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How Much Do You Charge For A Mug?

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I've been charging $35 for an oversized 20 oz mug the past several years. Starting this year I'm increasing that to $38. I'm also introducing a normal-sized 12 oz mug for $32.

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I've got mine priced at 12oz -$22 and 20oz - $30 and I have the most expensive mugs around here. I just don't like making mugs and decided if I was going to have to make them I would get a price I could live with for them... they still sell at these prices and sometimes at festivals I think, Yay I sold a dozen mugs.... then sigh I sold a dozen mugs now i gotta make more before next weekend.

 

I think the price also has a lot to do with your location, big cities and the coasts seem to get more per mug out here in the boonies the prices tend to run lower.

 

T

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Four pages worth of "How Much Do You Charge For A Mug"

 

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/1148-how-much-do-you-sell-your-mugs-for/

There are some good thoughts in those four pages (and a little too much off-topic meta-ranting). If I were ruepottery I would read it, but also note that the poll was taken in 2011. I think a new 2017 discussion makes sense.

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The going rate in my area for a good mug is $30. Prices can range $5 more or less than that for a standard coffee mug, and I charge $15 for an espresso (I only sell these direct to customer, never wholesale), and $40 for a stein.

It takes just as much time to make an espresso mug as it takes to make a large mug so you are basically charging $15 less to make up for maybe .30 cents worth of clay. Charge around the same price.

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The going rate in my area for a good mug is $30. Prices can range $5 more or less than that for a standard coffee mug, and I charge $15 for an espresso (I only sell these direct to customer, never wholesale), and $40 for a stein.

It takes just as much time to make an espresso mug as it takes to make a large mug so you are basically charging $15 less to make up for maybe .30 cents worth of clay. Charge around the same price.
Now that I am also making a 12 oz mug, whereas I only made 20 oz mugs before, one striking difference is how much less space the 12 oz mug occupies. Both in the kiln and on my drying shelves. That's worth a few bucks to me.

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The going rate in my area for a good mug is $30. Prices can range $5 more or less than that for a standard coffee mug, and I charge $15 for an espresso (I only sell these direct to customer, never wholesale), and $40 for a stein.

It takes just as much time to make an espresso mug as it takes to make a large mug so you are basically charging $15 less to make up for maybe .30 cents worth of clay. Charge around the same price.

 

 

I think size does matter with pricing. A platter is going to sell for more than a charger, a serving bowl higher than a rice bowl etc. Vases seem to go for more than pitchers and yet they can be very similar in design but more work for the pitcher. What the customer perceives as a fair price also comes into it.

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I'm going to qualify the price on the espresso: I only sell these myself, in person. They're not available online, I won't wholesale or consign them because they're not cost effective to do so. I needed something at markets in the $10-20 price range that people could grab and not feel guilty about, and I'm not in love with making ring dishes. So I decided to take a page from Mark's book, and I'm only charging a slight markup on the wholesale price for these. They're kiln filler, and I fit them in and around the lost space under large serving bowls, and the thermal mass helps my outdoor kiln fire more evenly. Especially when it's -20. The materials are nothing, and I construct them much more simply than the bigger models. I would not suggest pricing a mug this low without being this calculated about it. And Madeline is right, perceived value does play into this.

 

They are also a small, sturdy, low value item that I can work my hyper kid voodoo on. If a wound-up, overwhelmed kid winds up in my booth, drawn by shiny things and followed by a freaked out mom behind them, I get down on their level, and tell them they can hold one of these if they use 2 hands. The eye contact, and the 2 hands are key. It grounds the kid out, and they focus, and they're able to hold still, focus and breathe, probably for the first time that day. It works every time. It doesn't usually result in a sale in that moment, but it earns a great deal of good will.

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Four pages worth of "How Much Do You Charge For A Mug"

 

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/1148-how-much-do-you-sell-your-mugs-for/

There are some good thoughts in those four pages (and a little too much off-topic meta-ranting). If I were ruepottery I would read it, but also note that the poll was taken in 2011. I think a new 2017 discussion makes sense.

 

 

Mea,like you, I thought it was a great resource of information for ruepottery

 

Maybe its a good time to create a new poll to see if prices changed any, or if are the same.

 

Its been my experience that most people are afraid to raise their prices and this might persuade a few to give themselves a raise.

