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Consignment, Reasonable Expectations


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#21 Mark C.

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:01 PM

I think you may not see this as explained -

If I am selling consigne to a shop I set the selling price say 20$ that means I get 10$ when it sells

Thats the fifty 50 deal-you always set the selling price on consignmet not anyone else.

On a 60-40 deal you get 60% of final sale They get 40%

For my whole ceramics career I have ni idea what a mugs costs me to make

Its to hard for me to figure other than a very general deal as I buy so many ingredients at so many different decade and  the variables are so huge.

Labor is THE MAIN cost and I'm good at doing lots fast-that said its still a crap shoot-

The seller gets 40-50% of the price in consignment-In your case the mug only adds to coffe sales which is what the shop is really doing.

Let us know what deal you cut so we can learn something different sort of like my Bagel shop thing.

Mark


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www.liscomhillpottery.com

#22 JBaymore

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:25 PM

Personally I think the issue here is the $15.00 projected retail price point.  That is very low for hand work produced in low volume.  Maybe ... so low a price... that in your particular market... not viabale other than for direct sales between you and a customer.  To me, that is more like wholesale pricing.

 

This all gets into the issues of production rate, quality of the work itself relative to the potential pricing, and percieved value in the particular market segment.

 

Personally I also feel there is a distinction between a machine produced, Walmart type, thick white cylindrical coffee cup with a decal transfer of "I love me poodle" on it and a handmade coffee cup that is well designed, glazed and aestheticallly and functionally considered.  IF... and that is a big IF.... the market segment you are trying to sell into understands or buys into this whole idea...... then you have a potential market.....and the price can come up commensurately.  If not........ personally I think it is the wrong venue if it is forcing you to stay in that kind of "deal"

 

best,

 

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


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Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#23 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:16 PM

Personally I think the issue here is the $15.00 projected retail price point.  That is very low for hand work produced in low volume.  Maybe ... so low a price... that in your particular market... not viabale other than for direct sales between you and a customer.  To me, that is more like wholesale pricing.

 

This all gets into the issues of production rate, quality of the work itself relative to the potential pricing, and percieved value in the particular market segment.

 

Personally I also feel there is a distinction between a machine produced, Walmart type, thick white cylindrical coffee cup with a decal transfer of "I love me poodle" on it and a handmade coffee cup that is well designed, glazed and aestheticallly and functionally considered.  IF... and that is a big IF.... the market segment you are trying to sell into understands or buys into this whole idea...... then you have a potential market.....and the price can come up commensurately.  If not........ personally I think it is the wrong venue if it is forcing you to stay in that kind of "deal"

 

best,

 

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

As a potter who has only been making pots for less than 2 years, I don't feel like I should be pricing my cups as high as a well established artist who has years of skill.  I know that I cannot produce the same skill as Jim Sandufer for example, who sells his cups (similar size to mine) for $25 each.  I make enough pottery where I need to start selling it to keep paying for my habit, I do have a small following of people who want to buy my work, but I anticipate i would raise prices as I become a more seasoned potter.  I think since the coffee shop is across the street from starbucks and does well because they are the genre of "support local" I think they might be a good niche to get in.  On principal they should get it.  


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#24 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:37 PM

Might I ask how one mug could cost you $4 to make? If you are factoring in your labor that's a different story but could you show us your math?

I haven't actually figured it out to be truthful.  But I am not producing enough yet where I am buying bulk clay and bulk glaze supplies for cheap. So far I have been firing in a small kiln that only fires 20 small mugs at the most.  (I got the big kiln so I can produce more with the electric that I spend, but I haven not fired it yet) I am pretty sure my electric is around $35 each time I run the kiln. Which is about $70 (bisque and glaze) per 20 mugs. I have been buying amoco glaze by the pint because i don't make any sales to pay for gallon prices. As you know, 1 pint would probably glaze about 15-20 mugs… so that would be around $10 for the single glaze.  (just trying to simplify it) The clay body I use is $24 per box. Each small mug I make is 10 oz of clay.  (pre handle) So I make about 75 mugs per 50# box.   

