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I Forge Iron

help pricing items

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so I've got to the point where I want to start making my investments start paying of so i am making these fire pokers  to sell the material costs me 3.60 and i take 1/2 hour with propane to make them they are about 29 in I was thinking of charging 25$ as on amazon similar size is going for 30-50 $  would this be a good price or should i go cheaper



and yes frosty I need to learn how to make shovels and brooms as well




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I've only ever made one shovel and that was a request. Broom? Nary a one, not even for our stove.

What's your intended market? I haven't gotten any response to that type fire tool from people with fire places. A little from folks with wood stoves but mostly for curiosity's sake. Guys with coal forges like them but tend to make their own.

Regardless you need to up your game a little, especially the handle. A little more fancy to the twist wouldn't hurt, maybe reverse it. Basket twists are popular handles especially if you tie it into a rope/cable twisted shaft. Simple loops go well and there's nothing to catch a fingernail in. As pictured your handle is a finger pincher, maybe snag or cut even. That's a detail but an important one. You do NOT want your product to hurt people. 

I'm not gigging you but if someone is going to put a fire tool in the parlor or living room it needs to look good and sets need to match.

Have you made the more "traditional" poker with a sharp point and sharp pointed hook? Most everybody recognizes them on sight and if they're well made with a little something to put YOUR mark on them they sell pretty well. If you're going to make sets you need to make a matching stands or hangers too. 

As shown $25 is maybe top dollar. However pretty basic pokers at the local stove shop sell in the $75-100+ range, a set with a stand in the $1,200 range.

A nice but not exceptional poker at the fair or shows go for around  $50. Some guys ask WAY too little for decent work, the $15-25 pokers don't sell well at all. Folks don't want to buy hand forged that doesn't relate, "custom one off hand made," in it's price. 

I've told the story about selling leaf finial coat hook demo projects at the state fair enough times already. The short version being I was selling them for $9.95 ea. with a break for sets of 4. and was selling one now and then. Which was okay, I wasn't there to make a buck I was enjoying doing demos. The guy I was sharing a booth with kept at me about charging too much, $4 ea was more reasonable for MY work. They left for a meal and I doubled the price to $19.95 ea. with a break for 4+.

I couldn't keep a hook on the table, people were standing around waiting for their hook. 

Hand made should be expensive, nobody brags about how little a hand made item costs. Hmmm?

Anyway, you're getting better all the time but if you want to sell, you need to up the quality. Even campfire pokers need a little style and a finish that doesn't snag, poke or hurt the ladies hands holding them. I discovered the ladies don't like pineapple twists, the points are too sharp in their hands. I assume cube twists are the same. The ladies LOVED cable twists, good surface to hold onto and smooth in the hand. Make sense?

Lots to think about, you're getting better all the time.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I agree with what Frosty said. 

The twist on the handle needs atleast the edges broke and a better loop and finial.  The decorative twists should be in the length not so much the working end. And the working end needs a point and a nice 90° bend, or a more "traditional" or recognizable end. 

Either way, as Frosty said the handle comfort and shape/style is important to selling the work. You can sell a poker for $40.or more Easily if it is Aesthetically pleasing and functional. 

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MJ, A few suggestions to, IMO, improve your poker:  1) put a point on the tip and flatten the short, bent portion.  Sort of a leaf shape. 2) Improve the bend by making it a sharp 90 degrees.  If you can't get it done on the edge of the anvil catch the tip in a vise while hot and bend it to 90 degrees. 3) Put a decorative twist along the shaft somewhere. 4) As previously suggested, open up the loop of the handle. 5) Taper the end and bend it back in the opposite direction from the loop of the handle.  As it is, it looks unfinished.

As to pricing, consider your audience.  If you are a a farmers' market and most folk are not there to buy high end items charge at the low end considering your time and material.  If you are at a craft fair charge more.  And if you are at an "art" sale add a zero to all your prices.  

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."  

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Amazon is actively undercutting market leaders in any product that sells.  Huge multi-national firms with efficient infrastructure throughout their supply, manufacture, and delivery chains are getting price gouged.  If you can't open a bigger factory to make it cheaper, there's no point in pretending that the Amazon price applies to your work.

Internet asking prices can operate in the opposite direction.  We've all seen the ebay advertisements for a "Rare antique" anvil that turns out to be a new pot-metal ASO of uncertain quality.  Consistent trends for selling prices, not one-off asking prices are what set the market value.

Farmers markets and art/craft shows aren't necessarily aligned with bargain or trophy hunters.  I've seen Farmers markets where people will pay $25 for a bag of peaches, but they won't pay $50 for a handmade basket.  A few years back I learned that quite a few of the "farmers" at the market were reselling supermarket produce.  Apparently, the public won't reliably return unless the "seasonal" produce is available for six months out of the year.

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