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Thread: The Cost

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Little River, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazuku View Post
    ... not everybody is looking for perfection, but nearly everybody is looking for a discount.
    Good one. I like that... Interestingly of all the ukes I have sold, not one person has pointed out a flaw. I've noticed that people don't really look at them the way we do. We know where the bodies are buried. Mistake: Point out minute flaws to the customer. They don't really care. What they care about most is how they sound.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau Hannam Ukuleles View Post
    I would further advise to any budding luthiers that you get orders (income) before going crazy buying tools, wood etc.
    For if you have no orders (income), you can't claim the tools on tax.
    Well, you really can as long as you are attempting to make money. If you try and fail that's often the way of small business.
    Michael Smith
    Goat Rock Ukulele
    www.goatrockukulele.com

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    400

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazuku View Post
    My advise is to show your instruments to any interested party, let her/him play them, listen to the relevant comments, and re-assess the worth of your builds accordingly ... not everybody is looking for perfection, but nearly everybody is looking for a discount.
    Thanks for the advice. I do strive to learn from my mistakes and not make the same ones twice.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    499

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyturley View Post
    Sequoia, that is amazing to me. I'm recently retired, too, and do this as a hobby. If I was able to sell some of my instruments and flip the money back into the hobby, I'd be delighted. However, I can't seem to stop making stupid mistakes in my building. They don't stop my instruments from being functional, but they are aggravating none the less. If someone asked to buy one of my instruments and they still wanted it after I pointed out the flaws, that's one thing, but I could not in good conscience ask someone to pay me for one, not at my current level of expertise.
    I built a tenor a couple of years ago for a department at work as a Christmas present for their boss. They had the idea that a hand built instrument should cost the same as a cheap plywood factory instrument. I agreed to do it for a piddly sum, only did guitars before that (the cigar box uke doesn't count). I had it finished and was gluing on the bridge but my bridge clamps I used for guitars would not fit in the hole. It was a week before Christmas and I made the wrong decision of using weights as a clamp. When I came back the bridge was glued on but the top sunk and there was two cracks on either side of the sound hole. They were not visible but when you held the top up to the light you could see where the creases were, the uke sounded and played fine.

    I told them about it and they were disappointed but understood my not wanting an instrument to go out with such a flaw. I never got to fixing it, was going to retop it, the next year they wanted it again. The person was a guitar player (they originally wanted me to make them a guitar for what they were paying me for the uke) and mainly it would be a wall hanger. I let them have it for $100 (barely paid for the engraving). It hurt a little (it was a pretty little thing) but it is gone and a lesson learned. So if a buyer gets something that functions well but is less than perfection and knows they got a good price for it then sell the instrument. It is better than burning them.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
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    6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    For the self employed in the UK we pay forward our taxes and rarely get rebates. The next 12 instruments I build will pay my tax bill, settle loans and cover the necessary purchase of materials and consumables. My landlord has had a safety check of the premises done and another instrument will pay for the remedial work I am responsible for in my 3 units. It will be summer before I see any profit in the business. This is the cost of doing something very few people get to do. AT least I have heat in my home and workshop. An actor I follow on instagram has no heating in her house and is miserable and depressed because she is living from hand to mouth pursuing her dream.

    Be debt free with $30K in start up money before you consider becoming a bespoke ukulele maker. Even after this and you have made your first few faltering sales and are learning your 'value' in the the shark pool, you will very soon realise that the most important process in the whole cycle of making and selling is banking.
    Yeah, that's a reality... I am thinking about starting my own small business soon, and the financial side of the story scares me the most. But I guess I will get a small loan from theguaranteedloans, for example, and will try building something step by step. I want my own business so much, so I will do everything needed for it to happen
    Last edited by charre; 11-02-2020 at 10:09 PM.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    7,012

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    Quote Originally Posted by charre View Post
    Yeah, that's a reality... I am thinking about starting my own small business soon, and the financial side of the story scares me the most
    From what I've seen on other sites, knowing how to run a business is more important than being good at the product or service you are offering.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    5,385

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    It is not rocket science: you must receive more in than you pay out... If you cannot focus on this then be prepared to go hungry. Being an 'artist' or a 'craftsman' is just the third of it...

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
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    5,492

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    It is not rocket science: you must receive more in than you pay out... If you cannot focus on this then be prepared to go hungry. Being an 'artist' or a 'craftsman' is just the third of it...
    “‘My other piece of advice, Copperfield,’ said Mr. Micawber, ‘you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.”
    David Copperfield (1850)
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000 Email timmsken@hotmail.com

    If you can believe that moving images and sound, can fly through empty space across the universe and be seen and heard on a box in your living room ?.. then you can believe in anything.

  9. #29
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    Aug 2008
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    Wales, UK
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    Wanted to ref the great Charles Dickens knowing you would do it for us you clever clogs Ken!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Tampere, Finland
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    I have been making ukuleles about 5 years as a hobby, and now I study luthiery at Ikaalinen Collage of Crafts and Design. I have been working 30 years in advertising business, teaching etc. I know that it is almost impossible to make living making ukuleles. While I study, I also do teaching job part time, and when I graduate I will do something else than full time luthiery. Propably I will do ukuleles few hours in a day becouse I like it and I have reasonable prised workshop, and I hope somebody wants to buy instruments from me. If not, I still have plan B. I have already all tools that I need, and if I need bigger band saw or bigger surface planing machine, I can use them at Hacklab paying 20 euros in month. I have calculated that I have to sell 10000 euros in month if I just do ukes in Finland and get reasonable paid, and I am pretty sure that it will be not happen. I have to be realist.
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
    -Mario Andretti

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