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Pricing for custom pieces

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Improvise
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Pricing for custom pieces

Post by Improvise » Wed May 18, 2022 10:24 pm

Hi, just wondering how some of you quote prices for custom artwork pieces?

I've got a general idea on pricing for different size pieces based on m2 and finish when it is from one of my cut ready files.

What I'm not sure on is when customers send a photo/image through of something they want made up (of which I would have to trace/redesign in inkscape to make cut ready.) or when they just ask How much for a piece "X" size with "x" and "y" on it. How do you work out pricing and form of deposit/payment?

Do you quote an artwork fee and also the price to produce, and get the artwork fee upfront before drawing anything ? Or Ask for 50% deposit of total price (artwork and piece) then send through a couple of variations for the customer to choose? Or just quote total price for artwork and the actual piece without breaking it down and ask for full payment up front?

Any advice would be great!

Thanks

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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by adbuch » Thu May 19, 2022 2:10 am

It seems like there was another thread recently on this same subject. In my case, I do more cnc machining/fab of parts than plasma cut. But I give the total price including time, materials, etc. and collect payment before any work is started. On some things where the customer has supplied you with a photo and/or drawing, it would probably be quick enough doing an auto trace/cleanup to show what the finished item will look like. I don't break the pricing down for customers, I just provide the final price FOB Tucson, Arizona. If shipping is involved, I calculate the cost ahead of time and include that in the total quotation for the job. It is just too easy to get burned when you only collect partial payment and/or do work upfront before payment.

I'm sure some shops do it differently, and perhaps get a deposit and collect final payment on pickup of parts.

David
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Improvise
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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by Improvise » Thu May 19, 2022 3:56 am

Thanks David!

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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by beefy » Thu May 19, 2022 4:17 pm

When we think about it does a grocery store give a price breakdown of what it took to get a loaf of bread on the shelf. There's transport, warehousing, night time shelf stocking employee cost, etc, etc.

I don't see why it should be any different for us. If anything I see giving price breakdowns as a weapon for a customer to haggle with. It gives us more stress and wastes time. Keep it simple - a finished product for a given price, just like the loaf of bread we buy.
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adbuch
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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by adbuch » Thu May 19, 2022 4:27 pm

beefy wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 4:17 pm
When we think about it does a grocery store give a price breakdown of what it took to get a loaf of bread on the shelf. There's transport, warehousing, night time shelf stocking employee cost, etc, etc.

I don't see why it should be any different for us. If anything I see giving price breakdowns as a weapon for a customer to haggle with. It gives us more stress and wastes time. Keep it simple - a finished product for a given price, just like the loaf of bread we buy.
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Keith - I very much agree!!

David

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SegoMan DeSigns
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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by SegoMan DeSigns » Thu May 19, 2022 5:00 pm

The artwork can be the most expensive piece of the project especially when dealing with an organization that has multiple people who think they are in charge. I have had jobs where I get a thumbs up by the contact person only to have it shut down by upper management, this create multiple redo's on the files. The work around to this is to charge a separate up front fee on the artwork (with "X" amount of proofs) or tell them to hire a graphic artist then bring those files in for a job cost. It's not all roses in the artwork biz...(However someone just posted a nice daisy file) :lol:

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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by adbuch » Thu May 19, 2022 5:43 pm

SegoMan DeSigns wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 5:00 pm
The artwork can be the most expensive piece of the project especially when dealing with an organization that has multiple people who think they are in charge. I have had jobs where I get a thumbs up by the contact person only to have it shut down by upper management, this create multiple redo's on the files. The work around to this is to charge a separate up front fee on the artwork (with "X" amount of proofs) or tell them to hire a graphic artist then bring those files in for a job cost. It's not all roses in the artwork biz...(However someone just posted a nice daisy file) :lol:
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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by Improvise » Fri May 20, 2022 5:44 am

Thanks Beefy and Segoman. I'm finding that the learning of all the software and operation of the plasma and actual cutting was the easy part compared to all the other variables that are involved with selling metal stuff!

Have a great weekend.

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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by adbuch » Fri May 20, 2022 7:40 am

Good luck to you. Let us know how your business progresses.
Thanks,
David

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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by Joe Jones » Fri Jun 03, 2022 12:18 am

The thing too many small business do is to underprice their own work. Since it seems "simple" FOR YOU to produce plasma cut pieces, you assume there is not a lot of value in them. The TRUTH is that if the customer could make them, they would not come to YOU.

When I price things, sometimes I generally do not give a price. I ask the customer where HE needs it to come in, in order for the job to make sense. If I am thinking "$6.00 each, but I hope that doesn't scare him away ... I might lower the price..." and the customer says, "Can you make them for less than $25.00 each?" I reply, "I believe I can come in just a hair under $20.00 each, based on the quantity ordered!" You are making three times what you THOUGHT you should charge, and the customer thinks you are his HERO!

