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What to Charge Your Customers for Finished Pens

Pricing can make or break your wood turning business. So, determining how much you’ll charge your customers for your custom wood turned pens is very important. We’ve got some tips for you to start selling your wood lathe projects fast and increase your sales.

Find Comparables

To stay competitive, make sure your pricing fits in and around others in your market. What are people willing to pay? Checking Etsy, an e-commerce company focused on handmade items, is a great place to get an idea of your potential price range. Search similar products using keywords such as “Wood pens” “Custom pens” or “Handmade pens” to see what other wood turners are currently charging.

Pricing your work too low can make your pieces appear low quality, whereas pricing your work just above comparable sellers, if accompanied by great photos, can create more perceived value. If you’re looking to up your photography game for your finished wood pens, check out our series “5 photography tips for pen turners”. Great photos will sell your product.

You can maintain slightly above average pricing but offer customers a price break with purchase of multiple pens or pen and pencil sets. This allows your wood turning brand to maintain perceived value of its products, but also allows the customers to feel good about saving some extra coin on the side. It also gives you the potential for more sales!

Calculate Your Costs

Buying your pen turning kits and pen blanks in the same fashion will allow you to save money on turning supplies, so you can offer these discounts to your customers without having to sacrifice profit. You can pick up discounted pen kit bundles, take advantage of quantity discount pricing or purchase turning kits and pen blanks that qualify for our mix and match pricing at William Wood-write.

Don’t forget to factor in the value of your time. Do you want to be turning often? Is it a hobby you’d be doing anyway? If so, you may be comfortable lowering your costs to reach a larger range of customers.

For a general selling price, calculate your material costs, including any cuts or fees taken from platforms like Etsy or Square. Then double that to determine your approximate selling cost. From there, evaluate what your time was worth. Did you do a CA finish? Did your selected turning material require more skill on the lathe? Add a few dollars on to reflect the effort that went into the turning project. Don’t forget to relay to your customers the skill and time it takes to complete a wood turning project, like a custom pen. Show them just how valuable your finished wood pens are.

Consider your target market

Before you go putting a high price tag on all your wood pens, consider who you’re trying to attract. Customers at craft shows for example have gift giving in mind. So, consider what you would spend on a gift. Artists or professionals buying for themselves may be willing to spend more on the high-end pieces like Calligraphy Sets or Fountain pens, so don’t be afraid to have a large price range to offer to both groups.

Remember: making your products affordable means more potential customers will see your work. Consider it a walking billboard. In the long run, having more of your hand turned pens out in the world may lead to new and repeat customers through word of mouth. It’s hard to miss a beautiful rollerball or click pen wrapped in burl on a co-worker’s desk.

Play up the fact that you’re a local Canadian pen turner. People value spending within their communities more than ever before. This means buying a Canadian fountain pen from your small wood turning shop may make your customers feel even better about supporting you with their purchasing power!

The same goes for buying your supplies. Shopping from William Wood-Write not only means you’re supporting a family-run Canadian business, but that you’re buying in Canadian dollars and bound to save money in shipping costs and unexpected duty charges that are typically incurred when buying from out of country.

Not only that, but we’re here to help you with anything you may need. If you have questions about turning supplies or how you should price your finished products for the most success, send us an email at

We’d love to help you out!

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