View Full Version : Pricing of Wooden Business Cards

Chuck Burke
09-18-2004, 5:10 PM
Hi Gang,
After a recent seminar I attended where almost everyone had wooden laser engraved business cards I decided to make some for myself.
At a recent chamber function, I handed some out, and have had several inquiries about them and how much they cost.
How the heck does charge for something like that? I have no clue.

Thanks for any help
Chuck Burke
Pacific LaZer Works

Michael Wells
09-18-2004, 8:03 PM
Hi Chuck,
On jobs like this I usually figure time and materials, being certain to include design time if any, set up time for the computer work and also straight time for the machine itself. A lot of this depends on what kind and where you buy the wood veneer and if there is anything additional as far as finish or sanding that might have to be done on it.

Naturally, like anything else, the more of these you make, the less time it takes, therefore the less you need to charge to make a good profit. You might want to figure out your costs for various numbers of cards and then offer discounted prices for higher purchase numbers. That way the customer can get a better deal if they order more, and everybody gets happy!

Whatever you do, do not fall into the old pit of telling people that you will do them cheaply...leave that for the Taiwan guys that turn out hundreds of millions of items. Most people will pay fair money for good quality and custom work.


Chuck Burke
09-18-2004, 9:02 PM
I am soooooo new to thisthat I haven't a clue as where to even start with my pricing. I am using the layout time as a learning experience. I am using 3/32 cherry which after frieght is 4.00 for a 14.5x4.5 from Colorado Heirloom. It takes about 4 minutes per and I can get 8 from a sheet.
I guess I just don't know where to begin.

Chuck Burke
Pacific LaZer Works

Michael Wells
09-22-2004, 7:06 PM
Hey Chuck,
Here's a few thought for you. First if you look at what your base cost is for just the material, you are already at $ .50 per card, before any design, laserwork or though! I would check out some local hardwood suppliers that sell heavy veneer in the same wood. I get fine cherry veneer for $48.00 in 24" x 48" sheets. That would make around 170 cards or more with a little manipulation. That cuts it down to $.28 a card. I would even look at lower cherry grades that could bring the pricing down to about $.10 per card!

Now you are in the ballpark, so figure out you machine costs...if you would charge $300.00 per hour on the machine (which is usually recomended by the manufacturers of most, then divide that by the time for each card, say about an hour for 170 cards...then you are looking at about $1.90 per card for a medium grade cherry veneer card, engraved. If you need to add setup charges to cover design time, I would do that separately, so they know that future orders would not include that charge.

Hope that helps....Michael

09-22-2004, 8:48 PM
I could do that in... (sing that tune in...)


Carl Eyman
09-22-2004, 8:51 PM
Look guys, stop talking like woodworkers and start talking like businessmen and/or economists. Charge as much as the traffic will bear. Offer them at a price (high). If a buyer says yes, raise your price 20% on the next batch. Some place you'll find a price that will maximize your gross income. That is, if you charge more, your volume will fall so much your gross will decrease. If you charge less, your volume will increase but the lower price will result in less income. NOW DO YOUR COSTING AS SUGGESTED

If at this price - the one that maximizes your gross income - you can't make enough to make the project interesting to you, don't do it.

(My MBA degree was 34 years ago, but I think this is what I was taught then)

Chuck Burke
09-23-2004, 9:33 PM
Michael and Carl,

Thank you both for your responses. I have recently been travelling visiting some of the top names in the industry ( Awards and recognition and engraving ). I have come up with a price of $3-5 dollars per card, and I'm TOLD that people will pay it. ( if the card is done well of course)

Michael, would you mind sharing with me your source for the 24x48 sheet goods?

Thank you to everyone for your input.

Chuck Burke
Pacific LaZer Works.