25th Jan 2011, 02:42 PM
I think you have to do unusual work and charge adequately to cover the extra time and better finishes.

I do bowls and twig pots, with timber from my wood pile. I like crazy grain, crotches, spalted wood, roots, etc.

I finish with tung oil, which takes coat after coat on softer wood or more absorbent areas of hard wood to get a sheen. I do this because of the durability and ease of renewing if dried or scuffed.

I have been turning about 5 years and am slowly getting faster, and adding things like a die grinder to speed up sanding.

It still takes 10 -15 hours over days or weeks on the more difficult bowls. About a year ago I started selling through a modestly prices craft shop. They take 40 %.

From a financial viewpoint I think I could make more money spending the time picking aluminum cans off the road sides.

The owner asks for larger bowls, so I am going in that direction. My things are priced $25 to $75 and over 14 months I have sold about 10 of the 20 placed. 10 original & then 10 added.

I suspect I need a fancier gallery to carry the unusual pieces in order to bring higher prices to cover the extra time that it takes to produce them.

I have seen nice pieces priced at several thousand dollars where the turner has studied with, and apprenticed to, this or that famous turner.

I am curious as to how much this adds to the price that can be gotten for work.

I won't stop turning, and don't have to make a living at it, but would like to maybe get a little back. To buy more turning toys, of course.

I'd like to hear more Ideas on marketing, especially from this side of the pond.

hughie
25th Jan 2011, 05:34 PM
Anyway, it's tricky I agree. If I counted my time at sweatshop rates some bowls would still be too expensive. And some folk have no idea of the time involved and whinge regardless.



Yep that about sums it up. I have people love what I do etc etc, Then I ask them what would you pay, most answer with a price more in line with a mainland Chinese sweat shop. Even after I tell them how long it takes, patently I am stretching the truth and thier valuation is correct seems to be the reaction.

NeilS
25th Jan 2011, 11:34 PM
RR's method .....Size (15cmx7.5cm) ....Total $26.82.

For simple 6" bowls I get about $35 and the gallery sells for about $60.

I keep an accurate record of past prices and sales, on which I base my next lot of prices. Everything I make sells and until such time as I am making more than I can sell my prices will go up slightly each year to cover increasing costs and towards a vaguely reasonable return for my efforts...:rolleyes:

Larger and more sculptural pieces don't move as quickly, but they do attract attention and help with the sales of the smaller less elaborate pieces.
.

underfoot
26th Jan 2011, 06:17 AM
Larger and more sculptural pieces don't move as quickly, but they do attract attention and help with the sales of the smaller less elaborate pieces.
.
Nailed it Neil... just about all of the "big players" make their names from those epic pieces that get onto the magazine covers...but still do the less pricey pieces to make a living.
( "less pricey" is relative btw... a $300 bowl is less than a $15000 bowl)

brendan stemp
27th Jan 2011, 08:52 AM
It should be simple: Labour hourly cost x time taken + materials and overheads. So what are labour costs? An apprentice electrician gets charged out at $55/hour so that's the bottom line. So why shouldn't a full time wood turner get at least $55/hour, or more. I know of a mechanic that charges his time at $150/hour. Wood turners have many many skills and they should be valued.

The problem with wood turning is that the majority of those doing it are retired from full time work and wood turning as a hobby. They often don't really care what they sell their work for and often take a lot, lot longer to complete the work. I have seen pieces with a price tag on them that would barely cover the cost of the electricity.

Fair enough you might say but the problem with this is that this type of pricing educates the public into thinking this is what wood turning is worth and significantly undermines the intrinsic worth of any piece, regardless of who does it.

As a full time turner this is the environment in which I work and accept this, but it does make it hard. I overcome this by being quick and trying to come up with original ideas. I also have to find galleries that attract the right clientele (those with money). I'm sure I can do nothing to change this situation but would suggest any turner selling in a gallery or any other shop consider pricing their work properly, using some sort of realistic hourly rate (this should vary according to competency) and including costs and overheads. Timber isn't free, nor is sandpaper, finish, turning tools, electricity etc.

