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pricing

updated mon 13 jul 09

 

Eleanora Eden on tue 20 aug 96

Hi all,

While we're on pricing here's my recent teapot experience. I was
seriously considering not bringing teapots to recent fairs as it seemed I
never sold them. So I brought the prices down by $20 ea (from 180. to
160, from 150. to 130.) and sold ten teapots this month at my summer
fairs. Almost all I had. Usually I resist this kind of thing but lately
it seems rediculous not to try to change something and see if it helps.

Eleanora

Eleanora Eden 802 869-2003
Paradise Hill
Bellows Falls, VT 05101 eden@maple.sover.net

Sharon Miranda on sun 8 dec 96

My grateful thanks to Vince for his helpful hints on approaching galleries
and such. I need to learn, and fast how to do this.
My question (problem) is this: my partner (who paints on some of my
pieces) has given a whole batch of our work to her nephew who has offered
to take them to galleries in Connecticut. One gallery (maybe even more) is
interested. Being Connecticut, he says our retail price (just as an example
--one platter sells for $85) is about right for a Wholesale price, meaning,
of course the thing would sell for twice that. My problem with that is how
can we then, sell our pieces at home in our own kiln opening shows or even
at crafts fairs for less? I don't believe the pieces will sell if we ask
for that large amount of money, but isn't it wrong to sell for less (and
undercut the gallery), or is it ok since the galleries are so far away and
in a whole other geographical situation?
(personally I have no problem with lowering the wholesale price, but am
having some trouble convincing my partner and need some concrete advice and
clayart wisdom)
TIA
Sharon
*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*
Sharon LaRocca-Miranda *
92 Morgan Street *
Oberlin, Ohio 44074 *
Sharon.Miranda@oberlin.edu *
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .*
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

JOE BENNION on tue 10 dec 96

Sharon,
I don't consider this concrete advice nor will it be convincing, it is
just how I do things. I live a long way from the city or any galleries. My
cost of operating is not much. I sell 90% 0f my work out of my studio
showroom at what many would consider to be wholesale prices. They are my
studio prices. I don't consign to anyone. A few galleries come to my shop and
purchase work from me. At their shop they double that price. They have much
higher overhead than I do. They know that the price at my shop is the same for
them as any other of my customers. It is their choice to come and do that. The
only way people can get my pots at my studio prices is to come out to my place
and buy them. If someone calls me and wants pottery shipped to them they will
have to pay gallery prices. I suppose that is my way of discouraging that sort
of shopping. I don't know what your time is worth but I can't afford to take
the time to pack and ship pots with out being well compensated for my time.
The gallery price I sell at over the phone includes packing and shipping.
My work is small and utilitarian in nature. The prices reflect that. If I
were making wares that I wanted to present to the public as "fine art" with
prices that would reflect that attitude I would no doubt look more to
galleries to market my work. People expect to find fine art in galleries and
they are happy to pay for the status that those object will confer on their
homes. If my work was more intended for the later application I would need to
keep my prices consistent between my shop and theirs so as not to upset the
balance of my market. Good luck and happy potting. Joe the Potter

Tim Lynch on fri 13 dec 96

I know, I know, this has been discussed before but my eyes are buggy from
going through the Clayart archives trying to find info on this subject.
Recently, our local college's student art group had their annual student
sale. One of the ceramics students was chastised by an instructor for the
price on her vessels (don't know if it was too high or too low.) So, the
other instructor has asked me to ask my Clayart pals for guidelines on
pricing. I have my own criteria for pricing and have relayed this to the
asking party but he would like to tap the vast knowledge pool we swim in.
I'm not sure but I think it is a safe bet to assume that some of the
replies may be used in the classroom.

Thanks.



Tim Lynch
The Clay Man
748 Highline Drive
East Wenatchee, WA 98802-5606

email: tlynch@usa.net
tlynch@esd171.wednet.edu

telephone: 509-884-8303

Sandra Dwiggins on sat 14 dec 96

When I first joined the list--1.5 years ago-there was a very thorough
discussion on pricing. I don't remember who wrote about the following
formula, but it's what I have used since I read it: the amount of clay you
use to make a production piece X 3. This is simple and includes firing
costs, etc. I'm not sure that this formula also includes shipping--but I
don't ship so right now this works for me.

Sandy

Carol Ratliff.clayart.CLAYART.MAILING LIST on sun 15 dec 96

What is meant by "the amount of clay x 3"??? Is it weight x 3 ?, cost x 3
??? and by 3 what?

Cobalt1994@aol.com on sun 15 dec 96

Sandra wrote:
< I don't remember who wrote about the following

This formuala comes out WAY on the cheap side for me: A 2 lb bowl going for 6
dollars? That's too cheap even if this is a formual for wholesale. At this
point I'm usiing the same type of formula (very casually) but I usually
multiply the pounds of clay by 8 to 14 depending on the pot, how many extra
things it has, like handle, lid, etc, as well as what the market will bare.
So that 2 pound bowl has a retail price of 18.00.
Gotta make a living, right?
Jennifer in VT gloating over finishing the last firing of the season......

LizzardOL@aol.com on mon 16 dec 96

Re: the guideline on pricing:
"-there was a very thorough
discussion on pricing. I don't remember who wrote about the following
formula, but it's what I have used since I read it: the amount of clay you
use to make a production piece X 3."

What are the units for this conversion? Does this mean the cost of the clay X
3 (we'll go broke)? The weight of the clay (pounds weight = pounds sterling =
$ U.S.??).

Dave and Pat Eitel on mon 16 dec 96

>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>When I first joined the list--1.5 years ago-there was a very thorough
>discussion on pricing. I don't remember who wrote about the following
>formula, but it's what I have used since I read it: the amount of clay you
>use to make a production piece X 3. This is simple and includes firing
>costs, etc. I'm not sure that this formula also includes shipping--but I
>don't ship so right now this works for me.
>
>Sandy

Sandy--Does this mean you'd charge 90 cents for a mug with a pound of clay
in it, assuming (generously) your clay cost 30 cents a pound?

Later...Dave

Dave Eitel
Cedar Creek Pottery
Cedarburg, WI
pots@cedarcreekpottery.com
http://www.cedarcreekpottery.com

CFisher995@aol.com on mon 16 dec 96

I was once told to charge 5 times the firing fee (cost of firing). At the
time I was working through a studio and they charged length x width x width x
..025 to get the fee). This still had to be adjusted for complexity of pots.

Sam Cuttell on wed 18 dec 96

I would like to comment here on pricing. Following is the formula *I* use
to price my items.

BTW I fire to ^10 ox if this has any bearing on the math.

For a mug (including handle) I use 1 lb of clay (50 cents). Add electricity
and glaze and I still can't find more than 75 cents in material costs. I
charge $13 (retail; Canadian) and can never produce enough of the suckers to
meet demand.

BUT

I've left out many factors, *the* most important being TIME. I have a list
(tucked inside my mugs) of the 26 steps that go into making a mug. My
_time_ is worth money! I am not afraid to charge for my time any more than
my accountant is ashamed of charging for his time.

I charge between $10-$15 per pound of wet clay. This formula slides up and
down depending on additions to the pot (hence a mug w/o handle would cost
less than a mug w/handle) and varying circumstances. Wine bricks, which are
simple cylinders, go for under $10 a pound - they are the lone exception.
3lb chip dips are $32 (retail). 5 lb chip dips are $60 (retail) as the loss
ratio get higher with larger pieces. 2lb t-pots are $50 and 4 lb t-pots are
$80. I don't wholesale t-pots due to the time involved. It is a
loss-leader at the best of times....having said that, I love making t-pots!!

I look forward to reading other peoples formulas for pricing.

sam - alias the cat lady
Home of Manx cats, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and the odd horse
Melbourne, Ontario, CANADA
(SW Ontario)
http://www.geocities.com/paris/3110

"Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change."

carrie jacobson on sat 16 may 98

So what *is* the right price for stuff? I am a new potter, and I am
planning to enter a local craft fair in november. I understand that prices
vary according to where in the country you are, but there must be some sort
of median.

When I see stuff around here, the prices vary wildly. For me, the higher
prices are an impediment to purchase. I can buy a mug for $12, maybe even
$15, but I can't justify buying a mug for $32. And some people sell them
for that, or more.

I am making giant porcelain bowls now, (well, giant for me, 28-34 inches
across), and I have no idea how to price these. No one around here makes
them, at least not like mine. What would *I* pay? I probably wouldn't. I
would want, and want, but would never have the money to shell out, what?
$60? $80? on a giant bowl. I'm not cheap, I am just a realist.

I can figure out price by the cost of the clay, the number of items, etc.,
but have questions about what my time is worth. As a potter, am I worth the
hourly wage I make as the editor of a little daily newspaper? I have 12
years of journalism experience, and not even 12 months of pottery
experience. But I love pottery more, and have a greater potential for
happiness and success. And what is my wage at the paper anyway? -- my
weekly salary divided by the number of hours I am supposed to work, or the
number of hours I actually do work?

And how do I figure in the element of joy? Is it a price I add, because it
means so much of me is in my pieces? Or is it a price I subtract, because
my pottery work is so fulfilling?

You all have thought about these things, about the crown of the hill where
process becomes product, and how price impedes or smooths the road... Lucky
for me, November is a ways off ...

Regards,

Carrie


Carrie Jacobson
Pawcatuck, CT
mailto:jacobson@brainiac.com

Plaznclay on sun 17 may 98

Carrie,

I also have troubles pricing my work and would be happy to hear any
suggestions on this subject.
Since I lack experience I may be wrong but I think that you should take into
consideration more than just cost of materials. Have you spent a lot of time
on surface decoration? Are theses bowls thrown or molded? (If thrown, kudos
to you. 24 to 36 inches in porcelain is amazing for 12 months experience) Are
you figuring in the rate of loss also? Seems that for an item of that size
$80.00 is too low. It takes a certain amount of skill to make and fire an
item of that size in porcelain (thrown or molded) and you should price them
higher.
Looking forward to seeing more posts on this subject.

Sincerely,

Jenny D.

