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How Much Do You Sell Your Mugs For?


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Poll: How Much Do You Sell Your Mugs For? (42 member(s) have cast votes)

How much do you sell your mugs for?

  1. $12-15 (14 votes [33.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  2. $16-$17 (3 votes [7.14%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 7.14%

  3. $18-19 (9 votes [21.43%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.43%

  4. $20-21 (7 votes [16.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

  5. $22-25 (2 votes [4.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.76%

  6. $26-30 (4 votes [9.52%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.52%

  7. $31-40 (2 votes [4.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.76%

  8. $41-50 (1 votes [2.38%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.38%

  9. $50 + (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

How much do you sell a 16" platter/bowl for

  1. $30-39 (13 votes [30.95%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 30.95%

  2. $40-49 (2 votes [4.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.76%

  3. $50-59 (7 votes [16.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

  4. $60-69 (2 votes [4.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.76%

  5. $70-79 (4 votes [9.52%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.52%

  6. $80-89 (6 votes [14.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  7. $90-99 (1 votes [2.38%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.38%

  8. $100-109 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  9. $110 -119 (2 votes [4.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.76%

  10. $120-129 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  11. $130-139 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  12. $140-149 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  13. $150-159 (2 votes [4.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.76%

  14. $160-169 (1 votes [2.38%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.38%

  15. $170-179 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  16. $180 + (2 votes [4.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.76%

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#1 phill

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 07:14 PM

Just curious... what do you sell your pots for? I was curious after John was encouraging me to price my work fairly for my benefit. I never really know what to price, and so I am hoping for a little feedback.

Feel free to post prices of other pieces too.

Phill

#2 JBaymore

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 07:30 PM

Phil,

I use a bit of a Japanese approach to pricing for my work. So very hard to hit single price buttons on the poll for me. A lot depends on the individual piece. There certainly is a core range for types of objects.... but it can vary a lot.

Using the "mugs" example above..................

My usual average woodfired mugs retail for $40.00. Standard gallery split... $20.00 to the potter. So that is one price point.

If the piece happens to be a bit exceptional, the price is marked higher. In the USA, they might push $80.00 ($40.00 to the potter).

I just had a show in Japan and my mentor there, who I had totally price the exhibition for me, decided that the retail price on those (very good) mugs should retail at $100.00.

Mugs are, in a sense, a bit of a "loss leader" or "gateway drug" Posted Image . They are the "easy to sell and get someone hooked on your work" item due to the low price point.

If I am selling retail myself... same retail price. I don't sell subs or seconds at ALL. I think that is a HUGE mistake for an artist. Short term gain for long term loss.

best,

...................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#3 Seasoned Warrior

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 01:04 AM

Hi Phil:

I agree one hundred percent with John on selling seconds. My seconds become grog. Discounting and selling seconds is a slippery slope and tends to cause people to discount your work mentally. I usually start with a price point in mind and then test at different price points both above and below my idea of price. I have found it absolutely amazing when an item I had trouble selling a one price sold like hot-cakes at twice the price. There is an ostensible value buyers place on things they want and tend to believe that an item priced lower then their mental price is not a good value. Good luck!

Regards,
Charles

#4 Earthwood

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:52 AM

Charles, would you mind divulging details on your experience with price? What kind of item was it? What price was it before and then after? Where do you sell or what kind of market?

I am just getting started and find price to be a very difficult thing. The inefficiencies of my process still need to be worked out, so I don't think I can charge fairly for my time; however, the inherent nature of my work is a bit more complex than simple glazed pottery with no surface decoration. I tried a high price point at first at the holistic doctor's office where I work. I figured these are people who have a higher disposable income because the doctor is expensive and doesn't take insurance.

Some people bought, but most just looked at the prices and politely set it down again. Then I decided to go about 15-20% lower, and sold a ton of stuff at a studio open house, then again the surrounding area is not as affluent.

