To those who sell their completed jewelry pieces, I'm extremely curious how you price your works? I'm starting to think of making few simple pieces to sell but dunno how to "REALLY" price them the right way.
I've seen some neat jewelries at Etsy that I think are underpriced, just as others that I think are overpriced.
Any tips would be highly appreciated.
That's a frequently asked question. Here are a couple of previous threads we've had going with lots of good info:
http://www.beadingdaily.com/forums/t/1378.aspx *Note: some folks got a bit riled up in this post, but it does have plenty of different ideas for how to price. You'll just have to ignore the bickering.
You might also want to check out the Home Jewelry Business Success Tips site. There's a TON of good info there. Hope that helps!
ArtFire Studio & blog | Gallery
Lody, I have a sheet that's like an internal invoicing sheet where you put in all your information like what your supplies cost you, the time you spent, etc and then when you do the calculations, it will give you what you should charge. One thing to keep in mind is your materials. If you make two exac bracelets but one you use a silver toggl and one you use a silver plated toggle, you have to charge more for the silver toggle because silver is expensive these days so you may sell one for 45 but the other for 30. Let me know if you want me to send you that sheet and I will scan it in.
Beads and Blessings
Thinking about it, I didn't answer your question...me personally, I charge for the materials I use plus 30% which would be overhead (this is eletricity, driving time, picking of materials, etc) plus 7.00 per hour for my time. I will also ask for 50% upfront if it is a custom and the remainder paid when the item is done.
Thanks for the valuable tips Jeni and Lina! I'll browse those links soon. Although I've been selling handcrafted pieces for years now, I've never tried selling jewelries.
OT: I recently contacted a local shop owner (they have a boutique/gift shop at the city mall, and all their products are from local artists... they only sell art related items.. unfortunately, they don't accept more jewelry artists (met their quota already) at the moment but they're interested on my embroidery works though.
Hope this is ok to make a bit of a plug in here but we offer a very simple but sophisticated calculator as part of our software Bead Manager Pro.
This will allow you to work out exactly what you should be charging for your time which is a big problem for many Jewelry artists.
So many people forget what their time is actually worth and just use a "made up" figure to cover their hourly rate without actually calculating if this really covers their costs.
Without accounting for all the things that it actually costs you to run a business, and yes it is a business even if you are running a small bench out of the corner of your living room, you can end up working for a very very low wage.
By working out what your hourly rate needs to be to earn you money AFTER your have paid for your additional business expenses, then you can start to actually make a profit from your jewelry making. This includes working our what your tools cost and how often you will need to replace them as they dont last for ever.
You can check out the pricing calculator and any of the other features in our video tutorial library:
If any one would like to contact us directly then please feel free to do so through our ticket system.
Bead Manager Pro - Jewelry Software
JSmaz: You'll just have to ignore the bickering.
Jeni, I'm aghast, (!!) we don't bicker any more than we gossip !! Yep, it did get a bit hot there at times, but if you are beading to make money, you'd better read all the posts on pricing, and if not, don't worry about the nay sayers, of whom I am one..
Ignorance is curable; Stupidity has neither cure nor excuse.
The way I see it, there is really no definite way for pricing. The way the global market is today, there's no telling what people will pay. Be reasonable is what I say. If too many people turn your pieces down because they feel they are too expensive, then lower your price a bit or try to bargain. At the end of the day, if someone really likes your piece, they are going to buy it...end of story. When I make my kumihimo bracelets, I tend to sell them for 35 dollars buy my partner sells them for 75...well guess who sells the most. When I sell them, I use sterling silver clasps and I buy them all on sale at my local bead store when she trys to get rid of the old and in with the new and since I only need one hole clasp, she sometimes sell them for .25 an ounce so I can get 4 or 5 clasps for under 3.00 which allows me to sell them for the 35.00. It only takes me a little over an hour to make it so I think the price is fair. I would rather sell 10 at 35 dollars than 1 at 75.
I think you've about hit it Lina. Ask a hundred people their opinion on this and you'll get a hundred different answers. Ultimately as long as it works for you and you can sleep at night, so be it. When faced with the dilemma of "will people pay for this", remember that the people paying for it are the ones who don't want to learn to do it themselves, so they're paying for your knowledge and experience. What that is worth to you is what you have to decide.
Lody, I will just throw this additional thought out there. You, if selling locally, have to know your local market. A necklace in New York City may sell for $100 but may not bring half that in my little rural area. This is strictly an example, not based on anything specific. Just tossing out an idea.
Pricing is a touchy subject...
Have a great day!
Thanks again for your further inputs everybody!:)
I think it's normal not to agree on everything. So bickering is ok... sometimes it adds a lil' spice in the conversation. I've seen a lot of disagreements on various stitching groups I'm into, where each disagreement is taken into consideration.:)
Sheila, I agree with you 200%. I have a friend who used to sell her hand-made jewelries (purely simple stringing using semi-precious stones) in the past (through home parties and craft bazaar in church/school) for $100 - $200 per set (necklace and earrigns set)... The kind of sets that you can finish in an hour or 2... but then they live in a high-end city. I know for sure I can't charge mine at that rate considering the place I'm into... a very rural area where everybody expect everything to be really cheap.
