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All Replies on Fair price for a table?

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View kfpe's profile

Fair price for a table?

by kfpe
posted 03-08-2021 01:08 PM


23 replies so far

View xedos's profile

xedos

290 posts in 384 days


#1 posted 03-08-2021 01:39 PM

How many hours will you spend making the 2nd one ?

“Fresh” wood isn’t really the best material to make a table out of. Or any furniture for that matter.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3843 posts in 2882 days


#2 posted 03-08-2021 02:53 PM

It’s a good looking table . I would think a couple hundred bucks is fair.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2662 posts in 1672 days


#3 posted 03-08-2021 02:57 PM

2x materials or actual T&M. Or cost only for a “friend”

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View 1thumb's profile (online now)

1thumb

401 posts in 3240 days


#4 posted 03-08-2021 03:02 PM



2x materials or actual T&M. Or cost only for a “friend”

- Madmark2


i’m at 4x materials for a finished product

-- I actually have two thumbs

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

1106 posts in 400 days


#5 posted 03-08-2021 05:59 PM

2x materials or actual T&M. Or cost only for a “friend”

- Madmark2

i m at 4x materials for a finished product

- 1thumb


Could someone explain the rational for making a big profit off some materials.
I am not a professional. I am not condemning the 2x or 4x on materials.
I understand costs of storage and having immediate access as a pass on-cost.

Scenario A cabinet with two doors. Two sets of Busso Hinges at $23.20 a set. (Lee Valley).
Total cost$46.40, 2x material $92.40 or 4x $185.60 Profit for 2×46.40 or 4x $139.20
That’s a lot of increase.

If a bookcase was built with no hinges or hardware .... no additional profit

Other trades do similar, auto repair for one. Just never understood why the tradesman is entitled to this.

-- Ron

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2662 posts in 1672 days


#6 posted 03-08-2021 07:04 PM

Its not markup. Its markup in place of labor.

As a general rule the price doubles at each stage of production and distribution. Say you make widgets that have $5 in materials and 15 minutes of labor. At $15/hr minimum wage that 15 minutes is $3.75. So now your COGS (cost of goods sold) is $8.75. But you can’t sell it at that price because there is no profit to pay the taxes, rent, electricity, water, equipment, etc.

To survive you have to make a profit by selling at $17.50 to a wholesaler. The wholesaler then ships it around the country (burning lots of fuel and more labor) to retailers at $35 each. The retailer needs to pay store rent and sales staff, etc. so the price doubles again to $70 for the consumer.

Consumers scream that its gouging or a rip off to sell something that only has $5 of materials for $70 retail, but thats just how it is. Even if you eliminate the wholesaler and deal directly with the retailer (as I do with my pipes & the smoke shop) it’s still retailing for 4x your direct costs just for everyone to break even.

All of these costs have to be covered if you want to stay in business. Because if you don’t, you won’t be in business.

Now if I’m making for friends then I only charge 1x materials and write the rest off to charity.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

1106 posts in 400 days


#7 posted 03-08-2021 07:14 PM

Thanks for the reply. I have a better understanding now.

-- Ron

View LesB's profile

LesB

2987 posts in 4527 days


#8 posted 03-08-2021 07:29 PM

That looks like a nice well made table/work bench.

You say it is your first “project” and from the appearance I’m thinking it it not your first building project but maybe your first commission? Because woodworking is not my business when I do agree to build something for a friend I usually only charge out of pocket costs plus a little for wear and tear on my equipment (saw blades and etc). If it is a friend the estimated price should be agreed in advance so there is no disagreement later that might damage the friendship.

I did have one friend who got a bit too demanding after I agreed to sell her some of my lathe turnings at a “friends” priice. It turns out she was giving them to friends/family for gifts. So to discourage this I had to raise my prices. I had become an inexpensive source of nice gift items. Her request slowed way down after the prices went up.

-- Les B, Oregon

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

2762 posts in 631 days


#9 posted 03-08-2021 08:31 PM

Youve got your answer, cant really add more, except to say that standard markup at retail is 2 1/2 times wholesale. That is how my wife´s businesses operate.

My rule of thumb for the work I do is, build it earthquake-proof and charge alot!

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View Loren's profile

Loren

11193 posts in 4732 days


#10 posted 03-08-2021 08:48 PM

I’d think you should charge at least $800 for it considering all the time you put in, especially sanding.

That said, if you didn’t quote a price up front you could offend your friend asking too much.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

3032 posts in 3722 days


#11 posted 03-08-2021 08:58 PM

I think you should agree on price, design and materials before beginning.

A FRIEND is an extremely valuable asset.

A table is just a table.

-Paul

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View 1thumb's profile (online now)

1thumb

401 posts in 3240 days


#12 posted 03-08-2021 10:28 PM


2x materials or actual T&M. Or cost only for a “friend”

- Madmark2

i m at 4x materials for a finished product

- 1thumb

Could someone explain the rational for making a big profit off some materials.
I am not a professional. I am not condemning the 2x or 4x on materials.
I understand costs of storage and having immediate access as a pass on-cost.

Scenario A cabinet with two doors. Two sets of Busso Hinges at $23.20 a set. (Lee Valley).
Total cost$46.40, 2x material $92.40 or 4x $185.60 Profit for 2×46.40 or 4x $139.20
That s a lot of increase.

If a bookcase was built with no hinges or hardware .... no additional profit

Other trades do similar, auto repair for one. Just never understood why the tradesman is entitled to this.