I would pay real money on professional counseling on how to price your work. Although, it is very subjective how one assigns value to a piece. I also sell my seconds...and in fact just about everything up to this point has been something I consoder a second for me because I am still learning, so that might be hurting me. (To answer the original question, I would sell a mug that I consider a second for about $20). So, perhaps there is something to be said for how you personally feel about your work and the prices you are able to command. Someone who is proud of her work and knows the inherent value of it, would exhude more confidence when selling at a higher price. This is one of the reasons I decided to focus on making one or two things really well, and then branching from there.

Plus I have an Etsy store, which tends to encourage a lower price point.

Perhaps the question ought to be, for those who have been able to increase the price of your work and sell more, what kind of venues do you sell at? And how would you describe the average buyer?

Thanks!

- Sam

#5 GEP

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 08:48 AM

My mugs are intentionally oversized, they hold more than 20 oz of coffee. Since they stand out for being unusual, and because they target a specific customer (the serious coffee addict), I don't have any problem selling them for $35.

As for a 16" platter, when I throw pots that large, I turn them into one-of-a-kind pieces, with a lot of of time spent on surface illustrations, hoping they will be suitable for wedding gifts or even wall art. These are part of what I call my "fancy" line of work. I sell the platters for $250.

Mea
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#6 JBaymore

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 10:16 AM

Probably going to say some stuff here that is going to "tick off" some people. Sorry if that is the case.

As you look at pricing, you have to consider the market you are trying to reach. While it is certainly possible (and likely schizophrenia inducing) to have a number of different "lines" for lots of different markets........ likely you will be most effective in focusing on one general market for a good while. Learn that market well before branching out. It will probably increase the success of the "branches".

You must be realistic in how you select you intended market. Can you REACH that market? If you are a newbie and you decide that the totally upscale NYC top gallery market is where you are going, with $10,000 vase forms...... likely you are not going to be very sucessful. It is POSSIBLE to crack direct to that market, but not at all probable. So you will have shot yourself in the foot right out of the blocks.

Running a pottery business is in so many ways absolutely NO different than running a widget business. You have the need for start-up capital, you need necessary operating funds to get the business off the ground, you need a product that is marketable, and you need a business plan of some sort. Your marketing plan is part of the business plan. Get a good book on small business management. Or take such a course at the community college.

Another possible mistake is starting to sell your work before you really should be selling it. THAT can really slow down a potential career. Again.... short term gain for long term headaches. First and foremost, the PRODUCT has to be there.

It takes a certain level of study and time working to develop skills to a somewhat "professional" level. Look at what it used to take to be an apprentice. Look at what it curreently takes to get an undergrad and graduate degree in the field. You don;t have to go those routes for sure to learn clay well....... but it is an indication of the typical learning curve.... with good instruction in place.

To start charging a "living wage" for your work, your work needs to be OF a living wage level of competency. If in order to sell your work at the development level it currently is at, you have to keep the prices really really low, then you have established a "reputation" about the nature of and the pricing of your work. The more you sell, the more you cement this impression. Breaking out of that low-ball pricing and lower quality work status can be harder than simply starting out with better pieces and higher prices.

Sometimes paying your dues is very important.

Yeah.... pots accumulate when you are learning to make them. They accumulate fast!!!! You have to get rid of them. BREAK the worst, keep the best for yourself as a "history" documentation, give away the generally good stuff. If you just have to sell a bit.... keep the selling to friends and family and quite informal. You probably shouldn't go into "the marketplace" before it is a good time to do so, if you intend this to be a real business.

Ford, Nissan, and Lexus do not sell really weak cars at a lower price before they sell the good ones. The product is up to a certain standard before it is released. They take years in development. The costs for that development are reflected in the prices of the units when they ARE released. (Yes... they have different "lines" of cars at different price points.... see the opening comment above.)

It is so terribly easy for a lot of us potters to underprice. Generally we are not necessarily all that "affluent", and we tend to see the world through that "filter". Probably, if it were not for our "connections" in the art world, we could never afford the nice pottery and other beautiful artwork that we all likely own. Generally speaking...... others in our general economic brakets are NOT the best target market. If you think about pricing like you would like it to be so that you can buy your own work....... you are probably tending to underpricing.

