Calihunt13

Pricing Trends.......$$$$

27 posts in this topic

Im interested in how the pricing game works. I was wondering if some of you could give some examples.

How much does your lure cost to build? What does it retail for? What price would you offer to a dealer? What are the industry trends?

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Im interested in how the pricing game works. I was wondering if some of you could give some examples.

How much does your lure cost to build? What does it retail for? What price would you offer to a dealer? What are the industry trends?

I don't know if a question like that will get many responses.

It is kinda like asking a magician to show you how they do a magic trick.

Tell what you wont to build ?

Each lures' cost is different, time to build,paint,package and I left out a lot of steps.

You could figure if a lure cost $1.00 to build,retail it for $2.00 and wholesale for $1.50, just a thought.

It is hard to compete with mass production,but I think those that do sell are not even trying to,we are selling a hand made lure not a mass produced one,it is a art form and if you will look in the gallery you will understand what I mean by art.

Good luck, Keith

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Pricing game? Sell a lure? What the heck are you talking about? I haven't even finished a lure yet, all I have is ten lure bodies I've made. No hardware, no paint yet. But those little chunks of wood are priceless! Not for sale now, not for sale ever. I have to think if your in this hobby thinking your going to make a buck or two your in the wrong hobby. I see the lures guys here make, they are unbelievable works of art. One of a kind masterpieces created with the love of making something with your own hands, something your grandchildren will look at long after your gone with wonder and say "Grandpa made these!" If it weren't for the love of makeing these little gems with our own hands why would anyone in their right mind spend the time, effort, and money doing this when you could run down to Bass Pro Shop and get a nice lure for 5 bucks? Sorry if this is comming off as a rant and certainly not intending to bash anyone. Just trying to express how stongly I feel about the beauty of this "hobby". Milia

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@ Milia B

I agree with you , handmades are priceless !

Don't even think , that over here in Germany is a market for such , can't imagine people over here are willing to pay 30

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As stated above, you should not even consider trying to compete with the mass produced baits. Your selling point is your unique design, quality construction and finish.

You have to consider what your time is worth as well as all the other fiscal factors, which have been amply covered in recent similar threads, so let's not repeat ourselves.

As a hobbyist, lure building is a labour of love and a challenge appealing to our primeval nature as natural hunters. But once you start selling and find yourself locked in the man cave for 14 hours a day, that lerve will diminish. If at this stage, you are only clearing $5 per bait, then you will soon wise up.

Once you have set your stall out, raising your prices when you get serious, will not work, your customer base will abandon you. So, decide at the start, what is your time worth.

Dave

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Just for the record..... I do enjoy making lures, and it is a hobby of mine. But lets say a guy wanted to box a few up and take them to his local tackle shop, and see if he could make a buck or two, especially when his family could use a bit more change in the pocket, I dont see the harm in it..........

And there are hobbyist on here selling their lures. My question to "them" is how do you go about doing it. If for example it cost you $1 to make, you think it could retail for $4, what are you selling it to shops for.

Just wanted to see some examples to get an idea. :yay:

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Depends on how good you are and what your making. if you are making on of the best lures in the world you can charge alot for it and people will pay for it. If your making something thats similar to many other baits then you will probably have to charge what they are charging. My point is you can build a nice balsa bait but why would I buy it over a Rapala?. If it costs less, maybe I would. If its a better design then I probably would. if its a proven producer and not too expencive then I certainly would. However if it doesnt look any better and doesnt perform any better why would I spend more money on it? You have to think like a consumer. What makes you buy a lure? for most it is simply not worth the time they put into it to sell a lure at comparable market value. So you have to make your bait more desirable or cheaper.

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Hey all,

I am just now realizing the pitfalls of marketing our baits. I make a nice bait. People like it, it looks good, it is something that used to be produced but not anymore and with some added features of my own. I have sold a few but not what I was thinking.

I started this as a hobby but making them as a profiting venture...I don't think I will get rich anytime soon. I have been investing a lot of time trying to produce at a rate to keep up and having little success. Now, with all the sanding work, bending wires, time at the scroll saw, etc, etc, etc. Is it really worth it? I am asking myself more and more.

My hands hurt, my sleep is diminishing, and my wife thinks I am nuts. All for a buck or two? I am beginning to think that I should have left this as a hobby and for the love of the art. Perhaps I acted too quickly or should not have acted at all. I miss my tinkering times.

