Jump to content

Voting for August 2019's Guitar Of The Month is now open!
VOTE HERE

mjrbuzz

not wanting to start a business

Recommended Posts

Ok so I had a gentleman offer to commission a guitar after seeing the mesquito caster. I don't really want to start a business but its hard to turn down the 1,000 dollars that he is offering. I guess my question would be should I do it, what kinda profit/material ratio should I be looking at. or actually any advise would help a lot. If he wants a tele style I still have all my templates so the time wouldn't be as much involved but I feel I would want better hardware for a guitar I plan on selling. I just really don't know where to start

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like you still need to discuss with him what he expects for $1K. Is he a friend or family member, or just someone who has seen your work online? In my experience if the person asking is someone you know they will probably be quite accepting and supportive of the fact you're not running a business and that you have only a small number of builds under your belt. They'll likely be doing it to support your interest in it and will be happy they've got their very own custom made instrument.

If it were me feeling uncomfortable about charging commercial rates, I'd have a chat with him to find out what he wants (woods, hardware, body style, electronics etc), price something up based on your easily obtainable parts providers and add, say 50% (eg, if it works out at $500 worth of parts, charge $750 and call the extra $250 labour and consumables).

Let him know up front what the cost breakdown is before committing to anything - type up some kind of quote with the prices detailed. Be open about the fact that you are a non-professional builder.  If possible meet up with him face to face so he can try out the MesquitoCaster in person.

What about if you offer to sell him the MesquitoCaster you finished and use the cash to build yourself a new one to replace it?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, if you're not doing it as a business I'd discuss timescales with him to make sure he's aware. Doing it in your spare time is going to take a while

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only one I've sold so far was the exact same scenario. I had him pick out and pay for all the hardware and timber, so he could be as exotic or frugal as he chose to be and the actual negotiated figure was what he paid me for my time and skill....and putting up with all the little details he wanted to include.

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is very similar to what is going on with my "2.5itims second build" in progress forums. 

While yes the $1000 does sound good take into account how much materials/hardware/electronics are all going to run you, in my case on that build I have $1000 in just all of those parts. But what I did with him was went over every single thing and let him pick what woods he wanted to use, what electronics he wanted to use, what tuners he wanted to use, everything! That way as long as I do a good job in the build aspect of it I know he will be happy with it. 

This guy is a really good friend of mine tho, so what I'm doing with him is have him pay for all materials and when i am finished he can decide to pay me more or not, it's up to him because honestly I'm happy with just him paying for materials so I get more experience. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a similar thing when trying to turn a kitchen knife making hobby into a small business. The problem isn’t always how much to charge for the first commissioned build; it’s how much to charge for the second and third when people have seen how much the first guy got for £1000. 

Also when itemising the bill/quote for the first customer, make sure you allocate enough for your time. Because the next guy may want cheaper woods and hardware but a more labour intensive build. But if he hears from guy no.1 you charged a flat £250 builders fee then he may be expecting a different price. 

 

Scott’s advice is very good. But make sure he runs his choices past you. It’s not good if he turns up with wood that’s barely millimetres from being too small, and warped requiring extra work etc. 

 

Perhaps if you were to ask him to source his hardware, then feel him out for what woods he would like, then you can go back to him with a “perfect world” option and a “lower price backup” option. For example if I was having a guitar with a painted body I would spend all my money on exotic neck woods (cocobolo Purple Heart and wenge 7 pc with a ziricote fretboard!!!)

 

One piece of advice I would tell myself (and remind myself) is that potential customers actually want your work, they want your products, and they don’t mind you charging for it. If you feel your handiwork and time is valued at £500 which would make the build cost £1300, then go back to him with that figure with your head held high. And offer more cost effective alternatives with regards to materials, hardware etc but not your time. Don’t apologise for giving your work a value. That’s something that took me a while to get my head around. You could say, “yes the build is £1300, but pay me half up front for materials and half on completion”. 

 

Most of all, don’t let deadlines and the stress of building for others ruin your hobby like it did for me!

Edited by JimF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 01/03/2018 at 7:19 AM, JimF said:

...when people have seen how much the first guy got for £1000

Thats a trap I fall into doing carpentry, very good point

And on a slightly different angle - I got a call a while ago from a previous customer. Apparently after fitting their doors I helped them out by fixing their toilet cistern and he's having trouble with it again - - - WHAT?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...