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Fair price for a table?

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Forum topic by kfpe posted 03-08-2021 01:08 PM 689 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kfpe

2 posts in 39 days


03-08-2021 01:08 PM

Hi. This is my first ever project. Friend asked me if I can make him workbench/table for his new 3d printing machine. I have a small saw mill and access to fresh wood. So everything was made inside the house by me. I think the wood which I used was black oak, but I’m not 100% sure. Dimensions 60/22/34. Now, when it’s done I wonder what can be a fair price for solid oak table of that size? Thanks for help.


23 replies so far

View xedos's profile

xedos

258 posts in 356 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

3765 posts in 2853 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

2506 posts in 1643 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!

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1thumb

318 posts in 3212 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. Both prehensile and opposing.

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987Ron

822 posts in 372 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

2506 posts in 1643 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

822 posts in 372 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

2956 posts in 4498 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

2758 posts in 602 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

11150 posts in 4703 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

2975 posts in 3693 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

318 posts in 3212 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. Both prehensile and opposing.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6482 posts in 3364 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 39 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

Tony_S

1458 posts in 4138 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

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