Asked on Feb 23, 2014

Fair pricing for custom toyboxes

Vickie G
by Vickie G
I build and finish toyboxes. Everyone tells me I don't charge enough. I just don't want to rip anyone off but at the same time don't want to get ripped off. I build them to the client's liking.Typically, 36" long, 16" deep and 16" seat height. Some styles have a 26" back. They are painted or stained, designed and personalized to order. Each box includes safety lid supports and protective clear coat. I am including a couple pictures. Help, I just want to be fair. Thanks for you input.
fair pricing for custom toyboxes, diy, painted furniture
fair pricing for custom toyboxes, diy, painted furniture
fair pricing for custom toyboxes, diy, painted furniture
  23 answers
  • Gayle Tedesco Gayle Tedesco on Feb 23, 2014
    These are adorable! Although I'm unsure of a fair price as well. I guess it would depend on your cost for supplies plus your time involved?? But anyway, very nice:)

  • Judy Adams Judy Adams on Feb 23, 2014
    Think about this , your creations are very nice and hard to find , Figure your time ,give yourself a fair wage .then figure your cost of supplies, charge in a combination of wages plus supplies equals your costs . usually this is doubled to make a profit . This is fair and a formula you can use.. Of course no one gets all the hours of time they spend working on their crafts. From this you can see what's the real cost of your work > Are you in it for love or money . You decide whats fair . Being generous may run you out of business girl . Be fair to yourself . People can afford the beauty and quality you offer.

  • Judy Judy on Feb 23, 2014
    Your toy boxes are very nice. Sturdy and taylor made. You might check out boxes that are sold online to get a general idea. Remember yours are made with love and caring. Most people appreciate that. I could see myself paying $80 to $l20 depending on design and size. Good luck and continue making your craft(s).

  • Shelly P Shelly P on Feb 23, 2014
    I would take the cost of ALL supplies including screws nails etc to build each one since they are different total them add 15% to that cost, decide what you feel your hourly rate would be (Carpenter labor rate in area) and add overhead rate to it. Be fair to yourself and to them. By the way they are AWESOME!

  • Debi McCoy Debi McCoy on Feb 23, 2014

  • Annie Niehouse Annie Niehouse on Feb 24, 2014
    Consider the cost of everything you use......I know wood isn't cheap, well really, nothing is. However, I would make a list of what you used, price it, add your time to it. I could see you getting at least $100,if not more. Sturdy and well made items these days aren't easy to find....most f it's junk. Do what you feel you want to do! they are awesome.

  • Redeemwood Redeemwood on Feb 24, 2014
    Vickie… Yes, that is always an issue. I live close by you inWindsor and I build items from recycled wood pallets ( and amalso a local custom home builder. I find items I build at twice the price I amasking and at half the price I am asking. It all seems to be built upon quality,reputation and following which takes time to build. Listen to the people onhere and stay true to your time and costs unless you plan on opening a non-profit!I wish I could find a local shop that displays recycled and high end crafts forsale so that I could display locally, I think they would do well.

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    • Redeemwood Redeemwood on Feb 26, 2014
      @Vickie G Oh I see, I guess us Dads and grandpa's will have to form our own group... ;-) :-P

  • Krisanne Burgess Krisanne Burgess on Feb 24, 2014
    I just paid $180.00 for one from Toys r us and I most DEFINITLY would have purchased one from you instead, if I had seen them first. The one that I purchased was a heavy wood & stained cherry as I wanted it to be something that would grow with my grandson and that could still be a bench in his room when he becomes a teenager.

  • KathrynElizabeth Etier KathrynElizabeth Etier on Feb 24, 2014
    They are all so beautifully done. I especially like the one with the shelf unit which would solve several problems. In Western North Carolina, there are many people making nice wood pieces, and since yours are custom designed and painted, I can't imagine paying any less than $150, and quite a bit more for the one with the shelves. Living in Colorado, you should be able to get good prices for these, basing your prices on your costs (including time).

  • Marge Marge on Feb 24, 2014
    I agree with the above suggestions. Besides your costs and time, you have to add overhead. These are utilities, insurance on building and vehicle, etc. If you run a business, i.e. get paid for a job, then you need to report your earnings and take all deductibles allowed. There are a lot of costs you don't realize that you pay.

