Pricing my pens to friends and co-workers?

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ramaroodle

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As I said in another unrelated thread, I have friends and co-workers who want me to make pens for them. Rather than giving them some arbitrary price for different pens what I have been doing is giving them the PSI book and a print out of a vendor who makes laser blanks. They pay for the blank, kit and shipping and I charge $40 or $50 for making the pen. Is that a workable system?

I'm thinking it would be a little different for people I don't know. Still haven't figured that out. Any suggestions are welcome.

Andy
 
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mbroberg

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Ask 10 people how to price pens and you will end up with 15 answers. If the system you describe works for you, and you are comfortable with it then why change it? When friend or family member asks me for a pen I give it to them at or below cost. Along with the pen I give them a stack of business cards, instruct them to not tell anyone what they paid for the pen and encourage them to show the pen around to their friends and co-workers. I've gotten quite a few orders that way.
 

gtriever

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My "Family Discount" is usually free if it's for them, or at my cost if they want it as a gift for someone. Friends usually get 10 - 15% off the retail price, although sometimes I give one to close friends at no cost. Those are filled from whatever I have on hand. If it's a Commissioned pen, dollars change hands... and Business cards always go out with the pens.
 

ramaroodle

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Thanks.

I guess I'm wondering how to come up with that "retail" price. I should have limited that to co-workers and retail customers. I usually allow friends to take advantage of me and sell for a few bucks over my cost or just give them away. There is a local frame shop that sells handmade woodworking products and she wants me to supply her with pens and jewelry boxes. I'm thinking that I should just batch price them (cheap, affordable and expensive) rather than trying to arrive at a different price for each pen.
 
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thewishman

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As I said in another unrelated thread, I have friends and co-workers who want me to make pens for them. Rather than giving them some arbitrary price for different pens what I have been doing is giving them the PSI book and a print out of a vendor who makes laser blanks. They pay for the blank, kit and shipping and I charge $40 or $50 for making the pen. Is that a workable system?

I'm thinking it would be a little different for people I don't know. Still haven't figured that out. Any suggestions are welcome.

Andy
Sounds good to me! Keep on, keepin' on.:)
 

ramaroodle

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Cost divided by 0.6 is usually a good place to start for "everday" pens. Tweak as needed according to how much commission is wanted by the frame shop, or how much "Artistry" you've added (segmenting, etc.)
Excellent! That's the kind of baseline I was looking for. A $45 kit and blank and shipping would sell for $75-$80.
 

Eric27

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I like the idea of price for materials and adding $40 to $50 for the work. My grandson and I have been making pens for several years now just for the fun of it. We made a Manhattan pen the other day for a fund raiser. The pen sold way below what it was worth, at least what I thought it was worth. But the lady the purchased the pen want's about another 15 made, so I'm trying to figure out what to charge her. Thanks for all the ideas.
 

ramaroodle

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I sell mine for cost (kit, blanks, shipping and tax) plus $30 for my labor. That way I can hand them the PSI catalog and let them pick what they want and show them the invoice. If it’s something I make all of the time like a Sierra with blanks I have I usually charge $40. No real rhyme or reason to it. Just what I came up with.
 

ramaroodle

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Just another way to figure it I guess. I can do some in a half hour including finish and some take longer. If you charge $50 an hour and it takes 3 hours I can’t charge $150 plus parts for a slimline. The $30 seems to be a number low enough that everyone seems to be ok with it. I have consumables like glue and sand paper etc. but I think $60 for a slim line with a plain wood blank is too expensive to easily sell. I might be wrong.
 

jttheclockman

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An older thread I see but I will agree with #2 and Mike from back in 2018. Ask 10 people and get 50 answers. I usually give about 10 different ones myself :):):) I will say this I never deviate from sale to a neighbor, friend, or unknown. Relatives I will give them away. Remember friends talk and if you favor one over another your goose is cooked as they say.
 

ramaroodle

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Just realized this was a thread I started a few months ago.

I’m thinking she’s not going to want to pay much more than she paid for the one that was auctioned. What did you think it was worth? Was there something special about the blank? If you use gtreivers formula and figure $15 for the cost of a Sierra (including consumable supplies) that’s $25 for a Sierra. If it’s a hybrid blank or cast or something special that had to be purchased then another $10-15 seems about right. If the price is too high people seem to balk.
 
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ramaroodle

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Guess it depends on what the market will tolerate. i.e. a craft fair in Newark vs Monterey. I know someone who paid $240 for a Majestic from a vendor on the beach in Hawaii. When I try to sell them here in Seattle they hem and haw over the $80 I ask for them.
 
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