 

So we are looking at about $3.50 for electricity, and $.82 for materials. I am completely guessing on my electric bill.  I just read this  http://www.bigcerami...calc_costs.html

 

 

editing to add…  I probably get only about 60 mugs per box because I need to account more than 5# for handles. 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#25 Norm Stuart

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:31 AM

That must be an awfully big kiln to cost $35 each time you fire it.  We have a 3.5 cu/ft Cress 36 amp 220 volt, and this is our cost at $0.12 per Kilowatt hour.

 

$4.95  Bisque Medium-Slow speed with 6 hour pre-heat ($0.05)

$5.90  Cone 6 Medium speed with 6 hour slow-cool ($0.80)

$3.10  Cone 06 Medium-Fast

 

Today I would add an extra $1 per firing for kiln repair and another $1 per firing for kiln replacement, but that cost would have to be heavily weighted toward ^6 firings costing more than bisque and low-fire.

 

This is how I priced out my duck, compared with a test tile - to encourage people use test tiles rather than using their work as a tile.

$15.45  Duck Sculpture  (14" x 13" x 12")    

$12.51  Sculpture and One Glaze    

$ 4.18   20 pounds Amador Clay

$ 4.00   Glaze  -  I'm giving you an Amaco glaze price here, making glaze your cost is way less than this

$ 1.98   Bisque Firing - 40% of Kiln

$ 2.35   High Fire - 40% of Kiln    

$ 2.94   SubTotal of extra firings

$ 1.24   Low Fire - 40% of Kiln

$ 1.70   Gilding - 100% of Kiln        

 

$ 0.15   Test Tile

$ 0.02   0.10 pounds Amador Clay

$ 0.02   Glaze

$ 0.05   Bisque Firing - 1% of Kiln

$ 0.06   High Fire - 1% of Kiln

 

Is there a market for a duck sculpture by an amateur?  Probably enough to reimburse the costs, but not my labor.

 

If I gave someone a 50% split to sell this for $31, then I've recovered my costs but paid myself nothing.  Sadly for my business prospects I wouldn't sell my duck for $3,000 which I assume is safely above the market price, simply because I made it and I think fondly of it and the soul-sucking time and energy I spent making it - sentimental attachment, let's call it.  Yet at the same time it offends me with what I could have done better but did not. It's interesting the acceptance of my current limitations.

 

On the other hand, if I were a well-known celebrity, perhaps $30,000 would not be out of question for this little duck - not because of the talent, quality  or time involved, but simply based on who the famous personage is who made it.  Just imagine the price of coffee mugs thrown and glazed by Oprah Winfrey, particularly if she donated them to a charity auction where the bids went for a wonderful cause.

med_gallery_18533_691_487609.jpg

med_gallery_18533_691_637380.jpg

med_gallery_18533_691_325548.jpg

 

 

I liked it enough to make a companion piece - Return of the Duck in Orange Sauce.

 

If I had priced this out, it would have been far less costly than the duck - mostly because it takes up far less kiln space to fire.

med_gallery_18533_691_93366.jpg

Both pieces were thrown on a demi-elliptical wheel with a cantilevered digital throwing arm.

 

 

Might I ask how one mug could cost you $4 to make? If you are factoring in your labor that's a different story but could you show us your math?

I haven't actually figured it out to be truthful. 

 

I am pretty sure my electric is around $35 each time I run the kiln. Which is about $70 (bisque and glaze) per 20 mugs.

 

I have been buying amoco glaze by the pint because i don't make any sales to pay for gallon prices. As you know, 1 pint would probably glaze about 15-20 mugs… so that would be around $10 for the single glaze.  (just trying to simplify it) The clay body I use is $24 per box. Each small mug I make is 10 oz of clay.  (pre handle) So I make about 75 mugs per 50# box.   

 

So we are looking at about $3.50 for electricity, and $.82 for materials. I am completely guessing on my electric bill.  I just read this  http://www.bigcerami...calc_costs.html

 

 

editing to add…  I probably get only about 60 mugs per box because I need to account more than 5# for handles. 

