Thanks for bumping this up. I fully understand what you are saying and I think its worse than you expect. I took some of my items to a store and they informed me that they took a "very reasonable" 40% and that was standard and that I needed to get used to that. Funny. I don't particularly want to get used to getting screwed.
When I told them my margins, they kind of giggled at me and said that I couldn't run a business the way I have been. I don't intend to change.
I expect that every level gets 40%. The producer, the importer, the wholesaler and the retailer. And that's how you end up with a $40 dollar "walnut look" tap handle that my quality assurance would burn before selling. Cranked out by the thousands at mach 1. Thown in a bin. Finished with God knows what and God knows how long it will reek or how long it will last.
So I have no middleman. No importer. No wholesaler. The only thing I can't source locally are exotic woods, ferrules and hanger bolts. Sometimes I take a while to go from idea to production. There is a reason for that. We guarantee everything. If its not right, that's my problem, not yours. No restocking fees, no bull****, and if you tell us why you don't like it, I'll pay your return postage too. With my business model, I can't afford a 5% return rate. A half a percent would keep me awake at night. Can I tell you a secret? I've not had any returns ever.
So here we are. I'm targeting $56 dollars + 6 dollars shipping. I'll have two sizes, one shorter one and one taller one. They'll have the same octogon insert. Each one of them will be produced one at a time. Machined on really cool equipment. Wheel buffed twice to several thousand grit and finished with the hardest natural wax known to man, just like heirloom furniture. They'll be available in two different kinds of wood...maple and red oak. If you want walnut it will be 7 dollars more. Exotics are 10-15 extra depending on just how exotic. And I'll throw in a polishing cloth to boot.
Treated with a little wax once a year, they'll outlast you and me and be prettier too.
I'll be producing prototypes this weekend and there may be some minor design changes as I'm producing. This production run will be limited to 20 orders. After that, I may have to rethink the price. The reason I'm keeping the price lower for beta testers is that I want feedback from everyone. Good, bad, improvement ideas, everything. I think its a fair trade. Everyone who responds to this thread will have a chance to be a beta tester.
Thanks for the patience. I know six weeks seems like a long time.
Head Mad Scientist