Riff Fenton on sun 17 may 98

I am most interested about the kiln furniture you employ
in firing 32 inch bowls
riff@bbs.slv.org

Michael McDowell on wed 20 may 98

Just had another thought on this general issue of what prices to set on your
work as I was making up an inventory sheet for a dozen pieces that I'm
putting in the space where I'll be giving my pottery appreciation course.
There are, I know, a lot of you on the list who are pretty new to this game
and are really hoping that someone will reveal the simple basic formula that
you can use to clarify this issue for you. Dream on!

Let me say that I have a master's degree in economic theory, and have been
pricing my pots for close to three decades now and it's still a process
fraught with uncertainty. There are some basic priciples that I try to use
to guide me however, and that I'm willing to share.

First, I want to get as much as I possibly can for my pieces. I've spent
decades putting myself through this ordeal called becoming a potter. I'm not
complaining. It's been a grand adventure that has filled my life with
meaning, which is true wealth. I'm just saying that there's no way I can be
cheating anyone by charging "too much" for my work. If I'm succesfull in
selling a piece at a premium price, I can be confident that the purchaser
will pay that much more attention to the piece. Without the final users
active participation in experiencing all the subtleties that I consciously
and unconsciously introduce into a piece, it's full value will never be
realized. This, of course, has to be measured by "what the market will
bear". But I feel I must be willing as well for my work not to sell in any
given market. That doesn't mean I've necessarily "overpriced". It may just
mean that I'm in the wrong market, and I'm "casting my pearls before swine".

Second, I can only rely on time and materials expense, rate of losses on a
particular effect and such as a relative guide to pricing, not an absolute
one. I will always try to charge more for pieces that are more time
consuming, costly or chancy to produce. This doesn't mean that they are
necessarily more valuable. That will be revealed to me by the operation of
the marketplace. If these pieces sell at an appropriate relative premium
over my other pieces, then I know that I have hit upon an "effective"
technique. If over time I find that these pieces are not bringing their
premium, then I eventually will leave the prices on them and offer them as
"seconds" at half the marked price.

Third, I always try to maintain strict separation of the channels through
which I market first quality work and seconds. When I sell my seconds, or
donate them, I always try to make it clear that I do consider them seconds
and why. Still, if they are offered for sale in the same place and time as
my firsts I feel that would seriously compromise my presentation of the work
that I'm most proud of.

These are just personal rules of thumb. I offer them to those for whom they
have meaning.

Michael McDowell
Whatcom County, WA USA
http://www2.memes.com/mmpots
mmpots@memes.com

Tracey2 on thu 14 oct 99

I've got a potter on my website and her work is exquisite. I think her
prices might be too low, however..Could a few of you please check it out and
give me your two cents? (No, I don't charge commissions! lol)
The site is located at www.artifactgallery.com and the artist is Joyce
Kristoffy-Hewlett, Raku Gallery.
Much appreciated!
Thank you..
Tracey

www.artifactgallery.com
for the Newsletter send a blank email to artifact_forum@listbot.com

Wendy Hampton on fri 15 oct 99

In a message dated 10/14/99 10:02:17 AM Pacific Daylight Time, tracey@wwa.com
writes:

<< www.artifactgallery.com >>
I viewed the site and do not feel that the prices are out of line for items
in the Seattle area.
Wendy

Ray Aldridge on fri 15 oct 99

At 01:01 PM 10/14/99 EDT, you wrote:
>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>I've got a potter on my website and her work is exquisite. I think her
>prices might be too low, however..Could a few of you please check it out and
>give me your two cents? (No, I don't charge commissions! lol)
>The site is located at www.artifactgallery.com and the artist is Joyce
>Kristoffy-Hewlett, Raku Gallery.

Tracey, you probably know this, and I know it's been mentioned before, but
if you reference web site addresses in email messages, and you prefix them
with "http://" then people like me who use mailreader software like Eudora
can doubleclick the address and go there without having to cut-and-paste
the URL to the browser.

For example: http://www.artifactgallery.com

It takes a few more keystrokes, but the gurus say it increases traffic
substantially.

Ray


Aldridge Porcelain and Stoneware
http://www.goodpots.com

Tasha Olive on sun 17 oct 99

Tracey, the work IS lovely. As to being priced too low? That's a subjective
question I'm afraid. What may seem too low to me may seem exorbitant to
another. If the artist feels she is making a fair profit then that is the
best guidepost. Tasha
-----Original Message-----
From: Tracey2
To: CLAYART@LSV.UKY.EDU
Date: Thursday, October 14, 1999 10:02 AM
Subject: Pricing


>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>I've got a potter on my website and her work is exquisite. I think her
>prices might be too low, however..Could a few of you please check it out
and
>give me your two cents? (No, I don't charge commissions! lol)
>The site is located at www.artifactgallery.com and the artist is Joyce
>Kristoffy-Hewlett, Raku Gallery.
>Much appreciated!
>Thank you..
>Tracey
>
>www.artifactgallery.com
>for the Newsletter send a blank email to artifact_forum@listbot.com

mel jacobson on wed 15 mar 00

all i know is that, when it comes time to
put the number on the tag.
well, i do that.

traded warren mackenzie a 40 gallon fish tank for his
kids, for a set of dishes. 1957 (sorta a wedding gift)
have them still and love them.

he is a great potter i think the best, and nils and i talked the other
day...long time.
and we both agree....don't bash icons, cuzz the world will come down
hard.

and then when we are really old, well, we will get bashed too if you
say nasty things.

we get what we need for our pots in most cases.
it is in our own hands.

i make mugs to give away....big sale...slide one in the bag
and say...`thanks for paying in cash`.

draw that circle, fifty miles..sell your pots, get what the traffic
will tolerate.

but, don't call me and ask me to get warren's pots for you, those
are his, in fact, he can throw them on the highway if he wishes.
but, as ray pointed out, they are hard to come by...not just
piles of them sitting there for 5 bucks.

warren is one tough scotsman, don't go toe to toe...you will
lose.

mel/mn



minnetonka, minnesota, u.s.a
http://www.pclink.com/melpots (website)

Andrew Buck on sun 19 mar 00

Mel,

I would guess that the 40 gallon fish tank is ancient history by now. By
my accounting, you got the much better end of that deal. Looking at the
price of pottery in the light of a useful lifetime, most pottery has the
potential to be worth much more than a potter gets paid for it. As a
potter, though, I get much more from the sale of my ware than the sale
price. That evens out the difference a little. I feel that, in this
case, Warren might agree.

Andy Buck
Raincreek Pottery
Port Orchard, Washington

On Wed, 15 Mar 2000, mel jacobson wrote:

> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> traded warren mackenzie a 40 gallon fish tank for his
> kids, for a set of dishes. 1957 (sorta a wedding gift)
> have them still and love them.

mel jacobson on tue 26 sep 00


i have suggested this before.

go to a fine china department of a shopping mall, if you
have one near. check the prices.

i will quote a few:

dansk, white teapot, made by the thousands. $156.00

chicken shaped slip cast cannister, made in a distant place by the millions
$129.00

dinner plate, mikasa, computer made slip cast. $83.00 or:

hand made teapot, mel jacobson, shino, nice. $75.00,
bargain.

now try herrod's in london....or galleries lafayette in paris.
the price goes up.
mel




FROM MINNETONKA, MINNESOTA, USA
http://www.pclink.com/melpots (website)

Ed Kraft on tue 26 sep 00


Mel,

I was wondering if you could confirm that price of $156.00 for a white Dansk
teapot? My wife is a buyer for a home furnishing store and has the Dansk
Consumer & Dealer Price List and Promotions catalog, prices effective Feb 1,
2000. I found no white teapot or any item that has a suggested retail price
over $100.00. Just wondering. Ed Kraft
----- Original Message -----
From: "mel jacobson"
To:
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2000 5:07 AM
Subject: pricing


> i have suggested this before.
>
> go to a fine china department of a shopping mall, if you
> have one near. check the prices.
>
> i will quote a few:
>
> dansk, white teapot, made by the thousands. $156.00
>
> chicken shaped slip cast cannister, made in a distant place by the
millions
> $129.00
>
> dinner plate, mikasa, computer made slip cast. $83.00 or:
>
> hand made teapot, mel jacobson, shino, nice. $75.00,
> bargain.
>
> now try herrod's in london....or galleries lafayette in paris.
> the price goes up.
> mel
>
>
>
>
> FROM MINNETONKA, MINNESOTA, USA
> http://www.pclink.com/melpots (website)
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________
__
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
melpots@pclink.com.

Karen Sullivan on tue 26 sep 00


I may be repeating myself, I am not sure whether this got thro.
My experience with pricing, is that when something is sitting unsold on a
shelf, I raise the price. This strategy usually causes the object to
suddenly sell. Go figure...but it works.
The world is a curious place.
bamboo karen

Gayle Bair on tue 26 sep 00


Thanks Mel,
That was just the slap I needed to "Get Over It!
Gayle-no more whining about teapots prices! I've seen the light!


Snip>

go to a fine china department of a shopping mall, if you
have one near. check the prices.

i will quote a few:

dansk, white teapot, made by the thousands. $156.00

chicken shaped slip cast cannister, made in a distant place by the millions
$129.00

dinner plate, mikasa, computer made slip cast. $83.00 or:

hand made teapot, mel jacobson, shino, nice. $75.00,
bargain.

now try herrod's in london....or galleries lafayette in paris.
the price goes up.
mel

ZALT@AOL.COM on wed 27 sep 00


Here we go again.

The subject of pricing arises again. I invite all who have not visited my
page which has the last version of Pricing My Turn posted on it. There are
also some of my teapots from my spring collection.

http://members.xoom.com/Zalt57/

There was some reported trouble getting to the page but I believe the site is
now on line. The site is under new management.

Terrance

Les Crimp on tue 2 jan 01


This pricing thing gets a little complicated if people are not aware of the
basic uses of the % mark-ups.

A mark-up of 50% on cost is a lot different than a 50% mark-up on selling
price.

Likewise 100% on cost is much less than 100% on selling price.

I just thought I would throw this in for contemplation.