Handcrafted functional ceramics, no matter how good, is no longer a necessity in our culture. Manufatured plastic has replaced it at the "necessity" level. If one is partial to the ceramic material for some personal reason, manufactured ceramic pieces (mainly out of China) cover the bill well. Handcrafted claywork is a luxury. It is competing for disctretionary disposable income like all of the other consumer goods out there. It better compete well.

People who are living closer to not having a lot of discretionary spending in their lives are likely not a particularly good target audience for us. And as the economy falters, those closer to that line slip below that line fast. Those in the top socio-econiomic brakets are basically insulated from the medium level fluctuations, and their day-to-day discretionary spending situation is little affected. Those folks are the safest market segment for us.

Really.... we are making our work for solid middle and upper class people. And if your work is less functional and more into what might be called the artistic realm, the market is likely more high-middle to upper. You can "hate" that idea.... but is is pretty much the reality.

Something to think about..........

You can make 10 pieces for $10 each....... or one piece for $100. Same income. One approach uses more of the finite body's working life, likely more materials, likely more energy to fire, and likely more wear and tear on equipment. The other higher priced approach likely requires a bit less of all of that. If you have the market available to sell either of those to make that same $100....... which do you want to do? That is a very basic marketing plan decision. Are you intending to be selling a $9000 Kia or a $200,000 Mercedees?

You can make a living at both.... if you don't try to sell $200,000 cars to $9000 car buyers....and vice-versa. But you need to know what you plan do first. And don't try to sell a Kia for $200,000!!!!! It won't work. Interestingly, you can destroy the reputation of something like a Mercedees by selling it at the Kia prices (see the posting above about increasing prices on a low prices piece that did not sell and then having it then sell well.).

Another thought.........

Be VERY careful in undercutting your galleries when you sell retail yourself!!!!! If you use online stuff like Etsy, the prices there should be exactly the same as the prices in your gallieries. That is if you want to RETAIN your galleries. If those prices are "too high" for Etsy.... then Etsy is the wrong market to explore. Sometimes an Etsy account is provided mainly as a "convenience" to existing customers.... and is not intended as a main marketing effort. You are not looking for new customers there. If you get one.... it is a "bonus". But don;t let he Etsy situation ruin your other efforts.

Gotta' run. Hope there thoughts are helpful to some.

best,

.................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#7 phill

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 10:41 AM

To start charging a "living wage" for your work, your work needs to be OF a living wage level of competency. If in order to sell your work at the development level it currently is at, you have to keep the prices really really low, then you have established a "reputation" about the nature of and the pricing of your work. The more you sell, the more you cement this impression. Breaking out of that low-ball pricing and lower quality work status can be harder than simply starting out with better pieces and higher prices.


well said.


i had an epiphany a while ago and never pursued it. perhaps i will at my next sale. but first, the setup:

i believe that my work is good. i am not saying this to be prideful nor cocky, but just to say that I do stand behind my work 100%. Is everything I make wonderful? no. i smash the sucky pieces so nobody sees them. but the pieces that rock, those are the pieces I sell. only the better pieces make it to the general public's eye. everyone always thinks it is insane if you break your not-as-good work, saying things like "oh id use it just give it to me instead of breaking it" or "dont break it just reduce the price and sell it! after all you still put hard work into it!" don't listen to them, they are not the potter you are silly. yes, unfortunately some lesser pieces have made it out there (maybe because so many voices were telling me the work was "good enough"), and people have purchased them to my (current) dismay. i wish i had used more discretion a few years ago and even a year ago.

