Gregory D Lamont on fri 13 mar 98
I have been approached about making 500 mugs for a church celebrating its
50th anniversary. It seems they are truly interested in something more
than the usual commercially produced imprinted mug. I am somewhat
apprehensive about taking on such a project--the idea of throwing 500 mugs
and putting handles on them is somewhat daunting--I've not yet done a large
wholesale-type order like this in my fledgling career as a clayworker.
Options? Suggestions? How would I figure pricing on something like this?
I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has done a similar project and
can provide some guidance.
KLeSueur on sat 14 mar 98
I would caution you to think carefully about accepting this order.
First, if you are now wholesaling, how will taking such an order affect your
ability to respond to your regular customers who you want to be around long
after this one time order is gone.
Second, make absolutely sure who is responsible for paying the bill. I once
knew a potter who made several hundred items for the Pope's visit to Texas.
Getting paid was a nightmare. I'm not sure it ever happened.
Third, what to charge. What do you normally charge? That should be your price.
While customers often expect a reduced price for quanity, the fact is that an
order like you are talking about is a nightmare to produce. There is an
interesting story told of a small family business in Mexico that produced bowl
sets for five dollars. They were asked how much the sets would be for an order
of one thousand. After doing some figuring a price of seven dollars was
quoted. When asked why the higher price, the family replied that they would
have to work harder to make that many sets. It's always nice to get a large
chunk of money. But be careful that this large chunk doesn't adversely affect
your income from other sources.
paul wilmoth on sat 14 mar 98
First of all "you can do it". 2nd do not throw all 500 at once
it will be too much to keep up with. Do 50 or 100 at a time, you will
find this to be much more manageable. You will be amazed at how much you
have learned by the time that you have finished this project!! Step up
to the plate and don't try for a home run - when a hit will do the job -
maybe a couple of hits!
Good Luck - Paul
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Christine Pereira on sat 14 mar 98
I had three biggies recently. Two 300 mug orders and one 100. All involved
decals as well. You need to keep in mind when pricing that a mug, is a mug,
is a mug and even though you are making a larger number, they still take the
same amount of time to throw, trim, attach, fire, glaze and fire (and in my
case - fire again). I found it very educational in that it is now much
easier to throw a mug in 2 pulls and a shaping pull and my handles also go
on much easier now, so from a skills improvement standpoint it was a very
good experience. Don't short change yourself in your pricing though as it
is not cheaper (from the time spent perspective) just because you are doing
a larger volume. Good Luck!
Native American Rights Fund
>I have been approached about making 500 mugs for a church
>celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Dave Eitel on sat 14 mar 98
>I have been approached about making 500 mugs for a church celebrating its
>50th anniversary. It seems they are truly interested in something more
>than the usual commercially produced imprinted mug. I am somewhat
>apprehensive about taking on such a project--the idea of throwing 500 mugs
>and putting handles on them is somewhat daunting--I've not yet done a large
>wholesale-type order like this in my fledgling career as a clayworker.
>Options? Suggestions? How would I figure pricing on something like this?
>I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has done a similar project and
>can provide some guidance.
Greg--Last summer I had a commission for 400 slilp decorated porcelain
bowls about 11" in diameter and 4" high. My studio became inundated with
bowls as I set aside all my other work to complete this project, which had
a rather severe deadline. At the end, I felt I was very familiar with that
particular size of bowl, and my slip decorating was coming pretty easily.
I was very well paid for the project, also. My advice is to be sure you
get a good price for the work and do not discount it because of the volume.
The only hitch came when I had to mix new glaze and got into a new batch of
spodumene, which altered the glaze color sognificantly. Fortunately, this
happened toward the end of the project and I was able to salvage enough
bowls to complete it.
Cedar Creek Pottery
Cedarburg, WI USA
PATSYCATS on sat 14 mar 98
Be sure to do a few sample mugs from start to finish and present them for
approval. Don't rely on verbal or even written agreements about size, color,
etc. I got burned this way by a church once (my own fault, no doubt). As
someone advised recently regarding wholesale samples, present your "average"
mug, not your "best" mug. This will reduce anxiety on your part trying to
live up to your sample.
Cape Elizabeth, ME
Cindy on sat 14 mar 98
Yes, 500 mugs is a *lot* of mugs, but if you're not experienced, you're
likely to end up making at least 750 mugs, and maybe 1000 in order to get
500 you can use. Consider that when you're deciding on what to charge. If
you decide to take this project on, give yourself plenty of time. Figure
out how long it will take you, then double it. I hope this works out well
for you, Greg. You're gonna be *so* good at making mugs.