…building a business: pricing

“I would love to see an in-depth post about buying and pricing.  Maybe some popular pieces like  small dresser, buffet, etc.   What is a reasonable price to pay and what to charge for the transformed piece. I’m having a difficult time figuring this out.  I want to make a good profit, but also attract a lot of potential customers.”

I get questions about pricing all the time and like most often in life there is no one, clear answer. I cannot tell you charge XYZ for your dresser. There are so many factors involved. I guess this is why people get actual degrees in business or finance.

Pricing is, dare I say, an experiment. It’s fluid and requires the seller to adjust and rethink constantly. At least that is what I’ve experienced with Blue Egg.


I do have some questions for you to consider that may help.

1. Where are you located?

2. Does your location have a market for repurposed furniture? Antiques? Are there alot of shops selling pieces like you are painting?

3. What are others charging for similar pieces in your area?

4. How much are you spending on paint?

5. How much time are you putting into your pieces?

6. What did you pay for your raw piece?

7. What does a piece like yours cost retail?

After you have answered these questions then set a price. And wait. Do you have alot of interest? Are people looking? Is it because of your price or is it because of the piece? (Just a little reminder, your refinishing job is only as good as your piece. If you are trying to sell a square box with no personality then don’t be surprised if people don’t want to buy it. Find interesting pieces that will be in demand.)


I will say that when I am hunting for pieces to buy to refinish my rule of thumb is that I will never go over $200. I find that I don’t really make a profit if I do. Since most of us do not have a name brand or are famous then we really can’t price a dresser higher than what you see at a retail shop. If Pottery Barn is selling a nightstand for $300 then chances are no one is going to pay more than that for a nightstand from me. The exception to this is if you have an amazingly old & valuable piece and you are willing to hang onto it if it doesn’t sell.


If your piece sits and you are not happy about this then adjust your price. Lower it. See what happens. If you think you’ve come up with a good price and it’s not selling then you need to find more exposure & selling opportunities. I guess this brings us back to the question, what is it you want from your creative business? Is it a job that you want to pay the bills? Is it just a creative endeavor? Do you want to just make a bit of pocket money? Do you want to open your own place?

Not really sure? That’s okay too.






  1. Great article! Sound advice!

  2. Stepheanne Arbogast says:

    Here is another way I’ve found that works for me.

    If I buy a piece, re-glue, clean, paint, wax. I of course factor in my time and the price of supplies and the cost of the item. Then I research like items. I try to find at least 5 up to 9 of the same shape, color, and size. (Google is my best friend) Next, I throw out the high and the low prices then add up what is left and average.

    This is usually right in the ballpark. I don’t feel like I overprice things and people feel like they are getting a good deal on a one of a kind piece.

    It seems like a lot of work but really in the world of Google, it doesn’t take that long.

    Used To Be Yours – on Facebook

  3. Those are very helpful questions. Thank you.

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