View Full Version : Gotta Raise My Prices!!!

Ed Reiss
3rd Jan 2010, 12:55 PM
There is a turner in my corner of the world that thinks his wood actually stands head and shoulders above the crowd...I know what my opinion is, what about you mob?
What your looking at here is an item that he wants to fetch $195 for:o:doh::q
I think he's off his nut!!!

http://ny-image0.etsy.com//il_430xN.103819696.jpg (http://ny-image0.etsy.com//il_fullxfull.103819696.jpg)
http://www.etsy.com/images/icon_zoom.gif (http://ny-image0.etsy.com//il_fullxfull.103819696.jpg)

http://ny-image0.etsy.com//il_75x75.103819696.jpg (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34902636&image_id=103819696) http://ny-image1.etsy.com//il_75x75.103819761.jpg (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34902636&image_id=103819761) http://ny-image0.etsy.com//il_75x75.103819872.jpg (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34902636&image_id=103819872) http://ny-image1.etsy.com//il_75x75.103819925.jpg (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34902636&image_id=103819925) http://ny-image2.etsy.com//il_75x75.103819814.jpg (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34902636&image_id=103819814)

This is a bowl unlike anything I've ever made before. It is made of bradford pear. First of all a bowl is usually made from across the grain rather than into the grain, but I've always wanted to make a bowl that was bark all the way around the outside! Second, I've never hidden the grain of the wood entirely before, but I love the contrast of the red pait against the light colored wood and the rough bark.
This is a beautiful one of a kind piece of art that will accent your favorite room or your dining room table! A dear friend suggested using this piece as a jar candle holder too (like a yankee candle). Good idea!
This bowl measures about 5 inches in diameter by about 4 inches tall. It has been finished with polyurethane on the raw wood. The bark has been left alone.

3rd Jan 2010, 01:08 PM

I think you're being too harsh. I'm sure the price is $1.95. :D

Ed Reiss
3rd Jan 2010, 01:10 PM
Jeff, If you think that piece is bad, you should see the others:doh::o:no:

3rd Jan 2010, 01:13 PM
"Tell him he's dreamin"


3rd Jan 2010, 02:38 PM
lets face it he is miles ahead if he sells one? :q

3rd Jan 2010, 02:49 PM
Maybe He Likes it so much He does'nt want to sell it.:rolleyes:
Cheers Tony.:wink:

3rd Jan 2010, 02:53 PM
It's quite a nice log with a painted hole in it. Probably should have sprayed some lacquer or varnish or something on the bark though. Maybe a decimal point issue. $19.50?

3rd Jan 2010, 05:52 PM
All this sanctimonious outrage is rather misplaced if he actually sells it, isn't it? :D

If he does, I would not mind going fishing in the same spot... :wink: :D

3rd Jan 2010, 06:25 PM
I wouldn't pay his price, no. But the broader market isn't well educated about quality in this domain.

Not here anyway.

Ad de Crom
3rd Jan 2010, 06:55 PM
Maybe he is Picasso.

3rd Jan 2010, 06:56 PM
The US is a better market when it comes to recognising good work. With the depressed market I think he would find it hard to sell, but with the right buyer...maybe.

Of course, if he does sell it, that means everyone else has undervalued their stuff :U

Kev Y.
3rd Jan 2010, 07:46 PM
If he has hit on a niche market good luck to him, However I would be very disappointed if SWMBO or one of the female children came home with that object..

It does open up the area of garden refuse recycling :U

Also I hope the timber is DRY, imagine what your reaction would be if after forking out $$$$$ the thing suffered from end grain splitting!

3rd Jan 2010, 11:03 PM
By following the links, we can find that:

- he does not have a niche market, is trying to flog it on the net
- his other work is conventional and not outrageously priced, if the quality is good
- he says the magic words: Price is always negotiable. Just ask or make an offer!

Looks like he has raised a flag to see who salutes. It's all part of the American dream, isn't it? Give him a go! :D

I am doing a bit of informal research on prices and expectations of woodturners and at the moment it appears that price tends to stabilise around what the market will bear in a certain location and quality tends to be adequate for the price, with wider variance. Nothing surprising, really.

Evan Pavlidis
5th Jan 2010, 04:25 AM
A log block with a dugout....hmmmmmm. It's going to crack for sure.
Is this artistic or is it his first attempt? I know, very minimalist....he's dreaming.

But then stranger things have happened like andy warhol "art"; if anyone calls it art.


7th Jan 2010, 03:12 PM
It's only worth what someone is prepared to pay.

In art/craft there's no such thing as intrinsic value.

It has no value until sold.

How long he has to wait until sold, if ever, might be painful!


Manuka Jock
7th Jan 2010, 03:21 PM
Looks like a pot plant holder for out on the patio to me ,
with the decimal point definitely in the wrong place :p

7th Jan 2010, 03:47 PM
Generally it makes makes us look bad in the sense that we are looking for any idiot to buy our stuff,thats what bric a brac market`s are for. How can we educate the many if the fools are selling this crap.