To those selling at markets or to friends then do whatever.

The bottom line is that we shouldn't de-value wood turning with ridiculously low price tags.

I'll step off my soap-box now and head off up to the shed where I will perhaps consider putting my hourly rate up!

wheelinround
27th Jan 2011, 09:37 AM
Followed some of the comments on this have typed up replies twice but am glad I held off to see Brendan's post.

I agree pricing is always hard no matter what it is you do, Ern's mention of material cost x5 when the wood is FREE that = 0 no matter what the size even Raffan gets FREE wood.
:?
So far most of the pricing I see is based on full time workers rates as charged by companies, these figures include such as GST, holiday loading, penalty rates and payroll tax and super.

So are you looking at a commercial/business price or hobby/craft price.

I understand we all pay the same price for tools, finishes etc.

Out of this are you paying the taxes

rsser
27th Jan 2011, 10:40 AM
If you're self-employed you really should be adding about 25% to your direct labour cost to cover the costs of leave, super etc.

I share Brendan's concern about hobbyists' underpricing and the way it potentially undermines the market for pro turners. Hobbyists' work can also mislead the public about standards of form and finish; some of the stuff sold in craft shops or at markets is really poor.

NeilS
27th Jan 2011, 11:57 AM
The bottom line is that we shouldn't de-value wood turning with ridiculously low price tags.



It's a perennial problem for professional artists/craftspeople.

And retirees and hobbyists aren't the only culprits. Richard Raffan told me that his brother Simon who is a potter, woodturner and furniture maker gets complaints from other craftspeople in Tasmania for underpricing his work.

Having been around art and craft for the last 45yrs can't say I have any solutions.

One thing I like to do myself is to buy at least one exhibited piece of art or craft a year as my way of supporting my fellow artists and craftspeople. Nothing like putting a few high quality pieces amongst your own on the wall or shelf at home to get some perspective on your own work.

If we could encourage all those woodturning enthusiasts to also become woodturning patrons we would have a very healthy woodturning market here in Australia.

When are you having your next exhibition, Brendan? ....:wink:
.

Ed Reiss
27th Jan 2011, 01:14 PM
Well, here we go again with the pricing issue...one of the most dastardly things to try to figure out. Why you say? I can tell you this, objectivity has no play in the equation. It is very much a subjective exercise!
You can, of course, skulk around to other booths and see what Joe or Anna Mae is charging for garden dibbles and then go adjust your prices accordingly.
Me, I have always gone by my gut instinct as to the price a piece should go for.
and it works rather well...well, for me anyway.
I once had a beautiful black walnut flat hollow form at the Art Museum of the South, Mobile, Alabama. Asking price was $115. Lots of interest, especially from one particular lady who came back at least 20 times during the course of the day to keep checking the piece out. It wound up that she did not buy at that time. Fast forward 1 year, same show and same piece still up for sale. Only now the price was up to $325. Wouldn't you know it, the same lady showed up at my booth and made a beeline straight for it. Then I heard her say "S*&t, I knew I should have bought the piece last year, but then cheerfully handed over the $325!
Just goes to show that when it comes to pricing a ouija board or tarot cards might work better - go figure:whatonearth:

wheelinround
27th Jan 2011, 01:29 PM
I share Brendan's concern about hobbyists' underpricing and the way it potentially undermines the market for pro turners. Hobbyists' work can also mislead the public about standards of form and finish; some of the stuff sold in craft shops or at markets is really poor.


I agree Ern having been to many markets and galleries over the years in various locations from Sunshine Coast to Melbourne and SA.Trouble is these people are mostly the Pro's trying to make there $$ while the galleries or even tourist outlets suck them dry on high commissions with their best works.

Hence if your selling through a gallery and they are charging or adding the commission say 40% does it really value add to the work or is it just like adding the gov's GST. Can a pro then state that their work is of that value. OR as any other item we buy it looses that much once it is in the owners hands.

