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post #21 of 53 Old 03-06-2012, 04:16 AM
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Much like Whaler the jewelry store doubles the wholesale price. Some store buy outright now so it's much nicer to drop off 8-16 pens and collect the money. The pens differ at each store some buy outright and others prefer consignment which I set a higher wholesale price for. It encourages them to buy outright.

Craft store or local gift stores I try to just sell outright, consignment or just pay so much for a set amount of space at the counter by the register. I like the last one best.
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post #22 of 53 Old 03-06-2012, 08:43 AM
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Selling our items is always a work in progress. It is not an easy thing to find that niche of where to sell. Some people are very lucky and yes luck does play a roll, that they can sell to high priced clientel. It does take some leg work and searching.


I have a question though and it to me is a moral one.

Those that sell to jewlery stores or other outlets and you sell wholesale, and they now turn around and sell that pen for double, what do you do if you want to sell those exact same pens??? Do you now sell your pens for the price they are asking??? I don't think it is fair for you to now go and sell that exact same pen on line or some show for less. To me that is not morally right. Now if I would sell to a jewlery store I would make an exclusive line just for those stores so that conflict of interest does not occur. How do you all feel about this practice.?????

John T.
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post #23 of 53 Old 03-06-2012, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by JTTHECLOCKMAN View Post
Selling our items is always a work in progress. It is not an easy thing to find that niche of where to sell. Some people are very lucky and yes luck does play a roll, that they can sell to high priced clientel. It does take some leg work and searching.


I have a question though and it to me is a moral one.

Those that sell to jewlery stores or other outlets and you sell wholesale, and they now turn around and sell that pen for double, what do you do if you want to sell those exact same pens??? Do you now sell your pens for the price they are asking??? I don't think it is fair for you to now go and sell that exact same pen on line or some show for less. To me that is not morally right. Now if I would sell to a jewlery store I would make an exclusive line just for those stores so that conflict of interest does not occur. How do you all feel about this practice.?????
I don't sell on line and only sell a few direct to friends which I discount from the jewelry store price. The people I sell direct to probably wouldn't go into the store and sure wouldn't pay their price so I have no problem with the pricing. Now if I was on line and doing local shows I would not undercut them.
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post #24 of 53 Old 03-06-2012, 10:19 AM
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I cannot make a pen for less than $10.00 because of consumables needed to make pens a constant expense. To me there is no challenge in making $2.00 kits and selling them for $10.00 or less.

If going to start selling pens advise joining IAP so can view marketplace thread. You will find a lot of information on selling wholesale, consignment shops, on-line, and going to shows. Method you use to sell pens entirely up to you, but lot of tips on additional equipment or information you need to get started.

http://www.penturners.org/forum/

Yes, a few people over there make and sell pens for $250.00 or more. Majority pen turners over there just sell enough to cover expenses or break even.
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post #25 of 53 Old 03-06-2012, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTTHECLOCKMAN View Post
Selling our items is always a work in progress. It is not an easy thing to find that niche of where to sell. Some people are very lucky and yes luck does play a roll, that they can sell to high priced clientel. It does take some leg work and searching.


I have a question though and it to me is a moral one.

Those that sell to jewlery stores or other outlets and you sell wholesale, and they now turn around and sell that pen for double, what do you do if you want to sell those exact same pens??? Do you now sell your pens for the price they are asking??? I don't think it is fair for you to now go and sell that exact same pen on line or some show for less. To me that is not morally right. Now if I would sell to a jewlery store I would make an exclusive line just for those stores so that conflict of interest does not occur. How do you all feel about this practice.?????
My wholesale price allows them to be competitive with what other similar pens sell for on line (Etsy). The jewelry stores I sell to or 50 to 85 miles away so my sales are not in direct competition with them.

I look at Etsy and the pens in my eyes are overpriced in a lot of cases but the prices the Jewelry stores will be selling them or online with those Etsy prices. I'm not saying they have to double my prices that's there choice and they may lower the price if they feel it is right for them. The jewelery store is another outlet it's a business and we are both benefiting. I am at no way obligated to help them make more money by hurting myself. With that said my full price in other locations is what I consider a fair price. It is less somewhere in between Etsy prices and my wholesale price.


I have a few rules I follow when pricing anything I sell.

1) I consider my material cost first and look at my time involved.

