Friday, June

Pricing Your Work

The cost of the items used to make your jewelry has no bearing on the price you charge for your creations.

Think about how long it has taken you to learn your techniques not just the amount of time it took for you to put together one item. This lesson will guide you in making pricing decisions when you start to sell your work to the public or to stores and galleries.

The wholesale cost of these earrings is $37.50. 

The boutique selling these earrings will offer them at a retail cost of more than $75.00.

This lesson will be very helpful if you wish to sell your jewelry to stores. Never undercut your wholesale client’s prices. When you sell to the public also, you must sell at the same price the stores sell your items. This is wholesale.

Consider that if it takes you five hours to make something, selling it for $12.00 means you worked for $2.40 per hour and paid for the parts yourself. Your time, your talent and the fact that you are selling an original work which may have taken years for you to learn to make, means the item is worth more than a mass produced item. You are not competing with that market. If you don’t charge enough to both pay yourself and replenish your supplies, you will not be in business for very long.

Perceived value – Often the price a piece commands at auction will help you to determine the value of what you create. This is how the market value of antiques and collectibles is determined. The amount of money a buyer is willing to pay for an object becomes the value of that object.

This necklace was sold for $250 at a fund raiser silent auction. The intrinsic value of the piece has nothing to do with cost of goods used to create the piece. The artistic presentation was what the buyer found of value. 

Do you ever raise your prices for a basic product that you make and sell repeatedly? Did you know that all manufacturing companies raise their prices at least once a year… every year?

Recent cost analyses have resulted in the increase of some of our prices for the first time in four years. We have absorbed several price increases in the past but part of owning a successful business is making sure there is at least a small profit . If you are busy as can be making and selling things, ordering product every week and doing shows every month, you may feel that you are well on your way to becoming a successful designer. Please consider all these points as you are pricing your work.

  1. Components: You need to be able to repurchase those components, so double that cost.
  2. Fees: Consider the cost of every fee you have to pay for any service you use to sell your product. Things like accepting charge cards, PayPal and paying a fee to be in a show are expenses and you have to recover these costs.
  3. Time and talent: You must pay yourself at least a little each week. You are the most important part of your business so you must get compensation for what you are doing. Passion and creativity will soon expire if you never get compensated for your efforts.
  4. Travel: If you travel to do a show, you must consider all these expenses as well.
  5. Rent: If you rent studio space or equipment, you must factor in these expenses.
  6. Tangible Property: The table you work on, the lamp you use each day, the storage compartments, the tools of the trade and the chair you sit on are all important components of your business. A camera and computer are also vital tools for most of us. You need to factor in the cost of replacing and adding more of these items as your business grows.
  7. We always share our experience with you to help you learn more and to make a profit so that you can continue doing what you love.

From the customer’s point of view…

Early in my career, I was doing a trunk show at a Nordstom store in Maryland. After a lady made a large purchase from my collection, she chatted with me for a moment and then leaned in close to me to say “I would have paid three times this much for your work.” At that moment I changed my attitude about my designs and became much more confident about asking what my work was worth.

Designer, Willie Zuniga shares this quote straight from a buyer’s mouth … “I am not impressed by low prices, in fact I avoid them.  If the designer doesn’t think the item is worth much, then I’m sure I won’t either.” 

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