Custom-Made Furniture: Pricing & Selling Tips for Artisans
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


When it comes to the world of woodworking, creating beautiful, custom-made furniture is often the easy part. It's the pricing and selling that can leave you scratching your head. But fear not, fellow artisans. This blog will guide you through the process of pricing and selling custom-made furniture for woodworking artisans like you, so you can start earning what your craftsmanship truly deserves.

Pricing your custom-made furniture

Pricing your work isn't merely setting a number and hoping someone pays it. It involves a balance of several factors:

  • Material Costs: The cost of the wood, hardware, finishes, and any other materials you use must be considered. Don't forget to include any shipping or handling costs for these materials.
  • Labor Costs: This is the time you spend crafting the furniture. It's a good idea to establish an hourly rate for your work. Remember, you're not just selling a product, you're selling the hours, effort, and skill you put into creating it.
  • Overhead: This covers everything else that allows you to run your business, like your workshop, tools, utilities, and even marketing expenses. Don't overlook these costs when pricing your furniture.
  • Profit Margin: Last but not least, you need to make a profit. This is what's left over after you've covered all your costs. A common approach is to add a profit margin of 20% to 30% to your total costs. However, this will largely depend on your market and competition.

So, how do you put all these together? Here's an example:

Let's say you've made a gorgeous oak table. The materials cost $200, and it took you 10 hours to make at an hourly rate of $20. Your overhead for this project is around $50. Adding these up, your total cost is $450. If you want a profit margin of 25%, you'll add $112.50 ($450 x 0.25) to your total cost. So, the price you'll set for your oak table is $562.50.

It's worth noting that pricing is not a one-size-fits-all game. Your prices may vary depending on the uniqueness of your work, your skill level, and the demand for your furniture. Remember, your prices should reflect the value you provide to your customers, and not just cover your costs.

So, there you have it — a straightforward way for pricing custom-made furniture for woodworking artisans. In the next sections, we'll look at how to establish your brand and effectively market your furniture. Stay tuned!

Establishing your brand

Now that you've got your pricing sorted, it's time to tackle the next big challenge — establishing your brand. A strong brand not only sets you apart from competition but also builds trust with your customers. So, where do you start?

Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Your USP is what makes your furniture unique. It could be your craftsmanship, the materials you use, your designs, or even your sustainable practices. Whatever it is, make sure it's something your customers value and can't easily find elsewhere.

For instance, if you specialize in crafting furniture from reclaimed wood, your USP could be that every piece of furniture you sell is not just a unique work of art but also a step towards environmental sustainability.

Develop a Consistent Visual Identity: This includes your logo, color scheme, typography, and even the style of your photos. A consistent visual identity helps people recognize your brand instantly.

Let's say your brand stands for rustic simplicity. Your logo might be a simple line drawing of a tree, your color scheme earthy neutrals, and your photos might feature your furniture in rustic settings.

Communicate Your Brand Voice: Your brand voice is the personality of your brand. It's how you talk to your customers — in person, on your website, on social media, and even in your emails. Are you friendly and approachable? Or are you more professional and authoritative? Choose a voice that resonates with your customers and stay consistent.

Above all, remember that your brand is a reflection of you — your values, your passion, and your craftsmanship. Make sure it authentically represents you and your work. After all, as a woodworking artisan, your work is as much a piece of you as it is a piece of furniture.

With a strong brand in place, you're ready to take the next step: marketing your custom-made furniture. But that's a topic for another section. See you there!

Marketing your furniture

Marketing is a key part of pricing and selling custom-made furniture for woodworking artisans. But what exactly does this entail?

Start with a Website: A professional website is a must for showcasing your furniture. Make sure it's easy to navigate, full of beautiful images of your pieces, and includes all the necessary information like prices, sizes, materials, and how to order.

Optimize for Search Engines: You want people to find your furniture when they're searching online, right? That's where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. It involves using specific keywords on your website — like "custom-made oak dining table" or "handcrafted reclaimed wood bookshelf" — that your potential customers are likely to search for.

Connect with Local Businesses: Reach out to local interior designers, architects, and real estate agents. They often need unique pieces of furniture for their projects and could become regular customers. It's a win-win situation: they get beautiful, unique furniture, and you get steady orders.

Remember the Power of Word-of-Mouth: Happy customers are your best marketers. Encourage them to spread the word about your furniture to their friends, family, and social media followers. You might even offer a referral discount as an incentive.

Utilize Email Marketing: Collect emails from interested visitors to your website and send them regular updates about your new pieces, special offers, or even behind-the-scenes looks into your workshop. Just remember: keep it interesting, keep it relevant, and don't spam!

Marketing might seem daunting at first, but take it one step at a time. And remember, the goal isn't just to sell a piece of furniture. It's to build a relationship with your customers — which brings us neatly to our next topic.

Building customer relationships

When it comes to pricing and selling custom-made furniture for woodworking artisans, building strong customer relationships is key. But how do you go about it? Here are some tips:

Listen: Get to know your customers. Understand their needs and preferences. Are they looking for a rustic dining table to match their farmhouse decor? Or do they need a sleek, modern desk for their home office? The better you understand them, the better you can meet their needs.

Communicate: Keep your customers in the loop. Let them know when you've started working on their piece, send them updates during the process, and give them a heads-up when it's ready for delivery. This not only builds trust, but also excitement!

Exceed Expectations: Always aim to wow your customers. Whether it's the quality of your furniture, the level of your customer service, or the speed of your delivery, go above and beyond what's expected. This will turn your customers into raving fans who can't wait to tell everyone about their amazing artisan furniture.

Ask for Feedback: Don't be afraid to ask your customers for feedback. It's the best way to learn and improve. Plus, it shows your customers that you value their opinion and are always striving to provide them with the best possible products and services.

