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post #1 of 29 Old 01-17-2011, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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selling slimline pens

how much could you sell a slimline pen for?
i know it depends if its acrylic or wood, if the wood is figured with spalting or burl and if the pen is shaped well

but overall how much could you sell a non figured wooden slimline for? (a simple 20 minute job)
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post #2 of 29 Old 01-17-2011, 06:57 PM
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I've been selling them for $20 lately.
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post #3 of 29 Old 01-17-2011, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mike s View Post
how much could you sell a non figured wooden slimline for? (a simple 20 minute job)
I also get $15-$20 for them.

Jeff,

"Just because your not bleeding, don't mean your turning safely"..
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post #4 of 29 Old 01-22-2011, 02:02 PM
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I would go no lower than $20. You don't want to undercut everyone. We all loose in that scenario.
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post #5 of 29 Old 01-22-2011, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by TurninandBurin View Post
I would go no lower than $20. You don't want to undercut everyone. We all loose in that scenario.

With that theory if I'm selling mine for $40 everyone else should raise their prices.

It depends on species of wood type/quality of finish and workmanship. Is in a Slimline pen or is it a Funline pen which is the cheaper slim line design. What about the pen kit finish is it Gold, gun metal, brushed nickle they all have different cost. Whats the economy like in your area. In a bad economy prices have to drop to make sales. If you selling pens for $13 is the only way to feed your family then go for it. At the same time if you can sell almost the same amount of pens for $50 each great.


I'm not trying to confuse you but there are no easy answers about what a item should sell for without considering all of the above.


In my case $20-$30 each, figured, exotics and other pen styles $35 and up.
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post #6 of 29 Old 01-22-2011, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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before reading this i thought £15 was a little high for a pen... obviously not
thanks all
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post #7 of 29 Old 01-22-2011, 08:39 PM
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Expan your horizons

I sell my slimline pens for $20 to $25 cigar pens for $45. I sell the designer pen sets for $45 to $50 and cigar pens for $45 and fountain pens for $60, letter openers for $25, bottle stoppers for $25. I also display the pens and sets in a display case which cost as low as $1.25 or less. If I am having a slow day at a show I might entice someone for a $5 discount or if they are buying more than one set. I recently put 5 slimline out as show special for $15 and did not sell any of them. I think it really is dependent on any given time or place as to what people buy, but my experience has been that at or near the end of a show people will come back to your display something after they have been looking at something to buy a friend or relative. About 25% of my sales are from other exhibitors. I sell a number of different items at any given show (gun shows). I sell pens, letter openers, bottle stoppers, S & P mills, Flexcut carving tools, checkering tools, gun racks, fishing rod racks, and duck, goose, deer grunts, predator ( these calls I include a pouch and lanyard), and turkey calls. I found that you need to offer a variety of items, and listen to your customerís wants and needs. My first show I sold only gun racks and carving tools. Each time I go to a show I listen for other opportunities. I think you can not fool people for too long once they see your quality they are willing to buy your product at the price you want. Sometimes they will see something you have and the next time they see you they will buy what they have been planning for in the future.

My advice donít be one dimensional expand your horizons.
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post #8 of 29 Old 01-23-2011, 02:13 AM
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I don't think that I indicated a raise in pricing over another vendor. You are missing my point. There needs to be a reasonable price point. $13 is ridiculous. Undercutting price does no one any good. The attitude that if it feeds your family than do it, is killing the remodeling business. And it will kill our business. We, as Penturners, need to stick together and offer our products at REASONABLE prices.

As for your example, the kit cost between Slimline and Funline are not that different. Most are between $2-3$ no matter the finish. I just checked out WoodandWimsies and the material has no baring on cost, whether it is gun metal, gold, chrome...

With $4-$5 min per min in just the kit and blank, and 30 minutes time from start to finish, you are not feeding anyone. You need to include all other items used to make the pen, all of your tools, glue, paper towels, etc.

