by William Sampson
Demystify bidding by joining
the Pricing Survey
Help take the guesswork out of pricing custom woodwork by participating in the
annual FDMC Pricing Survey.
Too often pricing custom work is more mystery and speculation than it is scien- tific or rational. Or if it tries
to be systematic, bad data or bad estimates of time, materials, and overhead
all conspire to such the profit out of the
That’s obvious from two decades
of doing the annual FDMC Pricing
Survey, where widely varying prices tend
to be the norm. But how can that be?
The survey takes real jobs done by real
shops and makes the identical bidding
specifications available to shops across
North America to sharpen their pencils,
warm up their computers and calculators
and show how they would price these
same jobs. One would think the numbers
would come in quite comparably. But
You can make it work
Part of the answer is in how differently
custom shops approach every facet of the
work they do. From the materials they
use to the construction methods they
employ to how they estimate work hours
varies widely. To address those variables,
we need as many shops as possible to par-
ticipate in the survey to create a much
more representative picture of how pric-
ing is actually done in the real world.
The time you invest by participating
in the survey is an investment in helping
to educate the industry. Bad bidding
hurts everyone. Shops that bid too low
end up cutting corners to get the job
done. Shops that bid outrageously high
might profit on a few jobs, but word gets
around and limits their clientele, too.
The sweet spot is fair price for quality
work done in an expedient and reliable
How can you help?
Phone or email to volunteer to be a
bidder in the survey. Or, even better,
volunteer a project that you did for the
survey. We have a few slots still open for
projects. By submitting a project, you’ll
learn how other shops would price a job
you actually did.
Submitting a project is easy. All we
need are the original bidding specifications, including a description of the
job, basic measurements and drawings,
and finished photos of the project. You
should also include any special details
that made the job different, such as a
difficult location or tricky installation
issues. The info doesn’t need to be fancy,
just thorough enough to bid.
As a bidder, you get to see the same
bidding specifications shared with all
bidders in the survey, and you can really
delve into the results and compare with
the other bids.
Either as a bidder or project submitter, don’t delay. Decide to participate
now by phoning 203-512-5661 or emailing will.sampson@woodworkingnetwork.
com and volunteer as a bidder or project
Help demystify pricing now! ✚