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How Much Are You Willing To Pay For A Mug?

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This is the flip side to the thread "How much do you charge for a mug?" Any forum user is invited to answer, whether you sell your pots or not. Please provide context for your answer, such as your location, what you look for in a mug, how you use them, etc.

 

Here's my answer: I get most of my mugs via trade, so I am happy to pay one mug for one mug. But only if I really like the mug, or really like the potter. I still buy mugs with actual money on a regular basis, and I find that I am not willing to spend more than $40. I want mugs that can stand up to actual use, including the dishwasher and microwave. They need to be large enough for my coffee habit. I never buy mugs that look so decorative that I suspect the maker doesn't really want me to get it wet. Or if the design puts a low priority on function, no matter how attractive it is (ie, poorly trimmed heavy bottom, uncomfortable handle). I live and shop in the mid-Atlantic region (DC, Baltimore, Philly).

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I have always been a cheapy on mugs, over the years buying some, but most times just using those I have made. We have paid upwards of $30 for a mug, but not often. I find that I like to use the mugs I have made, and that they fit the coffee addiction that I have. I also find that by using my own pottery that I learn more about what makes a good mug, bowl, plate, butter dish, serving dish, or other functional form. My wife believes that some of the best bowls she has ever used are now the ones I make for us to use. We love using our own pots, but at the same time she buys commercial dinnerware for occasions and for everyday. My stuff fills in the gaps.

 

best,

Pres

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I have spent on rare occasion, $45. But that was from Sarah Pike and Katriona Djriber. I justified those because I don't spend money on myself in other ways, like shoes, or fabric, or handbags. And I really don't do it that often. I try and keep things in the $30 or under range. I have traded for a few as well, although I tend to get more clothing or art out of trades.

 

I have a lot my own work in my cupboards from over the years, because Pres is right about using your own work to check for function. This means however I acquire a new mug, it has to be one I really want. I do the whole thing that we preach to our customers, and check the feel, it has to be a nice handle, and I prefer it to be a just right size and be able to go in the dishwasher. I will relax the dishwasher thing if I really like it anyways, and there is some flex in the size. And I want to see that the potter is developing their own voice. And if the potter is mean, I don't want their stuff. I know we're all a bit weird, and God knows I know my way around the socially awkward. But if the vendor is an outright jer$ I want nothing to do with them, however nice or famous the work might be.

I live and shop in Southern Alberta, so I have access to potters from all over the province and into the east side of BC. Saskatchewan potters don't seem to make it this way for some reason.

Pres, GiselleNo5 and Marcia Selsor like this

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I am a sucker for a well made, beautifully designed, fabulous mug. I buy many from guest potters at both the NC Potters Conference and NCECA.

It is usually a way to acquire of piece of work that you can actually use and enjoy on a daily basis. I know who made them all.

Most of them start at $35 but if I want a piece from a well known potter I pay what they are asking.

I have never regretted buying them but do remember the ones that got away!

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GiselleNo5, oldlady, Min and 1 other like this

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Coming off of years of being broke, it's still hard for me to spend money on myself. 

I also have a really hard time justifying purchases that I feel are "luxury". We have a cupboard full of mugs. They rarely get broken so I have no excuse to replace them. I don't even keep mugs that I make because of this. 

 

This being said, I have seen Kirsten Kieffer mugs or yunomi that were close to or over $100 and I don't think that's excessive for what goes into each piece. If I had the money I would buy it. Same goes for Katriona Djriber, Grace dePledge, Asa Olofsson, and too many others to name. I would pay whatever they wanted just because I adore their work.

 

I think if I was a mug breaker I might feel differently.

 

I also do not use a microwave or dishwasher so that is possibly why my mugs survive forever. 

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the most expensive mug i have was a pity purchase.  i like the mug well enough but the poor potter was working in a tiny, tiny space and selling on a studio tour day filled with rain and no customers at her tiny place hidden up a hillside.  my $35 may have been her only sale that day.

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I've paid $40. I kinda realized that if I only purchase a few pieces a year the price doesn't really matter. I don't use the mugs I purchase because I have a few favorites from my own collection. So they are goodwill, display pieces, and examples for my students.

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I like using other potters mugs-my single biggest issue has nothing to do with price its space. Our two mug cupboards are stacked two mugs high and another mug is one to many. Cost is not my most motivating factor its like and mostly feel of the handle with mug-25$-50$ seems to be the range when I was buying them. I have traded for more than I have bought.

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When my partner and I set up home together we bought mugs at various outlets for a few years, never paying very much at all for them.

 

As we added to our Denby dinnerware set, we bought Denby mugs.

 

We have 6 original design and 6 newer design mugs using the old for for tea, the new for coffee.

 

We have lived in this house for 29 years, and don't recall buying any mugs during that time.  No idea how much we paid for them, but they were expensive (for us) at the time.

 

They still sell on ebay and other places, but rarely available new.

 

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I would pay up to $50 for a mug I really liked.

 

I know there are plenty of people out there, who would be shocked at a mug costing that much, but I can appreciate what goes into making it.  So if I liked the size and style, I would have no problem paying out for it.

JBaymore likes this

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I need to touch a mug to see if it fits, how the weight is, how the volume works for me ... would not buy online. The only mug maker I trust this much is Mark Issenberg ... he makes superb mugs ... I have bought two by email when I wanted his latest colors.

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I spend around 30.00. A mug for me is totally about function and feel and so I would never buy online. Tend to buy at conferences and shows where I have met or know the maker. I won't say I would never spend more than 30.00, but the more expensive mugs are often the ones with carving, fancy handles, etc. and I find the "fancy" mugs often sacrifice function or feel so I don't buy them.

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I will only buy mugs in person as well. I need to pick it up and feel it. Then again where I live there are plenty of opportunities to see and buy handmade pots.

 

The only pot I ever bought online is when my students and I were buying a wedding gift for another student. Using etsy allowed us to "go shopping together" from our respective living rooms.

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I am just starting to load my shop mostly with the intention of it being a way for existing customers to add to what they have already bought in person. My mugs follow 4 distinct designs and small, med & large (24 oz range) and 5 glaze combos so if you have bought one you kind of know what you're getting.

 

That said while I have been stocking my set line, my one offs have pretty much so out. Will be interesting to see if one offs sell well online.

 

To answer original question I'm a $15-$20 mug guy but mostly use my own that have slight flaws.

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