Another Pricing Question

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rkimery

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Thought first. then a question. I am a self-taught pen turner. Woodworking for over 40 years now and started something new about 3-1/2 years ago - penturning. I love it.

Perhaps I am not as fast as some of the more experience turners on here. I use a CA finish on all wood pens I make. Including all advance preparations and starting from stratch I find that it takes approximately 1/2 hour longer to make a wood pen, with the CA finish, vs. making a plastic or acrylic type pen all the way to 12MM and to polish.

Having said that; my question is on pricing. Hypothetically speaking I have a Pen kit of say $10 and a Pen Blank of $10. $20 total materials cost each.

Question; Would you charge any more for the wooden made pen with the CA finish because of "extra labor" over the acrylic pen with the exact same pen kit and priced pen blank? Even though the cost of matrial on each made pen is exactly the same.

All replies are appreciated, thanx
Randy
 
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The Penguin

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if you pay yourself $20 an hour, and it takes 1/2 hour more time per wooden pen - then $10 more for a wood pen.

if you aren't charging enough to pay yourself a "fair" wage, then why bother worrying about it and just sell the pens for enough to cover your material costs and be done with it.

that out to start a lively discussion. :biggrin:
 

Exabian

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Some say multiple what it's cost you to make it, by three
1. Material
2. Wages
3. Overhead
So your $20 pen would price at $60.

Some say price it for what's comfortable for you. There are more saying but I will leave that for everyone one else to say. Me I charge the same for both depending on the type of wood.
 

plano_harry

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I have not timed this, but it seems to me that I can turn a wood pen faster than plastic, so the extra finishing time would wash out. I price based on the number of tubes and the value of the material. I double my costs and add $25 per tube plus a pucker factor if there is a significant risk or cost associated with a failure. Segmented work is off the meter.
 

SteveG

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As a general rule, I will charge more for otherwise identical pens if the pen has a "Special" blank, such as abalone or cebloplast. The idea is that I have something to talk up the special pen that the customer can observe. From a buyers perspective, there likely is not a significant difference between wood and acrylic, so my price will be the same.
Steve
 

Sataro

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My pens are a hobby & not a business...so my pricing is not from the business aspect of things... I charge 2x the cost of materials plus $10 for my pocket! From a hobby standpoint, this replaces my kits & blanks by 2, plus $10. Doesn't matter if it is acrylic or wood, pricing stays the same. If I'm working with some type of exotic blank that will cost me a lot more time to finish, then I would increase my price by a slight margin to compensate for the extra time.
 

1080Wayne

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I price a solid colour plastic the same as a plain Jane wooden one with the same fittings , at a level high enough that I get a fair return for all of my labour from buying or harvesting the blank to after sale service . I then upcharge both plastic and wood according to the number of eye catching points the turned barrel has , perhaps 10% for a couple small knots or one or two nice swirls in the plastic , maybe 50 % for nearly continuous curl or three distinct colours in wood or plastic , up to 100% or more for good burl or the best plastic blanks .

Just remember to always have some of your plainer ones on display . It validates your pricing on the fancier ones .
 

CrimsonKeel

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I price a solid colour plastic the same as a plain Jane wooden one with the same fittings , at a level high enough that I get a fair return for all of my labour from buying or harvesting the blank to after sale service .
this is what i do. charge enough to cover the cost of extra labor on wood ones with ca finish and it lets me make a bit more on acrylics
 

Chasper

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it takes approximately 1/2 hour longer to make a wood pen, with the CA finish, vs. making a plastic or acrylic type pen

Having said that; my question is on pricing. Hypothetically speaking I have a Pen kit of say $10 and a Pen Blank of $10. $20 total materials cost each.
It takes me longer to make a wood pen than a resin pen as well. But I sell wood pens for less in many cases. The time it takes me to make a pen has absolutely nothing to do with how much it will sell for. In my opinion selling price is a matter of what the customer is willing to pay. Lots of color, unusual and unexpected materials, high quality components and craftsmanship, attractive presentations and good selling technique are what make pen seem more valuable to most of the buyers that I've encountered.

If more labor would make a pen more valuable to the buyer, I would just slow down and spend more time with each pen. The value in my mind is meaningless, what matters is the perceived value that I can put into the buyers mind that determines the optimal price.
 

mrcook4570

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I sell most wood and acrylic pens for the same price. I will increase that price if the wood is significant in some way (burl, more rare, historical significance, etc.) or if the acrylic has something embedded in it.
 

Dave Turner

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I know that many say that you should price your pens for the audience you are selling to. Therefore if you think the acrylic pen turned out just as nice as your labor-intensive CA finished wood pen, then it should be priced the same.

For me, I first figure out what the minimum price I could sell a pen for and still feel good about the sale. Typically that will start with my out-of-pocket costs for the components, blank, upgraded refill, complementary case, etc. I will then add about $25 to $50 for my time, depending on difficulty of turning, one tube or two, CA finish or not, etc. Lately, I've also started adding an extra $5 to cover the extra costs involved with obtaining blanks or components for a commissioned pen. My existing stock of components and blanks were mostly purchased on sale with shipping costs spread among many items. If someone commissions a pen where I don't have the needed material in stock, it costs me more. Since a significant amount of my meager business is commissioned work, I find I needed to adjust my base prices to account for this.

This calculated minimum selling price I call my "wholesale" price. I will then add on approximately 25% markup to get a rough "retail price". I will adjust the amount of this markup depending on what I feel the pen will sell for in my market. Slimlines get marked up less, high end rollerballs or fountain pens get marked up more.

By having a wholesale and retail price for each pen, I know how much I can comfortably discount a pen from the retail price and still feel good about the sale. I will give a discount if a person buys multiple pens from me.
 

preacherman

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I also do this for a hobby. Pen turning is the first hobby I have ever had that literally pays for itself. Fishing and golfing were two that really cost me a lot of money. However, if I am going to sell anything I own I am going to make money. I take that same approach with my pens. I am not out to make my living just enough to cover my cost and get a little extra. I have basically the same approach as mentioned earlier, I double my cost; including kit, blank, finishing, consumables, then add 10$ per tube, this I feel covers my labor. This gets me a little money in my play fund so wifey doesn't flip out when I buy more goodies for the garage.:biggrin:
 
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