How do you price???

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Becca@30 wrote
on Jul 31, 2008 8:19 PM

 I have absolutely no idea how to price my jewelry. The seed beads are cheap and the other beads I use I have no idea how much they cost! Whenever I do add up my materials, it only comes out to a couple dollars. Help?

on Aug 1, 2008 12:00 AM

There are several different ways you can price.  You might look into getting a reference book about pricing jewelry such as Vicki Lareau's "Marketing & Selling Your Handmade Jewelry", to name just one.

As best you can, you should try to keep records of how much each of your beads costs.  The sooner you start that habit the better.  I only started doing it a couple of years ago, and I still have at least half of my beads with no prices.  I either look it up if I'm not sure or I can usually do an educated guess.

When I price my work, I usually double the cost of the materials to account for increases in price when I have to replace them, especially if they only come to a small amount.  I add an extra couple of dollars (usually not more than $5) for overhead-ie a gift box, the gas to go buy materials, office supplies, etc.  Then I add the cost for my time.  I charge $20 per hour, but I'm a bit flexible on that depending on what I'm making.  Sometimes people just won't pay as much as I want to charge for certain items, but I can usually make it up somewhere else.  I also know on some things that I could have made it a bit faster than I actually did, so I might knock a bit of time off.  That's a purely personal thing though.

You should also account for who you are selling to and where.  If you're selling at a yard sale or flea market, people are there for a bargain, not your best work of art, for example.

I suppose I could go on and on, but that's a start.  Also, search for pricing in the forum, because there are a few other posts in a similar vein.  Good luck!Big Smile It's one of the hardest things about selling, and something that will evolve as you get more experienced.



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Sheila H wrote
on Aug 1, 2008 4:18 AM

i agree that pricing is the hard part. I am similar to Jenn in how I price, however I do simple stringing. I take the cost of beads and usually double it, then I add some for my time. I haven't went up to $20 an hour yet as mine is simple stringing. I did a 60 inch chip stone necklace in about an hour two nights ago. I have about $20 in the beads so I did price that one at $45. However, if it is a simple bracelet that takes me 10-15 minutes, I will just double or triple the price of the beads which makes the bracelet $10. 

When I price it, I also look and say "Would I pay that? " as I am kinda cheap when buying jewelry. I think for those that do the weaving etc and it takes hours to complete a piece that pricing would be more difficult. 

There was a posting about this awhile back so you may want to browse through that as there was lots of info on the posting as well. 


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on Aug 1, 2008 1:21 PM

I use Jewelry Designer Manager not only to keep track prices but also to help me come up with a price for my pieces.

I have mine set up to average the cost that I pay for items.

For example:  I buy 144 Swarovski Bicone - Crystal for 8cents from one place and then I find a deal/sale and buy 144 more for 5cents.  I enter both of the purchases in my "file" for Swarovski Bicone Crystal and it is set to average the price, per bead, for me (which would be 6.5cents).

When I then put in the piece I made and list the parts used, the software calculates the cost to make the item and then calculates Wholesale, Direct and Retail costs for me.  Those costs include my time etc. and the factor that the cost of goods is multiplied by is adjustable.

The problem I have, in pricing, is that when I do market research ,to find out what other's are charging for similar items, the prices are all over the board.  I have seen bracelets (again similar to mine) listed for anywhere between $15 and $95.  I know what I pay for my supplies, I know what my time is worth and I just know that $15 doesn't cut it and $95 is ripping someone off (unless you are the Ralph Lauren or Christian Dior of the Jewelry world).

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on Aug 1, 2008 6:14 PM

YES !!!  It takes me 8+ hours to make a 1" X 3" specialty name bracelet, with lobster claw and chain.  My cost is about $2.25.  I use three colors of size 11 delicas.  I made one for my wife, and she wanted enough for everyone on her committee.  That made 13.  "Now I need seven more for the new members."  "One quit the commitee, I need another one!"  She now has one more year and she is off the committe !!!!  YAY!!!!

So, what could I have charged for them?  Or should I have sued for divorce, claiming mental abuse?  It WILL be nice to have back home full time again.  Seriously, at the minimum wage, I would have had to charge more than I would have been wiling to pay for one.  [$5 for 8 HRS = $40.00 + $2.25 for materials = $42.25  waaay tooo much!!]  Guess thats why I give most of it away -- -- --

Stan B.

