Pricing Handmade Crafts to Sell

Pricing Jewellery
Posted By: Peggy)
Date: 2003/4/17 12:48 p.m..

Pricing question-- long email, sorry
What do you think?
Many Hugs, Peggy

Re: Pricing question-- long email, sorry
2003/4/17 2:05 p.m.

This is what I would do.
Look at the necklace and say "would I pay $35 for this necklace". If the answer is yes..than that would be my price. Being a special order you probably are not going to get the money your deserve...because people usually have no idea how much work and time it takes to design something. At least I haven't seen special orders pay unless people set a price in advance before the work is even started.

I knew this artist..when her work was done she would take it to various galleries and ask them how much they would pay for it. If it was close to what she wanted she would say "sold" if not she took it home. Sometimes it's hard to figure out how much people are willing to pay. What if you ask $35--or $xx and she doesn't want to pay that much? What happens?'s hers..because she asked for it or it's yours because she doesn't want to pay for it? I have heard of people before doing commission work asking "and how much are you willing to pay for something like this?" before they even get started. Do you know how much she's willing to pay? I have done projects for friends that I never recovered my cost. Nope..don't do business with friends.

Either give them away or just don't do it.
I'm also curious to see what others on this board will suggest for a price for you.
Peggy 5x the cost is that the current rate for jewelry?
I used to do stained glass and that's what I started at and then decided whether it was too high or not enough for that particular piece.
Good luck! lritchie

Crafter's Calculator here might help...
2003/4/17 3:00 p.m.

Peggy, would love to see the necklace, but you didn't leave a link...
Personally, the design and prototypes of anything are the hardest. Most is trial and error to get it out of our heads and executed the way we see it.

My experience with those getting paid for their "designing" process are usually those in a trade or profession where there's formulas and basic "templates" for lack of a better word. For example, graphics or interior design, or even architecture! The basics are there and they change them with their ideas ~ basically like we do when we give our renditions of a craft. That's not taking anything away from any of them at all, just more doing the same thing with schools specializing in teaching them.

The others are the fine art painters, sculptors, weavers who may work a year or longer for their 4 or 5 digit commission that was contracted for...and may only sell that large item and maybe a couple small things during that time...

Personally, I would look at your designing efforts as the "battle to give comfort" to those who appreciate both the necklace set and it's significance. The repeat sales are the gravy/icing for your design efforts ~ with no reservations about the amount charged. That's where you get paid for your sweat...

If YOU are comfortable making the necklace ~ either by itself or as a set of 1, 2, 3, or even 6 pieces for the price ~ and they are willing to pay it, then it's a fair price. The caution is to be comfortable working for that amount.

2nd Caution of selling emotional pieces... Don't cut your price because someone is showing their emotions over their loss and "crying poor mouth" at the same time. Instead, why not have a range they could choose from ~ like a "special line" with possibly a semi-solitaire Lightening Bug with one or two of your special beads on either side for "their" price range? That way you're protecting yourself [with your personal loss] and your work [from it's true value being degraded] and still be able to sell to most everyone.

I ran across this calculator in my travels and thought some could use it... Try it both ways, with and without your design time to see how it comes out. Sometimes it's quite a shock!!! karen

Selling those 6 figure paintings is more
2003/4/17 8:29 p.m.

connections and salesmanship than just talent... Yes, the talent has to be there, but if you're not in the right circles, wellllll... Yeppers, I'm looking, too! You've made a connection with your "bugs" that will do well for you.

It may be a specialized customer base, but it expands all the time ~ folks will adopt it to remember other loved ones that have passed on. Such a wee critter to give off so much light can represent most anyone someone would like to remember ~ you might add a lapel pin, also!!! Enjoy your new venture ~ again, it's beautiful! karen

Re: Peggy Here is my opinion
2003/4/17 10:25 p.m.
for what it is worth.

Your piece is unique, original, one of a kind. It is fabulous and took a lot of time, thought and patients to make. How do you put a price on that? Don't go by the sentiment, other wise you won't make a dime.

