How do you price?

The place to chat with your fellow MIMForum members about whatever you want that doesn't relate to instruments, or isn't specific to one instrument family. Pull up a chair, grab a cold one out of the virtual 'fridge, and tell your friends what's on your mind.
David King
Posts: 2678
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR
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Re: How do you price?

Post by David King »

Randolph, that is so true all around and it's why I've been hoping to move to France for decades now.
If you are a guitar builder and you have a life partner things can get complicated when the typical expectations aren't met. Having a credible source of outside income can make all the difference.

Jason Rodgers
Posts: 1554
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: How do you price?

Post by Jason Rodgers »

I've seen a good number of these convos about pricing structure, business viability, and market niche on the forums over the years, but this thread is hitting on some biting reality that others missed. A good read for all involved.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Paul Kincaid
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 11:42 am

Re: How do you price?

Post by Paul Kincaid »

I find my pricing to be polarizing; about half of the people that hear a price wonder why someone would pay that much for a _______, while the other half ask how I can make them so cheaply. My prices go up as my lead time goes up, and for now I've stopped taking custom orders until I catch up. I agree that there should be a fair amount due at the end of the build, so I don't take more than half up front even if I could really use the money.

Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1477
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: How do you price?

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Steven Catania used to make dulcimers, but he was commercially more successful with "catspaws", a variation on wooden spoon type instruments that he could make more quickly and sell for less money. He also offers some other simple instruments through various dealers. His dream was to own his own home based business. Sometimes you need to take a slight detour to accomplish your goal.

Jason Rodgers
Posts: 1554
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: How do you price?

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Clay Schaeffer wrote:Steven Catania used to make dulcimers, but he was commercially more successful with "catspaws", a variation on wooden spoon type instruments that he could make more quickly and sell for less money. He also offers some other simple instruments through various dealers. His dream was to own his own home based business. Sometimes you need to take a slight detour to accomplish your goal.
Clay, I think this a good example of different goals and outcomes folks want/need to have in their work. I say want/need because some people want to build certain things because that's what interests them, and other people need to build certain things because that's the quickest or best path to an income. Both can be authentic and legitimate pursuits of creativity and craft, but the need is different.

I've had a number of clever ideas about building some small, novel, uke-ish instruments on the side, and selling them on etsy or ebay to fund my main building interests. It didn't pencil out: what I would intend to be a "side" thing would need to be a full-time thing, considering the price-point and volume output necessary to even make it break even. If I needed that income, I would do it, but I don't. Those little exercises teach me that I'm very fortunate to have a combined household income that allows me to do my hobby on the side, at whatever level I wish to pursue, and I'm ok with that.
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

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