Stan B.

Lakeland, MN


Ignorance is curable; Stupidity has neither cure nor excuse.

on Aug 2, 2008 12:26 AM

That's where I factor in "what would I pay", Stan.  I occasionally make beaded pen covers in peyote with Delicas, and while they are a lot of fun to make, it takes me about 3.5-4 hours to make one.  No one will pay $85 for that if I was charging my actual fee, but they would for a nice bracelet/necklace/earring set.  I usually halve my hourly fee for beadweaving, unless it's a piece of jewelry I spent a lot of time on that I think I can get more for.  That's probably not the best thing to do, but people will pay $35-40 for one, and I do them because they're fun for me.

I agree with the comment about the "Christian Dior's" of the world.  Wish I could charge that much for my work and actually sell it.  We all know they use (mostly) the same materials we do, it's just that our names aren't quite as well known (yetWink).  I really would feel bad about charging that much for something though.  My whole aim when I started selling was to make nice jewelry that was reasonably priced so anyone could own it.  Surprisingly the biggest resistance I have is people saying they wouldn't have any place to wear it!  I have to tell them that I wear my Swarovski jewelry just as much with jeans and a Tshirt as when I'm dressing up.  The point is to make yourself feel just that much better with a little extra something. 

Ok, I'm starting to go on a bit.  There's my extra nickel's worth.Smile


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Nemeton wrote
on Aug 5, 2008 2:46 AM

 I'm a beadweaver (and I think I posted on the other pricing thread too) so I suffer from the same problem of the perceived value of my work being less ('it's only cheap little seed beads') but my time costs being greater, compared with, say, a string of pearls or gemstones. It's frustrating when you look at pricing of similar work and it's all over the place - but at the end of the day all you can do is to work out what you consider is a fair price for your time, expertise and materials, and go out and find a market where you can connect with customers who agree with you. Everyone's answer to this will be a bit different, but as long as you are happy with what you are charging, that doesn't really matter!



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Sheila H wrote
on Aug 5, 2008 4:26 AM

Here is a thought...If you price your work at $10 and you can't keep it made, does that mean that you can raise the price a little? Like maybe $12 or $15. Then see how it goes?

I have bought a few of the large single glass pendants and strung them on plain silk cord and done them as 16 and 18 inches. I can't keep them at $5 & $7 ( since I have like $2-$3 on them ). I am thinking this next set to raise it just a little to see if they still sell. If not I can always retag them or put them "on sale".

Just a thought to maybe help find the happy medium.

on Aug 5, 2008 6:16 AM

I think you could get away with a bit more than $5-7 as long as you know you did a good job making it.  I don't see why you couldn't charge $10-15.  I'm sure they charge at least that at your average chain store.  Heck, the Italian vendors at our BX sell a Venetian pendant bead on a couple lengths of ribbon or cord for 7 Euro which comes to about $11.  Of course, I buy them just for the bead to re-use later, but at least I can wear it while I decide what to do with it.Wink


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Billy Z wrote
on Aug 5, 2008 8:09 AM

 I posted in the other thread as well so I won't repeat myself here, but I do have one thing to add. I refuse to sell anything for less than $10 anymore, even if it is a $1 on a $.50 thong. If you take the time to put something together, it is at least worth that. To me it is anyway.

 Billy ;o)


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Sheila H wrote
on Aug 5, 2008 9:06 AM

I understand your point about nothing less than $10. But I think for my area and for the small community that I am in, money is very tight for many of them. I don't put out all $5 items. I only put out one of those. As you can tell, I am still trying to figure it out. 

At least in my area gas is back down to $3.69 to that will start to help the budgets for everyone. I appreciate your thought and it is very valid. I may have to rethink my base price. You are correct in that I did have to go to the store ( even though I was probably already there ), pick it out, take it home, figure out what cord, etc etc. ( You guys get the idea ). Some of the pendant pieces I just bought are larger and nicer ( but not necessarily more expensive ) so those will be priced higher for sure! 

I do know that some of my items ( the more expensive pieces ) I am going to have to re-price as I had them priced for an antique mall so some of the prices may be a little high for the small town that I am in. Also the shop lady told me that several people had comments on the high price of a few. She thinks that $15 may be the max for her store. I will just have to adjust what I do for her shop maybe. 

