I know this Bush has been beat all over the internet but I’m curious what you guys do? A local brewery opened this week, the owner bought some cheap flight boards that the bartenders hated. I threw this together in about an hour and thought I was being generous at $10.00. The owner said she only paid $4.00 for the other ones that were blank, the holes were too shallow, too big around and I added a chalk line to label drinks! (Please don’t be too hard on the quality, it was just a quick concept piece to verify the idea)

$10 is extremely generous in my opinion. Only way I would do it for less would be a large order and make a few jigs.

Hell Yeah, don’t bother making these even for 10 bucks.

20 sounds like the bare minimum IMHO, even way more if it’s some quality wood. You shouldn’t be afraid of pricing too high, there will always be a sucker to do it cheaper anyways. Be confident and develop your selling skills.

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You can’t win them all. Sometimes the supply doesn’t match with demand.

W.r.t your work, those are worth more than $10, even at wholesale. If I saw those at a consignment shop or a craft fair, I would expect closer to $40. $10 is what, 1.5 beers with tax and tip? One meal at a “fast cuisine”?

The first one was fun, and I’m guessing $10 basically covers the materials. If you had to make 35 of these, you’re talking a week’s worth of work, and your machine would be working, wearing, etc. $10 isn’t going to cover it.

Maybe just give them that one and tell them “no” on more. Seems like you’re too far away on price.

I agree. I wouldn’t go less than $20. Consider how much time you spent designing, a CAD designer will make around $30, then what were your material costs and how long did it take to get the work piece down to where you wanted it? That could be another $30. Then the cutting time? The machine is focused on that piece of work and not anything else that could bring in a larger amount of money so that could be another $30 which is what a machinist could get paid to watch and tend to a CNC machine.

So in retrospect I understand you are trying to help out but her telling you she won’t buy an awesome board for an extremely generous $10 is a choosing beggar and an insult to be honest. But that’s just my .02.

Thanks for the replies. Jeff what is w.r.t.? Do you guys have a formula you like to use to determine prices? Total hours, machine time, materials x labor x ???

w.r.t == with respect to.

Far more than $10! I agree materials and wear aren’t worth the $10 for more than a nice one off run! To low ball you that hard is not even funny.

You would likely have been better off (ain’t hindsight wonderful?) offering at $35 then letting her talk you down to $25. :slight_smile:

$10 is a “time and materials” where no time has been allowed…

Anything that comes out of my garage is billed as cost of materials + $30/hour (immediate family and closest friends get appropriate discounts)

My woodshop is my happy place, not my business. If someone wants me to make something for them, then it has to be WELL worth my time.

I did just do a foam sign for a friend of mine for cost of the foam, but he’s given me a lot of logs for turning into bowls for free, so it’s more of a bartering system there.

(immediate family and closest friends get appropriate discounts)
HAHAH with my family it should be an increase!

Thanks for all the support. Being the first project I ever sold, we initially negotiated $8.00 partly to help a new business partly to get my name out in the public. After I delivered the boards she volunteered to pay the $10.00 because they were so beautiful. My wife showed them off on Facebook and now a family member wants a dozen and is happy to pay at least double!


A approach I’ve seen used for Friend/Family work (photography specifically) is to invoice at “full price” and apply an appropriate discount (up to and including 100%) to that rather than actually working for cheap/free. The money (or lack thereof) works out to be the same, but the psychology of the transaction is different. It is much easier to offer a smaller discount the next time around than it is to raise your prices.


This is excellent advice. I read somewhere that when negotiating with friends/family, you should either ask full price or offer to do it for free. The main motivation is that the friends/family won’t know how kind you’re being, which is a negative for both of you. It’s amazing how much perception of value is based on the asking price (which is why everything you can buy has an MSRP that is higher than you’ll ever pay). In this case, you’re not “salesmanshiping” your friends, you’re just giving them a warm feeling that you are happy to help them, and they are happy to know you well enough to get such a generous discount.

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