- 987Ron


i use it as a formula. 4x material + time to get materials+ delivery and installation. Price hinges, drawer slides, hardware different. if building a cabinet which has $200 of veneered sheet goods and 1 bys, I’m at $800 plus hardware cost, time to install hardware, + getn materials, del and install

-- I actually have two thumbs

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6573 posts in 3393 days


#13 posted 03-08-2021 11:52 PM

I never have a good answer to this type question. But Leroy could build that table in 2 days. I could build that table in 2 weeks. Is my table worth more?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View kfpe's profile

kfpe

2 posts in 68 days


#14 posted 03-08-2021 11:55 PM

First of all I would like to say thank you for all the answers, they were really informative. I think I will go with “couple hundred” bucks for this one. The main reason, why I didn’t have a clear deal with my friend was that I wasn’t sure how good of a table I will be able to make. In the end I’m happy with the result. It took me a while to finish it, probably a full week of work or more, as a side project outside of my regular work. For sure this was a pleasant experience(most of the time:) and hopefully I will be able to make more things like this in the future!

View Tony_S's profile (online now)

Tony_S

1486 posts in 4167 days


#15 posted 03-09-2021 12:05 AM

Thats an $800.00 table/desk in my world. For a friend….$799.00

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1736 posts in 811 days


#16 posted 03-09-2021 01:06 AM

OP is just asking for a fair price to charge.

Not asking what it’s worth.
For the latter, it doesn’t matter if it takes 2 days or 2 weeks, you can only get what you get.
If I were being commissioned to build this for a client I would be charging north of 2,200.00
If I made this table and was just trying to sell it, might be lucky to get the 800.00 (in Tony’s world. )

Also there are not enough details to say what should be charged. Are all the joints mortise and tenon,
butt joint glued and clamped, pocket screws? ? ?
I’m sure if I was building it, I would have a couple hundred bucks in just material.

PS There is no such thing as 2x,3x,or 4x material.

View 1thumb's profile (online now)

1thumb

401 posts in 3240 days


#17 posted 03-09-2021 01:22 AM

PS There is no such thing as 2x,3x,or 4x material.

- LeeRoyMan


sure there is. it’s a big world out there. but i see your point. custom tables are different than custom closes, bookcases, built-ins, etc

-- I actually have two thumbs

View Rich's profile

Rich

6849 posts in 1673 days


#18 posted 03-09-2021 01:28 AM


sure there is. it s a big world out there

- 1thumb

It clearly exists, because its tossed around so often, but that doesn’t give it validity.

I’m not going to take up space here since I’m sure your mind is no doubt made up, but I can list dozens and dozens of exceptions to that. Listen to LeeRoy. He’s been a full-time pro for decades. You don’t survive that (in Southern California no less) unless you know how to price your work.

One quick example. For cabinetry, I charge X dollars based on width, Y dollars per square foot of door area and Z dollars per drawer. It doesn’t matter if the wood is walnut, maple or alder. That cost is insignificant.

Mesquite would be significantly more because, hey, it’s mesquite. As would super-expensive exotics.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1217 posts in 471 days


#19 posted 03-09-2021 01:42 AM

Big difference between trying to make a living or even partial living at it and just having fun building things. For real friends, I charge material costs plus a little for shop supplies. That may change if I’m actually trying to profit on things I build for friends.

-- Darrel

View 1thumb's profile (online now)

1thumb

401 posts in 3240 days


#20 posted 03-09-2021 02:10 AM

I m not going to take up space here since I m sure your mind is no doubt made up,

- Rich

My minds made up because as I described is how I price my work and have for years. Using that formula I hit on the same compensation per hour, give or take. But I have no idea how long an individual project will take. Thats why i do the 4x ++ There are different markets, different niches, different products, different price points, etc.

-- I actually have two thumbs

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)

CaptainKlutz

4452 posts in 2578 days


#21 posted 03-09-2021 04:18 AM

+1 true friends are hard to replace.

Not discussing a price before starting a project, has ruined several friend ships over years.
Have told several family members to buy stuff from IKEA, and leave me alone for $50 they want to spend on coffee/end or kitchen tables.

The best Friend price is what ever they want to pay.

I find highest prices paid are; AFTER your give them a beer and spend 10-20 minutes telling them how many hours you spent, the challenges you overcame, and cost of lumber would be if you had buy it from lumberyard.
Then ask them what it is worth to them.
Many times they will offer more than I am comfortable accepting from a friend.

You are not allowed to drink any beer while showing off your project, or you end with a 6 pack value for lumber, and 1 beer for every hour spent making it. After your Friend makes the beer run, they walk away with nice project, and all you have is a trash can of empties. BTDTGTTS

Regarding cost multipliers:
Spent decades setting up mfg, doing cost analysis, and dealing with markups. Always found the rule of thumb X times values based on material costs were ‘close’ to cost to produce a product. But they always missed the hidden costs. Can write volumes of text books on hidden costs, and product value; all of which are hotly debated.
When dealing with Friends these hidden costs are simpler: drinking beer or not drinking beer.
That makes it very hard to put a value on a ‘friend’ project.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Andre's profile (online now)

Andre

4531 posts in 2890 days


#22 posted 03-09-2021 07:17 AM



Thats an $800.00 table/desk in my world. For a friend….$799.00

- Tony_S

Had to check, you actually do have 17 buddies listed, (obviously not customers:))
My Family price is usually free, friends, cost of material and a good bottle ?
LOL! everything built for Ma, is on loan only!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Rich's profile

Rich

6849 posts in 1673 days


#23 posted 03-09-2021 01:51 PM


My minds made up because as I described is how I price my work and have for years. Using that formula I hit on the same compensation per hour, give or take. But I have no idea how long an individual project will take. Thats why i do the 4x ++ There are different markets, different niches, different products, different price points, etc.

- 1thumb

You should post some of your projects. I’m sure they’re beautiful.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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