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Bah humbug
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Only thing I didn't charge was installation. I payed help $150 to help load as and unload and help put uppers on the wall and bases in place. I think the truck cost me $125. + fuel. If I needed help putting marbles in I could always find a buddy to help for $100...

I eventually stopped making counter tops and just ordered them. Takes a lot of space...

I offered BB dovetail drawers and solid dovetail drawers. I believe I was getting $25-$35. I dont remember..
 

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.................. I used to give estimates based on parts of a board or sheet of plywood and so on. One thing I quit doing is discounting a job because I might have some materials on hand then subsequently end up eating material costs. Now they pay for the full sheet or board even if I only use a small piece of it....................
I don't know whyI didn't remember this. When I first started my woodworking business, my family never owned a business and I never discussed this with other business owners. It was an employee that brought this up. And to paraphrase this, i used the expression "You win some, you lose some and you break even on some". By always charging for a full sheet and end up using scraps, you take some of the ouch out of the "...............you lose some and break even on some."
If you have to bid a job that close that you have to include scraps, you should not be in business.
If your business should last long enough it is because you finally figured it all out. I did custom wotk plus a few spec items for my show room.
After a short while, I I looked back at what I have sold. As was able to come up with a pricing system that worked for me. For example, at the time an entertainment center (real poplar in the 1980's) i would price by the linear foot + or - a few bucks. This was not a published price because I no longer did bidding. It was something I could sit down with a customer at my desk, make a quick sketch and give a price right on the spot.( 'be backs' wont be back). Get the deposit right then and there. Usually 1/3 to 1/2 down. Dont give them the sketch until they give you the deposit.
I gave up on kitchen cabinets pretty early. Went to custom furniture.
 

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Bah humbug
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The book case and entertainment center are priced different. The book case 12"deep is $150 a running ft plus doors and the entertainment center is $250 a running foot..book case, doors included.. Back in mid 2000., Caton cabinets on 50 hwy sold bookcases for $125 a running foot. Pure junk and most shops around here were $75 a running foot..
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I learned to not care about what others were charging. I charged what I felt was fair to me and them. I built mostly contemporary which there is not much of it on the market to compare it to. Combining different woods together such as padauk for top and drawer front and either red oak or maple for the legs and skirt. Walnut and maple also go well together, but exotics draw the crowd. Using exotics is almost like showmanship to draw a crowd. And it draws a crowd that can afford you.
The real money maker and major traffic in my shop was in refinish and repair. I was really good at it and priced it accordingly.
R&R is very profitable if you have the right equipment and buy stripping chemicals in the 55 gal drum size including lacquer and thinner. For a "flow over" system, you need 2 trays about 5' x 10' each for around $1K each and another $500 or so for pump and small pressure washer. I did both strip and refinish and strip only. Very few people wanted strip only but some DIYers did. 'Strip Only' is the most profitable.
 

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You'll go broke not caring around here. Way too much competition. Your either in or your out. But I'm talking cabinetry...

In Kansas City the money is different. Pro football players, 2-3 million dollar homes. Lot of difference..
 

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I totally agree. It didn't take long for me to realize that there is no way in hell that I could compete with another cabinet maker. I just found my own little niche.
Custom furniture is a different ball game. You wont find bargain hunters in the 'custom' world. You wont make a killing on custom, can you can make a good living. Making a good living is very largely dependent on having good woodworkers in your team. I personally could not make a good living in my shop if I didnt have good help.
If the math showed that I/my shop wanted to make $60/hour and I only was productive for 4 hours a day, that's only $240/day income. that wont cut it considering, I have rent, utilities, tool maintenance, etc. But if I have only one employee making me $60/hour, he will be productive about 7 hours. Now I have a total of 11 hours a day at $60/hour. That is a substantial increase in $$. Good employees are crucial and VERY hard to find, so you must create them. Look at women employees. They will make your woodworking business life more tolerable.
 
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