Pricing - mailbox


I am making a couple of mailboxes, with some scrollwork on the side and bottom back, as well as MAIL scrollworked on the front. I plan to make some in various woods and various finishes ( In our neighbourhood their is no direct rain or snow hitting the box). Can someone give me an idea on how to price something like that?
TIA (many times...) Gil
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Gil:
By price, do you mean like in charge? As in you are going to sell mailbox?
I don't know where you live, but in my area, close to Detroit, MI the local Postal workers are real hard nosed about mailboxes that conform to "approved by Postmaster General" non-sense. If the mail box is not on some list, they won't deliver the mail. The only exception is if you take an "approved" designed mailbox, and enclose it in your scrollwork, that may be OK.
If you sell a mailbox to someone, and they mount it you could be in for trouble. http://pe.usps.gov/text/dmm/d041.htm#Rbi31049
I hope your area has thinking human beings at your post office.
Phil

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On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 16:45:26 -0400, Another Phil wrote:

From near the top of your link:
-------------- D041 describes the standards for letterboxes or other receptacles for the deposit or receipt of mail. It also contains the standards for curbside mailboxes. 1.0 Basic Standards 1.1Authorized Depository
Except as excluded by 1.2, every letterbox or other receptacle intended or used for the receipt or delivery of mail on any city delivery route, rural delivery route, highway contract route, or other mail route is designated an authorized depository for mail within the meaning of 18 USC 1702, 1705, 1708, and 1725. -----------
I don't see what is so restrictive about "other receptacle". Moreover, the use of the term 'intended' opens up a lot of ground. If nothing else, simply marking the box with the word "MAIL" should be sufficient to show intent. It does need to be of a size sufficient to hold the normally expected mail burden for each day ... but the customer is free to make the initial determination of this ... and it cannot be locked such that a key is required for the USPS to use it nor may it bear advertising (so the "Burma Shave" and the "Mail Pouch" themes are probably a bad idea). It also cannot bear a caricature likely to be offensive to a letter carrier. Ya gotta walk lightly there, even standard religious or political symbols could fall under that heading.
The rules are re-stated here: http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/508.htm#wp1051804
I find no mention at all of any 'authorized' list. Would you care to post a link to it?
I also live in Detroit.
Bill
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Pricing is one of the most difficult parts of the manufacturing business. This isn't just me saying it or my personnal experience but what I was taught in business school too.
Another point about pricing is that pretty much anybody can make a product that is profitable if they sell it at retail prices. However, it takes a very professional approach in every respect to be able to make a profit at wholesale prices with enough margin left for the reseller.
There are a few approaches.
1. The most simplistict one, which can be used as a rule of thumb is 3 times the cost of materials. I usually use this a quick check. Some items will necessarily vary widely from this rule but it ain't bad.
2. Or you can use cost plus. Add up the cost of materials, figure in the labor at some reasonable rate, contribute some of the overhead burden (cost of shop, tools, insurance) and add some percentage of profit. As you can see, this ain't simple.
When figuring the labor, you won't be competitive if you are figuring it on a one piece basis. You need to figure in the machine setup time as a very small percentage of the time. For instance, figure what the labor price would be if you were making 100 items so 15 minutes of setup is amortized over those 100 items at only 15/100 of a minute (.15 minutes) each.
3. What the market will bear. See what like kind products are selling for. This is getting tougher every day if you are making things that look a lot like things coming from China.
These are just some basic ideas but the market will dictate ultimately. What are you willing take vs what are the willing to give. (?)
BW
BW
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This is probably the most important of all outlined. If you use $50 in material, $100 in labor, but Wal Mart has a similar item for $19.95, you won't sell it. If it takes you 5 hours to make an item but others can do it in 1 hour, you won't get paid for the extra time just because you are slow. OTOH, if you sell an item and have more requests at the same price, you will find it more profitable once you find all the shortcuts and lower you time.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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wrote in message

And some fools will pay $1500 for a really nice mail box, because that's exactly what their wife wants, and peace has a price. DAMHIKT.
Patriarch
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Thank you for your input. Your simplest one of 3 times the cost of materials might be the most realistic in my case. All your other ideas are also very useful.
Gil
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Speaking of mailboxes, I painted min today. Problem is, I took the numbers off first and did not mark them. How do I know the sequence to re-place them?
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Did you use the shellac & the 'special solvents', Ed?
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I made a solid african mahogany and haven't had a problem with my mail carrier...here's a pic of it
http://members.cox.net/thouse5/mailbox4.jpg
Tina
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That's real purty, Tina.
Tina wrote:

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On Sun, 05 Jun 2005 05:57:07 -0400, Tina wrote:

Rats. I've been shown up by a woman. Again.
;-)
Very nice work, Tina.
Bill
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Thanks Bill....
Tina
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Just put them in any order that looks good to you, then file a change of address with the post office.
Kinda the same way the phone company did it when a cable got cut down the street. They put it back together, then called us to tell us our new phone numbers.
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