I understand how to price, but we need not price ourselves out of business. I can't stand walking into a UPS store and see a guy selling slimelines for $12. There is no way that there is any money in it. Even if you make $7 a pen you would need to sell hundreds to feed your family, and I doubt many guys are feeding their family selling pens.
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post #9 of 29 Old 01-23-2011, 04:15 AM
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We sell quite a few of the basic gold slims for $25 for wood and $35 for the acrylics (since they are much more labor intensive) and no-one has complained about them being too high because they are much better than the $20 mass produced pens from Office Depot!

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3:17
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post #10 of 29 Old 01-23-2011, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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pens are usually just part of the display for sale
it would be stupid to go to the market with just a table full of pens
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post #11 of 29 Old 01-23-2011, 03:29 PM
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selling slimline pens

I don't turn pens(yet)finaly starting this year,but I have seen pens of all types selling at craft shows from 7.00 to over a 100.00.Last yr I set up for a show down here in fl (last time to) and there were 3 boothes that were selling pens with there othere work and the highest price among all three was 7.00 bucks and the highest was about 30.00,an all three of em said that when they were gone,that was it. I'm gonna be making some,but just as gifts for friends and relatives.

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post #12 of 29 Old 01-23-2011, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TurninandBurin View Post
I don't think that I indicated a raise in pricing over another vendor. You are missing my point. There needs to be a reasonable price point. $13 is ridiculous. Undercutting price does no one any good. The attitude that if it feeds your family than do it, is killing the remodeling business. And it will kill our business. We, as Penturners, need to stick together and offer our products at REASONABLE prices.

As for your example, the kit cost between Slimline and Funline are not that different. Most are between $2-3$ no matter the finish. I just checked out WoodandWimsies and the material has no baring on cost, whether it is gun metal, gold, chrome...

With $4-$5 min per min in just the kit and blank, and 30 minutes time from start to finish, you are not feeding anyone. You need to include all other items used to make the pen, all of your tools, glue, paper towels, etc.

I understand how to price, but we need not price ourselves out of business. I can't stand walking into a UPS store and see a guy selling slimelines for $12. There is no way that there is any money in it. Even if you make $7 a pen you would need to sell hundreds to feed your family, and I doubt many guys are feeding their family selling pens.
Well lets say you live in California or other high cost of living area and he lives in Kansas, Mississippi or some place with a lower cost of living and a bad economy. He can't sell pens for what you can just because of the income and cost of living. I don't think he wants to sell them cheap but either way thinking we can influence each others prices is crazy. Even if we were talking about strictly selling on line It would be next to impossible to try and have all the same limit for low prices. It's also price fixing which is illegal as funny as that sounds.

As for the prices of pens, I buy mine from PSI your 2-3 dollar price is off and it does matter about finish. I looked at the WoodandWimsies site and their pens are different. I'm not sure of the quality and could not find anything on warranty. PSI pens except Funline come with a life time warranty and are of high quality compared to a couple others I have tried .

I'm willing to check your supplier out since the prices on some things seem better then PSI. Anyone else use them and have input.

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post #13 of 29 Old 01-23-2011, 11:40 PM
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before reading this i thought £15 was a little high for a pen... obviously not
thanks all
Hey Mike this is a classic case why having your location posted helps. We naturally assume that you are in the same country as us which makes for bad advise. Just being in a different State in the US can make a difference on allot of questions, being half way around the world definitely makes a difference.
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post #14 of 29 Old 01-24-2011, 09:32 AM
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selling slimline pens

OK as said I am not a pen turner so far,but have a question.I found a site where nthey are selling kits for 2.00 bucks an less would thet be worth getting? like I said I don't plan on selling what pens I make,but then I don't want them falling apart on folks.Opinions please.
Next note,I have seen some fantastic pens in shows that folks are selling for 50.00 bucks up to an over a 100.00 bucks ea,an IMHO they were worth what they were selling them for,and I don't think it would be right for someone to set up next to em an sell pens for 10.00.We in some way have to respect the effort and skills of fellow woodworkers.

