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Author Topic: How do you price your work?  (Read 2875 times)

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Re: How do you price your work?
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2016, 12:17:24 PM »

I echo the sentiments by many of those who have posted here.

You have to understand the market, what prices it will bear etc.

I used to do shows back east.  I stopped after the last show I did back east I sold only one item and it was to my Dad's cousin who let me set up my booth for free on her property for the show in her town.  Lots of people, but no buyers.  Why?  I went walking around.  If you have a bunch of mass produced made in China crap, you did well, that's what folks were buying.  I sold nothing because my stuff, while priced very reasonably, wasn't cheap enough for the clientele.  I've worked retail on and off for years so I know how to greet and talk to customers and converse with them and put on the happy poker face.  However even that didn't help at that show.

My biggest problem in selling items online and at shows is competing against lower quality and lower priced items.    For example, I do some bead embroidery, wire wrapping and metal clay.  A simple bead embroidered piece could run $60 - $200 depending on the stone I have in it and cost of materials and time.  I have a piece on my site that is marked at $100.  I found someone online selling something similar (They didn't copy..) for $50 who was in Eastern Europe.  I have my items marked at the minimum of what I can accept for it to cover materials and a bare minimum of my time.  If someone can undersell me either they aren't charging for time, or they have found a way to get the materials so cheaply that I just cannot compete against them.

Most of my online sales have been to people my Husband works with.  Somehow my Introverted Husband manages to sell more of my jewelry than I do.

I use a very basic formula in pricing my work.

(Materials x 2) +  (Hours x $10) = price of finished work.

I've been told by numerous people I price to cheaply with that formula, especially since I'm an award winning artist.   However if I price things even higher than that, they don't sell.  When you compete against China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Thailand, where the vast amount of mass produced jewelry is made, it's a tough road.  In your stores the vast number of jewelry sales are to teenage girls, and the twenty and thirty-somethings who want something flashy for cheap.  I am good at flashy, not good at being cheap.  I try to stress the hand made aspect of my pieces and the fact they are better quality than anything you find in a store.

One of the last quotes I ever did for a custom order was back east.  I remember writing about this on the old forum.  It was a quote for a bridal ensemble for the bride and ten bridesmaids.  I worked up two quotes because this woman wanted flashy pearls and Swarovski crystals.  So I did one quote with freshwater pearls and Swarovski Crystals, and one quote with glass based pearls and Cheaper knock-off Crystal that was still elegant but at least more in the realm of affordability.  The quotes were earrings, necklace and bracelet for each person - 11 sets total.  Cheapest price I gave her was $1100 - that's $100 per set.  The more expensive quote was for $1600.  She came back to me appalled at what I was asking and felt she should be able to get each set for $20 because it was handmade.   I informed her that I couldn't even afford to buy the materials for that, and if she wanted something that cheap to kindly go to Claire's in the mall and buy crap made in China using plastic pearls and faceted glass.  I will not put up with the attitude that because it's handmade that it should be cheap. 

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Re: How do you price your work?
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2016, 11:18:07 PM »

$10 an hour - where else can you find anyone to do skilled labor for that - plumbers get $50 or more and they deal in shit.  I don't even think you can get chinese labor any more for $10 an hour.  Much more jewelry supply anymore than there is demand.  One must find a way to create demand for their persona in addition to their artwork.


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Re: How do you price your work?
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2016, 07:15:08 PM »

Yeah, the people whose work commands prices high enough to make it worthwhile always have loyal buyers who are more than willing to pay that price for pieces produced by that particular person.

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Re: How do you price your work?
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2016, 06:02:46 AM »

My wife and I have been doing craft and rock shows for over 25 years now.  We have gone from beaded jewelry to mostly wire wrap work with my stones.  At the rock oriented shows, I also bring my cabs for sale.  90% of the cabs sold are wholesale to jewelers and sometimes make up the majority of the sales.  Quality matters as does price but knowledge of what you are selling also matters.  The more you can tell a jeweler about the stone, the more likely they are to buy it.  As we currently work full time, we do not have to make a living at this which makes it a self-sustaining hobby for us.  Starting to add more rock shows as retirement is closer as these shows do much better for us then the craft shows. 

Over the years we have seen an explosion of crafters doing jewelry but the majority of it is fairly shoddy work with commercial stones and pot metal findings.  Quality work with quality metal makes a difference in sales.  We use nothing but precious metals now.

Good luck to everyone

Bob Johannes
The Amethyst Rose
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