Selling pens....

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  1. #1
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    Selling pens....

    All,

    You all know by now I'm a newbie, very flatteringly someone has asked me how much I would I charge for selling my pens as they really like them.

    I have seen the quality of the stuff you guys produce and know I'm not there yet - but I've never looked into selling can anybody give me some advice please?

    Regards

    Padster


     
     
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  3. #2
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    Hi Padster

    Oh what a minefield
    I have sold the same pen (style / kit / wood) for massive differences in price £22.00 & £49.00
    I have sold a lot at cost or slightly over, I have also made some really special pens that have been sold for hundreds of £s - sometimes it just doesn't add up at all.

    Personally it can be down to many factors, where you are, how are you selling them, what did they cost you (Time / Materials etc) - do you want to make a profit or just sell them to recoup your costs to make more.

    These days (when I get the chance) I only make them for friends / family or a few local charities to sell to raise funds, gave up trying to sell them for a profit, the "HOW MUTCH - I can get 10 pens for less than that at WHSmith brigade" just don't get the concept of a hand turned pen

    Good luck and I am sure others will be along to offer advice.
    I am a novice.. Have been since the day I was born

     
     
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  5. #3
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    It's a very tricky subject when selling anything.

    You say "them" and "pens" is the person looking to buy more than one? If so are they looking for a trade deal so they can re-sell them? Or are they looking for mate's rates? is it going to be one off sales or do they want first refusal on any future pens you turn? Are they in a business where you could get large contracts from them? What will you present the pens in? Do you have precise costings for pen pen pouches and pen boxes? If trade do you have a price break point for x# of pens in a single order? Have you got payment methods arranged? Can they provide anything that may help you? (wood etc )

    My advice for what it's worth would be to sell them at a price YOU feel they are worth not what others rate them at. You can sell 10 pens at £10 each or 1 pen at £100 over the same time period. Don't make selling the pens a condition to continue your hobby treat every sale as a bonus that adds temporary additional funding to your hobby.

    Gary

     
     
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    You can search this forum and you will find many, many heavily debated topics on selling pens.

    It’s all down to personal choice, circumstances and abilities.

    As Colin eluded too that many pens can sell for varying amounts, in different areas and what target market you are selling too.

    I’m in the “sell one pen at £100 rather than 10 at £10” brigade.

    It’s not just the pen, it’s how the whole pen is presented, displayed and gifted that can make a big difference.

    There are pen turners that just want to cover costs (some don’t actually do that) just for a reason to get out of bed in the morning and then talk to likeminded people about the hobby as well.

    What I’m saying is you set the price that you need to cover ALL costs and then see how much profit you feel you would be happy with. Remember, whatever you think of double it.
    If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem. - Richard Bach

    For pens and handmade presentation boxes click here

     
     
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    It does depend on a lot of circumstances. I never particularly liked Sierra pen kits, which was a good job as a guy on York market was selling finished pens for about the price I'd have to pay for the kit!
    I sold more slimlines when I upped the price from£8 to £12. I was selling the Zeta kit from TM at £30 and the Omega kit at £60 each or £120 a pair. I rarely sell these days as my main income now comes from teaching.

    After dropping dead in 2016 I taught a guy, (now a friend) to turn pens in return for him doing heavy work for me that I couldn't do.
    He now makes pens using Beaufort kits and Conway Stuart type blanks on top of his day job and grossed £20.000. last year.
    I can't decide whether to be a good example, or a horrible warning!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/worke...06068033043974

     
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver View Post
    You can search this forum and you will find many, many heavily debated topics on selling pens.

    It’s all down to personal choice, circumstances and abilities.

    As Colin eluded too that many pens can sell for varying amounts, in different areas and what target market you are selling too.

    I’m in the “sell one pen at £100 rather than 10 at £10” brigade.

    It’s not just the pen, it’s how the whole pen is presented, displayed and gifted that can make a big difference.

    There are pen turners that just want to cover costs (some don’t actually do that) just for a reason to get out of bed in the morning and then talk to likeminded people about the hobby as well.

    What I’m saying is you set the price that you need to cover ALL costs and then see how much profit you feel you would be happy with. Remember, whatever you think of double it.
    The sixty four million dollar question……….!
    There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey. (John Ruskin 1819-1900)

     
     
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    All,

    Thanks for the comments - the truth as you may have guessed, is I have no clue - I know the outlay for each pen kit and blank, bushings and drill bits etc. (just cos I'm sad!).

    The person asking is actually from another forum I frequent and he was just asking because he liked them and maybe wanted one and another for a gift.
    I'm very flattered and not telling him about you guys!! lol

    If I could sell pens it would be great but to be honest I've just got the bug and enjoy making them, just like other wood based stuff I've made it's about the hobby, the enjoyment and whilst I'll never admit this elsewhere, the immense satisfaction I get when or if my wife says wow or I really like that!

    Oh and I quite like it here too and seeing the work others produce....

    AND just the camaraderie and welcome I've had here makes it more fun - so thank you for that too!

    Padster

     
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil View Post
    The sixty four million dollar question……….!
    WOW ...
    I have got to see THAT pen
    I am a novice.. Have been since the day I was born

     
     
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    My tuppence worth.... Has been said before... I cost my pens on materials + labour + location
    You know 2 of these, but location is also important in a few ways..... If you sell at a fayre or in a shop then a percentage of these fees needs to be added to you costing, not only on that occasion but going forward to keep price consistency. Also your market area will have an impact, if you market in an affluent area with a high disposable income cheap pens won't sell! ( trust me) again the opposite is true... Its a big learning curve with no real formula to results. I know the American forums say X +Y x Z but it honestly dosent work...
    I only open my mouth...to change feet...
    www.turningmatters.co.uk

     
     
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    Life is like this ,everything depends on what ie what if. Take this out of mind and determine a fair return.Now two feet on the ground face facts. Aprofit only exists as has been said when your return is greater than your costs. Only you will know what applies to your pens. Take care and enjoy along the way I do.
    Nil Desperandum

     
     
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