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  #1  
Old 04-13-2007, 01:39 PM
T.G.III T.G.III is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Oregon
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Default New Introduction

Hello,
I've been lurking around this site for better than a year now and have picked up many valuable and usefull advise without even having to log in to ask.

I have seen many extraordinary engraving posted on this site and the many helpful folks that frequent this board.

I am curious though, at what point in the design/layout and actual execution of an engraving do you as engravers say to yourselves that " this is beyond the price discussed" and how do you re-approach your customers with that information?

Thanks
Tom
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2007, 03:16 PM
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Dave London Dave London is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Colorado Springs
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Default Re: New Introduction

I would eat the overage and learn from it.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2007, 03:48 PM
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Tom McArdle Tom McArdle is offline
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Location: Western NY USA
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Default Re: New Introduction

Me too. My policy is to deliver the engraving at or below the quote. My bad if I misquoted!

Welcome!

Tom
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2007, 04:12 PM
Andrew Biggs Andrew Biggs is offline
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
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Default Re: New Introduction

Hi Tom and welcome aboard

A quote is a quote. It's a set price between two (or more) people. You the seller, them the buyer. Both parties walk away knowing exactley how much the finished product/service is and what they are going to get for their money

Charging over a quote is a no,no. You don't do it, full stop. If the client changes the breif or comes back and wants extra, then that's different, you can add that on.

If you spend more time than you originally thought you would on an engraving, then learn from it as Dave says. Unfortunatley you have to do it a few times to learn the lesson and gain the experience.

Likewise charging under the quote is a no,no. If you end up spending less time and making a bit more money on the job then that's great. That's what you are in business for. It counter balances the jobs that you spent a bit more on. It's OK to make money as there is nothing in the rule book that says artisans, craftspeople and trades people have to live on the bread line.

Always remember that a quote is an educated guess. The key word being guess. You think that it will take X amount of time. Never underestimate your time and always try to be on the winning end. In other words if you think a job will take 8 hours try and consistantley do it in 6-7, because there will be other jobs that blow out the other end.

This is not being dishonest. It's being realistic and putting food on your table or giving you a holiday at the end of a year or putting your kids through school!!!!

Cheers
Andrew
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2007, 04:34 PM
Tim Adlam Tim Adlam is offline
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Default Re: New Introduction

Tom,

I think early on in any engravers career one has to eat a few jobs now and then.
Trial by fire, so to speak.
If you keep good time-logs, this situation is lessened.
One method is to back-engineer the job.
Say you wish to make $70./hr. and you quoted $600.
To make your per hour goal you need to complete that project within about 8 1/2 hrs.
Is this realistic within your ability to design, execute and deliver?
The other things not factored here are packaging, shipping, taxes, etc.
So the quote should contain a provision for that as well for you to secure the rate per hr. you desire.

When doing one-off type of projects, there's very little room for error.
Engravers as a rule work at wholesale prices...there's little if any markup as in the jewelry trade.
If an engraver sticks to "known patterns", it can be a bit easier to quote accurately.
There's not much science here, it really comes down to learned experience.

I have a quote sheet on hand when discussing jobs with customers that reminds me to ask what "additional work" is required.
I cut metal...I don't disassemble/re-assemble anything...I don't blue, case-harden, etc., etc.
These additional cost/quotes get passed on to other artisans for the customer to address.
I never want to be a middle-man.
That quote sheet also prompts me to add the taxes, shipping and packaging costs.
Only after I've reviewed and tabulated all of this...will I give a firm quote on a job.

Tim
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2007, 05:04 PM
Tim C Tim C is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Cutler Bay, So. Florida
Posts: 293
Default Re: New Introduction

The only thing I can add is.
Plan out your design really well and add 10% to 20% to cover unexpected expenses.
If you have one of those customers that you just know is going to be a pain about the whole job.
Don't be afraid to turn the job down or add a higher percent (30%) for nuisance fees.
Everyone gets one of these customers in their lifetime, as least one.
I like the sign hung up behind the counter that say’s: “ $50 per hour for labor, $100 per hour if you help”.
Good Luck and Welcome.
Tim
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2007, 05:36 PM
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Dave London Dave London is offline
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Default Re: New Introduction

Tom
Sorry I forgot to welcome you to the forum
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2007, 06:48 PM
James Wark James Wark is offline
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Location: Sayre, PA
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Default Re: New Introduction

Welcome Tom,
This is a great place to be. I also struggle on the quote's. But after a price is agreed on that what it needs to be.
Welcome again
Jim
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2007, 06:57 PM
T.G.III T.G.III is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 63
Default Re: New Introduction

Thanks for the responses.
It would seem that going back to the customer is out, these are the things that will be filed away for the future.

Next thing.
I have Meeks book as well as Ron Smith's Drawing and Understanding Scroll Designs, what other resources in the way of books or tutorials are avaliable to a beginning engraver ? I am not in a position to travel to any schools as wife,kids, and job take up a large portion of my time and money.
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2007, 08:29 AM
T.G.III T.G.III is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 63
Default Re: New Introduction

O.K. then,

It would appear that I have the best 2 resources avaliable other than schooling.

What are the best options as far as marketing my work ? I am mainly doing 18th century muzzleloading at this point, but I do see a market for engraving in general.
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  #11  
Old 04-14-2007, 11:43 AM
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Steve Lindsay Steve Lindsay is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Kearney, NE
Posts: 3,974
Default Re: New Introduction

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.G.III
Thanks for the responses.
It would seem that going back to the customer is out, these are the things that will be filed away for the future.

Next thing.
I have Meeks book as well as Ron Smith's Drawing and Understanding Scroll Designs, what other resources in the way of books or tutorials are avaliable to a beginning engraver ? I am not in a position to travel to any schools as wife,kids, and job take up a large portion of my time and money.
Hi Tom, Did you find this tutorial? http://www.engravingschool.com/private/tut1.htm
Also, the thread Inexpensive way to give it a try may help:
http://www.engravingforum.com/showthread.php?t=4
If you're not set up with equipment, let me know and I can send a wood handle palm push sharpened graver with some copper that you can practice on.
Steve
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2007, 08:08 PM
monk monk is offline
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Posts: 826
Default Re: New Introduction

when a job is agreed upon, one assumes finality. if approached about changes, that's ok but changes requiring additional design time, cutting time, etc are to be charged for . any client wanting xtra work added later for no additional fees, you don't need clients like that. if you do work like that your shop will soon be filled with discount work. you will have acquired areputation that will take a long time to shake loose. charge for anything:D you do.
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  #13  
Old 05-25-2007, 08:19 PM
monk monk is offline
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Default Re: New Introduction

i should have mentioned, till you know totally what you're doing, every job, big or small, keep track with a stopwatch. layout, pattern transfer,engraving time, time with customer, tool sharpening etc, etc. this time will truly sneak up on you and shock you. you can't realistically set prices till you know your time, your overhead, and any other variables that enter into a job that you do. you must keep some kind of a journal. it's the only basis for establishing price.:thumbsup:
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