Les Crimp in Nanoose Bay, B.C. (on that Island in the Pacific)
lcrimp@home.com
www.island.net/~apg

Maid O'Mud Pottery on tue 2 jan 01


I'm of the view that if you wholesale to galleries near yourself,
(approx. 200 kms or less) then you're shooting yourself in the foot if
you charge less than the gallery. It invites "nuisance" visitors -
those looking to save a buck or 2 on a mug, wasting time in which you
could have made a dozen or more new mugs. I also agree with the
statement that a $50 pot is a $50 pot. I set my retail prices, and
wholesale to galleries/stores at standard wholesale. I _never_ undercut
my best customers!! (the wholesale buyers).

respectfully
sam

--
Sam, Maid O'Mud Pottery
SW Ontario CANADA
http://www.geocities.com/paris/3110
scuttell@odyssey.on.ca

"First, the clay told me what to do
Then, I told the clay what to do
Now; we co-operate"
sam, 1994

"Effort does not always equal output"
sam, 1999

Jean Cochran on tue 2 jan 01


Dear Fellow Clay Arter's:

This wholesale pricing issue was a thorny one for me for many years.
However, we have worked, extensively, with one of our galleries, The
Kentucky Arts & Crafts Foundation's Gallery. I insisted that we could
not wholesale to them at a 50% markup. They helped me understand that
we were charging too little for our pottery. Continuing to work with
this gallery, we have raised prices. We may need to again raise prices,
due to increased gas, both in the kiln and in the truck. The bottom
line is that the price at which we sell is to not be more than 15% lower
than the gallery. We, generally, have a 40% discount (from the retail
price) to our wholesalers. Our prices are the same to all our
wholesalers.

Jean Wadsworth Cochran
Fox Hollow Pottery
New Haven, Kentucky

Susan Otter on tue 2 jan 01


In a message dated 1/2/01 10:36:57 PM, foxpots@BARDSTOWN.COM writes:

<< This wholesale pricing issue was a thorny one for me for many years.
However, we have worked, extensively, with one of our galleries, The
Kentucky Arts & Crafts Foundation's Gallery. I insisted that we could
not wholesale to them at a 50% markup. They helped me understand that
we were charging too little for our pottery. Continuing to work with
this gallery, we have raised prices. We may need to again raise prices,
due to increased gas, both in the kiln and in the truck. >>


50% markup is in fact, modest. In many industries, a 100% markup is standard.

If you are to sell your pots, everyone in the chain must get something of
value. The retailer gets profit; the potter must get profit; the customer
gets a beautiful piece.

Daisypet@AOL.COM on sat 6 jan 01


Les: The percentage markup in pricing is confusing to a lot of people. I
worked in retail(not pottery) for many years. This is how I would simplify it
for new employees.

33 and 1/3 markup: divide the cost by 2 and add it on to the cost.

Example: $5.00 divided by 2=$2.50. Price: $7.50
___________________________________________
50% markup: double the cost.

Example: $5.00 x 2= $10.00 Price: $10.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
100% markup: double the cost and add it to the cost.

Example: $5.00x2=$10.00. $5.00+ $10.00= $15.00 Price: $15.00
____________________________________________

There are so many ways to price. One is the 'fee' system. Fudge factors are
time, utilities(gas/electric) cost of materials-other than the
clay/glaze.such as packaging, etc. These are pro-rated. It can be figured
that a graduated scale can be added on to the basic cost of the pot itself.
This system takes lots of figuring to divide all that stuff down to very
basic figures to reach a price. There are aesthetic issues that can enter in
and, always, 'what you think the traffic will bear". Some people will decide
that they can't do all that figuring and want to be competitive so they will
say: All this size will be $15, next size will be $25--- again, that kind of
fits what they think the traffic will bear and if they sell enough, then they
make a profit. This kind of fits the BIG stores--low markup margin but sell
lots. There are such things as 'loss leaders' that can draw people in and
then the hope is that they will buy more. Profit is not a dirty word!

There are some other areas, not clay related, that I think are so grossly
overpriced for the amount of the materials. Eye glasses, contacts, hearing
aids--just to mention a few. The answer by those vendors is that there is
special technology involved. No Kidding(:>). !! Isn't there a tremendous
amount of technology in our work? I have never had a course in economics or
marketing so perhaps I have not explained this too clearly but this is the
way I understand or learned by working with it.

Thinking of our base ingredient, I hope this is clearer than mud!

Phyllis

Phyllis Tilton
Daisypet@aol.com

robert koerner on fri 9 feb 01


Iíve been reading many of the recent posts about pricing with great interest, as this has always been, for me, a fascinating issue, and curious phenomenon. One of the more interesting pricing strategies Iíve heard of, is to have sacrifice pieces for sale. These pieces are for people who will only buy "deals", or items on sale at the end of a show. The expectation is that you can only sell a "deal" person a "deal" piece; so, the deal pieces are made ahead of time, brought to the fair, and priced "high" so that you can make a sacrifice to the "deal" person, by lowering the price of the sacrifice piece.

If someone buys a sacrifice piece at the list price, you have a happy customer (the one who though your price was a good value at the "higher" price), and a good reason to wonder if you can develop better pricing strategies for all of your pieces (it might have been just be an anomolious situation?).

Another variation of the sacrifice piece, is to make three similar items, e.g., a simple 3 inch rice bowel with a simple glaze, a larger rice bowel, 6 inches with either a more interesting glaze (complicated looking glaze, or a multi glaze), or decorations on the large bowel. Price one at $10 and the other at $60. When customers look at them, their problem is they canít evaluate if the difference between the two bowels is worth $50. Enter the sacrifice, a bowel made specifically so that a customer has an easier way to evaluate the price of the $60 bowel, vs., a 3-inch rice bowel priced at $50 with the same simple glaze and maybe embellished with one simple design. The soul purpose of the sacrifice is so that when the customer compares the $50 and $60 rice bowels, it is clear that the $60 is a better value. Once you get the concept, you can make buying the $10 bowel easier, or buying the $50 bowel easier.

One strategy Iíve found useful to decline offers below my prices, is to simply explain that I think the price is reasonable, and offers a good value the majority of people interested in my products. AND, that I think I will be able to sell that piece at that price to someone else (which, for me, are all true statements). I like to then show them a nice piece just slightly more than the price the mentioned.

Perhaps someone else can derive more income from these interesting concepts that Iíve run into.

Bob, at Four Seasons, an occasional tourist passing through a virtual town.



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Craig Martell on sat 10 feb 01


Bob put forth the following hypotheses:
>One of the more interesting pricing strategies I've heard of, is to have
>sacrifice pieces for sale. These pieces are for people who will only buy
>"deals", or items on sale at the end of a show. The expectation is that
>you can only sell a "deal" person a "deal" piece; so, the deal pieces are
>made ahead of time, brought to the fair, and priced "high" so that you can
>make a sacrifice to the "deal" person, by lowering the price of the
>sacrifice piece.
>If someone buys a sacrifice piece at the list price, you have a happy
>customer (the one who though your price was a good value at the "higher"
>price), and a good reason to wonder if you can develop better pricing
>strategies for all of your pieces (it might have been just be an
>anomolious situation?).

Hi Bob:

I hate this stuff. It's deceptive and if we have to resort to deception to
sell someone a piece then I'd just as soon they booked on down the
road. What about the person who does pay the marked price? Have they been
ripped off or taken advantage of because we want to pander to
cheapskates. My answer would be, yes, they've been ripped.

My approach is to price my work fairly for myself, and for the buyer. If
folks think my work is too high and they don't want to buy it, I'm
comfortable with that. I don't want people to buy my work and regret it
later because they think they paid too much. I tell people who get
insistent on price reductions that I've already sold a lot of these pots at
full price and out of respect for myself and the people who purchased the
work without argument, I will not consider a price cut. I asked a woman at
a show some time ago: How would you feel if you had paid full price for
one of my pots and found out later that I'd given someone else a deal? She
left without the pot which made me happy. I sold it to someone else who
didn't argue. We also shouldn't give people the idea that we price work
high and hope for the most out of each piece. When you haggle with people
and reduce prices they get the idea that there is a built in margin for
this and we are trying to "fleece" folks.

I realize that you weren't suggesting that we adopt the above and you were
only bringing up a "strategy" that some folks use to market work.

regards, Craig Martell in Oregon

Gail Dapogny on sat 10 feb 01


But you're still in effect making the statement that you are willing to
lower your prices ( even if it is a fake lowering). I agree with those who
want to convey the message that the prices are fair and are there to stay.
--Gail


> The expectation is that you can only sell a "deal" person a "deal" piece;
>so, the deal pieces are made ahead of time, brought to the fair, and
>priced "high" so that you can make a sacrifice to the "deal" person, by
>lowering the price of the sacrifice piece.


Gail Dapogny
1154 Olden Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103-3005
(734) 665-9816
gdapogny@umich.edu

clay music on sun 11 feb 01


At one outdoor festival years ago I had a woman walk into my booth and her
opening words were "is that the best price you can do for me" and it
digressed from that point. When I had listened to all I could handle I
looked her in the face and as nicely as I could muster I asked her which day
of the week she worked for less. Obviously I didn't make a sale, nor did I
want to. But I got her attention and I equated it (as nicely as I could) to
what she could understand. Perhaps one person at a time we can educate our
buying public that we do value what we make and it's the same whether it's
sold under a tent, or on a gallery shelf.