for your information:
how does one know if their work is good? LOOK AT OTHER POTTER'S GOOD WORK! i am constantly researching old pottery and new pottery, check out the big names out there! the internet is a wonderful tool. how much are they selling for? what do their pots look like, feel like, handle, etc.? examine and research and explore. the more good pots you look at, the more easily you can critique your own work. like Simon Levin said with his suck factor article, the best tool a potter can have is his ability to critique his own work. compare your work to like potters who are well-known and received, famous. do your lids fit as nice, are your pots ground smooth, are your glazes stock glazes or do you make your own recipes? every pot demands a certain glaze/ way of glazing/ way of firing. everything counts folks. another quote i like is from warren mackenzie, and it goes something like: you can read about and research how to make good pots all you want, but in the end you just have to make pots, many many pots.

so, yes i think my pots are good. i am proud of the ones i sell! are they the best pots ever? haha no of course not. but they are nice pots, i make sure of it. i have spent many years developing my work, not selling but rather exploring what i make and what i believe about clay and how it works. hammers work well for the other pots, seriously.

okay, the epiphany is here: take a look at macy's and nordstrom's and other department stores or wherever. these pots, yes they are glass in this example, but they are selling them for $300-400 dollars. "designer" pots. macy's pots example (and yes i know glass has a tendency to sell for more than pottery in general, but i think my point is still valid.)

another example: nordstroms designer porcelain vase (the dimensions are small, 7" h x 5" w)

i think that if you truly believe your pots are good, then i think you should be selling them for much more. i dislike that everyone agrees not to under price your work, because those same people are selling mugs anywhere from $5 to $80! and they all agree not to under price! weird and unfortunate. there almost needs to be a standard. i hate that i feel like i have to sell my mugs for so little. i wish all these pressures were not there. i know i am the first to be called out on pricing, as i have priced way too low in my last sales. but, im learning and that is a good thing for the whole pottery community. I am young and naive and excited and hopeful and maybe someday revolutionary. and i think we need more potters with this mindset! lets change the world's idea of what pots are worth!

if you are offended, stop :)

fighting my own self, and trying to make sense of the world and where i fit,
phill

ps - after rereading this, if you dont follow, i apologize. i am not he best communicator.

#8 GEP

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 10:57 AM

John, I sincerely hope nobody is "ticked off" by your words. This is the level of realism on which working potters need to operate.

Mea
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#9 JBaymore

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 11:55 AM

okay, the epiphany is here: take a look at macy's and nordstrom's and other department stores or wherever. these pots, yes they are glass in this example, but they are selling them for $300-400 dollars. "designer" pots. macy's pots example (and yes i know glass has a tendency to sell for more than pottery in general, but i think my point is still valid.)

another example: nordstroms designer porcelain vase (the dimensions are small, 7" h x 5" w)



BINGO !!!!!!!!!!

best,

..................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#10 JBaymore

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 11:57 AM

John, I sincerely hope nobody is "ticked off" by your words. This is the level of realism on which working potters need to operate.
Mea


Thanks, Mea. I hope not too.... but you never know. Some of that I wrote is not "politically correct" Posted Image

best,

................john


PS: The Forum has been very glitchy today...... slow and weird.
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#11 Pres

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 10:40 AM

Just curious... what do you sell your pots for? I was curious after John was encouraging me to price my work fairly for my benefit. I never really know what to price, and so I am hoping for a little feedback.

Feel free to post prices of other pieces too.

Phill


Years ago when doing shows on a regular basis, I had mixed feelings about pricing. First I wanted my functional pottery to be affordable, but not too expensive to sit on a shelf. Second I was not trying to support myself so I figured I could sell for less than some of the folks I saw around me at shows. In the end, after a year or so I sold at the same price point as most of those around me, as I got so much flack from the others about selling-cheap. I never sold seconds, sold good simple pots that were functional and is some cases so large as to be decorative. Over the years though I have adjusted my feelings about sales and about my work as art. If my pieces are functional or not, does not matter, if they are creative by functional design, compelling visual statement or some other course-and-they succeed after all of the steps of creation, then they should be sold for what they are worth to me. They are individual, one of a kind, not mass produced. Often reminded of the old Indian story where he would not sell 50 of the same for the price he sold the one. Anyway, I try to price today at a point that matches the market, the need, and my own feeling of worth for the piece.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#12 BadKatPottery

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:59 AM

I found this thread at just the right time :) I have been asked to be in my first show in Dec, once the adrenaline and joy calmed down I had a OMG moment. I had no idea how to price anything. Thank you so much everybody who posted..my panic has back downed a little bit LOL.