2) I then try to get a ball park idea of what I think I would be willing to pay for the item.

3) I will then look at the competition and see how my prices compare. If they have big differences either direction I will try
to understand why. Is there a difference in quality, what is the location that they are selling in. If I feel that some adjustments either way to my pricing is warranted I will do so.

4) The most important thing is I must be able to sleep at night with
my decision.

Last edited by rrbrown; 03-06-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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post #26 of 53 Old 03-06-2012, 04:55 PM
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Selling pens or anything takes abit of luck skill and good location and at times good timing. Good luck to all that sell their pens.

John T.

Last edited by JTTHECLOCKMAN; 03-06-2012 at 05:09 PM.
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post #27 of 53 Old 03-06-2012, 05:39 PM
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People giving away pens they make not the problem.

Since 2004 have made and given over $1,000 worth pens to Pen for Service Members. That cost is just price of kits, blanks, and shipping, and not labor. Have also made and given good amount to family and people I know. No did not keep records or take a charitable deduction for my efforts.

Have no problem saying 85% of pen turners do not rely on income garnered from pen sales.
The other 15% know the market, use word of mouth, web sites, craft shows, sell wholesale & retail and have bevy of repeat customers. That 15% keep records: production & selling cost, take advantage of depreciation & misc deductions for tools and equipment, travel expenses, advertizing & insurance cost. Most onerous chore of all is making sure states get their sales tax.

People selling pens for less than cost to make & sell skew the marketplace.

Only difficulty selling pens or other turnings is find out what works for you. Joining IAP cost nothing but your time folks there can help you find out what works and what does not.
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post #28 of 53 Old 03-06-2012, 06:01 PM
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People giving away pens they make not the problem.

Since 2004 have made and given over $1,000 worth pens to Pen for Service Members. That cost is just price of kits, blanks, and shipping, and not labor. Have also made and given good amount to family and people I know. No did not keep records or take a charitable deduction for my efforts.

Have no problem saying 85% of pen turners do not rely on income garnered from pen sales.
The other 15% know the market, use word of mouth, web sites, craft shows, sell wholesale & retail and have bevy of repeat customers. That 15% keep records: production & selling cost, take advantage of depreciation & misc deductions for tools and equipment, travel expenses, advertizing & insurance cost. Most onerous chore of all is making sure states get their sales tax.

People selling pens for less than cost to make & sell skew the marketplace.

Only difficulty selling pens or other turnings is find out what works for you. Joining IAP cost nothing but your time folks there can help you find out what works and what does not.

I don't think anyone said they sell pens for less then what it cost to make. I also don't remember anyone saying there was a problem with people giving pens away. What is your point.
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post #29 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 07:04 AM
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RRBROWN, RESONDED TO UNEDITED POST OF JTTHECLOCKMAN, I SHOULD HAVE QUOTED THE ALPHA HOTEL IN MY RESPONSE WHERE ASSAILED FOLKS FOR MAKING AND GIVING AWAY PENS!

Not sure, know any pen turner that has not made and given away pens to family & friends & charities. People making and giving away pens are not in competition with folks selling them!

RRBROWN, did you read my earlier post where said cannot make a $2.00 pen kit for less than $10.00 much less sell for under $10.00? One of our posters can god bless him!

RRBROWN, know little bit about cost to make, cost to sell and have seen people on line and at shows making and selling pens for less than cost to make. Rest assure not the only one with this knowledge!
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post #30 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 08:07 AM
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RRBROWN, did you read my earlier post where said cannot make a $2.00 pen kit for less than $10.00 much less sell for under $10.00? One of our posters can god bless him!
I can!! I dunno what your doing wrong but I can make a pen for less than 10 bucks. Generic $2.00 slimline kits in gold and chrome cost me between $6 and $7 to make depending on the species of wood and thats being liberal with the guestimation of my cost for sand paper, finish and other items it takes. I sell those pens for $15 so I double my money on them. Obviously were not talking about using expensive burls and such and even then, those can be had on the cheap if you shop right. I get most of my blanks from members here and another site for less than half of buying them from a supplier most of the time.

I'm curious how your spending more than $10 making a $2.00 kit?