Thanks for letting my voice this out so to speak and figure it out. Sometimes I have to "talk" it out to figure it through. 


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RobinDT wrote
on Aug 10, 2008 11:18 PM


    I really appreciate you "talking it out and figuring it through"!  It helps me, too, because pricing is such a difficult thing! I still get this "pit of the stomach" feeling when I price things.

    Thanks everyone else for the thoughts you included!




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pony600 wrote
on Aug 11, 2008 3:27 PM

 I keep tract of the cost of my supplies & usually do 2- 2 1/2  times the cost, which would include my time & expenses . I have lowered most prices to 2 x the materials because of the economy now. You can't price too cheaply, either, I have found, or people think it's not quality merchandise. It's a fine line....


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Billy Z wrote
on Aug 11, 2008 6:37 PM

 I need to clear this up because i wasn't very plain when I made that statement origionally. I won't 'price' anything for less than $10.00, but if they want a couple of pieces, I'll knock a buck off of each one just to make the sale. I knock off a buck fifty if they get 3 or more. I did kind of cheat and mark everything up a dollar for the yard sale. That way they could haggle me down to the price that I wanted to start with. *laughz* People are strange.


 I yam wut I yam and dats all wut I yam. ~Popeye~

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Jim Juris wrote
on Aug 19, 2008 12:27 AM

 Hi Everyone,

I just joined this forum today so I am not well known here like I am on another jewelry making forum.

I want to give you my ideas on pricing your jewelry creations.  I will be making waves here, but I hope that you will consider what I have to say.  i welcome any comments, either good or bad, that anyone wants to make about what I say.

First, there is a ton of competition from people trying to sell jewelry that they make.  I was in downtown Denver a couple of weeks ago and there was a little street fair that consisted of about 50% to 60% of people selling jewelry.  That makes it very tough to sell your jewelry at a fair price.

If you are trying to sell jewelry you have to sell what people want to buy, not what you want people to buy from you.  In other words, you can sell more jewelry, and sell it at higher prices if you sell what people want to buy rather than sell what you want them to buy.

You also have to make unique items.  When I was at the fair in Denver I honestly didn't see anything that I thought was unique.  I saw the same stuff at each booth.  It was just different stones, sizes of stones, shapes, and colors.

Get ready, here come the big waves that I am about to make.

I have read every post on this thread and I feel that all of you that posted a comment on this thread are UNDERPRICING your work.

You are not just putting beads on a wire, you are jewelry artists.  You are creating a work of art and it will be admired by many people that see it.  Your creativity has value.  Creating and making beautiful jewelry takes talent.

You also have to figure in overhead and a decient hourly wage for your work.  You can't just double the price that you pay for your jewelry making materials and ad $10 for your labor or you will slowly but surely put yourself out of business.  You should be in business to make a profit.

Overhead should consist of such things as a portion of your rent, utilities, telephone, gas for your car for jewelry related purposes, marketing, etc.  If you don't carge for overhead you are cheating YOURSELF.  Your doctor, dentist, and auto mechanic all charge fair prices for their expertiese and you should too.

I feel that most of you are having trouble selling your jewelry at a decient price because you aren't making unique products and you haven't found your target market. 

You will need to learn MARKETING in order to find your target market.  Once you have found your target market you will be able to charge better prices for your creations.  Not only will you be able to charge what your jewelry is worth, people will be glad to pay the price that you deserve for your jewelry. 

I am in the jewelry making business also, but I don't compete with everyone else.  Instead of making and selling jewelry I do things differently.  I sell an ebook on jewelry and craft photography.

I know my target market for my Inexpensive Jewelry Photography Techniques ebook that I wrote and sell.  I know who makes up my target market and where they are and I market to these people.  This is a very small niche, but I have a unique product.  My ebook sales are in the four figures ($X,000.00) in a little over a year that I have been selling my ebook.

As someone mentioned on this thread, it is the perceived value that counts.  Charging too little for your jewelry creations is just as bad as charging too much.

Now it is your turn to make any comments that you want about what I just said.  Don't be afraid, feel free to say anything that you want.

 UPDATE:  I forgot to mention that when you underprice your work you are not only hurting yourself, you are also hurting ALL jewelry artists that are trying to charge a fair price for their time and talent when they sell their jewelry.

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