#13 ClayChimera

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 01:58 AM

Hi! I loved reading all these posts! I am a pottery/ceramicist living in central BC and I have come up with a formula for my pricing. I had to do quite a bit of research and math to find out how much a kiln costs me in power to fire, how much glaze it takes to cover my pots at varying sizes, and how much each glaze costs to make. (at least I know I did the research but now i can't remember how I came to this conclusion, it pays to keep your notes). Anyways please leave feedback, does this make any sense? I am not a newbie to selling my pottery but I still find pricing very intimidating.

Pottery Pricing Breakdown
weight of clay + hours+(firing x2)+glaze materials = cost
cost x 1.5 = wholesale
wholesale x 2 = retail

Currently my clay prices are $40.95 per box. Each box weighs 40lbs which is 18.1kilograms.

100 g of wet clay = $.22
1hr of work = $12.50
each firing = $1.00 per piece
Glaze = 1/5 of total clay/ 100g of clay = 20g of glaze
100g of glaze = $1.00

EXAMPLES

Materials:
1 Decorated Mug = 600g of wet clay = $1.33 + 120g of glaze = $2.53

Time:
firing =$1.00
making +glazing hours = 1.5hrs each mug = $18.75

total = $22.28 cost (recovered costs but no profit)
= 44.56 at 200%markup
= 33.42 at 150% markup

After a few sales where I compared my pottery to others I felt my small 40.00 mugs mugs might a bit to over priced considering I'm a little bit new at this. I decided to increase the amount of clay in my porcelain mugs to 700g of wet clay and I sell them for 39.00 each in Galleries and at Shows. I chose the "wage" of 12.50 an hour because I am not master or a beginner. To put it in perspective, I have a bachelors degree in fine art and minimum wage here is $8.75 an hour.

#14 JBaymore

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:37 AM


Pottery Pricing Breakdown

weight of clay + hours+(firing x2)+glaze materials = cost
cost x 1.5 = wholesale
wholesale x 2 = retail

Currently my clay prices are $40.95 per box. Each box weighs 40lbs which is 18.1kilograms.

100 g of wet clay = $.22
1hr of work = $12.50
each firing = $1.00 per piece
Glaze = 1/5 of total clay/ 100g of clay = 20g of glaze
100g of glaze = $1.00

EXAMPLES

Materials:
1 Decorated Mug = 600g of wet clay = $1.33 + 120g of glaze = $2.53

Time:
firing =$1.00
making +glazing hours = 1.5hrs each mug = $18.75

total = $22.28 cost (recovered costs but no profit)
= 44.56 at 200%markup
= 33.42 at 150% markup


It seems to me that a couple of important things are missing in that formula you are using:

First of all, there is what is usually called "overhead" labor. Overhead labor for an artist might include things like:

  • the time you put in ordering and stocking materials (unloading the boxes and inventorying them and staking them somewhere).
  • The time involved in wedging clay and mixing and seiving glazes.
  • the time used in stacking kilns and cleaning up after firings.
  • routine maintenence work time around the studio.
  • time spent on accounting and recordkeeping.
  • time spent on packing work for shipment
  • time spent cleaning the studio
There are also real costs that figure into "Overhead" when calculating pricing. Tangible overhead costs would include such items as:

  • materials for kiln wash and wadding mixtures and grinding wheels
  • replacement of elements or repair/replacement of burners
  • replacement of kiln furniture
  • cones and replacing thermocouples
  • replacing lightbulbs and such in the studio
  • heating/cooling and studio electrical costs (other than for the kiln.... which is accounted for elsewhere)
  • minor repair work to the studio structure (plumbing/heating, etc.)
  • replacing small tools, and stuff like wareboards and so on
  • studio and product liability insurance
  • annual business licenses and permits and dues/memberships
Then there is a factor for depreciation on your studio building and equipment. That kiln and wheel and other such stuff cost you a lot of money to buy. So did the studio itself. And they do not last forever. You have to PLAN into your business that you not only need to revover those capital investments, but that at some point you should have sitting at hand the cost to REPLACE those pieces of equipment (at the new projected cost at the time of replacement) and to do significant reapir to the studio.