Sara O'Neill
Geometrix Clay Designs
clay.music@gte.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Craig Martell
To:
Sent: Saturday, February 10, 2001 3:50 PM
Subject: Re: Pricing


> Bob put forth the following hypotheses:
> >One of the more interesting pricing strategies I've heard of, is to have
> >sacrifice pieces for sale. These pieces are for people who will only buy
> >"deals", or items on sale at the end of a show. The expectation is that
> >you can only sell a "deal" person a "deal" piece; so, the deal pieces are
> >made ahead of time, brought to the fair, and priced "high" so that you
can
> >make a sacrifice to the "deal" person, by lowering the price of the
> >sacrifice piece.
> >If someone buys a sacrifice piece at the list price, you have a happy
> >customer (the one who though your price was a good value at the "higher"
> >price), and a good reason to wonder if you can develop better pricing
> >strategies for all of your pieces (it might have been just be an
> >anomolious situation?).
>
> Hi Bob:
>
> I hate this stuff. It's deceptive and if we have to resort to deception
to
> sell someone a piece then I'd just as soon they booked on down the
> road. What about the person who does pay the marked price? Have they
been
> ripped off or taken advantage of because we want to pander to
> cheapskates. My answer would be, yes, they've been ripped.
>
> My approach is to price my work fairly for myself, and for the buyer. If
> folks think my work is too high and they don't want to buy it, I'm
> comfortable with that. I don't want people to buy my work and regret it
> later because they think they paid too much. I tell people who get
> insistent on price reductions that I've already sold a lot of these pots
at
> full price and out of respect for myself and the people who purchased the
> work without argument, I will not consider a price cut. I asked a woman
at
> a show some time ago: How would you feel if you had paid full price for
> one of my pots and found out later that I'd given someone else a deal?
She
> left without the pot which made me happy. I sold it to someone else who
> didn't argue. We also shouldn't give people the idea that we price work
> high and hope for the most out of each piece. When you haggle with people
> and reduce prices they get the idea that there is a built in margin for
> this and we are trying to "fleece" folks.
>
> I realize that you weren't suggesting that we adopt the above and you were
> only bringing up a "strategy" that some folks use to market work.
>
> regards, Craig Martell in Oregon
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________
__
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
melpots@pclink.com.

Eleanora Eden on sun 11 feb 01


I'm really glad to see this coming up once again as I am about to go away
to my first fair of the year (coconut grove in miami) and dealing
successfully with customers is on my mind.

I have overheard craftspeople at fairs often enough happily giving away
their 10 or 15% that they have added for that purpose. I try to explain to
customers asking for a cut in price that I have not added wiggle room into
the price because to do so is to add an extra tax onto the price for the
customer who doesn't try to get a cut in the price. This is the same thing
that Craig is saying. We all know about rewarding the behavior we want to
see.

I generally have pretty good experiences using this tack. Customers can
hear a reasoned position easier than an affronted defense, and I go away
from the encounter with better feelings.

I have a pricing policy statement that I keep and share out with
determined bargainers, that I have published here before perhaps it is
archived, outlining the reasons that my prices are firm. One big point is
that since I don't wholesale there is no such thing as a two-tiered system
in my pricing.....I have no discounts for anybody.

I guess the one point I would add to this is that when people come up with
rather thoughtless questions about "how long did it take you to do this" I
believe they are really asking ligitimate questions about the marketplace
of crafts and they don't know how to ask the questions that will elicit the
responses that will be meaningful to them. So they ask how long it took to
do this or that and divide that into the asking price and think you are
pricing yourself like a doctor or lawyer......I think it is really very
easy to get around this very unprofitable discussion by just short
circuiting it and responding in any kind of apparent non-sequitor that uses
as a vehicle aspects of your business that set it out in a positive way in
the marketplace.


Eleanora

.............



Eleanora Eden 802 869-2003
Paradise Hill eeden@vermontel.net
Bellows Falls, VT 05101 www.eleanoraeden.com

CINDI ANDERSON on mon 12 feb 01


Why not just say a mug took you a half hour to make. Figure out the time you
spend reading clayart, reading, looking at art, practicing, making things you throw
away, testing glazes, etc. and work that into the time it took to make the
piece.

It's like software, each additional piece costs nothing, but that first one cost
millions of dollars.

Cindi
Fremont, CA

Chris Clarke on fri 11 may 01


Hi all,
Pricing is the bane of my existence. I take a piece out of the kiln =
and I think nice piece but not blow your mind great, regular price. The =
next piece is so wonderful I almost drop it, higher price. The pieces =
are essentially the same size but one is better. It feels odd not to =
price the same, but I don't produce a 'line' of work, I throw from the =
hip what ever I feel like. So pieces are priced from the kiln I guess =
is what I'm getting at. I know it's my stuff, I can shoot it into =
outerspace if I want to. But I was curious how others go about pricing. =
I had several people tell me my work was under priced. =20

Sometimes I look at other work done by recognizable names (you guys =
know who you are) and I think yeah $200 for a teapot from him (or her) =
of course that's so and so, I've seen lots of his work (or read his =
book). Is it that you guys (who know who you are) are less timid then =
the rest of us? =20

Tell me how you price, is it just a feeling or do you have a system? =
Do you add up the time spent and multiply with a formula? God knows we =
have to use that college algebra for something, our teachers always told =
us math would save our lives.

Am I nuts, should I just say this is what I want, if you don't want =
to pay it you really don't have to. Or am I missing some business rule =
from that day I skipped class to be in the ceramics studio (or the glass =
studio). But I ramble, chris

temecula, california
chris@ccpots.com
www.ccpots.com

Diane Echlin on fri 11 may 01


Hi Chris,
I overheard a conversation between two art students the other day who were preparing for their student show/sale. One was asking about pricing. The other replied that she should affix a price (arbitrarily?) and if the price made her feel bad, it was too low and she should double it. Interesting method...
Diane in CT, anxiously waiting for the one-week break between semesters so I can go glaze finally!

Chris Clarke wrote:

> Hi all,
> Pricing is the bane of my existence. I take a piece out of the kiln and I think nice piece but not blow your mind great, regular price. The next piece is so wonderful I almost drop it, higher price. The pieces are essentially the same size but one is better. It feels odd not to price the same, but I don't produce a 'line' of work, I throw from the hip what ever I feel like. So pieces are priced from the kiln I guess is what I'm getting at. I know it's my stuff, I can shoot it into outerspace if I want to. But I was curious how others go about pricing. I had several people tell me my work was under priced.
>
> Sometimes I look at other work done by recognizable names (you guys know who you are) and I think yeah $200 for a teapot from him (or her) of course that's so and so, I've seen lots of his work (or read his book). Is it that you guys (who know who you are) are less timid then the rest of us?
>
> Tell me how you price, is it just a feeling or do you have a system? Do you add up the time spent and multiply with a formula? God knows we have to use that college algebra for something, our teachers always told us math would save our lives.
>
> Am I nuts, should I just say this is what I want, if you don't want to pay it you really don't have to. Or am I missing some business rule from that day I skipped class to be in the ceramics studio (or the glass studio). But I ramble, chris
>
> temecula, california
> chris@ccpots.com
> www.ccpots.com
>
> ______________________________________________________________________________
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at melpots@pclink.com.

Eric Suchman on fri 11 may 01


>From: Chris Clarke
>Reply-To: Ceramic Arts Discussion List
>To: CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG
>Subject: pricing
>Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 19:33:55 -0700
>
>Hi all,
> Pricing is the bane of my existence. I take a piece out of the kiln
>and I think nice piece but not blow your mind great, regular price. The
>next piece is so wonderful I almost drop it, higher price. The pieces are
>essentially the same size but one is better. It feels odd not to price the
>same, but I don't produce a 'line' of work, I throw from the hip what ever
>I feel like. So pieces are priced from the kiln I guess is what I'm
>getting at. I know it's my stuff, I can shoot it into outerspace if I want
>to. But I was curious how others go about pricing. I had several people
>tell me my work was under priced.
>
> Sometimes I look at other work done by recognizable names (you guys
>know who you are) and I think yeah $200 for a teapot from him (or her) of
>course that's so and so, I've seen lots of his work (or read his book). Is
>it that you guys (who know who you are) are less timid then the rest of us?
>
> Tell me how you price, is it just a feeling or do you have a system?
>Do you add up the time spent and multiply with a formula? God knows we
>have to use that college algebra for something, our teachers always told us
>math would save our lives.
>
> Am I nuts, should I just say this is what I want, if you don't want to
>pay it you really don't have to. Or am I missing some business rule from
>that day I skipped class to be in the ceramics studio (or the glass
>studio). But I ramble, chris
>
>temecula, california
>chris@ccpots.com
> www.ccpots.com
>
>______________________________________________________________________________
>Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
>You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
>settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
>Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
>melpots@pclink.com.
Chris
A number of years ago when I was at Palomar College and later in my own
studio I used a 'formula' of no less than $2 per pound of wet clay. This
was a basis from which to set other prices. I usually had a code for the
clay weight on the bottom of my pots. This of course means you have to
weigh your clay first but I never found that a problem, in fact I got quite
used to it. The dollar amount these days won't be the same and how you fire
should play a roll and whether your ware is glazed or not. This was not a
hard and fast rule but it gave me a refence point as to whether I was making
any money or not.
my .02 -Eric
_________________________________________________________________
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com

Tony Ferguson on fri 11 may 01


Chris,

I struggle with pricing too. Example: I've sold my
tea bowls from $50 - $300 dollars. I price the killer
ones higher and the not so killer ones lower. Of
course, killer to me is not killer to everyone else,
so it is very subjective. I could never afford my own
work--figure that one out. I think you need to
consider pricing according to what you need to make a
living and the quality of your work and try to forget
about everyone else.

Tony, Duluth MN

=====
--Tony Ferguson, fergyart@yahoo.com315 N. Lake Ave. Apt 401Duluth, MN 55806(218) 727-6339Looking to see, buy or barter artwork go to:http://acad.uwsuper.edu/www/aferguso/fergyart.htm

Stephani Stephenson on fri 11 may 01


Chris Wrote:
Tell me how you price, is it just a feeling or do you have a system?
Do you add up the time spent and multiply with a formula?
...should I just say this is what I want, if you don't want
to pay it you really don't have to. Or am I missing some business rule
"


HI Chris
You mention several factors to consider and I would say 'All of the
above"
(My own work has was always been tough to price because it defies
categories.... Hard to find much to compare it to directly . I made
handbuilt sculptural pieces and pricing varies wildly depending on the
reputation of the maker and the sales venue , region, and location.)

But here are a few thoughts that come to mind.
1. Examine your market , your venues, your area. You don't have to price
like everyone else, but it is good to know what is out there and what it
is selling for. Don't worry about mass produced commercial pottery,
domestic or imported. It will just drive you crazy. Focus on other high
quality artist/studio ware. After you have researched it, use it as
one factor . Make your decision based on your work, even as it is within
the context of the larger scene.

For example, with regard to Alchemie Studio tile. Local tile stores sell
field tile as low as $1- $2 dollars a square foot. Ours sells for $40
foot.- $200/ foot. . With relief and field tile, we are competing with
other similar studios on a national scale, as there are few local
comparisons. Many of our tiles fit into a niche market, the historical
'tile revival' market. Original designs and work also sell within this
market. Another source of customers is the 'home, building and garden
custom market. Working with designers and architects. . I am finding
interest in my own original, i.e. 'custom' work in these areas. But
(and I am also new to the area )It may take awhile to get one's
bearings and set one's sights.