NeilS
27th Jan 2011, 02:49 PM
On gallery markups, I don't begrudge them what they have to charge for what I consider to be the real value they add to the sales. Their costs are considerable and they add value to the purchasing experience in many ways that I'm more than happy for them to provide.

If you are setup to sell from your workshop you have to charge about the same prices anyway to cover your display area costs and for your time (which can be considerable when each visitors want to talk to you at length, whether they buy or not). Depends also if you want to be woodturning or gallery hosting.

Either way, that's the real value of the piece.

underfoot
27th Jan 2011, 05:54 PM
It should be simple: Labour hourly cost x time taken + materials and overheads. !
:aro-u: Yep...I always make a point of costing it all out properly...
then I screw it up, toss it in a bin and do what Ed does :aro-d:

I have always gone by my gut instinct as to the price a piece should go for.

brendan stemp
28th Jan 2011, 09:08 AM
On gallery markups, I don't begrudge them what they have to charge for what I consider to be the real value they add to the sales. Their costs are considerable and they add value to the purchasing experience in many ways that I'm more than happy for them to provide.

If you are setup to sell from your workshop you have to charge about the same prices anyway to cover your display area costs and for your time (which can be considerable when each visitors want to talk to you at length, whether they buy or not). Depends also if you want to be woodturning or gallery hosting.

Either way, that's the real value of the piece.

Spot on Neil. Selling one's work is never all that simple, even trying to sell from your own workshop (as you have said). There are hidden costs. I have also tried the internet but, as my web designer said to me, unless you actively promote your site then it is like a billboard in the desert. So the hidden cost is the time needed to spend on promoting the website. The other problem I have found with internet sales is that you are trying to sell a product via a description and a photograph. And the photograph just cant represent the piece as well as seeing it the flesh.

So, the price of a piece should also reflect the time it takes to sell it. And this is very hard to quantify so I am happy for a gallery owner to do their bit and take their cut.

Mulgabill
28th Jan 2011, 10:42 AM
This has been interesting reading and I agree with Brendan and Neil which is OK from a Full-time Professionals point of view, whose caliber of work can certainly command much higher prices and deservedly so.

However, from a lowly part-time turner's perspective I certainly cannot compete with the "professionals" as to quality/quantity and price.:no:

So, what am I to do? Give my work away to friends and relatives who maybe already overloaded with our work anyway(or don't like it), "mark-up" our work to a "professional" price and let the buyer decide the value which could undermine the "professional" price structure.:question:

From my point of view, I will be, as I have done in the past, be going by gut instinct (and perhaps using Brendan's formula as a guide) and pricing my work to the market into which I am selling be it private sale, weekend market, exhibition or gallery.

So be it!

Paul39
28th Jan 2011, 11:37 AM
From reading the above and some thought I have come to:

I'll try to get the very best shape and finish out of any piece of wood, no matter how long it takes, then price according to what the traffic will bear, how unusual it is, and what other pieces of roughly the same size, finish, complexity, figure, etc. are selling. I am comparing objects made by not yet famous turners.

If I think a piece is really wonderful, I'll price higher even if it doesn't sell, because I can keep it at home and grin every time I look at it.

I think as one sells more, buyers talk about one's work and that may generate more sales. It does not hurt to win competitions and get awards and media coverage. Famous artist syndrome.

The marketing is important if you are going to sell and get more for your work. Modest starving artists are going to starve.

No matter how you sell your stuff it is going to cost money or time or both: Shops and galleries get a percentage, craft shows have space fees, if out of town, travel, food, and lodging.

If you sell from your studio or shed, that could be restricted to one or two days a week at certain hours. The space still must be organized and set up and you are not turning while chatting up potential customers.

A question for those who have been selling a while:

As you get a bit more known, and maybe your workmanship gets a bit better, do you sell more work for more money?

I hope this thread keeps going and more folks put in their experiences.

brendan stemp
28th Jan 2011, 10:52 PM
A question for those who have been selling a while:

As you get a bit more known, and maybe your workmanship gets a bit better, do you sell more work for more money?