Then there is the thing that many craftspeople miss in this pricing equation: PROFIT. Profit is NOT what you pay yourself an hour for your labor. Profit is the return for your investment of time, money, skills, and the RISK of deciding to run your own business. It is above and beyond the hourly wages that you pay your employee (as in YOU). It is what funds expansion of the buisness. It is what gives the business "value" economically. It is what goes in the bank as savings for a rainy day.


The Markup figure you mentioned above is actually incorrect. You are showing 100% markup in the first figure, not 200%. 100 percent of $22.28 is $22.28. $22.28 + $22.28 = $44.56. Therefore that is 100% markup.

Your pre-markup number should support ALL your costs (including labor) and also some profit. Then the RETAIL price is more like the 100% markup number (at least here in the USA). You should not have to sell yourself at that 100% markup price to cover any of the production costs for yourself. That extra 100% of "cost" should be what the GALLERY makes to cover its costs and make a profit. Or if you are doing direct retail selling, that extra 100% should be what covers your costs of stuff like going to craft fairs and entry fees, your time at a booth, your selling website costs and so on.

Hope those thoughts are of use. One could write book on this subject...... and there are plenty of small business management books out there to choose from. Making pots or making widgets...... running a business is running a business.

best,

...............john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#15 JLowes

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:06 AM

I just came from a sale where I thought my pots were underpriced in general, and my best were still very affordable, but not selling, so I think maybe the price needs to go up. My buyers are not interested in mugs, or general purpose bowls, or kitchen and bath accessories. They are looking for distinctive pottery that has more design to it, or for whimsical pottery with a bit of humor. I was thinking that maybe I had strayed into the category of making "potter" pots; the ones that other potters think are great, but the buying public wonders way you quit making the "nice" pots you used to have. But, I think it is that I need to select where "my" buyers are likely to be and limit myself to those venues. My wife says (and is always right, of course) that she can spot the folks that will buy my work from a distance at a show.

I have the opportunity to test the raising the price theory the first week in December. I am not going to double the price, but they are going up 20 per cent to see how it goes. Once this group goes, the pricing goes to where I think it belongs for new work, and I will become more picky at which venues to market.

On the other hand, I noted that the Nordstrom's piece cited by phill, is now available at 33% off the original price! Hmmm...

John

#16 GEP

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:54 AM

@ClayChimera

I think it's great to have a analytical approach to your pottery business. I do agree with John that there are some shortcomings to your formulas, but I think any amount of analysis is better than none.

I think that you price of $40 for a small mug is a bit high, even for a professional quality small mug. I also think that 1.5 hours per mug is far too slow for a professional potter. Which means that, until you can increase your production speed, you should assign yourself a lower hourly wage. I think you'll find that if you are making pots full-time, your production speed will increase rapidly. For me, my production time for one mug is less than 20 minutes.

Mea
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Good Elephant Pottery
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#17 Earthwood

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 08:44 PM

I think that you price of $40 for a small mug is a bit high, even for a professional quality small mug. I also think that 1.5 hours per mug is far too slow for a professional potter. Which means that, until you can increase your production speed, you should assign yourself a lower hourly wage. I think you'll find that if you are making pots full-time, your production speed will increase rapidly. For me, my production time for one mug is less than 20 minutes.

