why are some pens so expensive? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-28-2009, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Question why are some pens so expensive?

Why are some turned pens so expensive? is it to do with the type of wood they are made from? or is it the insides?
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-28-2009, 05:39 PM
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I am assuming you are talking about completed pens, however; kits follow the same pricing system. It's a combination of the wood and the metal used. Some finishes are more durable than others and therefore cost more. The mechanical parts of the pens have little to no effect on price. The exception is tapered rollerball and fountain pens. If you would like a breakdown of the metals uses, I can give you an idea of that.

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post #3 of 7 Old 03-02-2009, 09:18 AM
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Most of it has to do with marketing. I have friends who sell pens from $20 to $300. In some cases they aren't really all that different. The guy who sells them really cheap is just trying to get his money back for the kits. He doesn't count his time, the wood expense or how long it took him to learn the skill to turn them at the level. The guy who sells them for $300 simply found a market where people will pay that kind of money for a hand crafted pen. In this case both guys build about the same quality pen. I have seen pens that are very poorly made with sanding marks, etc and they are selling for too much.
A well made pen with fine craftsmanship should sell for as much as you can get for it. Around my town $60 is probably tops but 100 miles away my one of my friends starts hers at $60 and goes up from there.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-03-2009, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info everyone!!
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-04-2009, 02:30 PM
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Mr. Lucas is right,it is marketing. Also, the penmaker may be an "artist" who has a following and displays their work in gallaries. That will allwas be very expensive. I have been making pens for 2 years, and my stuff is as good as the $300.00 pen at an "artsts" website. I have'nt yet done inlays or sectional work. It is all very good, but the work from clubs that I have seen is just as good as the expensive "artist" stuff. If you want to sell your turnings, go local, at craft shows or by word of mouth. The internet is awash with sites, 100,000 of the all doing good work. Make some presentatiom pieces, for the local Ferrari dealer or a big buisness. My brother-in-law's father is a member of the San Diego Yacht Club. I sent him a very nice pen in a walnt box with laser engraving for his birthday and he loved it! I got some good referalls from that one deal! Make things for your firends and family, the word will get out. Good turning!
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-08-2009, 06:01 PM
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As long as people will pay the highly inflated prices there will always be someone willing to up the price even higher. Only thing that brings down the prices is when no one can sell his pens. . In my opinion it doesn't take much skill to turn a pen then to expect to get $60 for your effort. What an ego. Mitch
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-13-2009, 01:20 PM
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as a pen turner... I see some things as over priced. But in large part you get what you pay for.

Sure most of the hardware is relatively inexpensive, but not all of it. The biggest cost is time... It takes me over an hour to make a pen... + hardware and supplies that easily makes a $4 pen kit a $20 pen, with a cheap blank. Make is out of a burl or figured blank and you can tack on $5 additional to the price of the blank. And I would call that Wholesale pricing too. I have some pens in a store and they tack on another 30% margin to whatever I want for them... that makes a $20 pen into a $28 pen.

But not all pens are cheap... for instance these:
Between the inlayed blank cost and the majestic pen kit cost there is $90 in material ALONE and they take longer to make. Pray you don't mess that one up too.

The biggest difference I see is that some people only use a wax as a finish... That is not a good long term finish and much easier to do. I started doing that but quickly got away from it for a more durable one.

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