More known to who?? Winning awards, getting my mug in magazines etc hasn't helped me much because its the wrong people who see this stuff. They tend not to be the buyers shopping in galleries or craft shops.

NeilS
29th Jan 2011, 11:15 AM
As you get a bit more known, and maybe your workmanship gets a bit better, do you sell more work for more money?



Brendan pretty well summed it up.

In Australia there are two distinct consumer groups.

The value to the professional turner ( I'm not referring to myself here, my woodturning is more of an obsession than a profession) of getting to be better known is that you get invited onto the demo/workshops circuit which gets you out of your workshop and makes life more interesting, if you like doing that sort of thing. This then helps promote your named tools/gadgets/products to further diversify your income. The consumer group here is predominantly the hobbyist/retired enthusiasts and they buy tools, gadgets, turning products and turning experiences, but not woodturning.

The buyers of woodturning are mostly professional people who buy handmade things from wood to say something about themselves, either in their homes or, more often, to give to significant others. They feel good about buying authentic and aesthetic handmade items. That's the sort of person they are. The fact that most of them are not prepared to spend any more than 1/10th of their hourly rate on your hourly rate is the crux of the pricing problem....:rolleyes:

I doubt if any of these typical woodturning buyers would ever read a woodturning mag or know who Richard Raffan is. For the vast majority of our buyers, where they purchased a piece will be more important than who made it. I understand I have a few repeat customers but mostly they are once only customers and they are not going to pay more for a name. So, how the gallery presents and promotes your work will be more influential than you being known as a woodturner.

I don't sell out of my workshop or at markets, but expect that will be different again.

In the US you have a third consumer group that we don't have here. These are the collector/patrons. This small group of wealthy consumers accounts for the high end market in the US. This group is very influenced by the profile of the artist/craftsperson, and in part they help create this. Some of our leading woodturners have benefited by having their work purchased by these collectors.

There is also the occasional buyer who knows that the highest priced item in the gallery is the best, and they can afford to buy the best, and they always do. I try to have at least one item there for that buyer...:U

brendan stemp
30th Jan 2011, 10:17 AM
Once again, spot on Neil. You articulate my thoughts so much better than me.

This thought of being better known helping one's sales reminded me of the article Raffan once wrote on re-working one of his older pieces. What was interesting was that he found this old salad bowl of his at a 'trash n' treasure' market being sold for next to nothing. So, what does a woodturners signature mean to the average person? Nuthin'!

rsser
30th Jan 2011, 10:30 AM
Raffan tells a story of going through the bottom of a bowl while demonstrating in the US. The bowl was then auctioned and brought hundreds!

Russell, one thing I did when I felt that my work was becoming saleable was to get a leading turner to look over a sample of it and suggest prices.

Paul39
30th Jan 2011, 10:54 AM
Neil,

Thank you for the assessment of turning for fun and profit. It is sad that there is not more of a market in AU. There are some very talented people on this forum.

Quote:

"There is also the occasional buyer who knows that the highest priced item in the gallery is the best, and they can afford to buy the best, and they always do. I try to have at least one item there for that buyer."

That had not occurred to me.

I am going to finish one or two really unusual pieces, put an appropriately high price on them, and get them to my craft shop. Even if they are not sold, someone might look, feel, and then buy a lesser priced piece of mine.

NeilS
30th Jan 2011, 12:14 PM
I am going to finish one or two really unusual pieces, put an appropriately high price on them, and get them to my craft shop. Even if they are not sold, someone might look, feel, and then buy a lesser priced piece of mine.

Good strategy, Paul. I usually try to have at least one eye magnet piece amongst mine. They don't move that often but do exactly what you say.
.

Little Festo
30th Jan 2011, 02:01 PM
I sell at markets and through a few galleries. Pricing is a constant issue that troubles me. I was lucky enough to be invited to meet up with Richard Raffan a few years ago for a chat and a coffee at the Brisbane Wood Show. There was a table of turnings and blanks from a local club nearby for sale. On the table there was a bowl selling for $25 that was about twice the size of a blank selling for $35. I asked what he thought about it. He looked at the bowl and said, "Peter, they have ruined a perfectly good blank". Even so everyone has the right to sell their work at what ever price they choose to.

