As you finish your flipped furniture and put it up for sale, do your research on pricing and then stick to your advertised price. Every piece I've sold has had low-ball offers thrown at me. Here is a bit of advice drawn from experience on how to lessen the stress associated with selling your creations:
1. Don't be offended – most people are looking for a deal and don't think of it is offensive to low-ball or to ask for a discount. I usually just respond with, "Thanks for the offer, but my price is firm." It never pays to be rude. Within a few minutes of posting "Katherine", I received an offer of $100 – I had it priced at $175, a special price since it was so close to Christmas. Here is the actual PM:
She came and bought it at full price. She was a very nice person and I enjoyed doing business with her. Make connections. It's how you will create a good name for your brand and hopefully create a good customer base.
2. Be kind to ignorant people – few understand how much work goes into a piece, unless of course they also refinish furniture. But then if they are also flippers, they will not be our avatar.
Be sure to educate your customers about the process if they show their ignorance by their comments. Be sure to do it graciously. Ignorance does NOT = stupidity. We are all ignorant about certian things. I wouldn't be able to rebuild a car engine, so I would hire it done. I am ignorant of the process but surely not stupid.
Respect goes a long way.
3. If you enjoy the negotiation process and are open to offers, price your piece high enough that if you discount it, you are still getting what you want out of it. Many offer a friends and family discount and decide on it ahead of time so they are not blindsided when someone asks. Friends and family can push the limits at times and offend without relalizing it. Be ready.
4. A special sale can draw attention to your piece, so the same thing applies – price your piece with some wiggle room so you can discount it and still make a decent profit. For Christmas set an end date to take advantage of the mental trigger of scarcity. This is how I offered a discount this Christmas on my "Charlie" table: See the adendum at the end of the posting: "NOTE: Mention where you saw this posting in a pm to me and pick it up by Christmas Day and you can have it for $69!"
5. Price your piece according its value, not based on how much time you put into it or what you paid for it. If we are careful not to overpay in the beginning, we won't be pushed to ask too much when we put it up for sale. Also, some pieces take little time, others like my Ethan Allen Coffee table can take more effort, especially if you run into problems with the piece. Issues with a piece can be a learning experience so don't figure that into your price. Your market will determine the price.
6. Know your market. Research the pricing online and in your area to help determine your asking price. Visit local furniture stores, craft sales where furniture is sold, finished furniture consignment shops, ebay, etsy, your Facebook groups, etc. Be confident and ready with a polite answer when your receive offers. If you decide ahead of time that your price is fair, it will be easier to decline offers and stay firm on your price.
7. Wait for the right buyer to come along. It's harder to remain confident if your piece has been up for sale for a while, but realize you just have to wait for the right person to come along. My "Pepper" Accent Table and "Sophia" Parlor Table had been listed for a couple of months, but I was confident in their value. I sat and waited for the right person to come along and wasn't disappointed. A sweet couple bought both of them and became valued customers.
Here's a freebee thrown in, having nothing to do with pricing…
Provide care instructions and an invoice with your disclaimer at the bottom. Get a signature from your customer stating they received the piece intact after they inspect it and before it's loaded. Cover yourself.
This is what I have at the bottom of my invoices with a line for a signature:
Signature of inspection indicates acceptance of the item "as is" unless otherwise noted in writing on this invoice at the time of pick up. Please note that your custom furniture piece may need up to 30 days cure time. Please bring padding to protect your finished item and use caution when moving. It is recommended that you have assistance in moving your piece. There are many layers of paint/product and different techniques used in each layer, a touch up takes a good deal of time and there will be a charge for that service if needed. A touch up may also not blend perfectly with the original finish. No refund policy. Thank you for your business!
If appropriate, I send the invoice ahead of time so they can see it before arriving. I include my name and number at the bottom.
Research • Be Confident • Be Firm • Be Ready
Do you find the pricing and selling process intimidating and stressful?
How do you handle it? Let us know in the comments.
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Until next time…be amazing!