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How Much Do You Charge For A Mug?

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10 minutes ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

@liambesaw @keith barber You both will probably appreciate this blog series on pricing by Mea Rhee, who was the business moderator before me, and is still an active community member. Back in 2011, she did a cost analysis of how much money she made based on the different income streams she used at the time. Rather than assigning herself an hourly wage, she tracked the time she spent on various tasks over the course of a year, and figured out how much money she made per hour. 

It’s required reading, in my opinion. 

http://www.goodelephant.com/blog/category/the-hourly-earnings-project

 

Pretty much what I was getting at, feel like the hourly wage is a result, not a requirement. 

I read her article in the CM archives a few months ago. Great read!

Edited by liambesaw

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All this talk of mug pricing -When I started to sell mugs in the early 70's they sold for $2.50 .They sold well

I did not have to figure out my costs as no one would pay any more than the $2.50 for a mug around here.

Now its 8 to11 times that much  for a mug and I still do not need to figure costs as they sell well.

You all have heard about that Potter who won the lottery  last year and got 10 million $$

They asked her what she was going to do now and she said keep  making pots until the money runs out.

She went back to making mugs.

 

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22 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

@liambesaw @keith barber You both will probably appreciate this blog series on pricing by Mea Rhee, who was the business moderator before me, and is still an active community member. Back in 2011, she did a cost analysis of how much money she made based on the different income streams she used at the time. Rather than assigning herself an hourly wage, she tracked the time she spent on various tasks over the course of a year, and figured out how much money she made per hour. 

It’s required reading, in my opinion. 

http://www.goodelephant.com/blog/category/the-hourly-earnings-project

 

yes, i read that when it came out.  tracking time might also be useful, as evryday passes after my first kick at pricing a mug i kept thinking of time/labour based considerations i forgotr to include. The easy answer is what the market will bear, but also to lead te market to keep up with fair wages, sourcing with other good sources of electricity, materials services etc...

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It depends on if you are building a business or a job. nothing wrong with the latter but a business needs to have both cost and profit, then if you actually sell more pots than you make you can grow as other businesses do.

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@keith barber, your fairly :) thorough elaborate calculations remind me of the efforts to monetize all the work done by a typical wife and mother, usually neglecting to deduct room and board, haha.

We do it because we love it. The more we love it, the more it shows and the better it pays, imho.

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I'm a total noob here, and pretty much to ceramics in general. I was reading this topic with a lot of interest, as I have some business ideas, and it's always good to have some numbers to throw to my wife before embarking on one of my nutty adventures. This topic was really helpful, and then I remembered this guy: https://www.turkeymerck.com/store.html and his mug prices. This dude must be in some weird market niche to support prices I wouldn't even pay for a coffee maker, let alone a coffee mug. But he's there, and he's charging stratospheric pricing, and I gotta wonder if something like this even budges the needle on what everyone else is doing?

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2 hours ago, lowjack2002 said:

I'm a total noob here, and pretty much to ceramics in general. I was reading this topic with a lot of interest, as I have some business ideas, and it's always good to have some numbers to throw to my wife before embarking on one of my nutty adventures. This topic was really helpful, and then I remembered this guy: https://www.turkeymerck.com/store.html and his mug prices. This dude must be in some weird market niche to support prices I wouldn't even pay for a coffee maker, let alone a coffee mug. But he's there, and he's charging stratospheric pricing, and I gotta wonder if something like this even budges the needle on what everyone else is doing?

It's very niche, just look around and count the amount of people drinking coffee out of a horrific disgusting gory disembodied head.  I have read his posts on Reddit, he makes a master and slip casts it, then paints them.  If you want to charge 300 dollars for a mug, you have to find your own version of the gory disembodied head.  I have even seen ripoffs of his mugs out and about, so that dilutes the market too... If you chase whats hot to get an inflated price, you will always be chasing.

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I could see a lot of people I know drinking coffee out of skulls and such, actually. But none of them would pay that kind of money for it. I was just curious if anyone was seeing any room to move their pricing up because of things like this, or is this just such an outlier that it's irrelevant in the big picture?  I can't fathom asking people to pay more than $30, or even $50 for an outrageously done mug.

 

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Completely irrelevant to pricing your own mugs.  It works for him because he's quasi-famous from Reddit and now has a lot of people collecting his work.  His mugs were 50 dollars less than a year ago, he has a large enough fan base to say screw you to his poorer customers in favor of gouging his collectors.  Not a great business model unless you have a large customer base already, even then it's risky.

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He’s not even the first one to do something like that. Katie Marks started off about 6-7 years ago on Pinterest, and got very popular there. She has been known to auction off a single mug for in excess of $500 USD on Instagram, and more power to her! That is an example of excellent marketing skills, and finding your niche.

I believe both Katie and Turkey Merk are outliers.  Just because they’re selling at those prices on the internet doesn’t mean I can successfully command a bunch of extra money for my mugs  in Southern Alberta. The social media online crowd is a very different group of people than  the market I happen to serve. 

I think if you want to make a bit more money from your work, you need to look at and understand who it is you’re serving. And really think about that word ‘serving.’ What problem are you solving for them? When you’re dealing with luxury goods, usually the problem you’re solving has to do with buying the best gift for someone, or having the “it” thing. Maybe your work invokes nostalgia, or a feeling of quality or timelessness. The needs you’re fulfilling are higher up Maslow’s hierarchy than the basics of food/shelter/clothing, but they are needs. Note that you’re making someone feel something positive or secure in all of these instances.  Katie Marks and Turkey Merk both do this for their audiences. 

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