2. Your area. In Southern California, people spend lots of time and
money on their homes, patios, pools, barbques, courtyards and gardens .
I remember the northwest in the eighties. Lived in a college town. So
much EXCELLENT pottery, VERY high quality and craftsmanship. Prices
stayed VERY LOW because there was so much of it. In some areas today, a
beautiful handmade pot is appreciated and may have higher perceived
value. Potters have worked for many years trying to improve their
market and educate buyers about pottery. Many have succeeded, having
been both innovative and enduring. So what opportunities do you
perceive in your own community or region?

3. Do record your costs and your time , even if for a set peiod of
time. How much gas/electricity, cost of materials, costs for packing,
delivery, tools, supplies. If you make a lot of work, much time goes
into the whole process for 50 pots , or a kiln load, or something like
that. Include everything as you try to figure out your basic costs .
If you are selling your work for less than your cost of operation you
are going to lose money every time something goes out the door. Plus you
don't want to ONLY recoup your costs but bring in a profit as well.
Take a small business workshop or class. Even learning how to fill out
business tax forms will teach you how to separate expenses.
In retail, they have a price they pay for an item, then mark it up
40-50%, to cover their costs of operation, wages, etc.
Even if your expenses are subsidised ( i.e. spouse with good job,etc. )
and you do not have a high overhead, try to estimate what your overhead
is, otherwise you will be pricing your work based on a 'false economy'.


4. One question I ask myself is what price would I NOT let this go for?
You will have a sense of what is
too cheap . After you establish a base RANGE, you will try it out and
soon begin to get a second sense about it.Write down the least you
could ask and still feel good about it, then write down your ideal top
price. The price you would ask if you could get what you dream of
getting. ( The price you would ask if there were no market restraints,
you were well known and everybody loved your work and competed to buy
it) Your most heady price! This is totally unsubstantiated, but I think
a good asking price falls about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way up on the scale.
Close to your most desired price . Everyone will be different on this,
but once you find your range, it can be pretty consistent.
I guess, find your range, then begin to work within that range, and
eventually you can narrow it down if you like.

5. Also , though it has been a 'buzzword' finding your 'niche' market
may help your sales.
One local potter makes sushi plates and eclectic dinnerware for upscale
restaurants, another makes unique bonsai pots, another has developed
successful home/studio sales. I am not a wheelthrower/potter, so others
on the list may have better specific advise for you in this area.

6. As for the difference in quality ,THAT is a tough one. First
determine if it is really a difference in quality or a difference in
your personal preference for one piece or another.
My gallery size handbuilt pieces sold anywhere from $100- $1000, with
many in the $300-$600 range. Price often varied depending on size and
complexity, but quite often there would be two pieces, similar in size
and complexity, craftsmanship and technique. One piece I would favor,
thinking it was IT!!! The other I would think was 'not quite there',
even though there was nothing wrong with it.. I naturally had the urge
to price the first one higher . I often had the urge to price the second
piece LOWER because I didn't LIKE it as much, but soon came to realize
how foolhardy this was because, you NEVER CAN TELL what people will buy.
Many times, even when I priced the two pieces exactly the same, the one
I didn't LIKE sold quickly, while the one I LOVED sat in a gallery and
eventually came back to me. (must have come back because I loved it,,
right?) People will have very different tastes. I actually like it when
I get surprised in this way because it reminds me to not judge
everything to death.
It is so funny how our internal barometers work.
Sometimes a special piece IS special and you might save it for a
showcase piece. Sometimes you may not want to sell that particular piece
for less than $80, even though others are priced at $50.

Sometimes you just need to keep it around long enough to where you fall
OUT of love with it and can then sell it.
The best medicine is to get the work out and keep doing it. Keeps you
moving.

Don't belittle your work too much because you feel you have 'no name'.
Heck maybe you DO have a name, but you are just new to this particular
area. Just because you are new, don't discount the experience you do
have. Realistically it will take time to develop your customer base in
your area, but keep your head up , keep trying, make mistakes, learn
from them, and keep being excited about opening that kiln door.

Stephani Stephenson
Leucadia CA

Cindy G on fri 11 may 01


Pricing is tough, I have heard that people would not
spend money on your piece unless it is priced pretty
high. The person said that they think your work is
quality unless it is priced hansomely. Some people love
a good buy! So, I have been at this for 7 years, my next
show, my prices are going up! 7 years is pretty young in
the pottery world, but so what?
This reminds me of an experience I had, I saw David
Stabley's work at the Ann Arbor Summer Art fair one year
and he was selling a tile for about 30 dollars. I wanted
one, but I was broke, so I told myself I would by one
next year. Well, David got famous (as well he should)
and the same tile next year was 100.00, I didn't bring
enough money. Soon as I sell my first 300.00 pot, I am
buying one of his (although his will be 700-1000)! I have
seen some mediocre pots for 2000, and I think why is that
artist getting so much? Reputation is the only thing
that can get you the big bucks. You have to be
published, and talked about, a lot in Ceramics Mags
etc.(and of course, artistic & skillful). At least, this
is my theory.
> Hi all,
> Pricing is the bane of my existence. I take a piece out of the kiln and I
> think nice piece but not blow your mind great, regular price. The next piece is
> so wonderful I almost drop it, higher price. The pieces are essentially the
> same size but one is better. It feels odd not to price the same, but I don't
> produce a 'line' of work, I throw from the hip what ever I feel like. So pieces
> are priced from the kiln I guess is what I'm getting at. I know it's my stuff,
> I can shoot it into outerspace if I want to. But I was curious how others go
> about pricing. I had several people tell me my work was under priced.
>
> Sometimes I look at other work done by recognizable names (you guys know who
> you are) and I think yeah $200 for a teapot from him (or her) of course that's
> so and so, I've seen lots of his work (or read his book). Is it that you guys
> (who know who you are) are less timid then the rest of us?
>
> Tell me how you price, is it just a feeling or do you have a system? Do you > add up the time spent and multiply with a formula? God knows we have to use
> that college algebra for something, our teachers always told us math would save
> our lives.
>
> Am I nuts, should I just say this is what I want, if you don't want to pay
> it you really don't have to. Or am I missing some business rule from that day I
> skipped class to be in the ceramics studio (or the glass studio). But I
> ramble, chris
>
> temecula, california
> chris@ccpots.com
> www.ccpots.com
>
> ______________________________________________________________________________
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at melpots@pclink.com.

Michele D'Amico on fri 11 may 01


When I visited Otto Heino's studio he told me that once you sell a pot for $50,000 everybody want to buy one from you for that much. He would know!

Cindy G wrote:

> Pricing is tough, I have heard that people would not
> spend money on your piece unless it is priced pretty
> high. The person said that they think your work is
> quality unless it is priced hansomely. Some people love
> a good buy! So, I have been at this for 7 years, my next
> show, my prices are going up! 7 years is pretty young in
> the pottery world, but so what?
> This reminds me of an experience I had, I saw David
> Stabley's work at the Ann Arbor Summer Art fair one year
> and he was selling a tile for about 30 dollars. I wanted
> one, but I was broke, so I told myself I would by one
> next year. Well, David got famous (as well he should)
> and the same tile next year was 100.00, I didn't bring
> enough money. Soon as I sell my first 300.00 pot, I am
> buying one of his (although his will be 700-1000)! I have
> seen some mediocre pots for 2000, and I think why is that
> artist getting so much? Reputation is the only thing
> that can get you the big bucks. You have to be
> published, and talked about, a lot in Ceramics Mags
> etc.(and of course, artistic & skillful). At least, this
> is my theory.
> > Hi all,
> > Pricing is the bane of my existence. I take a piece out of the kiln and I
> > think nice piece but not blow your mind great, regular price. The next piece is
> > so wonderful I almost drop it, higher price. The pieces are essentially the
> > same size but one is better. It feels odd not to price the same, but I don't
> > produce a 'line' of work, I throw from the hip what ever I feel like. So pieces
> > are priced from the kiln I guess is what I'm getting at. I know it's my stuff,
> > I can shoot it into outerspace if I want to. But I was curious how others go
> > about pricing. I had several people tell me my work was under priced.
> >
> > Sometimes I look at other work done by recognizable names (you guys know who
> > you are) and I think yeah $200 for a teapot from him (or her) of course that's
> > so and so, I've seen lots of his work (or read his book). Is it that you guys
> > (who know who you are) are less timid then the rest of us?
> >
> > Tell me how you price, is it just a feeling or do you have a system? Do you > add up the time spent and multiply with a formula? God knows we have to use
> > that college algebra for something, our teachers always told us math would save
> > our lives.
> >
> > Am I nuts, should I just say this is what I want, if you don't want to pay
> > it you really don't have to. Or am I missing some business rule from that day I
> > skipped class to be in the ceramics studio (or the glass studio). But I
> > ramble, chris
> >
> > temecula, california
> > chris@ccpots.com
> > www.ccpots.com
> >
> > ______________________________________________________________________________
> > Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
> >
> > You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> > settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
> >
> > Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at melpots@pclink.com.
>
> ______________________________________________________________________________
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at melpots@pclink.com.

John Forstall on sat 12 may 01


Chris,
You got some good reply/advice about studying the market before pricing, but
I didn't see much about understanding the difference between wholesale and
retail. It's very easy to determine where your price falls by asking
yourself if you would take 40~50% less for an item. If the answer is "Hell
no!" you may be selling wholesale to the public.

Jennifer F Boyer on sat 12 may 01


I know this is about one off type work and the pricing must be
really hard to deal with since evaluation of each piece's ZING
is so subjective. No answers here...
But I'm a production potter and couldn't let the post below
pass. 2.00/pound wouldn't cut it these days. I use a throwing
weight based pricing system. I start with 10.00-14.00 a
pound(the bigger the piece of clay, the more I charge as a base
weight) and then add on other charges based on whether the pot
has handle/lid/anything extra. Each of these things has a set
charge. For ex: Lamps have set prices added for the cost of
hardware AND the labor of wiring. This allows me to have a
consistant pricing model, although all of it is based on what
the market will bear.

