Am j priced to high? - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 33 Old 01-17-2018, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by holtzdreher View Post
Several years ago, I tried to get estimates for some work here at my house. Of the 10 contractors I called, only 6 actually showed up and only 4 gave me estimates. Of the estimates, the highest one was from a guy that showed up in t-shirt and cut offs driving a 20 yr old station wagon. Another estimate was a little below that and the guy could not be reached when I had a question about his estimate. The low bid was so low I discounted it immediately. The last guy was a Mexican fellow. He wore a uniform of the company he worked for. The first things he showed me were the worker's comp insurance certificate and a letter from an insurance company that the company & employees were bonded. He drove a late model truck that was clean and well organized inside and had the name of the company painted on the truck. (Turns out he is the owner, but I did not know that until after the third job he did for us.) His employees were neat and clean, they were very professional I guess my point is sometimes, appearances and salesmanship make a difference
A very astute observation and wise methodology in your contractor selection.

"I guess my point is sometimes, appearances and salesmanship make a difference." I think that they make a difference more than just sometimes.

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post #22 of 33 Old 01-17-2018, 10:23 AM
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Bottom line to me is...what is the quality of your work !!

I'm a retired guy, who has been doing furniture making for 10yrs or so, although not as a living. I make pieces for family and friends, most of which don't have any idea of what materials cost, as well as how much time and heart I put into my work. In the end, they all appreciate the pieces I do for them, as they are unique and hand-made (as opposed to Ikea or Joe's discount furniture mart)

So the relevance of whether you charge $500 or $15,000 does not mean much unless the quality of craftsmanship is there to warrant the fees asked.

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post #23 of 33 Old 01-17-2018, 10:52 AM
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Some contractors' work rises to the level of art. A local custom furniture guy that I know, has made $8,000 desks for people. He has a reputation and has made some fancy replicas of museum pieces for folks. I don't think he has handled a 2x4 or plywood since he was in high school. He did a fancy formal library for a rich family about 10 years ago. I saw pictures of the solid walnut shelves and paneling when it was done. That one job took him 11 months of long hours and I know when the job was finished he took his family to Florida for a month. Another guy down the road a mile is an artist. He made a giant red aluminum heart for some public building out west. He got $14 million for it. He is commissioned to do such works a few times a year. To me the artist and the furniture maker are in a similar class. Folks clamor for their work and they are truly in a group above the rest. Then there is the mechanical parts of trades. Installing siding, windows, etc. Carpenters and some furniture makers fall into the mechanical side of it. visited a chair factory last week. Nice chairs, a style that doesn't appeal to me. They sell perhaps 50 chairs a week. All solid wood. Just knocking off parts from jigs and assembling the parts. No artistry, just mechanical.
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post #24 of 33 Old 01-17-2018, 11:06 AM
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In woodworking I am at the other end of the spectrum, I do most for nothing or sometimes I cover the price of materials, but I just do it for fun. Everybody used to tell me I should build furniture for a living, I told them I did it for fun, if I HAD to do it it would no longer be fun
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post #25 of 33 Old 01-17-2018, 01:29 PM
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I was always told that if I wanted the big money to change my shop to a studio.

Your bid was too high for the customer, that is all that matters if you think your estimate was fair and you have got other contracts using the same criteria with previous customers.
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Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #26 of 33 Old 04-19-2018, 10:57 AM
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being high is NOT scamming

They asked for the cost on an item, you offered the item for a price, they did not like the price and declined.

You can buy a brand new 1911 for just over 400 bucks or you can get a springer emp for about 1200, a kimber for about 2k or even an svi for around 4500. those are production items and cost, not custom. Once you go custom, the price has no limits.

Fewer high end clients or lots of low end clients, you have to pick and take your lumps for the decision on your own. 80/20 rule applies to cabinets too.
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post #27 of 33 Old 04-19-2018, 11:30 PM
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Iím reminded of the old story of buying oats.
Good, clean, high quality oats are sold at market price.
If you will accept oats that have already passed through the horse, now that will come cheaper.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #28 of 33 Old 01-01-2019, 06:16 PM
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The bid is too high. I do an entertainment center and book case o each side of a fireplace for a 3rd of what your charging and I'm 4 hrs away...
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post #29 of 33 Old 01-01-2019, 07:30 PM
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The price was too high for that customer. The real question is if you are using the same price structure for other quotes, are you selling jobs?. If so, probably not too expensive. If not, it may be time to re evaluate your pricing.

I add actual production costs, overhead, and profit to create a quote. The house the work is going into, what it looks like the customer can "afford", or even estimates provided by others for the work are all irrelevant regarding my costs.

It seems to me that it's impossible for anyone here to definitively state that your price was too high, too low, or just right. Only the folks you're selling to can define that.

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post #30 of 33 Old 01-02-2019, 03:13 PM
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I'm just a hobbyist, I don't build cabinetry for a living. So from the average joe's perspective on your price, it sounds really high to me for what essentially looks like a simple and straight forward build. I also don't see why it would take nearly two weeks to build those, but I also underestimate pretty often how long it takes to do things.

These are built-ins, right? So are the walls already framed out for the install or do you have to demo and prep the interior walls yourself? Because that would change things a lot, still not $13k but definitely increase the labor charge.

I've done IT contracts for over a decade and I probably undersell myself. I see what shops charge grandma to fix a computer or install additional hardware and I think it's outrageous. I'm like, you paid $200 for that? I would've done it for $20!
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post #31 of 33 Old 01-02-2019, 07:14 PM
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Without getting philosophical, the price is way too high. Why? Because others would charge about 1/3 of that.
Whether the people have a lot of money or not is totally irrelevant. The only relevancy is what are your credentials.
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post #32 of 33 Old 01-02-2019, 09:28 PM
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Hey Dan, this is Ron, met you at festool connect in LV. Good to see yer name here
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post #33 of 33 Old 01-02-2019, 09:50 PM
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Too bad the original poster hasn't been back on here since February of 2018 to see all of this commentary... :)
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