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Old 06-21-2017, 05:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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The problem with discounting bulk orders is that you cannot pick up enough efficiencies in the process to justify a significant discount. You still must do each part of the process one at a time. You can save some time by doing all of the cutting, drilling, glueing etc in large batches, but it is still one at a time so you are not saving significant effort.
Don't forget that even the most careful craftsman will still experience some failure at the various steps and those you won't get paid for.
The logo adds a significant cost to the project and you may have to farm that out. That cost should also be increased somewhat for you administrative time and effort and costs of capital, etc.

All of that said, I would also consider a non-refundable deposit to cover hard costs so you are not out of pocket should the buyer flake out at the end. Things like not liking the final product or moving to Canada or whatever.
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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If you are just starting out with making pens I think you should count on at least one day of your time per pen. . Of course, there are many factors to consider, and one of the biggest factors is the type and quality of finish you put on the pen.

Another factor is whether you adopt some mass-production techniques, and if you do, how you implement and sequence the individual operations.

For example, assuming you start with square cross-section blanks, will you first turn all the blanks round, then cut all blanks to length, then drill all the holes, then glue all the tubes, then trim all the lengths, then turn all down to the appropriate size, then do the shaping on all pieces that are intended to be the same size and shape, etc, etc.

Selling price ? . If you buy the pen kit for X and the blank for Y, then some people will tell you that you should sell the product for A times X + Y, where A ranges from 2.5 to 4 depending on how much you value your time, how much you estimate you spend on expendable supplies, the market you are selling into, whether you are selling at craft fairs, online, or whatever, etc., etc.

There are so many factors and variables it is difficult to give a definite answer.

If you check on Etsy you will see prices ranging (for the "same" pen kit) by at least a factor of 2 and the same will be true if you look at individual websites.

Of course, you have to factor in what it costs you to rent space and tables at a craft fair, and what it costs you to pay the subscription and maintence fees for a website.

When it comes to buying pen hardware kits in quantity, every vendor does their pricing a little differently.

For buying, the best pricing quantity discounts, in my opinion, are at www.ExoticBlanks.com on the kits that they "specialize" in

You can get some bargains by shopping around and asking each vendor what their discount would be for your proposed quantity.

Be sure you consider quality of hardware kits and be assured that you won't get the best quality by buying from the vendors which have the biggest slice of the market pie.

You have to figure out all these things for yourself and you have to try kits from various vendors unless you get to know others in your position who have gone this route before you and who are willing to divulge the trade secrets that they have learned the hard way.

Pen-making may be the one field of manufacturing and marketing where there are so many variables and uncertainties and where individual experiences can be so different.

I am no expert by any means, but if you want to ask me questions I will be happy to try to give you honest answers from my point of view. Send me specific questions, one or two at a time, in a PM (private message).

I know I speak for everybody on IAP in extending a hearty welcome to you as a new member. . There is lots to be learned here, and there are many, many very helpful people.

Good luck !! . Hope to hear from you !!
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The bulk discounts should begin AFTER you establish a reasonable price. Reasonable for some are two times the kit price plus extras and time. For others 3 times.

Here are costs beyond the components:
Finish it costs to finish
Sandpaper,
lathe
wood
resin costly.
casting molds
tools of different kinds
TIME.

Bulk orders are good but in reading past posts from others here, bulk orders take the joy out quickly, and it becomes WORK. You have a family and they will need your time but when you contract for bulk pens, a deadline can ruin the fun. It sure helps when you know that you are getting PAID well to make up for the time working instead of spending the extra minutes with family.

Equipment costs; material costs; your time is worth considerable. I noticed your casting and it shows your experience. That is a $10 - 15 pen blank in itself if you bought it.

