View Full Version : Bottle/glass pricing (yes, again)

Dan Hintz
12-05-2008, 11:51 AM
I searched through old posts (and sent an email or two), but I'd appreciate everyone's feedback on their current pricing models for etching glasses and bottles (particularly the bottles). I expect multiple orders, some in bulk (same design), some as one-offs (weddings and the like). While I realize there will be some regional differences in pricing for one-offs, bulk orders will typically be within a $ or two across the states.

Currently, the consensus seems to be about $10 for one-off bottles, down to around $5-$7 for bulk bottles (25-100+). Glasses appear to go for around $7 or one-offs and as low as $2-$3 for bulk. I even saw a nice idea of $30 for one bottle and two glasses (obviously a one-off).

Etch time is usually under 5 minutes each (bottle), some as low as 2-3 minutes, but the wise move seems to be offering a per-item price rather than per-inch or per-minute. Thoughts, comments, suggestions?

Martin Boekers
12-05-2008, 1:49 PM
Wine glasses if client supplied I start at $6ea and up. Starting at 50 glasses

If it take 1-2 minutes to burn, it still takes time to prep the area, position the glass, brush of the shards after engraving and then clean and package.

So say it takes 5-6 minutes for the cycle that's 10-12 glasses per hour you are billing $60 - $72 and hour not a lot money. I don't push this product but I do have clients that want it so I do it.

Most of the ones I do have a graphic as well as type.

In my area if I want to do this work to fill in sometimes I can't charge much more as the market won't pay more.

Also I make the client aware that these are not sand etched, I have a sample to show them the difference. Then I make them aware of an unusable factor, the ones that for whatever reason didn't come out consistent.

Hope this helps.


Gary Hair
12-05-2008, 1:56 PM
What Marty touched on is really the crux of pricing - how much do you want/need to make per hour and how many widgets can you produce in that hour. You really need to consider everything that it takes to produce the widget - design, setup, prep, lasering, cleanup, packaging, etc. Once you know how many you can finish per hour then you'll have a good idea what you need to charge - then you can decide how much they are worth.


Dan Hintz
12-05-2008, 2:15 PM

Understood, but my situation may be a bit different than many... I'm not trying to live on profit from the machine, I'm just a toy kinda guy. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to take on projects without making some form of profit, but I would be content to pull in $1k/month net for the next couple of years. My day job pays well enough, but my evening job (the LED side of things) could make good use of a quality machine. I figure if I'm going to throw a bunch of money at a machine, I might as well make it pay for itself.

That said, I'm not interested in undercutting everyone around me just to make a sale, nor do I think it sane business-wise to charge twice the price in the hopes someone bites. If I can determine a typical market value for a few (relatively) simple projects done for a few select (and repeat) clients, my goals have been achieved. They know they'll always get my anal-retentive bent on quality, so paying market price (or close to it) will make their choice of going with me an easier one.

If going rate for 100 bottles is $5, I'll quote for $5... and maybe sweeten the deal a bit with free setup on the first order (knowing that repeat orders will not require any further setup). I'm pretty good at streamlining the process once I've done one, so it's little skin off my nose.

Martin Boekers
12-05-2008, 3:09 PM
One more thing to take into consideration, lasering glass isn't the highest quality product, consistency isn't that great with it either.

I don't know how much glass work you have done, it can be much more time consuming that the "if everything goes right" quote I provided above.

Pricing is a strange beast, some items I'm more on, some less than others charge.

Service is what I rely on, I want clients that appreciate high quality service as well as high quality consistent products.

I tend to shy away from bidders that just want the lowest price. I usually get them as customers later after the find out what the low bid actually cost them in the long run.


Pete Simmons
12-05-2008, 3:56 PM
I use only the finest crystal walmart has to offer.

I have done hundreds of glasses.

Broke 1.

All the rest have come out identical and just fine. I use wet paper towel over the glass.

Time about 1 - 2 minutes per glass depending on the graphic.

I even have a few people who pick up the glasses themselves and bring them to me (I hate to go shopping) I charge them $3 each with no setup if it is a simple design.

Just want a glass from me, again no setup charge if design is not complex $6 each.

I guess my priceing shows I would rather hear the laser running than all the people on cell phones in the aisles of Wallyworld.

Works for me.

Albert Nix
12-06-2008, 9:44 AM
I am like you! I do not want to do the work to cheap just because I can.
I am tring to make a living with the sign and engraving business. And folks will let you work for nothing if you will. I have been in retail and whole sles for almost 40 years and not all but "most" folks do not care if you make a dime. I have read the posts and tried to research the local market and found that the few around that can do anything with glasses get $7 to 10 bucks a glass for small quantites. I have gone to 10 for one side of a single glass (simple ones) and +5 for any additional of the same design or the back side (ect. 10 for front half of the glass and +5 for the back half). For large orders I would go to a per minute charge with a 2 or 4 dollar minimum depending on the image because you have to figure the time to change the glasses out, clean and wrap / box them. At best a small image will take 1.5 to 2 minutes then you will spend the same to clean up and box. I can not see running this thing for less than a buck a minute even on big orders.