How to talk with customers about their budget

Many customers who post a project on CustomMade are new to the custom buying process. These customers are looking to you, the expert maker, to guide the way. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding budget and price.

What’s the best way to approach the topic of cost with a customer?

Discussing the cost of the custom item is an important part of every maker’s initial expression of interest. We recommend presenting the customer with a price range, rather than a single quote, as a good way to start the conversation. Inform the customer about the market cost of materials so they can get a grasp on the bare bones cost of the project. Then explain how additional details (like intricate jewelry molds or sturdy types of wood joinery) will increase or decrease the overall cost. Giving the customer a few options to choose from is a good way to keep the customer at ease, and will usually keep the conversation going. As you continue messaging the customer and gathering details about the project, you can adjust the price and finalize it with a proposal.

After I calculated the projected cost of the project, the customer mentioned that a similar product is available from a big box store for less money. What should I do?

After browsing traditional retail shops, it can be hard for customers to understand that something made by hand generally costs more. It’s a great idea to hone in on the quality of your work. Let the customer know that everything you create is with an heirloom quality end-product in mind. Note the plus sides of custom, like editing throughout the process, knowing where the materials are coming from, and knowing exactly who’s making the product. 

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