 



#26 JBaymore

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:29 AM

Love the pairing of pieces and the title of the second one, Norm!

 

rebbbyliscious, if your kiln is as small as you say, you HAVE to be WAY off on your firing costs. Or you have the highest electric rates I've ever heard of.

 

I understand your thought on pricing relative to others works ... and you have a solid point there. I come back to the thought that maybe in the current state of things for you...... if you are not liking the "deal" that the place you are talking about will work out to... that it is not the right time to pursue that situation. Either that or you'll just have to either "bite the bullet" and take what you get out of it.... or raise the prices so that you feel better about the return for your efforts.

 

One real problem with the hand crafted pottery field is that, in general, we are our own worst enemy. We tend to undervalue our efforts badly. So skilled people are selling wwork for prices that are way below what they should be. That depresses the market for everyone. Go into a commercial department store and look at the prices for stuff like Noritake....... Wedgewood...... et al. That stuff is cranked out mainly by machines in massive volumes and the materials costs and firing costs are reduced to a pitance. Yet they price as they do....and they sell.

 

best,

 

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


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

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#27 Stephen

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:23 PM

I would chime in that the difference in production work and studio work makes a huge difference.

 

A hand crafted mug that has a lot of additional detail and time involved might be priced substantially higher as more of an art piece than a production mug that is thrown in a few minutes, trimmed in a few minutes and a couple of minutes of a 2-3 hour glazing session along with a small corner of a kiln (our 9 cf kiln cost about $6-7 to fire by the way). 30 seconds more of bottom sanding an it is ready to go out the door somewhere.

 

This production mug is still going to be a beautiful handcrafted mug (may well have a little carving or slip work) and gleaned from hours of drawings, testing and other design work by the potter, perfected for production runs and will be priced at say $25 retail. 

 

A $12.50 split works out OK for the potter and selling direct to the public will earn $15-$17.50. Direct selling through decent size fairs cost about 30-40% in expenses (but you will get some show labor at slightly above min wage out of that :-) and could increase north of 50% if you have a string of show failures and have to eat some additional cost somewhere. Like Mark said, it is going to be a moving target trying to attach direct expenses to individual production items if you make and sell many.

 

One thing I would warn is not to take more involved artistic studio work that is done on a functional piece of pottery, like a mug, that you invest a lot of time in and then price it like a production piece or you will have trouble making it work.  

 

Not sure I agree with your pricing based on experience. A subpar mug should not go out and if its a quality mug then why should it not be priced a what is perceived to be the market rate? A famous potter may command much more but you are advocating pricing at well below what I think most folks see the market rate of 20-25 bucks for artisan made handcrafted mugs. I think this is what the artisan market sees as an average price for a nice hand thrown mug (I am assuming your talking about hand thrown mugs and not slab work).

 

I would argue that the adjustment is made if you're honest about the work and only sell beautiful mugs and trash the rest. This means that a new professional is going to have a much higher failure rate than a seasoned pro and make less because of this. The mugs that hit the market though are all of high quality and priced right. Everyone is served as the market is not depressed and the seasoned pro is realizing some additional perk of his/her years of hard work.    

 

The business forum moderator, Mea Rhee, did a fantastic hourly earnings project that was published by this sites magazine and Mark C's and others threads offer of lots and lots of details on making a living at this.

 

Good luck with your first wholesale customer!  



#28 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:36 PM

I am enjoying all of the advice. 

 

Norm- thanks for giving me the biggest craving for foie gras! 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#29 Mark C.

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:32 AM

Back in the day -like 35-40 years ago I did consignment at a few places when I was Green and the split was 30 for shop 70 for me-That was then and now its it not.

But whatever deal you work out I would keep it simple with an eye toward the future.

Mark


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#30 JBaymore

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 09:48 AM

............and the split was 30 for shop 70 for me-That was then and now its it not.

 

 

Sigh.......... my my, my.... thanks (I think) fior the walk down memory lane.

 

best,

 

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


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

http://www.JohnBaymore.com




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