I do believe that there is a good market for us in some baits but the production level of other companies will always kill our ability to make a real turnover for the time we invest. I am not giving up, I am just looking for better avenues to get what I deserve for my efforts. I am beginning to market what I sell as a one off, limited production, and on a as requested basis to those who do appreciate the time spent. This seems to be working for me so far.

My advise to those who are determined to sell:...find one outlet that brings in the tournament anglers, guides, and lure collectors that are looking for something different. They seem to be the most willing to buy a hand crafted bait. And don't expect too much. Enjoy sharing what you know, the fishtails and the conversation about your baits is worth the efforts most of the time. That is the real payback. It is to me like catching your first fish on your own bait over and over again. I love to hear the comments and thanks that I receive from my customers.

Here is an exerpt from a recent email to me (you'll understand where I am coming from).

""HI MIKE,

GOT THE BAITS IN THE MAIL TODAY. OUTSTANDING LOOKING!, OUTSTANDING FINISH! PLAYED WITH THEM A LITTLE IN A LIITLE WATER HOLE THE SHAD PATTERN IS 2/10THS OF AN OUNCE HEAVIER THAN THE ORGINAL BUT SEEMS TO BE A NICE IMPROVEMENT OVER THE OLD BALSAS AND HAS A LOT BETTER PRONOUNCED VIBRATION. SWAM GREAT RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX! THE BEST I COULD TELL. LET ME ACTUALLY FISH THEM WHEN THE WEATHER GETS RIGHT AND I CAN TELL A LOT MORE ABOUT THEM. CAN'T WAIT!"

THANKS!!""

That to me says it all and keeps me going. Hope this helps.

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Word!

Matt, I've been waiting years to be able to say that! I put up with my #3 son watching Dave Chappell's show before he went to college, and that's what I got out of it! :lol:

Seriously, Matt's right.

Even if your lure is hand made and unique, if it doesn't have a track record of catching fish, and big ones, you're fighting an up hill battle.

The best pricing scheme is to look at what similar lures are going for, ask yourself if you can afford to make them and still make money at that price, and then use that price as a guide line.

If your lures become more popular, you can probably charge a little more, but, unless you're JR Hopkins, don't price your lures as collectibles, or the only collection they'll wind up is your own. :eek:

Even in the swim bait market, where there are some guys who'll pay big bucks for a unique bait, most are price conscious, and won't pay more for a new bait than what a similar, already proven bait is going for, even if it's PUUURDEEEE!

Depends on how good you are and what your making. if you are making on of the best lures in the world you can charge alot for it and people will pay for it. If your making something thats similar to many other baits then you will probably have to charge what they are charging. My point is you can build a nice balsa bait but why would I buy it over a Rapala?. If it costs less, maybe I would. If its a better design then I probably would. if its a proven producer and not too expencive then I certainly would. However if it doesnt look any better and doesnt perform any better why would I spend more money on it? You have to think like a consumer. What makes you buy a lure? for most it is simply not worth the time they put into it to sell a lure at comparable market value. So you have to make your bait more desirable or cheaper.

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As stated above, you should not even consider trying to compete with the mass produced baits. Your selling point is your unique design, quality construction and finish.

......

As a hobbyist, lure building is a labour of love and a challenge appealing to our primeval nature as natural hunters. But once you start selling and find yourself locked in the man cave for 14 hours a day, that lerve will diminish. If at this stage, you are only clearing $5 per bait, then you will soon wise up. .....

Dave

EXACTLY! I only sell some so I can afford to pay for the materials and lures for the next ones I make or sell, and so I can customize my own versus paying someone elese to. Better to tinker around the house and create something than to .....

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Although, I do not make crankbaits, I do make and sell jigs and spinnerbaits. This is no different than what everyone here is telling you. I started this out as a hobby to make the colors I want. It then developed into making for friends and then to sell. I consider everything I sell as a hobby. I do not need a second job. This just doesn

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Like a lot of guys on here I found myself needing to make a little extra cash to support my habbit of painting crankbaits. The wife had cut me off on buying supplies so it was time to get a little ching to help (so i thought). I figured i would do a couple repaints and sell them on ebay. East right,,,, nope. Unless you are absolutley an unbelieveabel artist when it comes to painting these baits your not going to draw interest of buyers. Even if you do have artistic abilities, what sets your lure apart? By the time it was all said and done I still only made a buck or two profit on each lure. Thats just not going to cut it in order to pay for supplies. Bottom line is you have to be artistic, have a good product "THAT WORKS", have a good reputation, good bussness sense, find affordable materials, and a profitable market to promote to. That leavs a lot of room for error with all these factors. One more thing, if you look at the people that are selling baits, the succesfull ones are the people that have been doing this for years. Its touch and sure isnt going to happen over night.