Now about 25 years ago I had jewelry made to order for a wedding I was attending and I needed a necklace and ear rings to go with my out fit. I paid $25 then and that was 25 years ago. And... that set was no where's near what you made. Keep in mind, your piece is an ORIGINAL. I know someone who lives in Tennessee that makes jewelry from precious stones and she gets over $100 depending on the stones. She has even gotten $350 for a set. Now I don't know where you live or what kind of clients you have.

That is also another thing you must keep in mind. How much are people in your area willing to spend. By no means do I think $35 is too much. Ask that if you feel it is what you want. Then you have the option to lower your price if the client bulks, but don't go to low, your work is worth every cent you can get for it. Good luck, your work is fabulous. If I didn't have so much costume jewelry already, I'd buy it for that price and consider it a bargain. Roxy

It's okay, Norms, I miss stuff too!!!
2003/4/18 9:02 p.m.

My opinion about your question with 3 scenarios for what it's worth... If a customer wants something custom I would ask if I may duplicate it to sell to others ~ providing it's not a ball gown for the Oscars or such!!! Or the pageant dresses I used to do...

1 ~ If the answer is no duplication, then I would explain they will also be charged a design fee plus the cost of the item. Some people want exclusive rights to what is designed for them. Anything close and they cry infringement and won't be back. These folks are usually willing to pay for the exclusivity, so charge them enough.

2 ~ If they don't mind the design concept being used, but not the same materials, then the design costs would be included in the cost, but higher than I would charge for the second versions. These people want unique or custom and will pay a higher than average price, but won't go the exclusive pricing. Therefore you explain you are charging them less than the exclusive prices because you can change the design enough to please them and still be able to sell it to others to pay for the design fee...

3 ~ If they are pleased others would like the design and concept like Peggy's Lady is, then I would not charge them a design fee. They are helping me design a product I will make money on for a fair price for both of us... That type of research is hard to get! The reason is I would have a new line of product that I would have had to design anyway. Does any of this make sense? karen

Well Donna that is a great question with
Posted By: Sharon G (Oklahoma)
Date: 2003/4/10 3:22 p.m.
In Response To: Pricing? (Donna D'Amico)

a possibility of a thousand answers In my area, it would depend on the particular craft...sometimes I can double the price, sometimes not. I have tried to go by all the "pricing rules" i.e. double your materials, add your wages, overhead etc..but then that prices the item totally out of the range that would sell here.

Example..I have $5.00 in mailbox, $3.00 in paint or decals, $1.00 in finishing (all estimated except for the mailbox cost)...spend approx. 1 hour doing the item and I sell for $15 w/o nameplate on top and $20 w/nameplate. Total cost $9x2=18+6/hr=$24 selling price...too high for this area but sell well at $15 so that is the price I go with.

Second example..Old Barnwood framed print...Print cost $3.00, wood is free, nails & hanger $.50 and 1 hr labor. Total cost 3.50x2=7+6/hr=$13 We sell for $20. Another example: framed scriptures sell for $10.95. Frame $2, paper/ink $.50, 10 min. time...good markup on these.

Now the things we have less in makes up for the ones that we have more in....does that make sense? Usually after I finish an item, I will look it over and say "what is the most I would pay for this if I were to go in a shop and see it" and then go a couple dollars higher. You can always reduce your price but it is really hard to go up on something once you establish a selling price. Hope this helps some Donna and I'm sure everyone has their own way of pricing and will jump in and give you their ideas as well. Thanks for asking this question...good one sharon

Well Donna that is a great question with
Posted By: kathy kristinnson
Date: 2003/4/10 3:22 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Well Donna that is a great question with (Sharon G (Oklahoma))

Hi Donna, I try to at least multiply the costs by 3to start with, Then look to see if it would sell for more. I agree with sharon that something else easier and cheaper to make will go for more money and offset the price of the item that I thot I should get more for. somehow it all seems to balance out. Kathy

back to   craft business tips and how to's