God Bless all
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post #15 of 29 Old 01-24-2011, 02:37 PM
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OK as said I am not a pen turner so far,but have a question.I found a site where nthey are selling kits for 2.00 bucks an less would thet be worth getting? like I said I don't plan on selling what pens I make,but then I don't want them falling apart on folks.Opinions please.
Next note,I have seen some fantastic pens in shows that folks are selling for 50.00 bucks up to an over a 100.00 bucks ea,an IMHO they were worth what they were selling them for,and I don't think it would be right for someone to set up next to em an sell pens for 10.00.We in some way have to respect the effort and skills of fellow woodworkers.
Well I did Craft shows for over 10 years. Before I started craft shows I made and sold the same Lawn decorations on side of the road for like 2-3 years. When I started, I along with my wife and several friends and family members discussed what we thought was a fair price for the yard signs. I wanted to make sure they would buy more then one at a time but didn't want to get ripped off for my efforts. We came up with $10 per sign across the board and later added some real simple smaller ones for $5 each. I used better paint and materials including Stainless steel screws attaching them to the sticks. I guaranteed my signs from faulty materials. I sold out all the time. I started at the craft shows and they had crappy signs with inferior materials for $15. Should I have raised my price from what we carefully considered a fair price for my customers and were making the profit we thought was more then fair for the work involved? For ten years I sold out at every show and took orders on top of that.

I use to get insulted if someone complained that stuff like that would fall apart, because it was the other more expensive crappy stuff that would but not mine. I had a few times that I would get bad wood, but I would replaced anything like that no questions asked. (it was rare for that to happen)

$5 worth of materials and 45 min of work is not worth $50 -100, matter a fact it sounds more like a rip off at the $100. That being said if it is a high quality pen kit ($7 or more) and or is made of some expensive exotic/figured wood with high craftsmanship then I would under stand that high of a price. Then in that case a crappy imported $10 pen would be a proble to some but if they can tell quality it wouldn't be.

I judge my work and set the price by my standards and could care less what others think unless they are a customer.
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post #16 of 29 Old 01-24-2011, 04:14 PM
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I've only done one craft show. It was big, and there were several other woodworkers selling pens. Mine were $20 for solid wood and $25 for some that I had taken the time to laminate. Because of my workmanship (I was new at pen turning - still am) and the quality of the finish, I thought it was a decent price, if not a little high.

There was a fellow who had a LOT of pens at his booth, and some of them were really expensive, but worth it! He used pricier kits, nicer wood, had a lot of experience, and knew how to finish a pen, and all of that was very evident when you picked up one of his pens! I thought he was well within reason to charge $50 - $100 for one of his high end pens, while his slimlines were $20. He even had a "dud" box for less than $20. He told me that he makes so many pens, if he's not happy with one, he'll finish it anyhow and sell it in the dud box.

On the other hand, there was another fellow who had some pens at his booth. He was obviously as new at turning pens as I was, but apparently hadn't seen as many YouTube videos on finishing. I mean, this guys pens were BAD. There were chips missing like he was in a hurry assembling, there were spots that just plain didn't get any finish at all, you could FEEL the spots that still needed to be sanded, and some of them looked like he used the wrong bushings - the parts didn't even match up. They were in bad shape. Yet, he was still proud enough to have them marked for $30.

As far as the undercutting the competition goes, I'd say that you should keep in mind the quality of the materials and the work.
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post #17 of 29 Old 01-24-2011, 04:28 PM
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He even had a "dud" box for less than $20. He told me that he makes so many pens, if he's not happy with one, he'll finish it anyhow and sell it in the dud box.
That's actually not a bad idea.

You also made my point shorter then I did material and craftsmanship make the price, not what others sell them for. Location can also have a big part in it.
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post #18 of 29 Old 01-24-2011, 08:31 PM
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Well lets say you live in California or other high cost of living area and he lives in Kansas, Mississippi or some place with a lower cost of living and a bad economy. He can't sell pens for what you can just because of the income and cost of living. I don't think he wants to sell them cheap but either way thinking we can influence each others prices is crazy. Even if we were talking about strictly selling on line It would be next to impossible to try and have all the same limit for low prices. It's also price fixing which is illegal as funny as that sounds.

As for the prices of pens, I buy mine from PSI your 2-3 dollar price is off and it does matter about finish. I looked at the WoodandWimsies site and their pens are different. I'm not sure of the quality and could not find anything on warranty. PSI pens except Funline come with a life time warranty and are of high quality compared to a couple others I have tried .