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Hi all, havent been here in a while cause of work. Mila,I have the exact same thoughts as you! I first started handing a few to family and freinds.Some how they got shown,used,and given to others I did not know.One day I was contacted by an author for Texas Fish And Game magazine about my hobby.He ended up meeting with me and writing a feature article in march of 2008.The rest is history,even though I commented in the article about keeping it a hobby the calls started flooding in.Since then another local magazine has written an article also about me teaching my kids and their freinds the craft.I still only sell about 15to25 a year but have an order log in the hundreds.For the answer to the price question.I ask for 20 to 35 dollars each and the orders keep comming in.Im not in the buissines nor will I ever be,but it is flattering to know there is such a great demand for the art that we create.Thanks to TU guys Im at the level that I am.

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It is no secret to the membership at TU, and it is no secret to the majority of serious (tournament) fishermen, that hand made baits possess the unique distinction of catching more fish. Is it the attention to detail? The heart and soul? The individual craftsmanship? Is it because they hunt better? I don't know, I just know fish tend to prefer them.

There has been so much good advice on this thread-I can't tell you how many costly mistakes can be avoided if you take the membership's words seriously. I know, because I made every one in the book, including the one of saying yes when a friend asked me to sell him a bait for the first time.

7 REASONS TO NOT RETAIL YOUR BAITS

1) If you fish tournaments, you now have a competitive edge over everyone

2) Because you love to fish (you will story after story of how much fish everyone caught with your baits-everyone but you because you were too busy making fishing lures)

3) Your baits are more valuable than the family jewels and I'm not referring to Grandma's pearl necklace. Are you willing to sell those?

4) If you have to ask (how to price your baits), it means you can't afford it.

5) Your hands are handsome works of art. Leave them like that before they become knarled from years of beating them to death.

6) Someone, somewhere has designed and begun production of the exact same bait as you (a phenomena known as parallel development)

7) Someone, somewhere is watching you and preparing to steal your idea and ready to swear it was phenomena known as parallel development.

Now after all that said, if you are still of the mind to go forward, then define your parameters, limit your production no matter what the demand (it will always be there) and research what is involved before proceeding to the next level.

Pricing-the higher your price-the smaller your market, like a pyramid. You can control demand by keeping your price high (narrow customer base) or low (broader customer base).

Pricing trends? In a weak economy, pricing trends go down. Is this a good time to jump in? I don't know but timing is everything.

Speaking of timing, another trend to watch is wood vs. plastic. Currently the trend back to wood is not as hot as it was 5 years ago however it is cyclical. 5 years ago Bass Pro has plenty of wooden baits in both store and catalog. Check it out now.

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great suggestions. im sure theres a whole lotta experience in the posts above. if you get into the industry be prepared. quality and cost to production are a major key. then the selling factor.

normally you would need a distibuter. being a dedicated lure maufacturer you best be prepared. long hours and a long term business plan are in your future. good luck.

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I am retired and make some of my own lures. I have sold on ebay and the cost catches up to you along with paypal. I am going to try flea markets and enjoy talking fishing stories. The competition is to much out there so if you have something good then try for a distributor, they cover a greater area. But prepare to work your but off if they catch on. That I know. So I plan on making the lures in the winter and sell them in the summer and have fun doing it. I live in Northeastern Wisconsin and plan three good flea markets where the fishermen go. Good Luck

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Believe it or not there are still a few regional distributors left in the U.S. but it is nothing like it was 15 years ago. Bass Pro, Cabelas, Dicks, Academy and the likes of Gander Mountain have seen to that. Each acts as its own distributor, warehouser (although they want you to stockpile their order until they call for it) buyer and rep.

Before the behemouths took over, reps made a decent living visiting the array of scattered tackle stores but no longer. So with all the middle men taken out of the picture, where are the savings? Not in my pocket, how about you? Herman's was the first national chain I recall capable of putting pressure on the local bait store by undercutting their pricing through volume, selection and even ambience. I'd trade ambience for a knowledgable counter person any day.