Mea


This is precisely what my problem is. I am just starting out and am very inefficient. A single mug can take up to 2 hours for me to make:
10-15 minutes to throw
10-15 minutes to trim
15 - 30 minutes to stamp (a lot of my pottery involved hand stamping text letter by letter)
10 minutes to make and attach the handle
5 minutes wax bottom & prepare for glazing (after bisque fired)
20-30 minutes to glaze (takes a while to brush and wipe glaze out of textured areas)

So close to 2 hours! This is why I don't feel I can charge a price that reflects the work that went into it. Then again, my process might be inherently more time consuming because of the surface detail and therefore might command a higher price from the start. However, there is also only so much someone would be willing to pay for a mug, and so perhaps mugs just should not be made using this process. My husband always encourages me (and he has been so right about this), to focus on items that have a higher perceived value but don't take that much more time to make. For example, a clock has a higher perceived value than a plate. Or the larger something is, the higher the perceived value.

Then again, you always need to have a bread and butter...

I have an upcoming show in December. I am thinking of selling these 8oz. mugs for $25.00 which some potters might consider the high side, others the low side.

Then there is also the bit about us being our own worst critics. And that maybe what you are making is actually very beautiful but you don't see it because you have some sort of weird imperfection/lack of confidence complex.

I think maybe I need to just start loving my work and charging more money for it.

- Sam

#18 phill

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 09:39 PM

i am finding that my worst enemies regarding pricing are other potters.

i am also finding that people seem to add perceived value to something that costs more. 'why does this mug cost $5 more than this one? it must be better.' also, i think the general public can tell when a person doesn't even value their own work.

i think potters need to step up their confidence in their prices, their forms, their general clay choices and not be so easily swayed when a passerby makes a comment. i also don't agree with potters who make major choices based on what sells. very honestly it bugs me a lot. i think artists create culture, and from that, trends begin to flow. if artists are following the trends it is backwards in my mind.

when i think "professional," i think doctor. does a doctor help you with health or do you help them? the general idea is that we pay doctors to do their research and figure out what is best for our health. i don't see anything different regarding pottery. why should we let a random joe tell us what is and isn't okay about our pots? who is the professional, joe or you? i don't think professional potters should demand anything less than professional prices.

i love being open about this sort of thing. i truly think pottery needs it. please also be open with me and the rest of us.

#19 Mark C.

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:26 PM

your poll was to dumbed down for me
my mugs sell from my booth as follows-gallery prices are different for my work

8-10oz mug-10$
12-14 oz 12$
16-18 oz 16$
22-24oz18$
32-34oz 20$
soup mug-14$
motion/truckers mug-14$
I sell them by the thousands it seems they flow thru the shop like dust
My work is priced to sell well and it works-as we make over 7 styles and sizes what does your one size fits all mug sell for??
Mark

PS instead of working up spreads sheets just throw more pots more efficiently
Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#20 neilestrick

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:54 PM

Pottery Pricing Breakdown
weight of clay + hours+(firing x2)+glaze materials = cost
cost x 1.5 = wholesale
wholesale x 2 = retail

Currently my clay prices are $40.95 per box. Each box weighs 40lbs which is 18.1kilograms.

100 g of wet clay = $.22
1hr of work = $12.50
each firing = $1.00 per piece
Glaze = 1/5 of total clay/ 100g of clay = 20g of glaze
100g of glaze = $1.00

EXAMPLES

Materials:
1 Decorated Mug = 600g of wet clay = $1.33 + 120g of glaze = $2.53

Time:
firing =$1.00
making +glazing hours = 1.5hrs each mug = $18.75

total = $22.28 cost (recovered costs but no profit)
= 44.56 at 200%markup
= 33.42 at 150% markup


I do not agree with using a mathematical formula to figure out the price of pottery. Yes, you need to take into account your costs, but mostly I think it's about the quality of the work and the market value. My main issue is with using 'time' as part of the formula. All other things being equal (material costs, quality, etc.) should someone charge more for their pots just because they work slower? Try explaining that to a customer. I also don't consider my time as a cost. My time is what I'm being paid for. The costs are the materials, overhead, etc. It's different if you're paying someone to do the work for you, of course. Instead, I would calculate your hourly wage as the sale price minus your costs divided by your time. There's your true hourly profits. Want to increase profits? Work faster, sell more.
Neil Estrick
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

neil@neilestrickgallery.com




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