The custom logo on top, that is at least a $10 item, maybe more. Then the tooling to get it inserted without ruining the pen cap. Don't sell yourself short on pricing. For someone relatively new, you have talent that is worth more than what you are stating. From long past posts, several have said it is HARD to raise prices to reasonable value once a low price is established. One more thing, not sure where in GA you are located, but the Atlanta, (along with a couple of other famous tourist areas) will draw a higher dollar clientele.
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Add in the blanks that will blow up, and the kits you may have to replace. I did a 100 pen order once, now I tell people that I don't discount for bulk orders, I charge extra because it gets boring

When you get this order done, imagine how much your skills will improve with all of that practice.
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Old 06-21-2017, 08:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewishman View Post
Add in the blanks that will blow up, and the kits you may have to replace. I did a 100 pen order once, now I tell people that I don't discount for bulk orders, I charge extra because it gets boring

When you get this order done, imagine how much your skills will improve with all of that practice.


AMEN!!!!
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:54 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magpens View Post
If you are just starting out with making pens I think you should count on at least one day of your time per pen. . Of course, there are many factors to consider, and one of the biggest factors is the type and quality of finish you put on the pen.

Another factor is whether you adopt some mass-production techniques, and if you do, how you implement and sequence the individual operations.

For example, assuming you start with square cross-section blanks, will you first turn all the blanks round, then cut all blanks to length, then drill all the holes, then glue all the tubes, then trim all the lengths, then turn all down to the appropriate size, then do the shaping on all pieces that are intended to be the same size and shape, etc, etc.

Selling price ? . If you buy the pen kit for X and the blank for Y, then some people will tell you that you should sell the product for A times X + Y, where A ranges from 2.5 to 4 depending on how much you value your time, how much you estimate you spend on expendable supplies, the market you are selling into, whether you are selling at craft fairs, online, or whatever, etc., etc.

There are so many factors and variables it is difficult to give a definite answer.

If you check on Etsy you will see prices ranging (for the "same" pen kit) by at least a factor of 2 and the same will be true if you look at individual websites.

Of course, you have to factor in what it costs you to rent space and tables at a craft fair, and what it costs you to pay the subscription and maintence fees for a website.

When it comes to buying pen hardware kits in quantity, every vendor does their pricing a little differently.

For buying, the best pricing quantity discounts, in my opinion, are at www.ExoticBlanks.com on the kits that they "specialize" in

You can get some bargains by shopping around and asking each vendor what their discount would be for your proposed quantity.

Be sure you consider quality of hardware kits and be assured that you won't get the best quality by buying from the vendors which have the biggest slice of the market pie.

You have to figure out all these things for yourself and you have to try kits from various vendors unless you get to know others in your position who have gone this route before you and who are willing to divulge the trade secrets that they have learned the hard way.

Pen-making may be the one field of manufacturing and marketing where there are so many variables and uncertainties and where individual experiences can be so different.

I am no expert by any means, but if you want to ask me questions I will be happy to try to give you honest answers from my point of view. Send me specific questions, one or two at a time, in a PM (private message).

I know I speak for everybody on IAP in extending a hearty welcome to you as a new member. . There is lots to be learned here, and there are many, many very helpful people.

Good luck !! . Hope to hear from you !!
Thank you!! That was very helpful! An estimate has been sent to customer! Fingers crossed!!
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by thewishman View Post
Add in the blanks that will blow up, and the kits you may have to replace. I did a 100 pen order once, now I tell people that I don't discount for bulk orders, I charge extra because it gets boring

When you get this order done, imagine how much your skills will improve with all of that practice.
Ahh, thanks for the reminder!! I will be sure to make extra blanks/order extra parts!
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by leehljp View Post
The bulk discounts should begin AFTER you establish a reasonable price. Reasonable for some are two times the kit price plus extras and time. For others 3 times.

Here are costs beyond the components:
Finish it costs to finish
Sandpaper,
lathe
wood
resin costly.
casting molds
tools of different kinds
TIME.

Bulk orders are good but in reading past posts from others here, bulk orders take the joy out quickly, and it becomes WORK. You have a family and they will need your time but when you contract for bulk pens, a deadline can ruin the fun. It sure helps when you know that you are getting PAID well to make up for the time working instead of spending the extra minutes with family.

Equipment costs; material costs; your time is worth considerable. I noticed your casting and it shows your experience. That is a $10 - 15 pen blank in itself if you bought it.