Stay in Touch: Don't let the relationship end with the sale. Follow up with your customers to see how they're enjoying their furniture. Send them updates about your latest pieces. Offer them special deals or discounts. In other words, show them that you appreciate their business and want to keep them as customers for life.

Remember, strong customer relationships lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals — two of the most effective ways to sell more furniture and grow your business.

Leveraging social media

For pricing and selling custom-made furniture for woodworking artisans, social media can be a game changer. It's the digital storefront of your business, and a platform to showcase your beautiful, handcrafted furniture to the world. Here are some ways to leverage social media:

Show, Don't Tell: As a woodworking artisan, your work is visually appealing. Use high-quality photos and videos to show off your furniture. Whether it's a close-up of the intricate details, a time-lapse video of the crafting process, or a shot of the finished piece in a styled room, visuals can speak volumes.

Tell Your Story: People love to know the story behind the products they buy. Share how you started woodworking, what inspires your designs, how you select materials, or the steps you take to create a piece. This can create a personal connection and make your furniture even more special to your customers.

Engage: Social media isn't just about broadcasting—it's about engaging. Respond to comments, answer questions, and say thank you for compliments. This interaction can strengthen your customer relationships, build your brand, and increase your reach.

Use Tags and Hashtags: Tags and hashtags can help people find you. If you're making a coffee table, for example, consider using tags like #CustomMadeFurniture, #WoodworkingArtisan, #HandcraftedCoffeeTable. Just be sure the tags are relevant and not overused.

Offer Sneak Peeks and Special Offers: Use social media to give followers a sneak peek of your new designs or works in progress. You can also offer special promotions or discounts to your followers, which can encourage sales and reward your loyal fans.

Remember, social media is not just a promotional tool—it's a way to build relationships, tell your story, and create a community around your brand. So, leverage it wisely!

Attending trade shows and exhibitions

Trade shows and exhibitions are a fantastic opportunity to showcase your custom-made furniture. They provide an excellent platform for you to meet potential customers face-to-face, learn more about your competitors, and stay updated with the latest trends in the industry. So, let's explore how these events can help with pricing and selling your custom-made furniture.

Direct Customer Feedback: At trade shows, you get to interact directly with your customers. You can see their reactions to your furniture, answer their questions, and get their feedback. This can be invaluable for both pricing and product development. If a particular piece grabs attention or a price point sparks interest, take note!

Competitor Analysis: Trade shows are a gathering of industry professionals and competitors. This gives you a chance to see what others are doing, what they're charging, and how they're interacting with customers. No need for undercover spy work—just walk around, observe, and learn.

Networking: These events are also fantastic for networking. You can meet other woodworking artisans, industry experts, and potential business partners. These connections can lead to collaborations, referrals, or even new selling opportunities.

Education: Many trade shows also offer seminars and workshops. These can provide you with new skills, marketing tactics, or insights into customer behavior which can help you in pricing and selling your furniture.

So, consider marking your calendar for the next trade show or exhibition. It could be a big step towards growing your custom-made furniture business.

Creating a portfolio of your work

Creating a portfolio of your work is like crafting your very own visual business card. It's a showcase of your skills, creativity, and craftsmanship. When it comes to pricing and selling custom-made furniture for woodworking artisans, a well-curated portfolio can be a game-changer. Here's why:

Visual Impact: People appreciate beauty and craftsmanship, especially in a field like custom-made furniture. Having a portfolio showcasing your best work can create a lasting visual impact. Remember the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words"? With a portfolio, you can let your work do the talking.

Trust and Confidence: A portfolio helps build trust and confidence in your potential customers. When they see the quality of your work, they can better understand the value of your furniture and why it's priced as it is.

Variety: Your portfolio can showcase a wide range of your creations. This allows customers to see the breadth of your skills and creativity, making them more likely to consider your pieces for their diverse needs.

Brand Story: Your portfolio isn't just a collection of images. It's a narrative of your brand. It tells a story of your dedication to craftsmanship, your attention to detail, and your passion for creating unique pieces of furniture. And customers love a good story!

So, start snapping those high-quality photos of your work. Organize them, write short descriptions, and put them together in a portfolio. It just might be the key to pricing and selling more of your custom-made furniture.

Selling tips for artisans

As an artisan, your passion for woodworking likely fuels your craft. But when it comes to pricing and selling custom-made furniture for woodworking artisans, passion alone won't cut it. You need a strategic approach. Here are some selling tips that might just give you that extra edge:

Know your worth: It's easy to undervalue your work, especially when you love what you do. But remember, the time, effort, and skill you put into every piece deserves fair compensation. So, don't be shy to price your furniture accordingly.

Understand your customer: Are your customers looking for one-of-a-kind pieces, or are they more interested in functional, everyday furniture? Understanding their needs and preferences can help you create pieces they will love — and be willing to pay for.

Communicate the value: Don't just sell a product, sell an experience. Highlight the craftsmanship, the materials, the time taken, and the story behind each piece. This adds value to your furniture and can justify the price tag.

Stay flexible: While it's important to know your worth, flexibility can also be beneficial. Offering options for customization or being willing to negotiate on price can make customers feel valued and more likely to purchase.

Keep evolving: Trends change, and so should your designs. Keep an eye on popular styles and incorporate them into your work. This way, you can continue to attract a wide range of customers and keep your business thriving.

Remember, pricing and selling custom-made furniture as a woodworking artisan is not just about the dollars and cents. It's about creating pieces that resonate with people, telling a story through your work, and building a brand that stands for quality and creativity.

If you're looking to improve your pricing and selling strategy for custom-made furniture, don't miss Olivia Ghalioungui's workshop, "How to Price Yourself as a Creative." This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and tips on how to effectively price your creations and boost your sales as an artisan.