I believe too may turners regard wood they have collected themselves as being free. I am lucky enough to be given quite a bit of timber by a few friends. They sometimes deliver to front my gate. Even then there is still a lot of work involved in preping the wood so even that is not free.

Markets are a blessing and at times a curse.

There is a lot of positive feed back from customers but sometimes you can see see shock and horror when some people see the prices on a craved piece that took a day or two to make.

I have to work on some lines to sell to woodturners. I get a few of them having a look. Woodturning postcards???:roll:

I'm amazed that most of my Australian customers want to put something into a bowl or form. I've had people ask me if they could put a salad into a translucent bowl with 2-3mm thick walls. Almost my pieces are now made with a food safe finish. I love American/Canadian tourists, they hardly ever ask this.

I really enjoy the markets though. I have a great site under the trees with good traffic. My fellow stall holders around me are really good. The organisers are really good to me and they don't allow too many stalls in selling the same product.

Galleries

I have pieces in a couple of local galleries and in a larger interstate gallery. One of the galleries is getting some good prices and sales, really pleased with that but they are very fussy - which is good for me, keeps me on my toes.

Sooooo. This brings it home to me that quality will sell at a premium price but not at a "great number of knots". The high end pieces require more time and attention to detail - definatly higher $s per hour in earning potential though. One of the galleries is selling some pieces for several hundred dollars, about twice as much as I was previously getting. The good thing is they are moving quite a few pieces. It's great to have a good Gallery "selling" your work. I have to increase the amount of work I have going through this gallery - the fussy one.
The market stuff can be quite a change as there is that quick fix in making something quickly. It's great to finish 5-6 pieces in a day when I'm running on all pistons but that's where most of the pricing confusion comes in. People ask for discounts and when sales are slow I start questioning my pricing.

Maybe the love and passion we have from turning is part of the payment for a lot of us. I think that will eventually show in the work we produce if this is what guides us though. Woodturning is a difficult way to earn a living. Straight wood turning will work for only a very few very disipilined people. The more successful are the wood-artists.

Well that's quite a rant but pricing is something that I'm trying to get on top of - but haven't. There will always be people selling too cheap, selling inferior work or even a few overpricing their work. It's up to you if you want to work for a few dollars an hour. All arts and crafts professional have to contend with competition and hobbists selling their work cheaply. The pros just have work faster or produce different and/or superior work and not complain - a lot of them now teach.


It would be great to talk to a few turners selling their work. If any of you are going to Turnfest on the Gold Coast we should have a coffee or two or three.

I edited this several times trying to tidy this up, hope it makes some sense not just the ravings of an old man.

Peter

Mulgabill
30th Jan 2011, 03:09 PM
Yes I agree with Neil that the strategy of Paul39 is worthy. I will give it a go when I find another gallery. The one I exhibited at until recently closed down unexpectedly prior to Christmas and left many exhibitors in the dark. Sales had been falling off over the previous 12 months.

Well Ern! your suggestion to get "leading" turners to check out your work is exactly what brought about this thread.
One respected "elder" liked my exhibition pieces but thought my prices were on the low side, and another respected turner was more critical and said my prices were too high for the items on display. I think this may have been a backhanded way of saying I was asking too much of something of low quality.:no:

Anyway not to be dissuaded I will make greater effort and continue on with my pricing strategy as mention previously.

rsser
30th Jan 2011, 03:27 PM
Yes, 'free wood' has its costs too.

Time, transport, chain saw, sealer, storage. Plus a failure rate. And getting rid of the waste.

As for other costs, have we mentioned the cost of tools and machinery? Rates and utilities for the workshop?

And being hard-nosed economic rationalists, the opportunity costs of committing our time and money this way rather than another?

