Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pricing Your Handcrafted Products

by Yvette-Michelle Cottle Darby

Ok . . . I have decided to write about a little pet peeve I have. In my mind, unless you have an attic full of mice that sing you songs and work diligently through the night sewing your designs; then what's the deal with bargain basement pricing on handmade goods? Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for keeping cost low and products affordable for buyers, but what does it say about the value of one's labour and creativity when a handmade pair of earrings are $5.00 or less?
Over the years I have pondered this subject and I'm yet to figure out what type of margin could possibly be made on these products. As mentioned in my blog on selecting craft and trade shows, the prices of other vendor's products play a factor in my decision making when choosing which shows to attend. I have found it difficult to market what I do, while next to another vendor that under values their products.

When I price my designs I consider a few things:
  1. Cost of the raw materials
  2. Cost of design and labour
  3. Other production cost, including cost of machinery and tools used in production
  4. Cost of packaging and branding
  5. Cost of getting the goods to market, including trade and craft show, transportation, accommodations, sales labour, etc.
  6. The uniqueness of the product
Now, I'm sure I've forgotten to include a thing or two. However, the main point I wanted to get across is that when you price your designs you should consider not only what the "market will bear," and what your competitors are charging, but also what it cost you to produce it and the value you place on your creativity and labour.

When you decide to take your designs to market, you should also consider the impact that your pricing has on those who rely on selling their work as a full time career. Your pricing influences other's ability to communicate and empress the value that goes into generating an original limited edition and often one-of-a-kind product.

Here are a few great links to help you get on your way to better pricing:

  • If you are on Etsy, then take advantage of some of the great articles posted on their blog. Here is a link to one post that speaks to the subject of; "Reevlauating Your Prices."
  • Visit eHow for some simple guidelines on product pricing.
  • The Business Development Bank of Canada also provides a wealth of online information that can help you with this and other issues.

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