The custom logo on top, that is at least a $10 item, maybe more. Then the tooling to get it inserted without ruining the pen cap. Don't sell yourself short on pricing. For someone relatively new, you have talent that is worth more than what you are stating. From long past posts, several have said it is HARD to raise prices to reasonable value once a low price is established. One more thing, not sure where in GA you are located, but the Atlanta, (along with a couple of other famous tourist areas) will draw a higher dollar clientele.
Thank you. That explains a good bit. I used your information to the best of my ability. I'm okay with doing work. We make our own blanks. I want to make sure I'm cutting them a great deal and cutting out the competition, witnout hurting myself or the value of my product. Any amount of money, small or large, is beneficial to my family at the moment. As long as we have cost covered and are making a profit, it will be worth it. I'm not out to get rich of someone. I live in Athens. My customer is in California. I looked at quite a few pen distributors in Cali, no less than 300 and 400 for some of the styles I'm creating! Scares me a bit. I've sent an estimate that I'm comfortable with. Hoping for the best! Thanks, again!
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Old 06-23-2017, 10:38 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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The kits you show look like Triton's to me, you should be able to buy them for under $20 in quantity. If it is a Jr Statesman, then a Triton would be an equal quality, lower price alternative. You can get them from Exotic Blanks.

If you are planning to replace the ornamental finial above the clip on the cap, that will be your biggest challenge. For a standard Triton I would price a quantity of 100 at well under $200 each, with the custom logo/finial I would add $50-$75 each, once the casting is set up to manufacture you can buy them for a few cents each, but you may pay several thousand dollars for the initial tooling. Also you should probably provide a wood box for each pen. if you could make the customer happy with the logo engraved on the box instead of pressed into metal on the finial, you would avoid 90% of the headaches this project is going to create.

I do several orders in the 50-100+ range every year, you will develop volume related efficiency. Some suggestions for maintaining quality with volume production:
1. Buy 2-3 drill bits in each of the sizes needed. Keep your bits cool when you are drilling dozens of the same blank, switch to a fresh bit frequently.
2. Get multiple sets of bushings, measure them carefully about every 10 pens. Nothing worse than having 100 turnings completed before you realize that you wore your bushings down after the first 25. I've done that.
3. Start with 10% more kits and 20% more blanks than you need, you will sacrifice a few along the way
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:09 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasper View Post
The kits you show look like Triton's to me, you should be able to buy them for under $20 in quantity. If it is a Jr Statesman, then a Triton would be an equal quality, lower price alternative. You can get them from Exotic Blanks.

If you are planning to replace the ornamental finial above the clip on the cap, that will be your biggest challenge. For a standard Triton I would price a quantity of 100 at well under $200 each, with the custom logo/finial I would add $50-$75 each, once the casting is set up to manufacture you can buy them for a few cents each, but you may pay several thousand dollars for the initial tooling. Also you should probably provide a wood box for each pen. if you could make the customer happy with the logo engraved on the box instead of pressed into metal on the finial, you would avoid 90% of the headaches this project is going to create.

I do several orders in the 50-100+ range every year, you will develop volume related efficiency. Some suggestions for maintaining quality with volume production:
1. Buy 2-3 drill bits in each of the sizes needed. Keep your bits cool when you are drilling dozens of the same blank, switch to a fresh bit frequently.
2. Get multiple sets of bushings, measure them carefully about every 10 pens. Nothing worse than having 100 turnings completed before you realize that you wore your bushings down after the first 25. I've done that.
3. Start with 10% more kits and 20% more blanks than you need, you will sacrifice a few along the way
Wow, thanks. I purchased one Statesman for a little over $35 yesterday, to turn a sample pen. I will definitely check out the Tritons! Are they similar in quality? What is the difference in the Statesman and the Jr. Stateman other than size?

My significant other, is a machinist so machining/milling the finials won't be a problem.. We hope. I did quote them boxes just in case! However, I didn't think about offering it as an alternative to the finials. I'll be sure to give them that option as well. Although, I dont think it will effect the price any.

I ordered a kit, at the same time, that comes with several drill bits and bushings for the Stateman kit. I'll be sure to get extras! Thank you, for the advice on maintaining quality and efficiency as well! I truly appreciate the help!! I sent an estimate to customer, yesterday. Praying it works out!
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