No. We started turning cos we enjoyed it, and still do, but the products pile up, we'd like to get a return on some of them, and the affirmation that comes from customers liking what we do enough to shell out the hard-earned all play a part in the steps towards selling.

....

My reticent inquirer came back yesterday with the $$ in hand for the bowl she'd said she wanted.

What persuaded her it seems is that the wood had a history and my treatment of it was a kind of political comment that resonated with her. So it's not just a bowl but it's a story, of the wood and my treatment of it. And I think if you do want to build a market then it's important to have something of yourself in the work - not just a signature style (though that's hard enough these days) but a back-story for each item. And type it out and attach it to the work or to a photo of the work.

Even a sap-pocketed bit of rustic redgum ... provide some basic info about the species, about where the tree grew if you know, how old it might have been, what the sap pockets are, why the bug holes, what burl is if it's done from one.

So those are a few thoughts from another old man, well, older ;-}

rsser
30th Jan 2011, 03:33 PM
Sorry Russell, was writing as you posted and should've returned to your OP.

Pricing clearly is not a science and it's no surprise to get differing opinions.

Going through galleries and craft shops/shows that have a deal of turnover, esp. of your work or similar, helps send signals about what margin you may be over or under the average. If the variation is big on the minus side then you put up with lower prices or find somewhere else to sell.

Sturdee
30th Jan 2011, 04:05 PM
What persuaded her it seems is that the wood had a history ..................... So it's not just a bowl but it's a story, of the wood and my treatment of it. ........................ And type it out and attach it to the work or to a photo of the work.

Even a sap-pocketed bit of rustic redgum ... provide some basic info about the species, about where the tree grew if you know, how old it might have been, what the sap pockets are, why the bug holes, what burl is if it's done from one.




Excellent advice Ern, and if you're not sure of the story then you should adopt one that seems good.

That's how successful real estate agents sell their stuff. :D


Peter.

rsser
30th Jan 2011, 04:16 PM
LOL.

Like this wood comes from a tree that was lopped in the yard of a house that Olivia Newton-John once lived in :D

But more seriously, some customers will respond to some printed info and some won't. I'm not suggesting that a wood story or a treatment story will have a magic effect on building a market for your work. It may help, that's all.

What it's doing for some is simply adding value.

It may be nice work, with spekky figure, and that's a start for a dining-in story but a bit of info about how, what and where will add some depth to that.

Like some dinner guests assiduously read the label on the bottles served up, and others will just think, well, it's wet and alcoholic :rolleyes:

Mulgabill
30th Jan 2011, 06:14 PM
The story behind wood!!!

Warning anecdotal content!!!:q

Some time ago I had a commission from an owner of a restaurant 10 sets of S&P mills.

After seeing a set of figured Blackwood I had at an exhibition he asked the sales desk who made them and fortunately I was there at the time. We got talking and I told him that all the timber I work with is Australian and from "reclaimed" sources and as a matter of fact the Blackwood had come from Central Victoria, where his Restaurant is. :;
He later asked if I ever made mills in Huon Pine as it reminded him of his boyhood days growing up in Hobart with his grandmother and her kitchen dresser made of Huon. I replied that I had done so and had a small supply ready to turn.

He then placed and order of 5 sets of 7" mills in Blackwood and 5 sets of 7" in Huon Pine.

By the way he paid a premium for the HP mills due the the "hard to find/rarity" factor with flinching.:;

So yes, the story behind the wood and past associations/memories can be a strong selling point.

tea lady
1st Feb 2011, 11:06 AM
More known to who?? Winning awards, getting my mug in magazines etc hasn't helped me much because its the wrong people who see this stuff. They tend not to be the buyers shopping in galleries or craft shops.NeilS has already made soem very good comments on this. It is also a problem in pottery! The people who actually buy wood turning or pottery do not read the technical wood turning or pottery magazines. The might read design mags, or Vogue living or maybe the "Art" magazines. They are not really interested in the technical side either. They are interested in the artists intentions and whether they like a piece.

