Tuesday, July 5, 2011

you're worth it (and I am, too)

Pricing.... it's the MOST difficult part of online selling for me. I started out pricing things to cover the cost of materials with a little profit, but hadn't included much for my time or even thought about wholesale pricing. After asking for help and input on my studio on the Artfire forums, I was given some helpful advice.

1. Lower my shipping charges (Originally $6 for the first item, $2 or $3 for the second, can't remember exactly). I've since dropped that to $3.00/$1.00 with positive results.

2. Raise my prices. What??? Several artisans mentioned that my prices made them think that my work was cheap or not well made, even though it is neither. I was kind of shocked by that, but after checking out similar items from amazing artists like YooLa and Lapis Beach, I was forced to agree and have done as they suggested.

3. Retake some of my pictures. Some of the older pictures were blown out in my attempts to get a bright picture with as much detail as possible. I've since gotten a better camera and am slowly reshooting the offending pictures.

Since receiving that critique I've searched through Google, Artifre forums, and Etsy forums to figure out a better pricing system. Here are some helpful articles and formulas I've found.

* More thoughts to consider

* Detailed article with several pricing formulas

* Talking about Worthsy and why they started it, such a great idea!

* Worthsy - pay more, get more. A special auction site for handmade

Taking a moment here to say how much I love, love, love the concept of Worthsy. I think that as word spreads about this fabulous site, the value of hand made will be better understood, and perhaps artisans will stop devaluing themselves. A friend sent me a link to an artist on Etsy who created wire knit jewelry as I do, but wasn't even charging enough to cover the cost of materials, let alone the time invested. It saddened me because they were hurting themselves and other artists who are charging a fair price.

Also, this week's featured item, a magnetic spice rack from Salt City Spice, matches my kitchen exactly, and it's functional art. I just decided that I need a new spice rack, hehe.

All of this brings me to my most recent endeavor, cotton teddy bear hats. I posted this picture and a brief blurb about them on my facebook page and got an almost immediate response. Someone wanted to know how much they were. Good question. When I first made them I wanted to price them at $20, since that was more in line with hats I've made in the past. But, after wrestling with those adorable ears for several hours, (I make my own patterns and those ears were surprisingly tricky) I realized that that wasn't enough to compensate for my time. Even after making several hats, the ears still add another hour to the time it takes to make one. *sigh*.

But... is that a price that the market will bear? (because it doesn't matter if I'm charging $10 or $100, if no one buys) By doing market research I found that most similar hats were priced between $20 - $40, with the average being around the $25 mark. So, on target for me. Time will tell if lovers of BooJay will agree with my market research and time invested.

I hope this has helped you in some way, whether it gave you a better understanding of what goes into that cute hand made item at your local craft fair or online, or as an artist, to give you confidence to price your items what they're worth.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing Worthsy with your readers! We also hope that it will help at least generate conversations about pricing/underselling that will make people think about how less dosen't usually equal more.
    You are worth it! We're all worth it-and the more honest we are with our pricing the more we will attract customers who agree. All the best to you & your biz (those hats are adorable!)

  2. Thanks so much! I signed up for the Worthsy notifications and plan to submit a piece in the future. Congratulations on a wonderful site. :)