A guy I know has a gift store, and he asked me (or I asked him, I can't
remember how I got into this mess) if I wanted to Dork up some
projects--they were "accent tables" now that I'm thinking about it--in
his store to be sold on consignment. Now I have 2 accent tables, 2 end
tables and an adirondak chair with ottoman and the guy is telling me he
has a customer who wants a bar, a bar-type round table (48" height) and
2 chairs to go with the pair of end tables I have in the store.
Keep in mind, these tables have been sitting for a few weeks with
little to no interest. All of a sudden, a guy wants a whole room of
furniture? Yeah, right. After some key questions get asked, I find
out that the guy wants a table to match one he saw at a furniture
store, and I go look at the one he's talking about.
For $500 (the retail price of this 3-piece bar set), I couldn't even
come close to building it. Solid wood, no ply, lots of, um, fancy-ups
(inlaid rope mold in the table apron, flower carvings in the legs, etc)
and 2 Windsor-style bar-height chairs. I spoke to the store owner
today, and told him that if the guy likes that set, go ahead and buy
it, because he doesn't even want to know how much I would charge for
Now I know that there have been about 2 gazillion threads about how
much to charge for stuff, but I've decided that as long as this is my
side job (I had WANTED to keep it a hobby) and not my front job, I
wasn't going to work for nothing.
Having said all that, all of y'all who ARE Dorking for your front job,
having to compete against stuff like that, my hat goes off. I know
that custom work demands a custom price and all that, but you fellers
sure have to know what you're doing in order to keep your labor costs
down enough to make a living against prices like that.