The challenge of pricing a custom-made product

09/20/2011 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

Paul Downs of Paul Downs Cabinetmakers has a hard time finding the right price for his furniture. He is afraid lowering prices wouldn't create more demand and that raising prices would drive off his customers, and the custom nature of the work makes comparisons with competitors difficult. His pricing system takes into account estimates of materials cost and hours of work, but "pricing highly custom work is inherently complex, and I'm not sure I'll ever be confident that my system is perfect," he writes.

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