Sawdust Maker
7th Jan 2010, 04:00 PM
can I have two? :no:

7th Jan 2010, 05:25 PM
Actually I find this less objectionable than something of a much higher standard that is ridiculously underpriced. If people see good work for less they begin to expect similar prices from everyone.
A more educated buyer would look at this and think "why should I buy this when I can buy something of a higher standard for the same price."
It's not my cup of tea but if he sells it, good on him!

7th Jan 2010, 07:32 PM
My take on the value of a piece like this is that by artistic value i rate it as something to put some pencils in and not worth any more then 10 to 15 dollars at the most.i realise that someone could pay a whole lot more ,and love the piece and be blissfully unaware of the value a woodie of knowledge would put on it .so it realy is a case of buyer beware.

Rum Pig
7th Jan 2010, 11:02 PM
There is a turner in my corner of the world that thinks his wood actually stands head and shoulders above the crowd...I know what my opinion is, what about you mob?
What your looking at here is an item that he wants to fetch $195 for:o:doh::q
I think he's off his nut!!!
I wouldn't say he is of his nut I would say who ever buys it is of their nut:doh:
I like the look of it but not that much :no:

8th Jan 2010, 11:45 AM
But the price is negotiable:)

8th Jan 2010, 12:54 PM
I'm new to this site - came here looking for some pointers on a project. It's quiet at work so I'm just poking around and filling in my day.

Now, I'm not a wood turner - I'm not even a wood worker. But I go to the timber/wood shows whenever they're on in or around Sydney and I look at all the guys selling turned stuff.

I'm afraid I like that bowl with the red centre.

I like it because it's different. When I go to those shows and I see guys with stalls that have endless turned bowls of different shapes they make me yawn. If I saw that bowl, I would immediately gravitate to it.

I note from the guy's site he mostly does other traditional stuff, so obviously the red thing is just something he's trying. And it may sell. If it doesn't, he probably won't make another one.

Sure, it may offend the purist wood turners out there, but I gather he has a business so he sort of wants to sell stuff. He's not making it for other woodturners - I suspect you blokes don't buy a heap of stuff from eachother.

Anyway, I'm just a member of the public who buys the occasional thing. Hope I haven't offended anyone.


8th Jan 2010, 01:35 PM
Me again.

I might to explain myself better - don't want any angry wood turners on my doorstep.

A mate of mine is a writer. He likes to write books, but doesn't make much money from them so he's a journo, too - works for The Australian. That pays the bills.

Another mate makes stuff out of steel. The things he likes to make take a disproportionate amout of time and he doesn't sell many. So he also makes stuff that people like to buy to pay the bills.

Lot's of painters do this, too. I know a very well known artist (Archibald prize winner) who paints stuff he doesn't like much under another name again to pay the bills.

I see the red bowl guy as doing the same thing.

Is he (and are the people above) dumbing down the market? Probably. But bills need to be paid and children need to be fed and housed.

Anyway, I'll wander off now. Apologies if I've offended anyone. My background is in marketing, not woodworking


(Oh, and if anyone starts making bowls like that red centred one under an alias or something, let me know.)

Tony Morton
8th Jan 2010, 02:26 PM
Some one asked at Turnfest one year I think the demonstrator was Terry Martin what the piece was worth/ what it would sell for. His reply was something like this for you selling around here $100 -150 me I would get $250 -300 if I took it to Bungandor Gallery $600 but if I took it to the US convention $3000. So it ia a matter of who you are and who's buying. My sister was selling some goblets in a winery a few years ago but the wern't moving a rep for souvineers came in one day and commented on the goblets and my sister said how they had failed to sell and was told the price was wrong, double it and they will sell and they did they were to cheap for the Yuppy market.

Cheers Tony

8th Jan 2010, 02:33 PM
Hey Scott,
Interesting posts, and seriously doubt if anyone here is offended. I sorta like the red log pencil cup thingy too, just not at the advertised price.

Meanwhile it would be good if you would hang around, as I think some of us could benefit from some marketing advice. Well, at least one of us could benefit from some marketing advice.

8th Jan 2010, 03:13 PM
Yep. And Tony has found another two sources who confirm my back-of-an-envelope conclusions. Richard Raffan's public plea to amateurs not to ruin the market for the professionals is also quite educational but unfortunately rather utopian, human beings being what they are. :wink:

11th Jan 2010, 10:12 AM
I'm back.

As an aside, I went camping on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour on the weekend. It something all Sydney people should do. Amazing place - loads of old industrial stuff. My grandfather worked there - made ship's timber interiors.

Anyway, back to this thorny issue.

There are blokes on a metalwork forum I hang around that have the same issue some guys here would have - and when I say some guys here, I mean woodturners and guys who make furniture etc.

The metalwork guys make some great stuff that they like making and then turn around and say: 'Hey, I think I can sell these things?' They usually can't.

When smart companies launch a new product, they do loads of research to work out what the market wants/needs. Then they develop a product that fills the void - assuming they can make it for a price that gives them a profit. Then they'll test market the product to see if they've got it right. And some times they still stuff it up.