I have been selling at art fairs for a few years now and this is my formula: Cost + $25 an hour + 25% for overhead. I buy my material wholesale (VERY important). Also, I keep track of material costs by writing it on the price tag in code so if I'm asked for a discount I know what I have in material costs. If I am selling at an expensive fair, I reprice everything and add $5 to $10 per piece to cover the fees. I use removable labels on my price tags so I can reprice easily. The feedback I get from customers is that my pieces are very reasonably priced, and I seem to be successful. Every year I sell a few thousand more than the previous year. Also, it is very important to keep track of material costs. It's easy to get an order in the mail and get all excited and lose track of the invoice for pricing. Don't forget to add shipping to your material costs.
This question comes up in the store all the time. It's kind of fun to watch people when I tell them that their prices are too low! They don't believe me until the first item they sell is one that I told them to boost higher!
I'd echo what KimF said! Be sure you get a business license/resale license as soon as you can. Buying wholesale (not "wholesale to the public") is essential to being able to price things correctly. As I've said about buying inventory when opening a bead store - you don't want to pay the same price that anyone off the street could get. If you are paying the 200+ item price at FMG for your supplies, you'll probably hear someone say, "I bought those beads from FMG for $xx - she's way too high priced!"
We once visited a retail/wholesale bead store in Phoenix in our early days. We asked about their prices "to the trade" and were told that normally the "trade" discount was 20%, but since they were running a coupon in the paper that week for 25%, they'd give us that price, too. In my book, THAT is not true wholesale!
Use a code of some kind on the tag to either give you an idea of what it cost you to make or what your lowest price will be. This is especially helpful if everything you have is one of a kind and has different prices. I suggest a 10 letter word or name with no repeating letters. Every letter will represent a number. You can use capital letters for dollars and lower case for cents. For example ABCDEFGHIJ = 1234567890. If it costs you $12.78, the code would be ABgh. If your lowest price is 47.63, the code would be DGfc. Only you would know the code word, so you won't have anyone try to talk you down with "it only cost you $10, why are you charging me $80?"
Removable tags are a good idea, so that you can adjust your prices if you have them too high or too low. You can tell by watching the customers if it's just right, too high or WAY too high! If things FLY off the table, you know the price is too low. If people look at them with a look of shock, the price is probably too high. If it's almost perfect, they'll linger. That's when you say something like, "You obviously like this piece. If the price was XX less, would you take it home?"
There are as many formulas and theories for pricing as there are stars in the sky. Depending on the materials, the formula that I suggest to my customers is 3x the cost of materials, plus $10/hr for their labor. This works for most stringers. For beadweavers, it's a whole new ballgame. There is so much more time in weaving that you will never get paid full value for your time, so you might have to come up with a compromise. People who have never done that type of work are going to say, "You want $200 for THAT??", and anyone who has done it will say, "You ONLY want $200 for THAT?" It is very tricky to find a happy medium for pricing. Different venues even in the same city will bring different prices - for instance, a "craft" show will be lower priced than an "art" show. Juried shows generially have higher priced goods.
If you are in it as a business, you have to remember to act that way. If you are using AA Amethyst, Tahitian pearls, Sterling silver or K gold, you need to be sure that information features prominently in any description card, flyer or table poster, so that customers understand the quality of what you are selling and that also adds to the cachet of the piece. DO NOT call silver-plated findings "silver", for example and be sure you know the correct name if you are using semi-precious stones. Having "widgets" - a few items priced at $10 or so will create traffic at your booth and probably will be what pays for your space. BUT - don't underprice things. YOU may not be Dior, but that doesn't mean you have to act like a dollar store, either.
If you are selling for "pin money", or to pay for your hobby, you're probably not going to care much about what you charge, as long as you get the cost of your supplies back. As others have said, having a "pin money" bead artist in the same show as a serious "it's paying for my groceries" bead artist can cause problems for the serious artist. BUT - if you're a serious business person, you probably are not in the right venue, if your neighbor is a "pin money" type. This is not to belittle the ones who are selling for "pin money" - it's just that they are different mindsets and different business "models".
We had an interesting "experiment" in October. The store sponsored a booth for our artisans at a local jamboree. We had 5 designers represented. They went from the "pin money" hobbyist to designers who were in it as a business. The venue was perfect for the "pin money" person. The more serious designers were not a successful and the very sophisticated designer didn't sell a thing. The good thing was that NOBODY was discouraged, though I had to "crack down" on one of them who wanted to leave when things got slow. She was happy as long as folks were handing her money - when that died out, she was ready to quit, even though everyone else who was less successful was happy to wait to the bitter end.
Having read through this, I have been assuming that you are talking about sales at shows. Selling online or in boutiques, galleries, etc. are a completely different ball of wax. The pricing formula you choose is still going to be the same, but you won't have the direct feedback from customers that you have at a show. The only way to tell if your pricing formula is working is if things are selling. If they aren't, you'll have to change something - the display, the price, or whatever.
Hope you aren't completely confused. by this - you can always send me an e-mail offlist.
Apache Junction, AZ
Big Thanks, for taking the time to put all this information in one Post. It has really been a lot of help to me. You have answered so many questions for me.
The "pricing always gets me". So this is a big help.
Blessed are those who can Give, without remembering
and Take with out Forgetting
Many many thanks for your inputs everybody! They're all highly appreciated.
Deb, I'll definitely use the "code" technique you suggested... with my beading and other crafts.:)