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post #31 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 10:07 AM
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I'm assuming when folks are saying you can't make /sell a $2 kit for less than $10, they are factoring in more than just kit, blank and finish used. What about labor, cost of tools, etc? Before you start talking profit you have to account for all those things. I've been doing the craft show/farmers market thing for the last 3.5 years and 2011 was the first year I showed an honest to god "profit", and that was a whopping $3000. Don't think I'll be quitting the day job any time soon ;-)

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #32 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 11:26 AM
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I'm assuming when folks are saying you can't make /sell a $2 kit for less than $10, they are factoring in more than just kit, blank and finish used.
Labor is the issue. You have to think of it if you were running a company.

Price for pen should be:

Materials
- kit
- blank
Labor costs
Hourly wage of what you want to be paid (min wage is $7.25)

So if you have a $2 kit, and a $1.5 blank, and it takes you an hour to make the pen. (Cut, drill, turn, finish, assemble) You have $10.75 into that pen.

Ideally, anything you sell that pen for should be counted as gross profit. If you sold it for $15.00 you'll have $4.25 in gross profit. At the end of the year, you'll take that gross profit. At the end of the year you'll take that gross profit, and subtract all the other cost associated with running the business.

This includes new sand paper, finishes, rags, safety shields, new tools, power used to power the lathe / drill press.

gross profit - cost = net profit

Cost gets to be tax deducted.

Most hobbyist lump their labor cost into gross profit, since they are the their only employee. Since the time spent turning the pen isn't "work" it's fun. (that's why it's a Hobby!) But I think it's important to at least calculate into your prices like it's part of the cost of making the pen, and not remove it. If you do, you'll never really make money do this. (and for a lot of Hobbyist out there, that's okay! This is fun!)

Please note, that while It doesn't take an hour to turn a pen, I most certainly feel my time as a craftsmen is not worth minimum wage. Those numbers were just picked for easy of the example.
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post #33 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 11:41 AM
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RRBROWN, RESONDED TO UNEDITED POST OF JTTHECLOCKMAN, I SHOULD HAVE QUOTED THE ALPHA HOTEL IN MY RESPONSE WHERE ASSAILED FOLKS FOR MAKING AND GIVING AWAY PENS!

Not sure, know any pen turner that has not made and given away pens to family & friends & charities. People making and giving away pens are not in competition with folks selling them!

RRBROWN, did you read my earlier post where said cannot make a $2.00 pen kit for less than $10.00 much less sell for under $10.00? One of our posters can god bless him!

RRBROWN, know little bit about cost to make, cost to sell and have seen people on line and at shows making and selling pens for less than cost to make. Rest assure not the only one with this knowledge!

Wildwood if you think adding all the caps and bolds helped me understand your wrong. NO NEED TO SHOUT!!!

I asked questions because I didn't understand what you were talking about. Now maybe if the text wasn't edited I could have. With that said I think a simple response of "Sorry RR, I was responding to a post that was later edited." sounds allot better. Just my opinion.

As for the edited post you quoted. Evidently JTTHECLOCKMAN thought it better to change the post because of how it sounded. I say good for him.

Try and read you quoted text above and tell me if it's clear. I don't know if your riled up or just can't type good like me. I try to proof read my post and edit if I miss something. I want everyone to understand what I'm posting.

Now onto the topic at hand I think.

Do I like people selling stuff cheaper then what I can. No not really but in some cases it may be understandable. Maybe they buy in bulk or got a really good deal. Maybe they have allot of stock and just want to get rid of it to recoup some of there money on a failed business adventure. If it's not something like that, they won't be doing it for long because they make little to no money or they are selling cheap pens and will get a bad reputation.

My job as a craftsmen is to make a quality product that I will be proud of and stand behind. My job as a salesman is to market in the right way to make my product more appealing then others. It's also my job to be professional, knowledgeable about my product, honest with my customers and down right likable to give my customers the best possible experience when buying my products. That's how you get return customers.

One last thing. I find it better if I make a little less on an item and sell allot more items then if I make allot of money on just a few items. I'm not saying selling dirt cheap but in a economy like we have today it is important that the customer feel good about a purchase price or they may just move on.



Disclaimer The above post is just my opinion from knowledge of more then 25 years of selling my products to include woodworking, crafts, fine art and signs. If you don't agree with me don't bite my head off.
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post #34 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 12:47 PM
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Rrbrown obliviously your previous post got my stuff in a bunch!
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post #35 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 12:48 PM
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BassBlaster, bottom line, have both full and fractional cost to make one pen. Everyone is different on how to compute actual cost to make his or her pens. Whether a hobbyist or full time pen turner how you figure cost and price what you sell entirely up to you.