Customers DO NOT KNOW what is involved in designing a piece, CNC cutting it, finishing it, welding it, powder coating it, etc. etc. So do not cut your own throat by sheepishly bidding a very low price HOPING for the job. Tell the customer, "This is what it costs!" and let the customer negotiate a lower price. You may be thinking, "I cannot sell these for less than ten dollars" while your CUSTOMER is thinking, "I sure hope he doesn't go over $30.00!"

Remember ... if he came to YOU asking you to make the widgets for less than $20.00 each, it is most likely because everyone else already quoted him $30.00 each!

You can always come DOWN in price, but you cannot go UP in price, once you set a price.

Joe



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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by ROKCRLER » Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:44 am

Joe Jones wrote:
Fri Jun 03, 2022 12:18 am
The thing too many small business do is to underprice their own work. Since it seems "simple" FOR YOU to produce plasma cut pieces, you assume there is not a lot of value in them. The TRUTH is that if the customer could make them, they would not come to YOU.

When I price things, sometimes I generally do not give a price. I ask the customer where HE needs it to come in, in order for the job to make sense. If I am thinking "$6.00 each, but I hope that doesn't scare him away ... I might lower the price..." and the customer says, "Can you make them for less than $25.00 each?" I reply, "I believe I can come in just a hair under $20.00 each, based on the quantity ordered!" You are making three times what you THOUGHT you should charge, and the customer thinks you are his HERO!

Customers DO NOT KNOW what is involved in designing a piece, CNC cutting it, finishing it, welding it, powder coating it, etc. etc. So do not cut your own throat by sheepishly bidding a very low price HOPING for the job. Tell the customer, "This is what it costs!" and let the customer negotiate a lower price. You may be thinking, "I cannot sell these for less than ten dollars" while your CUSTOMER is thinking, "I sure hope he doesn't go over $30.00!"

Remember ... if he came to YOU asking you to make the widgets for less than $20.00 each, it is most likely because everyone else already quoted him $30.00 each!

You can always come DOWN in price, but you cannot go UP in price, once you set a price.

Joe



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Solid advice, thanks Joe.
I suffer from "Since it seems "simple" FOR YOU to produce plasma cut pieces, you assume there is not a lot of value in them"... Im still learning pricing of parts.
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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by cutnweld » Sat Jun 04, 2022 10:22 am

If they say "let me know when its done", cut out the part then wait awhile before calling them. I always do that, i may get an order and they think it will take several hours to complete, i will wait several hours to call them, otherwise its "this much for these few minutes?"

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Re: Pricing for custom pieces

Post by Joe Jones » Sat Jun 04, 2022 10:47 am

cutnweld wrote:
Sat Jun 04, 2022 10:22 am
If they say "let me know when its done", cut out the part then wait awhile before calling them. I always do that, i may get an order and they think it will take several hours to complete, i will wait several hours to call them, otherwise its "this much for these few minutes?"
That is a great point! Someone may want a simple monogram letter in a circle to hang on their front door. It may only take a moment to create it, but then you tell the customer it will cost $50.00 and they think, "$50.00 ?!? It only took him a minute to create it!" They never consider everything that went into getting you to the point where you could produce a monogram quickly.

In my retail store, I set up a large LED monitor and three chairs. When someone would come in asking for a custom piece, I would invite them to sit down and give their input as I create the design. I would open DesignEdge and let them WATCH the screen, as their design was created. They seemed to like the ability to say ... "Can you change this? ... can you make that larger? ... Can you ...?" They would watch the process of creating the final design, and they would SEE it on the screen exactly as it would appear. They are more willing to pay the price when they are involved in the creation process.

P.T. Barnum made the point, and his philosophy is widely used even today. He believed that there was only so much value in seeing a tiger jump through a hoop, but when you demonstrate HOW you train the tiger to jump through the hoop, people are willing to pay more to see that happen. When you visit "Sea World" you will see the dolphins and the elephant walruses and such, all doing tricks. But you will almost certainly see a demonstration of HOW they train a seal to balance a ball on it's nose, or get a walrus to belch on command.

When you are in a "tourist trap," and you see a glassblower, his finished pieces are pretty, but you stop to WATCH him turn a rod of glass into a grand piano, or a birdcage, or a flower arrangement. The finished piece becomes more valuable to the person who watched it being made. People are willing to pay a higher price for something, when they are involved in making it, or they watched it come into being.

The Corvette plant in Bowling Green, KY will let the customer WATCH their custom Corvette being made, as they walk along the assembly line. They they pay $180,000.00 for that "assembly line production car."

Joe



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