Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pricing Ones Work

Have you ever spent hours and hours (what the heck, days and days) making a quilt, and when it is completed someone asks "how much?" When they say "how much?" it usually means they want to know how much you will sell it for. It's the same thing with wood carvings. Only with some wood carving they'll also ask "how long did that take you to carve?"

At a recent art festival that I was participating in I had a hand made Noahs Ark with 18 pairs of hand carved animals. This item was for sale. I priced it at $200. During the festival I noticed a local lawyer stop by and look at the ark several times during the morning. The lawyer finally got around to checking the price and appeared shocked. He said that he really liked the ark and wanted to purchase it for his wife. Being a lawyer he began to ask me questions that I could only think were leading to the fact that he thouight I was asking too much for the ark - way to much.

I finally asked him if he carved. He said no, but his grandfather used to carve before he passed away. Hell! that made me feel good! Well, I asked him if he had any idea how long it look to build the Ark and carve 20 pairs of animals. He said not really. I asked him to quess. He thought for a minute and came up with ONE HOUR per pair of animals. I said close. But it was more like ONE HOUR for each animal, plus EIGHT HOURS for the Ark. For those counting that's 48 HOURS. But I said OK then thats 20 HOURS to carve the animals. I don't think he had a clue where this conversation was going.

I next asked him how much he charges per hour..OUCH!


TLC said...

Some people that don't do any hand crafts don't seem to get it. I love how you turned it around on him. I keep chuckling to myself about this one.

Holee said...

Maybe the answer is to include a sign for each item with the cost of materials and hours it took to make the item..nawww, they still wouldn't get it.

Ladies don't mind paying $200. for a quilted Vera Bradley bag but if I made one just like it and charged $35. the same ladies would have a fit over the price. To boot, Vera gets her fabric and labor for much less!

Deb's Posts said...

No doubt he didn't know where the conversation was headed LOL
I find I underprice my stuff, oh well one of these days I will learn
Oh and Tom your comments do appear on my blog it is just that I moderate them first before publishing them, thanks so much for them I'm glad you find my blog fun because that is how we digital designers like to make them!

Heidi said...

So dont leave us hanging--- Did he buy the Ark?
And If he did, I would say he got a bargin- It is worth much more!!

Tom H said...

No Heidi, he did not. I am not sure he deserved it either. Maybe his wife, but not him.

Susan said...

LOL! So I'm guessing he didn't buy it? His loss!

Pat said...

Great story! I find the same thing with woodturning, and it seems to be true for all crafts. Lawyers, if anyone, should understand the cost per hour it's a lawyer!