Seems like you could use the same thing for one offs, but add a
"happiness" charge based on how much your pulse quickens when
you touch the piece! ;-)
Jennifer


> Chris
> A number of years ago when I was at Palomar College and later in my own
> studio I used a 'formula' of no less than $2 per pound of wet clay. T=
his
> was a basis from which to set other prices. I usually had a code for =
the
> clay weight on the bottom of my pots. This of course means you have to
> weigh your clay first but I never found that a problem, in fact I got q=
uite
> used to it. The dollar amount these days won't be the same and how you=
fire
> should play a roll and whether your ware is glazed or not. This was no=
t a
> hard and fast rule but it gave me a refence point as to whether I was m=
aking
> any money or not.
> my .02 -Eric
> _________________________________________________________________
> Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
>
> _______________________________________________________________________=
_______
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at melpots@pcl=
ink.com.

--
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Jennifer Boyer mailto:jboyer@adelphia.net
Thistle Hill Pottery
95 Powder Horn Glen Rd
Montpelier, VT 05602 USA
802-223-8926
http://www.thistlehillpottery.com/

Never pass on an email warning without checking out this site
for web hoaxes and junk:
http://urbanlegends.about.com/science/urbanlegends/cs/nethoaxes/index.htm
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Cindy Strnad on sat 12 may 01


Chris,

Charge what you want for those "damn jars and plates that don't seem like=
a
lot of work, but are." If you don't respect your work, no one else will,
either. And don't apologize or explain your prices, please. Act as though
they're quite the bargain. You will actually begin to believe this in tim=
e,
and your customers will believe it, too. (Unless you really are way out o=
f
line, which I seriously doubt.)

Cindy Strnad
Earthen Vessels Pottery
RR 1, Box 51
Custer, SD 57730
USA
earthenv@gwtc.net
http://www.earthenvesselssd.com

Chris Clarke on sat 12 may 01


But see, I've sold three and four hundred dollar pots. In my very first
show, still in college(junior) I sold a large sculpture (dragon w/ out
spread wings, three or four foot tall) for $1000, yes, can you believe it.
I don't have pricing issues with the big intricate stuff, it's those damn
jars and plates that may seem like not allot of work, but they are.

By the way, I love the Ann Arbor show!! Been there only once, what a place,
artists as far as the eye can see, not a toilet cat or doily to be had.
Brought a tear to my eye : ) chris


temecula, california
chris@ccpots.com
www.ccpots.com

Celia Littlecreek on sun 13 may 01


You bring up a good point. I don't mind selling wholesale and retail. If
someone wants to buy wholesale, they get 30% off retail prices, but have to
buy $600 worth of merchandise (retail price).
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Forstall"
To:
Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2001 8:42 PM
Subject: pricing


> Chris,
> You got some good reply/advice about studying the market before pricing,
but
> I didn't see much about understanding the difference between wholesale and
> retail. It's very easy to determine where your price falls by asking
> yourself if you would take 40~50% less for an item. If the answer is
"Hell
> no!" you may be selling wholesale to the public.
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________
__
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
melpots@pclink.com.
>

mel jacobson on tue 3 jul 01


i find that looking at my average is what is important.

not what i get for a certain pot...but, average the
total and see what i get.

it takes the same time to make a mug as a medium bowl.
so, what is the average?

it is like thinking:

one pot, 25 bucks, another pot, 25 bucks, another pot
25 bucks.
makes your work easier.

i used to illustrate that with students.
`hey, mel, ain't that boring, pot after pot?`
`no, i would say....20 bucks, 20 bucks, 20 bucks...`
they caught on quickly.
`how boring is the amaco station?`
take money, take money, take money...get nothing.

then increase your speed, your efficiency...and your average
goes up fast.

think of putting pins in your pots to trim...it would take
three minutes. hell, learn to turn those puppies. use your
ears, tap, tap.

if you are making 60 pots a day and you add three minutes
to each pot....180 minutes. mr. uchica would have pee'd in
his purple undershorts. he liked us to average 30 pots an
hour. average, some days a lot more, some days less..size
and shape would determine the output.

no wasted time or tasks. efficient.

of course many do not care...fuss around, walk around, listen
to the radio, talk on the phone. phew, did i have a busy day,
made 12 pots. phew, time for a nap.

now i am talking about people that are potting, making a
living. many do not care, and should not.
those that do pots for the soul, or head, do what makes you
happy. that is the reason you work with clay.
but, if you want to put bread on the table, get your average
up. thanks phil rogers for that price list.
i gotta get busy. (he's eight hours ahead of me already, and a damn
good potter.)
mel
there should be an itc booth at nceca to spray underwear.



From:
Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
web site: http://www.pclink.com/melpots

FireRight on tue 14 aug 01


When I was a young upstart, I did cost-based pricing calculations
for a small electronic components manufacturer. At the time I'd find the
boss' response to my work very frustrating ... he'd have a look at my
numbers, then almost invariably pull a price out of the air that was many
times higher than I'd calculated, and which didn't seem to have any basis at
all in my view.

In time I learned the difference ... I knew something about
manufacturing costs, but he knew a lot about the market.

The right price is one that makes both sides of the deal happy. From
the seller's point on view, the task is to somehow figure out how much the
buyer is willing to pay. (For the buyer, it's a matter of discovering how
little the seller is willing to accept.) Starting from a number that's too
low is often just as much of a turn-off to prospective buyers as one that's
too high.

This is what makes pricing such a difficult part of business. It's
pretty much a guessing game to begin with, and something that often requires
good negociation skills after that initial opening. To be really good at it,
one has to know the market really good. Beyond that, it's something that can
only be learned by experience, preferably under the tutalige of a good
mentor.

What I've described above is common practice in business-to-business
commerce. If you're selling at retail in the U.S., the task becomes even
more difficult because most shoppers are used to our "take it or leave it"
mode of price tagging and aren't up to negociating prices. So if you use
price tags, your first guess has to be pretty close to the right number.

-=gw=-

mel jacobson on sun 2 sep 01


hmmm, hard one.
when this happens, i stop at `Dayton's/Marshall Fields`.
go to the fine china department.

walk around

Dansk Tea Pot $150.00....made by the thousands.
Dinner Plate $85.00...made by the thousands.

Cookie Jar, Made like a chicken, from Mexico $75.00...made
by the thousands...wholesale in Mexico $1.75

Just made a set of dishes for my niece.
wedding gift from the family. charged the in-laws 500 bucks, i figure
she got a three hundred dollar gift from me...nice.
loved doing it...and she wanted my black shino, or gold, or
orange.
whatever. she won't complain if it crawls. in fact, she hopes it crawls.
i don't.

some potters do not have 500 bucks, or need to fix the engine
on the car. this order would fill the bill.
so, we never know.
depends on what the potter needs.
potter might have a sick child...needs the 500 for the doctor.
we never know.
mel
i do get sick to my stomach however, when i walk
around the fine china departments...brides looking at
200 dollars a place setting. gold rims.
15 place settings. and then the silver....and the extras...
crystal.
geez.
feed 400 people for a month.

From:
Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
web site: http://www.pclink.com/melpots

Terrance Lazaroff on mon 3 sep 01


Lets be careful out there.

Anyone who remembers the pricing discussions that took place approximately 5
yrs ago will remember that a simple coffee mug was priced around $22.00
retail, in order to give the potter a $20.00 an hourly wage. If we look at
the inflation of 2% per year since the discussion, the same mug should cost
around $25.00 today. The key word here is "simple'.

Even if we use $25.00 per piece the 30 piece place set would come to
$750.00. The specialty pieces should be considered one of a kind and thus
be priced accordingly. It is easy to see that the price will get close to
$1000.00

Now if you are a production potter, with a stable well proven glaze then you
might be able to do this commission without difficulty. However if you are
just starting out and have never done a series then be careful.

If you accept the offer be sure to get the money up front and to have a
signed contract that the buyer will accept a similar colour, glaze surface
and size work. If the person is a potter she will understand why you insist
on this caveat. If she does not agree then turn away.

Terrance

mel jacobson on tue 19 mar 02


i often wander in to the fine china department of
a quality big box store.

price the teapots.
just the teapots.

made in a mold, by the thousands. price $125.00.

i hope to get at least half of that.
so, i price mine at $65.00.

it is a starting point.
and, i can sell everything that comes from
my kiln.
very little overhead. at least compared to dayton's.
mel
From:
Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
web site: http://www.pclink.com/melpots

Dannon Rhudy on tue 19 mar 02


I just got the current Pottery Making Illustrated. There
is a very sensible article on pricing on page 38.
Getting a handle on price structure is very important.

regards

Dannon Rhudy

Terrance Lazaroff on tue 19 mar 02


I just left the archives and my writings on this subject of pricing are
still posted. I invite those interested in this subject to take a look.
The subject is "Pricing my Turn". There are approximately 10 or 11 pages.
Be careful with the mathematics as I was down with the flue when I wrote it
and there were amendments. The error will be obvious.

I have followed this philosophy and I am not getting rich. I don't produce
enough to make the bundle. I do know however that when I make a piece I
will price it so that I am properly remunerated for my efforts. My mugs now
retail for $25.00 Canadian or $16.00 US.