Here's another piece of info then I'll shut up. Gander Mountain is the only chain I'm aware of capable of purchasing locally from regional manufacturers. You have to have production to back you up but at least it beats signing a rep and traveling to the home office to prostrate yourself on the buyers floor.

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All the information before me is great stuff. I started making my baits 10 years ago, just for friends and myself. Now my Papa's Buzz is taking off great, but I was told I need to come up on the price. I could, but would they sell as well. I sell them on my web site, and I am in a couple of stores now. I get most of my orders from customers that got them in their stores. The stores sell them for the same price as I do. Yes it's true, mass produced is alot less than me in most cases, but you cant order from a mass producer the baits ( colors and style) you really want.

I prefer to sell to the stores as they buy them in quantity's and thats ok as my my margin is there for the profit. Sure, I won't become a millionair, but it keeps me busy during the winter making enough for the rest of the year, it keeps me out of the other halfs way when I get bored, and I enjoy doing it.

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Good point. That's another decision that should be made at the outset-Is your website for retail or for informational purposes only.

All retailers know you can undersell them at your website so you have to ask yourself if you are going to support your retailer by advertising, tournament giveaways, feature articles etc without retailing out of your website? You may want to ask them if they have a problem with you being in direct competition with them-some will and some won't. Just something to think about....

Another thing about pricing I left out and this is a cardinal rule. You can always lower your price (close-outs, specials) but once you set your entry price point, you can not go up no matter how great the demand. There is the $5 range like Mila B mentioned and the $15 range owned by Lucky Craft. I only say this because it seems to me there is a $10 range everyone skips over. If your bait costs $1.75 to make, there's still enough profit in the $10 range for everyone.

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I realize that this is a matter of choice but those of you that do sell which do you prefer. Putting the lure in a plastic bag, or in a clamshell type. The clamshell is more attractive, but adds to the cost greatly. Today you have to really count your pennys, they add up fast.

You can't find better information than on this forum.

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Presentation is not everything, only about 99%, were new business is concerned. Customers will pass over your bait if the finish and presentation is not professional. The 50c clamshell, or the $2 molded box, makes a statement, that you mean business. Knock 50c off the price and sell it in a plastic bag, see which sells more.

Given that your bait is a proven fish magnet, repeat business will not be that bothered, they come back because your bait works and they have confidence. But NEW business is required for success, to expand your repeat business. Go with the clam shell.

Dave

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Thanks for all the great info. You guys have great input and bring up some great points. I read on here somewhere else that a 40% mark down from retail is common. Have any of you heard this??

If I have a lure that retails for $3.99, I can sell it wholesale to tackle shops for around $2.40 ??????

I realize each shop may have their own opinion, but what do you guys think??

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My vote is for the clamshell.

Bags will puncture from the hooks unless you staple a bag to a large card-I've seen that work well for spinnerbaits. The card has your logo, bait description, yata yata..... If you fold the top of the card over the top of the bag, you'll have double the strength and the bag is less likely to pull free of the staples.

Calihunt13,

10%-Company Website (cost of website-approx)

30%-Retailers

40%-Chain Retailers

50%-Distributors

Choose your retail price (example $10) and work backwards. Don't forget your FET which is based on our net profit-not gross. It looks very professional if you have your programs written on a sheet a paper that you can present to the retailer. I tried to explain some of this several weeks ago but can't find my link.

These are just rules of thumb. Every retailer may vary their program in a effort to work with you. If sales are good and both parties are making money, these relationships can last for years and become treasured if you manage them correctly.

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If you can find a bait shop to sell them for you, with no investment

involved on their part, you could probably work out some sort

of deal, say 25% to them and the rest to you. The advantage

you have is, custom made.

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I found a local shop about 2 years ago that let me hang my stuff on their shelves. I told them what I wanted out of them and then they put a price on them that they thought they could get. I packaged them and printed a liner for each package. In 2 years I have sold 11 of the 22 that I originally took in. I go in occasionally and collect on what I have sold. I have also done a couple of shows and sold person to person. I get a higher price at shows and person to person than I do at the tackle shop. In the tackle shop I have to directly compete with the other name brand, well known products. At that point, the only thing promoting your bait is its package and its looks. At least at shows and person to person you have a connection to your buyer, which often times makes the difference.

mossy maker

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