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Author Topic: The eternal question... Pricing!  (Read 3718 times)

Nafta

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The eternal question... Pricing!
« on: September 16, 2013, 10:03:13 AM »
So hubby has been working on some pieces. I have never seen anything like it but I could be wrong. They are xhunky and large with a rich look and he has had interest! But now it comes down to how much?
Considering they have aemiprecious stones in them and are quite large in size and also one of a kind as there is no way they can be exactly replicated and the work involved for him to make them, we thought that maybe 30-60 for the pendants. But then the doubts started... He is new to this, it is only set on a bit of clay... Can they be really worth that?
The problem is that if he doesn't come across a confident and sure of his work and he doesn't come up with a good price he might loose on it. Any ideas?
 I would pay 40 easy for one of those necklaces but then again I appreciate the work involve and I love these pieces...
Help please?

Peter

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Re: The eternal question... Pricing!
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2013, 10:09:08 AM »
Emma has a fantastic article here on pricing your work:

http://www.ejrbeads.co.uk/pricingjewellery.htm

Everything she says is on the note, however you also need to consider where you are going to sell your husband's lovely creations, who your prospective market is and also how you are going to market his work. How much to price your work at is always a difficult subject and many, many variables come into play.


Nafta

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Re: The eternal question... Pricing!
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2013, 10:21:01 AM »
Thank you Peter! I have read the article several times....and taking all into account I guess the prices we thought of are quite good but I guess there is a lot of self doubt being beginners and a fear of coming across to pricy and loosing on the deal? I have asked around how much people think the neckaces I posted yesterday could be worth, if they saw them in a shop, how much would they pay...nobody gives me a figure :(

dysfunctiondesigns

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Re: The eternal question... Pricing!
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 02:39:30 PM »
There's so many calculations out there on how to price but everyone is different.

It's very hard to tell how much you should charge just by looking at a piece.
I'd say as long as you cover costs & expenses and he includes a reasonable hourly rate for himself then that's a good starting point.
You have to feel good about the pricing but don't sell yourself short. Like you said, you need to show confidence in the work.
You can always change it at a later date and I'd heard it was much easier to reduce you prices in the future rather than increasing them, so maybe starting high is better.

Hope that helps a little.
Kirsty

ejralph

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Re: The eternal question... Pricing!
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2013, 01:07:02 PM »
Pricing really can make or break a business model

You can have a great product, but if the pricing is wrong it can really affect how you are able to sell it down the line.

I cover this subject in depth in my article ( http://www.ejrbeads.co.uk/pricingjewellery.htm ), so won't re-invent the wheel here too much

But think about how you see yourself selling in the future. Will you always want to just sell your work direct to end customers yourself? Or do ever see a point where you'd like to sell through shops and galleries?

If so,  I cannot stress this enough - covering costs, labour and profit is NOT ENOUGH if you want to expand and get other venues to stock your work. Read the article for more details on that.

If you build a range of products and you start sucessfully selling them at prices that cover your costs, cover labour and a bit of profit, remember you are basically selling those items at your wholesale price already. The members of the public who buy at that price are getting a great deal. If a store comes along and asks you to discount even further on these prices, well they've just got a  GREAT deal and you might even be losing money. Alternatively, they have to sell to the public at a different price to you and end up looking greedy.  That just isn't a sustainable model.

So, if you want to expand to other outlets, pricing is REALLY important and you might even have to modify your designs so they can work with the realities of pricing.

If you are only ever selling to end customers yourself, then its not so much of an issue - you only need to cover your full costs, and add a little profit.

All these methods of pricing at 2 times the materials or whatever just seem naive to me - like plucking figures out of the air. The only way to know if you are covering costs and making profit is to do the sums and SEE if you are covering costs and making profit.

I see this a lot in our clay world actually.

Think of all those small companies that have started up in the world of polymer clay - maybe they offer a cool new tool or embellishment.

You all email me and say "hey are you going to carry this tool / paint / magazine / whatever at EJR Beads?" Or maybe the company themselves contacts me and wants me to be their stockist.

And believe me I always want to. But SO many times these various businesses haven't thought through their pricing structure enough to really allow for other stockists to sell their cool product.

 So we find there is just no way we can bring the stock in to EJR Beads and sell it even close to the price the manufacturer is already offering it for. Because the people selling it are basically giving the best trade discounts in the industry already to every lone retail customer that comes along.

Emma

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Peter

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Re: The eternal question... Pricing!
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2013, 04:15:34 PM »
I can only second what Emma says.

Quote
All these methods of pricing at 2 times the materials or whatever just seem naive to me - like plucking figures out of the air. The only way to know if you are covering costs and making profit is to do the sums and SEE if you are covering costs and making profit.

I sell my creations as a business and it was only after the first year that I realised ALL of the costs that are involved (heat, light, phone, internet, travel, accountant, craft fair fees, bank fees etc.  etc. ). The actual cost of materials is only about 1/5 of my total expenditure throughout a year so I need to charge at least x5 materials just to be covering my total costs. Then I need to add my hourly rate plus profit etc.