I can buy 10 24kt or chrome Slimline kits & bushings add shipping & insurance for $28.00 or $2.80 per kit. (Having made well over 100 Slimline pens need new bushings.)

Using my wood price blanks at $5.00 per blank cost so far $7.80 per pen.

What not included in that $7.80 per pen cost: adj mandrel, barrel trimmer, calipers, dissemble tool, glue, micro mesh, finishing products, bandsaw & blades, lathe & turning tools, drill press & vise, drill bits, chainsaw, fuel & maintenance, pick-up truck, insurance, electricity.

Do not include cost to sell have no way of knowing until time comes and will adjust prices accordingly. My way of saying also flexible on price to sell.

I have to think about replacement cost of equipment and consumables when pricing a pen. I think my knowledge and skill worth more than $7.80 per hour. So, doubling cost of kit and blank not going to pay the bills.

I am not an expert on business, or sales, or so full of myself that you need to take notes. Why else do you think recommend joining IAP and having look at marketing thread.
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post #36 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 02:27 PM
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Rrbrown obliviously your previous post got my stuff in a bunch!
Well unbunch it.
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post #37 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 05:24 PM
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BassBlaster, bottom line, have both full and fractional cost to make one pen. Everyone is different on how to compute actual cost to make his or her pens. Whether a hobbyist or full time pen turner how you figure cost and price what you sell entirely up to you.

I can buy 10 24kt or chrome Slimline kits & bushings add shipping & insurance for $28.00 or $2.80 per kit. (Having made well over 100 Slimline pens need new bushings.)

Using my wood price blanks at $5.00 per blank cost so far $7.80 per pen.

What not included in that $7.80 per pen cost: adj mandrel, barrel trimmer, calipers, dissemble tool, glue, micro mesh, finishing products, bandsaw & blades, lathe & turning tools, drill press & vise, drill bits, chainsaw, fuel & maintenance, pick-up truck, insurance, electricity.

Do not include cost to sell have no way of knowing until time comes and will adjust prices accordingly. My way of saying also flexible on price to sell.

I have to think about replacement cost of equipment and consumables when pricing a pen. I think my knowledge and skill worth more than $7.80 per hour. So, doubling cost of kit and blank not going to pay the bills.

I am not an expert on business, or sales, or so full of myself that you need to take notes. Why else do you think recommend joining IAP and having look at marketing thread.
I might buy into this if you are running a pen making shop and thats how you make a living. Maybe you are but I doubt it.

What kind of wood are you selling on these pens that cost you $5 per blank? I can buy exotic blanks at the local Woodcraft for 2 bucks. The most expensive wood supplier Ive found. Try looking there and that eliminates your need for the band saw and blades, chain saw, fuel and oil and the pick up truck. 90% of the blanks I use I pay less than a dollar for and I'm not buying junk. Most of the blanks I buy are spalted woods, highly figured woods, really rare woods, etc and I still get them at really good prices so I dont have to charge my customers $5 for the blank.

As for the labor, ITS A HOBBY, ITS NOT LABOR. Charging people a labor rate for something you do as a hobby, turns your hobby into a job and it isnt fun anymore. I dont charge labor. I add up my total cost to make said pen, then add a few bucks. On the cheaper pens I just double the cost. All the extra money does is cover shipping on orders and such. I'm not making anything or at least very little. Like I said before. This is a hobby. Its the only hobby I have ever had that supports itself. My other hobbies cost me a small fortune with zero return other than my own pleasure.

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post #38 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 05:35 PM
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Bass, you said:
Quote:
Everything I have sold, I have made $5 to $10 profit.
. I think everyone's just trying to point out that it's not really "profit" at this point.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #39 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 05:40 PM
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Bass, you said:. I think everyone's just trying to point out that it's not really "profit" at this point.
I guess I worded that wrong. All the pens I sell, I sell for 5 to 10 bucks over my cost. I realize thats not profit when all things are considered but thats not what I'm trying to do. Right now, its just supporting itself and I'm happy with that. Maybe down the road, I'll get into some higher end stuff for the purpose of profit.

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post #40 of 53 Old 03-07-2012, 08:06 PM
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Right now, its just supporting itself and I'm happy with that.
Then that's all that really matters!

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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