Looking for pricing help/advice.

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sixwheeler wrote
on Feb 17, 2012 10:41 AM

Hello all,


My wife creates and repairs jewelry but has no idea what to set her prices at.  Is there a pricing standard or a free pricing program that can be downloaded to help her.   Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


A supportive husband.

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megabgirl wrote
on Feb 17, 2012 4:32 PM

 There are a lot of different pricing formulas out there. A lot of them look like this:


cost of supplies + hourly wage = wholesale price


wholesale price x 2 = retail price.


You wife may want to start keeping track of how long it takes her to make a piece and/or repair a piece, and then go from there.

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on Apr 11, 2012 12:24 PM

Thanks for the help with that.  I have been struggling with my pricing too.

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DebWAZ wrote
on May 19, 2012 9:01 PM


How wonderful that you are supporting your wife in her endeavors!

I have customers asking me about pricing all the time. It depends on what she's making - beadweaving is generally more time intensive, especially when you get into things like large peyote stitched amulet bags, etc. Those especially need to factor in time, recognizing that you will never get fully paid for the time you devoted to it.I would strongly counsel AGAINST the "I just want to get my money back" mindset. Not only is it selling yourself and your product short, it hurts all other artists who are trying to make a living selling their creative products.

Another factor to keep in mind is the area where you are selling. I have a customer that sells eyeglass holders for $45 and up in an upscale gift shop in Scottsdale, and they aren't anything fancy - plain beads, plated findings, no Swarovski, no gemstones, no precious metals. The same eyeglass holders in another area might sell for $10 or less.

Having said all that, the "magic formula" I use when customers ask me how to price things is take the materials cost (and I hope your wife is buying at a wholesale price) and multiply it by 3 and then add "something" for the time involved. If it takes 5 minutes to make a pair of earrings, and you figure $10/hour for your time, that's 80 cents for labor, so round it to the nearest dollar. 

How it works - materials cost $6 x3 = $18. Took 15 minutes to assemble. at 80 cents/5 minutes, that's $2.40. - round it down to $20 or up to $25, depending on your area. Prices in $5 increments with no change, make it easier to figure sales tax or discounts. You might have to adjust your prices a little if you are using things like higher priced gemstones, Swarovski crystals or precious metals such as sterling silver or gold filled/10 or 14 karat gold.

How do you know if your prices are too high or too low, watch your customers expressions. If they practically break their arm to get the $$ to pay you, the price is too low and they know they are getting a bargain. If you tell them the price and it's too high, they will look at you as if you stabbed them with a red hot poker! Some will cover with a polite excuse, but you won't sell it to them.

Another anecdote: A customer had asked me how to price things for her first show. She'd agonized over everything and finally came to me for advice. I told her the formula and we worked out prices on several pieces. Some she was right on in her pricing, others, she was pricing too low. We finally came to a bracelet that she'd made with Swarovski crystals. It should have been about $85. I knew she'd never consider pricing it at at that, plus knowing where she was selling, I felt that $65 was more reasonable and still give her a good profit. She just about fainted when I said $65! <LOL> When we walked through pricing it, and she agreed with my logic at $65, but even that stunned her.

She came in after the show, excited and thrilled because she'd sold nearly everything at the formula prices. Then she said, "Remember that bracelet we priced at $65? Well, on Friday night before the show, while I was packing everything, I picked up that bracelet and nearly changed the price down to $45. I thought about what you said and decided to leave it at $65, thinking that I could always go down, if it was too high."

She said, "Do you know what? That bracelet was the first thing I sold and the lady that bought it paid full price without even trying to get it at a lower price! I guess that means the price was too low, wasn't it?" We laughed about that one and I use that story to nudge people into kicking their prices closer to the realistic range, rather than keeping them in the yard sale/thrift shop range!

Hope this helped a little!







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KristieJ3 wrote
on May 19, 2012 9:49 PM

There's a great program, Jewelry Manager, that you can buy that will add in all your costs - it's awesome at keeping inventory or your beads and all. I bought it last year and used it for about 4 months... Now I use the really simple method of factoring in the cost of supplies x's 4 instead of factoring in labor costs. If I'm selling online then I'll add $2 for shipping into the total cost and make shipping 'free' for domestic sales.

I'm a stringer so it takes me a lot less time to make something compared to the amazing bead weaving projects I've seen on here! Like Deb said location is also a big factor - I try to keep my prices as low as possible at certain craft fairs, and I'll only display a few 'high-end' pieces; whereas online and in bigger or more wealthy cities I bring out my higher priced items.

I personally hate pricing my stuff because even though I want to make money on it I also like to give most of it to friends and family and sometimes even random people that just seem nice lol. My aunt lectures me all the time about it!

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pleiades357 wrote
on Jul 17, 2012 10:42 AM

Thank you, I have been pondering that too... I've been making some Kerrie Slade items, the Hibiscus, Fox glove, Dragon.... working on them at work, people have asked if I am planning on selling and if so, they want such-and-such color.... I will let them know what the price would be before I start ;-) the orders

but... I have to figure out the price. I haven't beaded for a while and these patterns more complex than my older projects so I have made some mistakes misunderstanding and/or not paying attention, so my current time for a project is not a fair determinate for the price

and, I am willing to take a little less to make a nice sale, I am working on the only when I am not with a client, they are filling time not so much taking time, but still want to price for the work 

so... struggling with an estimate... how much for flower (ropes taking me longer, maybe offer them in separate parts and offer ribbon or cord rope) how much for rope...



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Gyspy Mary wrote
on Jul 17, 2012 4:48 PM

Hi Deb, (Glad to see your still finding time to help us out here on BD) Great Advice to on Pricing. I have $1.00 items to $150.Items. ( a beaded Medicine Bag for example) I have Plastic tubs with Pricing for different arena's. A Local Craft sale, small town, No one wants to pay Much.

My Bead Weaving, (Humming Birds etc) often gets," Wow, That Much?" I offter to give them a "Supply List" and to teach them for $10 and hour. I have had some takers, but, after the first hour, they are not willing to sell their Bead Weaving for as low as I do.LOL.

Locate is Key in Pricing. Where your selling and the Customer Base actually determines what one can expect to make on Jewelry Making.(After cost of Supplies, even at Wholesale prices)

I like your Answer to the Pricing. Thanks,

Gyspy Mary

Blessed are those who can Give, without remembering

and Take with out Forgetting

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kadone wrote
on Jul 18, 2012 11:01 PM

It's kind of funny that I can estimate the cost of supplies almost to the penny, but I still have a hard time marking it up enough that I can make a reasonable profit. And then there's the guilt that I usually get for "asking so much". Not that any of my clients have told me that I am too expensive, but I still get that feeling. I need to get past the guilt and get it into my head that I have bills to pay and a child to feed, too.

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