Southwood

Ethics question/ pricing

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I bought the plans for a small coffee table from Fine Woodworking. My daughter has since built it for her 4-H project. When I first seen the project I figured it would probably be sold for 1100 or 1200 by Mr Rodel. I have since found his website and the price is there. http://www.kevinrodel.com/Limbert-furniture-custom-handmade-coffee-table-fine-furniture-makers  He charges 3100 for the table. I understand his cost, self employed, taxes, and the rest. 

 

So I guess my question is what would you charge? I was thinking between 800 and 900 for my price

Should also ask it is unethical to undercut his price 

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I bought the plans for a small coffee table from Fine Woodworking. My daughter has since built it for her 4-H project. When I first seen the project I figured it would probably be sold for 1100 or 1200 by Mr Rodel. I have since found his website and the price is there. http://www.kevinrodel.com/Limbert-furniture-custom-handmade-coffee-table-fine-furniture-makers  He charges 3100 for the table. I understand his cost, self employed, taxes, and the rest. 

 

So I guess my question is what would you charge? I was thinking between 800 and 900 for my price

Should also ask it is unethical to undercut his price 

 

Personally I think the 3k price tag is incredibly steep for a QSWO piece that isn't that large or overly complicated from what I see. But I could be way off base here. Please someone tell me I'm wrong because that means I haven't been charging enough.

 

As far as what I would charge for the piece, I think 800 to 900 would be rather light but that is based on what I can get QSWO or cherry for per bf. Your cost for your time is relative to you, so you have to find what your time is worth.

 

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I was thinking $1400 if you use qtr sawn white oak and are very selective for ray fleck. As to selling it you might want to check the fine print on those plans.  To sell one for charity or to a friend is one thing, to start batching them out is another thing......

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As far as I'm concerned he can charge whatever he wants and if someone buys at that price then good for him!

If the table is based on plans you bought (and you have the right to use them for commercial purposes) then go ahead and make and sell tables for whatever price you can get for them.

As far as undercutting is concerned, that's the nature of competitive business.  Just remember that part of the 'value' that people pay for items/services includes reputation.

However to be fair, unless you can create a product equivalent in skill, wood selection, finish quality, etc. then it may not be a fair comparison anyway.  I don't know Mr. Rodel but do you think you provide the same level of craftsmanship as his appears to have (based on his website photos)?  If you can and at a lower price then I say go for it - just my opinion.

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Since this is based upon a Charles Limbert piece wouldn't it be a rather easier route to avoid the headache of dealing with Kevin's plans and instead make your own Limbert style piece? Avoid the possible legal ramifications, ethical dilemma, and cost issues.

 

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13 minutes ago, OldSouthWoodCraft said:

Since this is based upon a Charles Limbert piece wouldn't it be a rather easier route to avoid the headache of dealing with Kevin's plans and instead make your own Limbert style piece? Avoid the possible legal ramifications, ethical dilemma, and cost issues.

 

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Great resolve! Just change it a tad and it's your design, Limbert inspired. 

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If I could sell five a month, I'd sell them for what he's selling them for.   I doubt he sells that many, but can easily be wrong.  If it was sold for 8 or 900 dollars, the maker would have to have some other source of income, unless it was done on a production scale.  There is no shame in getting paid well for your work.  The trick is to have the market.  I have no idea what he has to do to sell his stuff, and may well just sell a piece now and then, so his price would need to be what the market can bear to keep his business going.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, wdwerker said:

I did the math and if I just built them one at a time and my normal shop rates it would be around $3600 each.

And as you, the average Joe, would you pay that much for it, much less with the markup. You've gotta have the market. 

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You should have no problem selling it for around 2K. You don't have the overhead or personal slave like Steve does :) 

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So many times I can't afford my own best work and keep the business running. However every so often a stack of leftover materials inspire me to create a piece for my house. I've got some white oak that's just begging to be an end table.....

yea  I must admit it's nice to rarely have to sweep or take out the trash . And passing off the volume of sanding is glorious !

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When I was a 12ish, my dad used to take me to a rock polishing club. I made a necklace at one point and I asked one of the guys there how much it could sell for. He told me as much as anyone is willing to pay.  

I have a hard time putting a price on a chopping board let alone a piece of furniture. 

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Just for the record, I wasn't knocking Rodels price. I really do understand the self employed pricing and life. 

As for batching them out, thinking more like 3 total.

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A good guide for proper pricing is that you want the customer to complain about the price being too high, but still wanting to make the purchase.  If they think they are getting a good deal, they probably are, and that means the seller is the one who gets the cut.  I judge how much time I will spend considering a potential client by the amount of complaining.

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It looks like a somewhat involved build with the lower shelf construction, corbels and legs. At a glance i could see easily charging 1500 or more.

 

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IP law is tricky. 

Building that table from the published plans and selling for $800 (or whatever) is probably ok.  

If you market it as a "Kevin Rodel" table, or even mention that it is built from his plans, then you might have problems.  Kevin can not protect a relatively generic design, but he can protect his name.  

His IP is likely limited to 1) his name and 2) the printed plan.   

In my market, $3100 doesn't seem crazy for a custom made table.   But, even amongst relatively high income people, furniture just is not a high priority spend and the classic A&C look is not trendy enough right now to fetch top dollar.   Its all industrial, fake Nakashima hipster beard juice stuff.  

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I think it's weird to snag up someone's design and try to make a buck from it.

If someone brings the design to you and asks to make it that's different.Then the piece should be made as close to the original designer to show some respect.When I looked at the table I like it and thought 1600 to 1800.Add the masters signature and 3600 is about right.

Aj

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Forget making tables and start making jewelry boxes. https://www.ahalife.com/product/149000011314/luxury-jewelry-box

 There are a lot of wealthy people out there that are falling over each other to buy over priced items just for the status symbol.

Just look at the big name brand women purses. Really! $2000.00 for some leather sewn together.  

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31 minutes ago, Steve B Anderson said:

Just look at the big name brand women purses. Really! $2000.00 for some leather sewn together.  

That is the same bad argument against Festool. 

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