As to shops? Well I compare commission to the cost of doing a craft fair. Generally I pay 20 - 25% commission in shops which compares less favourably to an average craft fair (where I expect the fees to be around 10 - 15% of my takings). But, I do offset that difference with the exposure that you get in the right shop location which can drive sales and can be regular income. BUT if you look at the paragraph above I have already included this factor into the price that I charge.

I also sell through galleries and these generally charge around 50% commission. For these I only sell original designs that I do not sell through other outlets and so whack the price up accordingly.

ejralph

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Re: The eternal question... Pricing!
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2013, 08:33:02 PM »
Your approach to the gallery question is a great example of thinking outside the box Peter

Some designs don't lend themselves to selling through other outlets and its easier to sell direct. But that doesn't mean you can't work another range of more profitable items for putting into galleries and so on.

Earrings are perfect for this - great sellers and very easy to place in galleries at a price that works for everyone

Emma
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ickledookie

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Re: The eternal question... Pricing!
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 10:53:34 AM »
Some very interesting reads here & I thought I had my pricing down to a fine art till I just read this lot!! Even though my beads are now selling well I realised I wasn't accounting for the time it took me to colour mix. Something so simple yet it totally evaded me.....since I've altered the price of my colour mixed components some have slowed right down on sales.

Then I start doubting myself again but I remind myself there are clay artists out there making stuff similar to me & charging a hell of a lot more. Guess what they have no problems selling their more expensive beads!

Helenka

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Re: The eternal question... Pricing!
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2014, 05:51:23 PM »
Very good advice from Emma. Pricing is always a hot issue for lots of us. I found shops and galleries where I live particularly frustrating - 40% or 50% is the norm and that's usually sale or return-  you have no control over how they handle your stock or display it and you have to chase your stock. I have yet to find a decent outlet. In the meantime I stick to my website and pricing structure and loyal customers and subscribers get the occasional special offer/discount.
Jewellery designer at wwww.helenkawhitedesign.oc.uk and journalist owned by a very demanding moggie.

Alan

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Re: The eternal question... Pricing!
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2014, 09:47:52 PM »
This is something I am going to have to consider very carefully.  I could relate to what Emma and Peter said.

I guess to make a living you can make lots of very quick things and sell cheaply or spend more time on more unique items and charge more.

Designer 'names' do it all the time, don't they?  I saw a necklace by some designer brand the other day in a magazine and it wasn't at all special looking.  It looked like bought beads strung on thread.  No more than that.  Yet it was selling for 125!!!  Personally, I wouldn't have paid 50p. in a charity shop for it.  But I guess that is the bottom line - as has often been said ... Something is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it.  So to Caprizzosa I would say that 60 isn't too much to ask for one of your husband's creations.  If it is unique and someone loves it enough, they will pay it - and probably more!  I guess getting your work seen by enough people is the crux of the matter.  That and the way you market it.

Time after time I see crafts sold for what must barely cover materials.  That is fine if you are doing it as a hobby and the sale enables you to buy the materials to do the next one only.  But if it is your living, then it really has to provide for more than just covering materials and time and some of the other things Peter mentioned.  If your work has some originality, flare, imagination, uniqueness - or whatever you want to call it, then that creativity has a price of it's own, which is more difficult to put a price on, but a price should be put on it.

I think too, that if you are talented at working with polyclay and your work is good - and I'm sure that is true of many members here - then if you charge too little, it undervalues and cheapens your creations.  I see good craft work in the realms of art or even fine art rather than "just little bits and pieces I've knocked together".  Good craft work is much more than that and the price should reflect it.

I think we should never undervalue what we do.  I think, as dysfunctiondesigns said, it's better to start higher and reduce your price if needed.  But, as I say, I'm just starting out and might end up selling what I produce for 25 pence an item!  ;D 
Alan from wet and windy, but deceptively mild Cumbria, UK.
https://etsy.com/uk/shop/AlanCordiner

ejralph

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Re: The eternal question... Pricing!
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2014, 08:22:43 AM »
The trouble with giving yourself low "starting out" prices is that you risk building a customer base who expect to pay that level forever. They won't necessarily appreciate how your skills are improving because customers can be blind to the nuances of techniques and experience level sometimes. They tend to buy because they like something. (Often - not always)

When McDonalds started out, I very much doubt they told customers "hey, have this burger for just a few cents, 'cos we're really not sure on the recipe yet or how to use the kitchens properly"

This is sort of dovetailing well with the other thread we have going on about selling on Facebook etc, which covers the issues of confidence in selling.

I would argue though - it is better to perfect what we are making before starting to sell. And by "perfect" - I do mean just get it to the stage where we personally feel happy charging a living-wage rate for it rather than feel it only worthy of a lower start price.

I'm not meaning you specifically Alan - I know that comment was a throwaway line said in humour. I mean "you" in general "everyone" terms in my comments above, just discussing the concept because your comment prompted those thoughts in me.

Afterall - if we are talking polymer clay beads and jewellery - let's face it, it isn't rocket science! It is quite easy to get a bead to look good - just takes a bit of effort and practice. No-one would be waiting too long to start their career! Just long enough to learn how to bake it properly, how to form nice shapes with pleasing colours, how to sand and finish the clay nicely if the technique and style call for that etc

Emma

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