Mar 25, 2011

Number Crunching

There's been a lot of talk about my pricing.

Especially during the reception last Friday. Although it was great that my work was affordable, I found it astonishing to find out many believed my prices were too low.

Now, opening up about this truth to the general public might not be "wise", but I believe it's an important issue. It's important to all of us...sellers and buyers alike.

I truly believe it's important to keep my customers in the truth about my business. Maybe that makes how I sell different, I'm not sure.

But what I do know is I never sat down and crunched my numbers to find prices that were fair to my customers and to me.

I have always placed my prices based on the competition.

Last night I broke down my costs. Even the ink used in my printer, which is a difficult one to break down. I used a formula I found on the Etsy Blog.

Here's what I used:
Cost (Labor + Materials) x 2 = Wholesale Price
Wholesale Price x 2 = Retail Price

For some of the items I offer this became difficult because the price was way above and beyond what I would even pay for something I just had to have.

I want my items to be affordable and obtainable. That has always been my mission...not just as a human being and seller, but also as a Christian. My work is a gift to me, which in turn is a gift to my customers. 

It opened my eyes too. It showed me exactly how much I spend on materials and how often I probably need to restock. But it also required me to raise my prices. This is difficult for me...pricing is just not fun.

So I truly hope my customers can understand the raising of the prices. I kept it as low as I could, and I still don't believe that my labor cost should be very high. The average cost for an item in my shop is $10.00.

I would love to hear feedback on this issue. Whether you're a seller or a buyer. It's a touchie subject, but one we all must face on a daily basis.


Anonymous said...

I think you ought to charge what YOU think you're worth. If you think your work is worth more than $10, then charge more. The people who want your work will buy it. If you think that $10 feels like an all-over good price, and you don't think you're being cheated out of profit... well, keep it at $10.

In the end, I guess it's just up to you. I hope this helps!

lissa said...

I think the artist can set the price however they like. It is their art and they should be able set any pricing so they can make a living and have people enjoy their work.

I do think it's hard to determine a pricing that will please everything so I don't think you should try. Just do what you think it's right. And there's my 2 cents.

Have a sweet day.

xxxtglxxx said...

Hi Sara :)

Thanks so much for your lovely comment on my blog, I was blown away that you payed a visit :)

I think pricing is a tough one - in the craft world for example, most cards people make sell for about £2 - £3 on ebay (although one Designer got £50 the other day for one card in a box!!).

I spend a good 4 hours making each one of my cards. Everything from the cardstock, stamp, ink, papers, dies, pro-markers, gems, glues, flowers etc. I would suspect the true price of them to be around at least £20, but you wouldnt get that in reality.

You have to factor in all costs, but at the same time, I would think that once the art is done, a lot depends on its popularity - if you sell 100 sheets of the same painting, then you would recover your costs quicker than if you only sold 10, and then the only real ongoing cost is the marketing and print materials x the time it takes to print.

Do what you are comfortable with, but never sell yourself or your art too cheaply - you would probably be surprised at what people would be prepared to pay. And as long as you enjoy what you are doing, then its priceless ;)