They key is not starting with a product i.e. starting with a market need/want and then developing the product.

Now, the problem is that the product you may end up making may not be one that you find particularly satisfying. So you've got a dilemma on your hands. My wife is an artist. She's a good painter and has sold stuff in the past. The art she does these days doesn't sell, but she doesn't expect it to. She does it because she likes to do it - she doesn't even try to sell it. If she wanted to make money, she'd do the paintings she knows will sell but wouldn't feel particularly satisfied. If she needed the money, she might do a bit of both i.e. some stuff to flog, and some stuff that she likes to do.

Getting back to the red bowl guy. Let's say next time there is a woodwork show in his vicinity, he gets a stall and sets up alongside all the other woodturners and brings out his red bowl and puts it with his traditional stuff. His purist mates will all snicker and poke fun at him, but maybe they'll stop when punters like me stop and look at the bowl. Maybe he has a few of them in different sizes. Or different colours. If they sell, you can bet the next year there will be a few people flogging them.

If they don't sell, he might try something else next time.

Anyway, this is just what I reckon. I can tell you, though, that when I go to the Working With Wood show every year in Sydney, I don't go there saying: 'I hope I'll find a nicely turned salad bowl I can buy.'


Ed Reiss
11th Jan 2010, 01:03 PM
Scott ...you make some valid points about the buying public, but I can tell you from 30+ years of experience turning and selling my products in a wide price range and variety of items, that price is very subjective.
Generally there is an "unwritten" code amongst turners not to undercut the market, which is of course what this guy is not doing. Something else he is not doing is looking at his product in a practicle sense insofar as pricing goes. Even for a novice, the red inside/bark outside piece is at most a 5 minute turning/painting/spraying poly affair. Now, as far as selling on Etsy, most will crank up their price since most gift shop/galleries nowadays charge 50% just to have your stuff in their shop.

You say that the red piece appeals to you ...now I have to ask, how willing would you be to part with $195 US for it?

Different folks have different strokes,, and more power to 'em, and yes, over the years I have bought pieces from fellow turners, but the piece has to be worth the outlay...pleasing to the eye and feel...a red painted log - never!

Rum Pig
11th Jan 2010, 03:25 PM
Scott you do make sense and have some interesting points and as Texian said it would be good to have you around for ideas and info on marking problems/questions.:)

BUT I do think you have miss understood this thread. When I read your comments I get the felling you think we (turners/forum uses) are upset with the style of bowl he has for sale. But that is not the case (from my point of view) we are just confused as to why he is charging so much for this item. We all know or at lest I understand that the customers do not always like what you do and if you wish to make some money you need to satisfy the customer not yourself. But I think you still need to charge a fair price for your goods.

If this bloke thinks that he has a fair price on this item then good for him I hope he sells it and a hundred more but I will not buy one because I think it over priced.

11th Jan 2010, 08:47 PM
I see your point, Rum (far from me calling you Pig :) ) but really all you are saying is that you do not think that price is fair for you. Only the buyer can decide what price is fair for him/her. Nothing to do with the thread being about style or the asking price or marketing techniques.

joe greiner
11th Jan 2010, 11:30 PM
I reckon I'd have to see it in person before making a decision to buy it or not. There might be more finesse than meets the eye - quality of the finish, and integrity of the bark attachment in particular. Its oddness is its main feature, I guess, and large quantities would devalue it.

I don't sell any of my work yet. But for a benchmark, one of my neighbors is a professional sculptor doing mostly commissioned portraits, clay to bronze or marble. He saw and held this piece: http://www.woodworkforums.com/f8/having-ball-volcanoes-66558/
He asked me how much I'd charge for it. I said, "about $1000." He said, "That's about right." Probably too cheap, at that, considering the labor content.

At auction, some turned work, with embellishments such as painting and carving, have brought prices well into 5 figures.

Like Frank&Earnest said earlier, hoist the flag, and see who salutes. The market is very fickle.


12th Jan 2010, 10:12 AM
BUT I do think you have miss understood this thread. When I read your comments I get the felling you think we (turners/forum uses) are upset with the style of bowl he has for sale. But that is not the case (from my point of view) we are just confused as to why he is charging so much for this item.

Yep, there was discussion on pricing, but there were also a few comments that went beyond that:

However I would be very disappointed if SWMBO or one of the female children came home with that object..

A log block with a dugout....hmmmmmm. It's going to crack for sure.
Is this artistic or is it his first attempt? I know, very minimalist....he's dreaming.

As for price, you all know that the market dictates it.

Ed, I wouldn't pay $195 over the internet for it, but if I saw it on a stand at a show, who knows. I like it because it's a twist on the usual stuff. But I know that it's probably pretty lame compared with the stuff most of you blokes would turn out.

But we're into artisan territory on a woodturners forum. If you blokes wanted to make money, you'd be sitting in an office like I am right now. You do this stuff because you love it and if you also happen to make some money, that's a bonus. I envy you.