Pricing for wooden parts of an Eames Lounge and Ottoman?
November 26, 2016 2:30 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to sell just the wood parts of an Eames Lounge and Ottoman and the potential buyer asked me for a price. Any suggestions? The price for the entire chair new is approx. $5,000.
posted by whitewall to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
The new price depends a bit on what kind of wood is used. Plain walnut is the base model, which leads to a price (at the Herman Miller site) of around $4200. Oiled walnut or santos palisander wood ups the price about $800; oiled santos palisander takes it up another $800 over that. Figure out what kind of wood you're selling first.

Anyway, I'd think the wood would probably be the cheapest major component of the chair (considering the leather cushions and metal base and armatures as the other major components), so 1/3 of the new price (assuming your piece are actually new) is way too high. Then there's the labor of assembly and the craftsmanship of a firm like Herman Miller.

I'd think $500 is kind of your high point if you just have plain walnut veneer plywood.
posted by LionIndex at 2:40 PM on November 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

$4200 is actually a sale price, not the normal list price, so adjust accordingly.
posted by LionIndex at 2:42 PM on November 26, 2016

There's probably a range of prices at which you could agree to a sale. Assuming that these parts aren't available separately from the manufacturer, and that they don't become available elsewhere very often either so there isn't a clear market price, you can use what you know or imagine about your own position and the potential buyer's position to guess at the limits of that range.

The lower end of the price range depends on your other options. Are they worth anything to you for personal use, or would they end up in a dumpster if you couldn't sell them? Was it easy to find this buyer, suggesting that many others would be interested, or did you have them advertised for a long time before this person contacted you? Is there some reason you'd prefer to unload these parts quickly rather than keeping them for a while longer?

The upper end of the range depends on the buyer's other options. Does anyone else have a similar set of parts up for sale? If not, then what will their rebuilt chair be worth when it's finished, and what other costs (materials, labor, inconvenience, risk) would be involved in rebuilding it? What if a really nice used chair could be had for $3k, and they could sell their beat-up chair for $1.5k? If that's the case then they'd be foolish to spend more than the difference ($1.5k) on the effort to fix up the old one, including the wooden pieces and all of the other associated tangible and intangible costs... unless they're emotionally attached to this particular chair, in which case they might spend more than the open market would justify.

If your low-end limit is higher then the potential buyer's high-end limit then you aren't going to sell the parts to this person. Assuming that there's some overlap then you'll want to place the price as near as you can to the top of their range, while they'll want to push it down to near the bottom of your range. Neither of you knows the other person's range for sure, so it will end up depending on the accuracy of your speculations, and on how good you are at playing Chicken.
posted by jon1270 at 4:57 AM on November 27, 2016

I'm a person who buys Eames chair parts and makes my own Franken-Eames chairs. I'd probably pay you $1000 ($250 each) for the wooden parts if they were a full set, authenticated, and in excellent condition. A $900 price point would cause me to jump. You can't buy just the wooden parts from the manufacturer, only the whole chair and a few replacement gaskets, so it's not like buyers have other options. I typically buy individual pieces for around $250 each and if I can get one for less, it's a good day. Note that if you have uncut blanks (i.e. no holes for bolts) the going price goes down considerably. I don't even buy blanks because I'm not willing to risk drilling. If I'm not buying locally, I also pay less as a buyer because I have to pay for shipping and insurance. YMMV.
posted by juniperesque at 7:54 AM on November 27, 2016 [5 favorites]

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