Another price question

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
This was a bit more work than I anticipated, think I really under-priced it. What would you charge?

Closet dresser, 72W X 48H X 24D, 3/4” Maple ply coated one side, top Maple ply with a Maple skirt, dovetailed drawers with 5 piece fronts and Blum Blue Motion under mount slides, soft close. All sprayed in white. It is a two piece.

Pulls by installer.

9A8691FB-CB84-40AA-881A-3116FC6011BD.jpeg
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
Phil may even be low. I have been amazed at what some craftsman charge for their work. Not only are customers buying our work they are buying machine time, design, wood, finish, heating & cooling, your shop space, electricity etc. There's a lot of overhead we sometimes forget. If you don't charge a price to cover all this then your'e cheating yourself.

Pop :cool:
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Okay Willem, I'll play again. The last time I estimated way too low, with Phil's estimate already on the board, I'll go with $2,000.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
I charged $1490, but if I had to do it again, it would be around $2500. The thing is huge, my materials were close to $600.

Something a bit smaller on Pottery Barn goes close to Phil’s price.
 
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GregB

New User
Greg
I wonder if there's some sort of constant multiplier that could be used for setting the price. Something like Cost Of Materials x 2. Of course that would be way low for this dresser but what about COM x3 or x4? $600 x4 would be $2400 which is about where you said the next price would be. Obviously there's a tremendous amount of time and detail needed for this which would justify the x4 multiplier but would a simple shelf be valued at COM x2? Is there a way to quickly ballpark a price based on COM and a multiplier?
 

golfdad

Co-director of Outreach
Dirk
Corporate Member
Times 3 is closer to a fair price unless the unless the material is more on the expensive end
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
I think that is a difficult one to use an algorithm or math for.

On cabinets and cabinet doors, there are lots of competitors, so the margins are small, almost not worth it in a non-automated shop. High end cabinets furniture grade still pays well, but almost no one install those nowadays.

Floating shelves, massive margins, can do materials x 10 easy and be very competitive.

Range extraction hoods custom, huge margins and fast, easy to make.

Furniture high end, fair margins, tiny niche market.

At the end of the day it is what the buyer is willing to pay and whether it is viable for the maker.
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
IMHO I wood knot touch that for less than 2500, when all is said and done probably closer to 3000.Most likely you don't take into account the time getting the material,which is part of any job.
since we buy from same supplier. I put 1/2 day labor and add 15% of actual com, to become my material cost. Then use that number x4 to get close to price.
 
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Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
Wouldn't the buyer usually low ball the price if asked?
That is not what I meant. There is a market out there, buyers are willing to pay market prices, makers need to price accordingly, or walk away from the job if the value is not worth their effort.
 

23tony

Tony
User
One question I have: How do you determine if/when you are at a place to charge for your work? I think I have a long way to go before I'm any significant skill level, but I sometimes have people asking me to build things for them.
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
Jeff this is my answer, when with a client asking for a price, I work into the conversation this question, " yes I can do this and what is your budget for this project?" That instantly tells us, the contractors, whether this person is fishing or is actually willing to pay fair price. For me the other thing I insist on is 50% down, balance paid in stages up to delivery and install, which is a balance of 10%. The main reason for 50% down is simple, if the client is unwilling or unable, to me that is a red flag on actually getting paid at all
 
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JCAlton

Cody Alton
User
One question I have: How do you determine if/when you are at a place to charge for your work? I think I have a long way to go before I'm any significant skill level, but I sometimes have people asking me to build things for them.
If you make something that someone wants and they are happy with the end result, you are at a place to charge for your work. At that point its a matter of what to charge. Whats the market for the level of craftsmanship you provide. If its simple stuff that's mainly just glued & screwed, the market price is probably lower than an item that's more detailed or involved of a build.

If someone is asking you to build something for free or they pay materials and you donate time, its up to you to decide if that's worth it for practice/experience.

Edit: That's my take on the question atleast
 

Bear Republic

Steve
Corporate Member
Pricing question- do you take into account things that require a higher skill level on a job or go with more generalized my time is worth X. Like in Willem's project, the dovetail drawers. X number of drawers add 5%.
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
An old Rule of thumb an old timer told me was 3 times your material cost for normal type work. Then add your extra specialty stuff on top of that (headache factor). This could be the client is really hard to deal with or the material is unforgiving requiring you to go way slower than normal... etc.

Then add your mark up typical is 25-35%. Remember, mark up is not just profit, it also includes those extra minutes you spend talking to client and fielding the calls from people asking what color paint or brand of finish you used + sometimes having to go out and investigate some deficiency that may or may not be real. You need to make sure there is money for that.

Finally, there is the price, then decide if you have a bottom line number you are ok with before quoting, then you have wiggle room to negotiate.
 
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Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
Here is an example:

Matt makes cabinet doors unpainted, he does around $12,000 a month in sales. His doors are not painted. Linky below:
Shaker Cabinet Door 9.99 Per Sq Ft Plus Shipping Unpainted | Etsy

If you look at his cart, you will notice he is pretty busy.

There is no way I can compete with him at those prices, but I do painted, which he does not offer.
We work together, so if I get a request for unpainted doors I send it to him. He sends the painted requests to me. What I do then is price at around 2/3 thirds retail and it is almost not worth it. Out of 20 enquirers, I may get one order.

So in short, the formula is pretty simple, look at market prices, determine how much lower I can go to justify my shop time and if those prices don’t sell I don’t care.
 

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