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Here is why I believe what I wrote about the espresso cup pricing ... it is hard to find nice espresso sized mugs.

I am always on the lookout for them so I can vouch for this!

 

A customer doesn't care if they are good for filling little spaces or if they are a nuisance or if they are easy. That is the type of judgement you, the potter, put on the mug. Your thoughts on its value to you influence this low pricing ... not the marketplace.

 

That is one of the pitfalls of being the Maker, Artist, Pricer ... it is hard to be objective about your own work. Most of my purchased small espresso sized mugs cost me $30 - $60.

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Chris and Diesel, the two of you might be talking about two different items that can both be called espresso mugs.

 

I firmly believe that everybody has the right to price things based on their own needs and values, and for their own situation (location, audience, experience level, size of following, etc). Sure there is lots of underpriced pottery, but in my sphere I see more overpriced pottery than underpriced. There are forces that pressure potters into both mistakes. When I discuss pricing, I try to steer people towards real world trials and results, rather than theory or pressure.

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Look up similar stuff on Etsy.com. Set the search for US (? -or whatever relevant country) -only, Handmade, to weed out the factory stuff.

You can also search your area to see what nearby potters are selling their mugs for online.

Then I'd do a search online for the most successful well-known potters in your area, and go in person look at what their mugs in the local stores.

Honestly compare your work to theirs and voila.

This is why I don't make mugs. Yet. Should probably practice though.

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Yapoystudent has a most excellent suggestion about situating ones work in ones own market with one caveat: your local market may differ from Etsy. They can be two different places with different expectations. Price your work based on where you plan to do most of your selling. (online vs in person)

 

And Chris, I don't disagree with you. Customers don't give a fat rat's .... about my efficiencies, or lack thereof. Nor should they: It's really none of their business. In their current state, my 4 oz cup is merely a bonus to me from a technical and financial standpoint. I probably could get more money for them, and if I start to sell them at such a rate where I'm spending too much time on them I will certainly raise the price. My business and professional reputation are both very young, and there's room for pricing growth.

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:P As a diligent coffee drinker, I think "expresso" and "mugs" do not belong in the same sentence.

I also think expresso cups deserve a decent price, to honor their esteemed purpose, their special role in life, the art of the form, and the lucious contents they are designed for.  

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I make little 3/4 pound cups that I call juice cups or bathroom cups, but my customers call wine cups. I used to sell the for $10, but I upped them to $14 last year. They're an easy sell for folks who might not otherwise buy anything, or may not be able to afford one of my more expensive items. I've only got 5 minutes work in them glazed and done, so it's a good hourly rate. I think it's important to have something small and inexpensive in the booth, and they fill that need. I also make ice cream bowls (1 pound bowls) that I sell for $10 each. They are fast and simple, too. I raised the price to $13 last year and sales went way down. At some shows it worked, but at a lot they didn't. $10 is an easy number for people to justify. I also think that because ice cream bowls are the type of item where people want to buy more than one, that when they do the math it gets expensive quickly. Cups are something they're likely to buy just one of, but bowls tend to sell in sets.

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I sell my mugs, which are hand carved and / or hand painted cone 10 porcelain, for $30. They are very labor intensive, but I love the painting and carving. This spring I am moving that price to $32 as I replace stock. They are nicely large mugs, 18-20 oz, but not gigantic. I don't sell online, so I'm limited to my local area, a few small towns in very Northern California. Fortunately, one of the galleries in which I sell (a cooperative), is in an area that is visited by tourists from all over the world in the summer months. Mugs that are $30 or $35 are still an easy decision for these people. People appreciate that these mugs are one of a kind.

Mugs are small, easy to pack, and under $50. But, in general, prices are lower here than in bigger cities, where locals have more disposable income.

I find that in our gallery, anything under $50 or so sells well.

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Ya know I think mugs and corresponding prices have to be separated into two very distinct pots. A labor intensive mug with hand carving and/or hand painted can absolutely fetch $30-$50 even at the small shows I do. Its a beautiful pot that folks that enjoy pottery and coffee can use, appreciate and admire every day.