I'm willing to check your supplier out since the prices on some things seem better then PSI. Anyone else use them and have input.

WoodandWimsies carries some PSI kits;

They sell a slimline starting at $2.00. I buy their Hobby Line Slimlines and the finish does not effect the price on them. I have had great success with their kits.

But you go further to prove my point when you pay $6 for a kit and $2 for a blank. You are now making less than $5 a pen.

As for PSI's warranty, I could not find anything about lifetime on all of their pens. Here is what I found. Please correct me if I am wrong. But even if they have a lifetime warranty you are stuck with the shipping. That ads cost and time to the repair. It is fair more profitable to have a few repair parts in the shop and eat that. Happy customers and faster turn around.

30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee - No Questions Asked

Penn State Industries wants you to be completely satisfied with any purchase you make from our catalog and on-line store. If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it within 30 days. We will promptly replace the product, give you credit, or refund your money, whichever you prefer. No reason is required for the return; however, we would appreciate your written comments so that we can serve you and all our valued customers even better in the future.


Lifetime Guarantee On All 24kt Gold Plated Components

Penn State Industries guarantees that 24kt gold-plated components of specified pen, pencils and similar project kits will not tarnish, wear, or fade. This guarantee is limited only to the gold-plated components and does not apply to parts that are consumed by normal use of the product. Penn State reserves the option to replace the defective component, replace the project kit, or issue a monetary refund.



Price fixing is not what I am discussing. Price fixing has to do with pushing prices up high for higher profit. I have not proposed this, but have proposed that the bottom be no less than $20.

As for area of the country, it really doesn't seem to matter. None that have chimed in have not been below $20.

And the internet does have an effect on the price. Once on the net you are competing Nationwide and sometimes Worldwide. Pricing seems to even out.
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post #19 of 29 Old 01-24-2011, 08:47 PM
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$5 worth of materials and 45 min of work is not worth $50 -100, matter a fact it sounds more like a rip off at the $100. That being said if it is a high quality pen kit ($7 or more) and or is made of some expensive exotic/figured wood with high craftsmanship then I would under stand that high of a price. Then in that case a crappy imported $10 pen would be a proble to some but if they can tell quality it wouldn't be.

I judge my work and set the price by my standards and could care less what others think unless they are a customer.
There are a few things to consider.

1) What is your time worth? At work I charge a lot more than $50 an hour. So my time is worth at least that much.

2) You, like so many other people, miss this one. Just because you can do something faster than the average Joe, does not mean you should get paid less. If Joe takes 2 hours to turn a pen, and charges $25 an hour, should he charge $50, when you can turn the same pen in 30 minutes and only get $12.50? Skill and craftsmanship go a long way. As we progress in the craft we will get faster and more efficient. We should not be charging less for our improved skills, but more.

3) You miss the fact that your market should dictate your price, not you. Using you signs as an example. Why not charge $15 per sign? If your clients still bought you out, the market could bare your price. Can I sell pens for $10? Yes! Will I sell out over the guy selling them for $20, most likely, but does that mean I am charging what I should? NO!

I never advocated selling crap at high prices. I don't think that anyone else has either.
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post #20 of 29 Old 01-24-2011, 08:53 PM
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That's actually not a bad idea.

You also made my point shorter then I did material and craftsmanship make the price, not what others sell them for. Location can also have a big part in it.
You guys are missing the point. No one indicated that we should sell pens of different quality at the same price. That is ridiculous. I assumed that when the question was asked, it was understood that we were talking about good craftsmanship and materials.

Let me give you an example so you can understand my point. I go out and buy a $5 kit and a $2 blank. You also purchase the same kit. Everyone is selling these same pens for $25 each. You decide that you are going to sell them for $13 to undercut everyone else. You don't care about he other guy, you are out for yourself. I don't think that is right. I don't think that we should be undercutting each other just to sell pens. If the market is selling them at $25, there is no reason to undercut your competition by that much. This is what I meant by undercutting. I am not saying to sell your crap pen at the same price as my crafted pen.
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