I too use a few high price items on the market stall to bring people over to look closer! Then hopefully they buy a smaller thing! I think my learning curve is still on the up, so I have some pieces that have made it to a bowl shape but aren't quite right with a cheper price than the ones that are really specky and higher priced. The customers seem to recognize this too. :shrug: And even buy the expensive one! :cool:

rsser
1st Feb 2011, 02:46 PM
Seems we have two kinds of suppliers and several kinds of markets.

If you're a turner oriented to making money and needing a decent return on time and capital investment, then get a basic marketing text and think about the questions:

What's my target market?
What are they looking for?
How do I best reach them?
Can I generate sufficient cash flow?

underfoot
1st Feb 2011, 06:02 PM
get a basic marketing text and think about the questions:
What's my target market?
What are they looking for?
How do I best reach them?
Can I generate sufficient cash flow?
Most marketing texts will give you a good run down on the basics, however mostly they rely on selling a product on the basis of " features and benefits".
How do you point out the "benefits" of a piece of your work to a potential buyer :?

Years ago I did a (bloody expensive) workshop with pommy carver Ian Norbury,
the most usefull things I learned were from his wife Betty ( a major influence in the contemporary British art/crafts movement)..She'd just written what IMHO is the best text on selling your art/craft...well worth a read :aro-d:


Marketing and Promotion for Crafts : Betty Norbury : 9780854420629 (http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9780854420629/Marketing-and-Promotion-for-Crafts)

rsser
1st Feb 2011, 06:36 PM
Well that's a good way of thinking about your marketing.

Put yourself into the shoes of someone wandering through a market, a gallery or a craft shop.

Looking at pieces, and if the textbook is right, wondering about the features and benefits of this piece of work over that piece.

If you want your piece of work to sell, you need to have an insight into that wondering.

hughie
1st Feb 2011, 09:06 PM
I too use a few high price items on the market stall to bring people over to look closer! Then hopefully they buy a smaller thing! I think my learning curve is still on the up, so I have some pieces that have made it to a bowl shape but aren't quite right with a cheper price than the ones that are really specky and higher priced. The customers seem to recognize this too. :shrug: And even buy the expensive one!
All decisions to purchase are based on emotion. The more the prospective buyer knows about [a] the turner and [b] timber etc. Then this is building a relationship, all be it temporary. Without its hard to make a sale, of course if they feel it was expensive later they may go in for buyers remorse etc. :C and perhaps not return or just keep to them selves cos they like anyway.

RETIRED
2nd Feb 2011, 04:37 PM
The biggest gripes in this thread are the reason I gave away doing art and craft turning and moved to production and architectural turning.

The general way of working out costs is material + labour, however, there is another part that most of you have forgotten.

Profit!!!!

That is the most important part of pricing and the only part that allows you to make money over your costs.

son_of_bluegras
3rd Feb 2011, 10:23 AM
The way I look at it; if you're working for yourself, the labor is the profit. That is anything over your actual cost of making it is what you pay yourself.

ron

RETIRED
3rd Feb 2011, 12:13 PM
The way I look at it; if you're working for yourself, the labor is the profit. That is anything over your actual cost of making it is what you pay yourself.

ronYou are partly right. Labour is calculated by adding ALL the running costs of a business and dividing by whatever.

In my case I take the last 12 months costs and divide by 52 (weeks in a year) and then 40 (normal working hours). I add whatever the CPI is to allow for inflation.

I then add 30% (profit) to take into account times when you have no work or an employee is away, etc.

When costing out a job, I estimate the time I reckon it will take based on experience, the materials and consumables used. I then add 10% or 30% depending on quantity to cover the hidden costs and give me a margin if things go wrong.

Grommett
3rd Feb 2011, 02:50 PM
You also have to consider the market you are selling into. I have seen stuff for sale at Broken Hill for say $50 that you would struggle to sell for $25 in our local venues.

rsser
3rd Feb 2011, 03:29 PM
Oh yes, there's a tourist market.

Gear up for mulga slice clocks or small mulga or gidgee bowls to sell out of 'Australiana' shops in Sydney, the Gold Coast or Cairns.