 

BUT a nice dipped large mug I just don't see it in any numbers. I need to move dozens, as mugs are my main thing and any time I put a price out of the teens sells plummet, People admire and compliment and you can often see them trying to justify as they pick up and hold and admire. $20+ is just a lot for the average person to justify for a coffee mug. At $15 my tri-dipped are just fine labor wise as I have about 20-25 minutes in a mug these days. 

 

I should clarify I do pedestrian shows with booth fees mostly under $200 and are not high end art shows. I am aslo in the south not on the east coast.

 

I have settled in at $15 for large mugs and they sell in much better numbers and I average 2.5 mugs production an hour which is prob $25 an hour after show and other expenses deducted. I have just made this determination starting this weekend and I think I will stay there. I have tried $24 down to $18 and mixed in discounts for multiples and the flat $15 seems to work.

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one way to do it is set aside the typical costing determined  by what the market will bear and get clear on the cost and qualities brought to production. the cost of materials-  box of clay divided by the weight of the clay, [40$ box making 34 cups], glaze and resist costs [86  divided by 250 mugs,  .30$ permug wax},  1.18 plus 0.64- so far 1.82$

cost of tools/wear and tear- bats, basic kit, other tools used- how many years do they last and how many pots do you throw in their life time. i make a thousand pots out of a 28$ tool kit, im new enough that none of my bats had died yet so not sure of their longevity)

water, electricty used (wheel or kiln), wood for kiln, percent of kiln cost  based on how much you fire it.  water bill divided by what you produced monthly, ditto electricity, rental of space also.

cost of living income for your area divided up by hours per year (35 hours a week 52 weeks)

what education and experience do you bring? not sure how to put a price on this ( cost of education plus interest divided by what you have produced so far- that makes your first cup very expensive if you just stepped out of your masters thesis studio...) (or each year of education plus years of experience  - this is the real value added your creativity and skill.

( kiln firing divided by number of items or mass of fired items) 

are you going to add a small fee you will pass on to the infrastructure that supports your presence there, town taxes in a sense, or local education in art to ensure a next generation.  use this to round up to the next bull, and actually follow through on this!

this all sounds like alot but if you make and sell many mugs it might be nice to get clear on this before you set your prices.

but 

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1 hour ago, keith barber said:

one way to do it is set aside the typical costing determined  by what the market will bear and get clear on the cost and qualities brought to production. the cost of materials-  box of clay divided by the weight of the clay, [40$ box making 34 cups], glaze and resist costs [86  divided by 250 mugs,  .30$ permug wax},  1.18 plus 0.64- so far 1.82$

cost of tools/wear and tear- bats, basic kit, other tools used- how many years do they last and how many pots do you throw in their life time. i make a thousand pots out of a 28$ tool kit, im new enough that none of my bats had died yet so not sure of their longevity)

water, electricty used (wheel or kiln), wood for kiln, percent of kiln cost  based on how much you fire it.  water bill divided by what you produced monthly, ditto electricity, rental of space also.

cost of living income for your area divided up by hours per year (35 hours a week 52 weeks)

what education and experience do you bring? not sure how to put a price on this ( cost of education plus interest divided by what you have produced so far- that makes your first cup very expensive if you just stepped out of your masters thesis studio...) (or each year of education plus years of experience  - this is the real value added your creativity and skill.

( kiln firing divided by number of items or mass of fired items) 

are you going to add a small fee you will pass on to the infrastructure that supports your presence there, town taxes in a sense, or local education in art to ensure a next generation.  use this to round up to the next bull, and actually follow through on this!

this all sounds like alot but if you make and sell many mugs it might be nice to get clear on this before you set your prices.

but 

I stopped making pots and have been working on this formula above -Collecting all the data ,I think in a another month or two I can get to the bottom of how much a mug costs me to make.

Hopefully by spring I will know what a ceral bowl costs me to make maybe?

Up until now I have been making pottery and selling it knowing that I always have enought money to pay taxes and have plenty of money left over after expenses year end.. I'm concerned that now as I'm not making any more pottery ( this data is taking me forever to collect  )to sell this figuring may really cost me .I may have to get a day job to figure this out?

Actually for me this  statement below has  always worked well.

(Up until now I have been making pottery and selling it knowing that I always have enought money to pay taxes and have plenty of money left over after expenses year end.)

I take pride in never have counted how many pots fit in my car kiln in the past 40 years.If I knew I'd likely have quit years ago.

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