  • Sarah Jackson Sarah Jackson on Feb 24, 2014
    I would suggest double the cost of your supplies (the formula contractors use) then a set amount "per letter" when adding custom touches such as names. Just remember, people recognize quality and are willing to pay for it... add to that that these are "hand-made, one-of-a-kind" and their value increases greatly. Don't under sell yourself or you will be overworked with all the orders and under paid and no longer enjoy what you are doing. In other words, work smart, not hard.

  • Nanci Neenan Nanci Neenan on Feb 24, 2014
    I sell unfinished toy boxes for $150.....what are you selling these for????

    • Vickie G Vickie G on Feb 24, 2014
      @Nanci Neenan Wow. Usually about $120. I do think I need to reevaluated my pricing. Thanks

  • Higgins const. Higgins const. on Feb 24, 2014
    Do u use the child safety lid device, its a law, dont get sued

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    • Vickie G Vickie G on Feb 25, 2014
      @GeeJudy Hi Gee. I really don't have an area that I limit myself to. If someone wants one, I usually discuss details through personal messaging and then if needed, meet half way or deliver, within 10 miles free.

  • Welch Creative Lighting Welch Creative Lighting on Feb 24, 2014
    Not a penny less than $200 and frankly, I don't think that's enough.

  • Dolores DeLuise Dolores DeLuise on Feb 24, 2014
    Vickie, really beautiful! I bought something similar as a gift and it was not nearly as nice as yours and paid $250. That was several years ago. Have you looked at etsy for pricing of similar objects? It's great that you put safety supports on your boxes; I still have a similar toybox from the 40s that my uncle made for me with the piano hinge but no safety support--there was no safety in those days!! I've always been surprised we didn't have any accidents! Best wishes to your endeavor.

    • Vickie G Vickie G on Feb 25, 2014
      @Dolores DeLuise I totally agree with you. In my day we did alot of stuff now rendered unsafe. But That is #1 to me now.

  • Irish53 Irish53 on Feb 24, 2014
    Have you gone to local craft shows to see what their prices are? True you don't want to set prices too high but don't sell yourself short Quality is not cheap.

  • 117135 117135 on Feb 24, 2014
    You are charging way too little. Supplies + time($20 hour) + overhead.

  • Vickie G Vickie G on Feb 25, 2014
    I thank you all for your input. I did do an itemized list of my expenses and find that, if I charge $14 per hour labor, my cost is $180. I really don't know what is ment by overhead. I work in my yard and in the shed on bad weather days, so I don't pay rent or anything like that. I did, however, just blow up my sander, haha. The site that I sell on most, is a bunch of stay at home moms, so I am kind of afraid of charging too much and scaring away any interest. At the same time, I am scared to put myself out there too much and get more interest than I can handle. This is all my kids fault. I really just wanted to do it for my grandbabies. I do love the whole process but this part gets very stressful. Thanks again for all your help. I will try my next one at a higher rate and see what happens.

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    • Vickie G Vickie G on Feb 25, 2014
      @Sarah Jackson That is how all this started!!! My youngest took pictures of my grandson's and showed it around. Believe me they do plenty of bragging. I just had my oldest convince me to make a birthday cake for a coworker. I love that they have such faith in me, but I am really not as good as they put out.

  • Redeemwood Redeemwood on Feb 26, 2014
    This has some very good points about overhead and not pricing yourself to low:

  • Welch Creative Lighting Welch Creative Lighting on Feb 26, 2014
    I pay my housekeeper $20 an hour, and your custom quality work is worth a lot more than that!

  • Vickie G Vickie G on Feb 26, 2014
    Or if your up to a little cheating, just use a girl name. They won't know the difference.

  • Jan Keel-Bradley Jan Keel-Bradley on Feb 26, 2014
    I can't help with the pricing but have an idea i'd like to share. I painted a bench much like these for my granddaughter. On the outside I wrote... "Toys or Time out....In all things choose wisely". Everyone loved it. It is used for a Time Out bench as well as a toy box.