Food for thought.
Terrance

artimater on tue 19 mar 02


Guess what ya'll....I now am a Potter's Council kinda guy, and am =
getting the mags to prove it...CM and PMI...So when ya'll talk about the =
stuff in em you can look forward to me commenting on it....Lucky ya'll =
huh?
Dannon pointed out the pricing thing in PMI....I quote

"Stop making items thst take more time and effort than can be recaptured =
in the price"

Waaaal that's real nice....Now I don't have to make =
anything....Cause I don't make anything that would qualify....Look at =
Walmart....They charge twice as much as mel does for his stuff....
I own maybe 10000- pieces of "Art Pottery"......Slipcast crap; =
editions of 500000;...and all priced higher than the going price for =
modern handmade(YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN) stuff......cause it's 60 or 70 =
years old....Waaaal LA TE DA ......I price my stuff at l little more =
than the going price of old "Art Pottery".....I figure I got a hell of a =
lot more effort involved than your average slave labor type worker.....I =
know I care more about the product....I know because I have produced =
such product.....
Look at it this way....If I did manage to sell something...and got =
some money: What would I do with the money?......Buy more pottery that's =
what.....So I'm supposed to sell my kick ass stuff and buy crap?....I =
figure I oughta be able to buy two pieces of slipcast crap to offset the =
loss of the one kick ass piece I no longer have.....Why the hell would I =
wanna do that?....What, downgrade my collection???...I MIGHT AS WELL =
JUST KEEP THE KICKASS PIECE......Sure some of it ends up in storage, but =
I rotate the display somewhat and often get to see kick ass pieces that =
I haven't seen in a long time.....And I can pick em up, and fondle them, =
and toss em in the air, and lick em if I want to....AHHHAHAHA....Let's =
see ya'll do that with that really cool stuff you sold for beans that =
now is a memory.....
My problem is I got into ceramics because I love ceramics not money =
or "I sell em all" bullshit....As CHONG would say, "All you people who =
don't like what I'm doing.......You're all F%^#ed.....HEHEHE....Isn't =
that what he said?.....Waalll that's what I say........ PBBBBBBBT
PAX,
Rush
Man I feel good,,,Glazed about 200 kick ass pots today...Threw a BIG =
ONE....And pigged out on the best sushi in Dallas with my son's =
girlfriend with the oxblood hair(It was baby blue yesterday)...I hadda =
drink all the saki cause she is only 20....Ya gotta be 21 to =
drink...Doncha know?
"I only indulge when I've seen a snake, so I keep a supply of =
indulgences and snakes handy"
http://artimator.com
rush@artimator.com
http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/texasceramics

Artimator Galleries
2420 Briarwood Ln.
Carrollton, TX 75006
972-841-1857

Megan Ratchford on wed 20 mar 02


Hey all,
I went to Japan last August (by the way, Hi Lee!! The shard you gave me
when we saw you sits in a place of pride, thank you so much again for your
good company and the warm welcome!!) Okay, as I was saying...As I was
preparing to go to Japan I had a massive sale of all my work. Some new,
most old and tired from being dragged from show to show. I had a joke as I
was getting ready: "All pots ten dollars; that tea cup: ten dollars, the
large jug: ten dollars..." It wasn't that bad, but let us say prices were
very low. All day this one man would come by, pick up a lovely vase, run
his finger over it, and smile and put it down. All day. He spoke very
little English, but every time I'd come over to talk to him he'd shake his
head and say "No money...sorry." As I was packing up he stopped by again.
I gave him the vase. He just about fell over. What could I do? He loved
that vase! What a complement. Now, I don't have a dime from that vase, but
I have the memory of that man's look in his eyes as I handed him the wrapped
vase to take home. In a way, that is a price that can't be measured. One
more dear to me than holding out for a "paying" customer to take home the
vase only because it matches the sofa.
Okay, my two cents...Let me just add that I like to eat too and I will
only price my work super low to go to Japan. (GRIN)
Megan
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lee Love"
To:
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 4:30 AM
Subject: : pricing


> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "artimater"
>
> > I figure I oughta be able to buy two pieces of slipcast crap to
offset the
> loss of
> >the one kick ass piece I no longer have.....
>
>
> I've always made work that people like me would buy. How many
artists
> have to cater to people they probably wouldn't enjoy having lunch with?
It's
> a little like being a prostitute.
>
> Now, I don't mean that "some" of my work might not be of interest
to
> wealthy people. My only concern is that "some" of my work be affordable
to
> everybody. If a kid skips lunch (like I used to do, as a poor kid, to by
> paperbacks), they should be able to buy one of my pieces. I'd much
rather
> inspire someone else to be creative than to sell them something, really.
> Because we human beings, if we are not creating/growing, we are just
supporting
> entropy/consumption/death.
>
> That's why I like the way some folks deal with this issue by
making two
> lines of work: one for every day use and then another line of vases,
teapots,
> etc (gallery stuff.) That way, you can work on pure creativity, but
still be
> available to everybody.
>
> --
> Lee In Mashiko Ikiru@kami.com
>
> "It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are.
" -Wendell
> Berry-
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________
__
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
melpots@pclink.com.

Lee Love on fri 22 mar 02


----- Original Message -----
From: "Megan Ratchford"

> Hey all,
> I went to Japan last August (by the way, Hi Lee!! The shard you gave me
> when we saw you sits in a place of pride, thank you so much again for your
> good company and the warm welcome!!)

Welcome Megan! It was my pleasure.

Recently, those shards have become more difficult to come by. The old
trash pit was full and got covered over. A back hoe dug a new one: vertical
sizes and about 12 feet deep! Water sits in the bottom, Can't go down there
and pick up shards. And we just broke a bunch of pots in the hole from the
last noborigama firing (some Yohen and Haicabari work {firemouth pots}.)
I _was_ collecting shards. I thought they might go nice with a slide show so
people could handle pieces of the type of pots shown on the screen.

\--
Lee In Mashiko, Japan Ikiru@kami.com

"We can only wait here, where we are in the world, obedient to its processes,
patient in its taking away, faithful to its returns. And as much as we may
know, and all that we deserve of earthly paradise will come to us."
Wendell Berry , Full Quote: http://www1.ocn.ne.jp/~ikiru/berry.html

Nancy Guido on fri 22 mar 02


My favorite quote from a good friend after a particularly bad experience was,

"Not everyone can afford handmade tiles!"

Nancy G.

Bill Edwards on tue 25 jun 02


Hi,

Lots of good thoughts on the subject from many of you
out there. The pricing thing does remind me of a
couple shows I have done in the past. I went to one
eyes-closed, not knowing too much history on it. I had
my good stuff with me and things I felt that would
reflect how hard I had worked to provide good
materials.
I got to the show and started un-packing and noticed
several other potters which I knew from a group that
was in training but they were nice people. Once they
set up I also noticed that their mugs were going for
like $4 dollars compared to mine at $12 or so at the
time. All the comparables were they had much cheaper
pieces than I could afford to bring because I had
over-head and theirs was produced or subsidized at the
local pottery center.
At the end of the show I had sold ok, not great but
ok. I was friends with one of the other potters that
was getting his feet wet and I asked him how well he
done. He said he done great! I commented he must have
sold a lot and he replied he sold about half of what
he brought. The end result was I saw I had made about
$130.00 more dollars and I sold much less pieces.
While he had cleaned out alot of his product I carried
in a tad more moeny, carried back more pottery but I
knew it would be there for the next show. My
production wouldn't be the same as his and we both
went out to eat once we got packed back up.
Its all a learning experience. Of course they will be
times when things don't work out like that and I have
seen them as well. Good luck to all potters who are
trying to build a business! Just put your energy into
it and keeps notes and try to find out a little on the
show you might be doing and ask around at each one and
see how the past might compare to the present.
Providing differing pricing structures might help as
well? A plain mug without a lot of show can be sold
for less than one you have detailed. That way you can
represent the value of plain verses high end artistry.
Most people aren't even thinking about that unless
they are collectors. The see something and it looks
like the rest except its just prettier. Teach them,
let them get some idea and they will learn to
appreciate the value of the work involved. We can only
hope!

Bill
http://www.tallapoosariverpottery.com/

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup
http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com

Katheleen Nez on wed 26 jun 02


Seeing all this hoo-haw about pricing and ethics and
whatever, gives me the willies. I only discuss pricing
with my major gallery owner - only us two concur about
what the market value should be of my work. Just like
you only discuss the most intimate details of your
relationship with your significant other. Let's Cut It
Out or we'll all be glaring at each other in San
Diego. And the ethical pot - Give Me A Break. jeez
louise. my 2 centavos, sign/don't sign, nezbah

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup
http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com

Janet Kaiser on thu 27 jun 02


The bottom line: any "thing" is only worth what the end buyer is
prepared to pay.

Janet Kaiser - the day King Louis XIV's hand-written manuscript which
sparked the French Revolution did not reach its reserve price
(£200,000) at auction.
The Chapel of Art / Capel Celfyddyd
Home of The International Potters' Path
8 Marine Crescent : Criccieth LL52 0EA : GB-Wales
Telephone: ++44 (0)1766-523570
URL: http://www.the-coa.org.uk
postbox@the-coa.org.uk

Cindi Anderson on sun 20 apr 03


JC Penney pioneered the use of the .98 or .99 and it had nothing to do with
the psychology of selling. It was to make it harder for employees to steal.
Since they had to make change, they had to go to the till. So it was hard
to just take the customer's money and pocket it. (This was a long time
ago... must have been before sales taxes...)

As far as rebates, I hate them and always add them back into the price of
whatever I am buying. I figure if I actually get the rebate then it is a
bonus, but make my purchase decision as if I were not getting it back. I
certainly wouldn't try pulling such things as an artist. If I saw an artist
price something at $129.95 I think I would laugh at them!

Cindi

----- Original Message -----
> I have been wondering in amazement at how all the merchants price their
> stuff. It is always $11.99 not an honest $12.
> Lately there are discounts that take 6 months to come back to you if you
> exactly comply with the requirements for saleslips, barcodes etc.

Fredrick Paget on sun 20 apr 03


I have been wondering in amazement at how all the merchants price their
stuff. It is always $11.99 not an honest $12.
Lately there are discounts that take 6 months to come back to you if you
exactly comply with the requirements for saleslips, barcodes etc. And when
quoting the price they always advertize what it is minus the discount not
what you have to pay upfront.
This sly and deceiving pricing is probably taught in marketing classes
because many do it.
Do any of you use these methods of pricing? Have you seen it in sales of art?
I, for one, when I am selling something put an hlnest price on it. Am I crazy?
Fred

From Fred Paget, Marin County, California, USA

Jim Kasper on sun 20 apr 03


Hi Fred,
Count me in with the crazies. I include sales tax in my price, so
when i price something at $30.00 my actual price is $28.30. I am afraid that
most people are so programmed by the 29.99 stuff that it probably hurts my
sales, but it is something that I always said I would do if I started
selling stuff, and here I am.
Regards,
Jim Kasper
http://zafka.com
I, for one, when I am selling something put an hlnest price on it. Am I
crazy?
Fred

From Fred Paget, Marin County, California, USA

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Anne Wellings on tue 22 apr 03


On Sun, 20 Apr 2003 13:02:12 -0700, Fredrick Paget
wrote:

>I have been wondering in amazement at how all the merchants price their
>stuff. It is always $11.99 not an honest $12..................
................
>This sly and deceiving pricing is probably taught in marketing classes
>because many do it.
>Do any of you use these methods of pricing? Have you seen it in sales of
art?

