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Patio furniture pricing

Started by MTupguy, July 06, 2011, 11:47:10 pm

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Just starting a new business... at my old job the boss did all estimating/pricing, I never knew the numbers ($$$) part of the game but could figure out yardage for myself... well, my neighbor wants her patio swing w/ two cushions re-uph'd and i don't know how to figure the pricing on this when I know she can go to Target and get exactly what she has for $30/each... think she even mentioned it to me, and she's not trying to be pushy... about 3 yds. per cushion... should take me about 1.5 hrs. per cushion with the side ties and all??? So I "bid" her $150 just for the two cushions??? The center armrest (13"X17") and outside armrests that wrap around metal arms w/ velcro (oops I mean hook and loop, don't wanna break any TM laws!) are 9"X19" and for all three I figured about $30??? Any sentence with ??? is one I would like answered, please.  This is gonna be one of my 1st customers (Just did a Sea-doo Challenger for a friend which I grossly underbid) and want to be fair with her, not drive her off to said box store, and want to be fair to myself.... Thanks all!


Is she willing to pay a lot more than Target? If not, this sounds like an exercise in futility.
Neighbors and friends will put you in the "Poorhouse". ;)
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


Sofadoc is right. You can't compete with Target, Walmart, or your local furniture store for that mater. What you do is custom work with custom fabrics.

Having said that, I do give my neighbors a slight break as my shop is in a residential only neighborhood and no one has ever complained. In fact my neighbors are my very best word of mouth advertising.

Sounds like you have the hours figured out now just multiply a $ amount to it. That amount will go up as you get more and more customers.

Congratulations and good luck on starting your own business. How does freedom feel. :)   
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


I share the same thoughts as sofaD and kodyD.

Why put new fabric on an old Wal Mart cushion insert when you can buy a new Wal  Mart cushion cover that has a new insert in it, for the same price?

I went to SCORE when I started my company. One thing that they preached about the most was do not compete on price. As a small company, you cannot do the volume needed to make a living. And, the big companies will always be better able to beat your prices. You will not succeed, they said.

Best of luck on your new business. Folks who have a right mind, a right attitude, a desire to learn, and the ability to spend a lot of hours in the shop seem to have a lot of luck.

I saw an interview of a guy in NY city. He's 72 and he has repaired stringed musical instruments all his adult life. He said he appreciates the money that he makes, but he will keep working as long as there is something new to learn. What an attitude, huh?



July 07, 2011, 02:58:01 am #4 Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 03:00:13 am by MTupguy
Thanks alot for the input guys!  I read your stuff all the time.  I should give her a break, yes, and your right about the word of mouth, I've seen it in all my friends businesses.  I'll probably march next door and tell her $120 for the whole shabamm... then pray that I can get it done in 2 1/4 hours!!! (wishful thinking, but I read alot on these boards about positive attitude, so now I gotta put it into practice!)  Oh, so you know, she also will be buying the fabric, hope she goes with the Sunbrella I recommended so my handi-work lasts a bit longer... or I could sell her furniture covers, maybe!?


July 07, 2011, 07:24:14 pm #5 Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 03:02:04 am by kodydog
Another word of advice MT. Every once in a while someone will ask if you can do any better on your price. Stick to your quote. You lose a little self esteem when you let them beat you down on your price. Just tell them your already at rock bottom. You may lose a few customers along the way but these aren't your best ones anyway.
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


Well, probably compromised too much with the bottom-line on this job, but here's how they turned out---






Customer chose the cover... turned out pretty well! 


LOoks good now see she could t have got that at target.
I e had people come to mea out thoose swings canopies. I've done a few and a few have walked away. I give them a fair price for me like $200 maybe or a bit more with a. Allance but they can get the whole swing cor like $100 at walmart. Bit with sunbrella it's the last top  they will have to worry about rotting