I know a glass artist who prices her very nice windchimes, bird feeders,
and slumped-glass vessels that way and does very well. She swears it works
for her, and I think she gets away with it because the work is is more
utilitarian home and garden type stuff than "fine art", which would look
cheapened if priced that way. I could not bring myself to try it with my
pottery, though she outsells me consistently. I am convinced there are
other factors that influence more customers to buy her work than mine. It
makes me see the need to keep my product line fresh by adding new items and
colors more often, not sell the same stuff year after year.

Anne

Des & Jan Howard on tue 22 apr 03


Frederick
We round all prices under $60 to the nearest $1, all prices over $60 to the nearest $5
& all prices over $200 to the nearest $10.

In Australia price tickets have to show the GST inclusive price.
The use of 1 & 2 cent coins has been discontinued, retail items may show odd amounts,
but cash registers automatically round total sales to nearest 5 cents.
Des

Fredrick Paget wrote:

> I have been wondering in amazement at how all the merchants price their
> stuff. It is always $11.99 not an honest $12.
> Lately there are discounts that take 6 months to come back to you if you
> exactly comply with the requirements for saleslips, barcodes etc. And when
> quoting the price they always advertize what it is minus the discount not
> what you have to pay upfront.
> This sly and deceiving pricing is probably taught in marketing classes
> because many do it.
> Do any of you use these methods of pricing? Have you seen it in sales of art?
> I, for one, when I am selling something put an hlnest price on it. Am I crazy?

--

Des & Jan Howard
Lue Pottery
LUE NSW 2850
Australia
Ph/Fax 02 6373 6419
http://www.luepottery.hwy.com.au

Nancy Udell on sun 30 may 04


On pricing: My husband and I travel quite frequently and I always look =
at pots to see what people are doing and making. I also go to a lot of =
galeries, craft shows and museums when I have time and look at pots. =
Part of this is looking at pricing. My conclusion, for what it's worth, =
is that, as in real estate, there are three factors that contribute to =
determineing the price of pots: location location and location, or =
venue, venue, venue. That's not to say of course that there aren't vast =
differences in the quality and asthetics in pots, but even keeping that =
in mind, it seems to me that location is the key. Go to canyon road in =
Santa Fe and see a $900 bowl. =20

By the way, if anyone wants to see some beautiful pots (and other =
things), go to the nordic designers exhibit at the museum of women and =
the arts in DC. (12th and H). THere till September. Among other =
things are 6 of the platters like the white nordic platter in the =
current cm. Also some fab teapots and other things. =20

Often in error, never in doubt,=20

Nancy

Date: Fri, 28 May 2004 05:02:52 +0000
From: David Beumee
Subject: Re: Pricing - French Exhibition in CM

I recently had a very long discussion about pricing with a friend who =
should know a great deal about the subject, as he runs a website for =
collectors and clay artists and makes his living as far as I know from =
collecting and selling both historical and contemporary pots. At one =
point in the discussion I became so frustrated I said "ok, here's what =
I'm going to do. I'll pack up a pot right now and send it to you, and =
you tell me how much you think it's worth." When he had received the pot =
and called me, the first thing he said was "how much do you charge for a =
piece like this?"

mel jacobson on fri 21 sep 07


pricing
we will get nowhere.
there is no consensus.
clayart posts on pricing never end.

my take.

i do not tell my customers what to like.
who am i to tell folks that blue is better then red?
who am i to judge what pots are racers? then double the price.
that is romantic thinking. like serving hamburgers for 20 bucks...call
them `angus hot souponics`.

i make a rather high quality product.
it is worth whatever i think it is worth.
same for paintings..flat price based on size.

all of my pots are worth what i think they are worth...every firing
is worth the
same number of dollars.

i price by size alone.
i take my ego out of it.
i know what i like to average for all pots...and that is what i get.

i take out the racers and box them up. they become pots for
my grandchildren to own some day, or sharlene puts them in the
cupboard for dinner service.

show pots are the same price as my studio pricing....

it is like a restaurant... all food is priced at 30 bucks an entree.
no one shows up to eat. so, the owner doubles the price because
he is going broke...now, no one shows up to eat. he goes bankrupt
and blames the folks for not coming to his restaurant.

the guy next door prices his entree at 8 bucks...the line to get in
goes around the block. the food is good, portions are fair...price is right.
he does not consult other restaurant owners, or a school of business
or the bank. he gets a fair price, a quality food item, has loads of
people waiting to get in.....and he calls
a hamburger a hamburger...basic...makes a ton of money.

there are only a few folks in the world that will pay thousands of bucks for
a pot. once they have one of yours...they move on. there are hundreds of
thousands of folks that will pay 40 bucks for a nice bowl. i want them
at my pottery sales....for they will buy 3 bowls...pay 120 bucks and think
they got a bargain. they did...and they will come back.
over and over and over.
service with a smile...and, i give a lifetime guarantee. if the pot breaks,
bring back the pieces and take a new one.
does that cost my anything? not a penny. but to the customer...it is
golden. (and most know they dropped it, or hit it and would never come
back and claim a new one...but, they will come back and replace it, and pay
for it.)

do i really care if someone says that one of my pots is a second? hell no.
put them on ebay...garage sale....it is their pot the minute they pay for it.
in fact as i mentioned last year...i found some of my pots in an
estate sale and i
could not afford to buy them back...over a hundred each. it is their business
what they sell them for.

as mr. uchida pounded in my head. `your standard of excellence is yours...
everything you make should be at that standard, therefor, everything you
make is priced at that standard. so price by the square inch.' period.
the first pots sold at your backyard sale should be as good as the
last one sold sunday night.

it is like wearing a coat and tie to the opening night of the theatre.
families standard of excellence...it is my standard...who cares about the
guy in a camo shirt with `F you` written on the front, and
work boots with mud on them...it is his
standard...of course, my mom would have called him a 'bum'.
my mom knew about that kind of thing.
mel












from: mel/minnetonka.mn.usa
website: http://www.visi.com/~melpots/

Clayart page link: http://www.visi.com/~melpots/clayart.html

Lee Love on fri 21 sep 07


I usually price by the time it takes to make something. This is
typical in Japan. For example a tea pot, even though smaller than a
large bowl, takes longer to make.

Another example are things like guinomi. Though they are
smaller than yunomi, they are actually harder to make. With guinomi,
you are trying to get all the formal elements of a tea bowl into a
much smaller package. Try making them sometime and see. Very
difficult not to make "just dumb little bowls." I much prefer making
tea bowls! They are scaled to the hand of the maker.

Imagine pricing by the pound! Then beginners would charge
more than skillful potters! ;^)

--
Lee in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

"Making pots should not be a struggle.
It should be like walking down a hill
in a gentle breeze." --Shoji Hamada


http://mashikopots.blogspot.com/

"For a democracy of excellence, the goal is not to reduce things to a
common denominator but to raise things to a shared worth."
--Paolo Soleri

Nancy on fri 21 sep 07


I am still going with that I think pricing is personal and it's ALL
right for each person. I price like Lee, based on how much time it
takes. I'm not going to sell a carved or painted piece for the same
price as a simple glazed piece just because they are the same size, but
that works for Mel and he's been doing it a long time so it's his
personal pricing.

But if a kiln fires too hot and a glaze comes out amazing and I don't
know if I'll get it again, well the price goes up and if they don't
sell, it's okay because the go into my display case.

Nancy

Lee Love wrote:
> I usually price by the time it takes to make something. This is
> typical in Japan. For example a tea pot, even though smaller than a
> large bowl, takes longer to make.
>
> Another example are things like guinomi. Though they are
> smaller than yunomi, they are actually harder to make. With guinomi,
> you are trying to get all the formal elements of a tea bowl into a
> much smaller package. Try making them sometime and see. Very
> difficult not to make "just dumb little bowls." I much prefer making
> tea bowls! They are scaled to the hand of the maker.
>
> Imagine pricing by the pound! Then beginners would charge
> more than skillful potters! ;^)
>
> --
> Lee in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
>
> "Making pots should not be a struggle.
> It should be like walking down a hill
> in a gentle breeze." --Shoji Hamada
>
>
> http://mashikopots.blogspot.com/
>
> "For a democracy of excellence, the goal is not to reduce things to a
> common denominator but to raise things to a shared worth."
> --Paolo Soleri
>
> ______________________________________________________________________________
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at melpots2@visi.com
>
>

Russel Fouts on sun 12 jul 09


Bill,

>> Maybe the price of ceramics should be priced by the pound. (JOKING) <<

No joke, functional pottery used to be priced that way or by how much
it would hold.

Russel



Russel Fouts
Mes Potes & Mes Pots
Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 223 02 75
Mobile: +32 476 55 38 75

http://www.mypots.com
Home of "The Potters Portal"
Over 3000 Pottery Related Links!
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"Look, it's my misery that I have to paint this kind of painting,
it's your misery that you have to love it, and the price of the
misery is thirteen hundred and fifty dollars. "

- Mark Rothko, In Art/Painting

Lee Love on sun 12 jul 09


On Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 4:15 PM, Russel Fouts wrote=
=3D
:
> Bill,
>
>>> Maybe =3DA0the price of ceramics should be priced by the pound. (JOKING=
) =3D
<<
>
> No joke, functional pottery used to be priced that way or by how much
> it would hold.

Neither make a lot of sense. Why should a big beginner's pot cost
more than a master's finely crafted pot?

It only makes sense in a society that is ruled by quantity
and has no understanding of quality.

--
Lee Love, Minneapolis
"The tea ceremony bowl is the ceramic equivalent of a sonnet: a
small-scale, seemingly constricted form that challenges the artist to
go beyond mere technical virtuosity and find an approach that both
satisfies and transcends the conventions." -- Rob Sliberman
full essay: http://togeika.multiply.com/journal/item/273/