How do you price your hand-crafted products?

6 Dec

Do you know the correct formula for pricing your hand-crafted products? Do you keep meticulous records of what your costs are? Do you know what your own time is worth? Or do you just guess?

When I was making lots of quilts, I would have people asking all the time if they could buy one. But of course, they are usually thinking they can get it for a similar price as if they went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Target. They are usually astounded by what I say my prices are, and I confess that I have sold products for prices that are much too low (although I do try to at least get my cost of materials out of the deal). But I also haven’t been in the position that what I sell is putting food on my table or paying my bills. I’ve sold hand-crafted items simply because somebody wanted what I had, and I didn’t need it myself. And I know I have given discounts to friends or family when they have purchased items from me (don’t we all do that?). Why does there seem to be so much guilt associated with asking a fair price for your hand-crafted work?

How do you go about pricing the products you make yourself? All of the time and creativity and money and love that goes into those items is of value!  For many artisans, we probably just guess at what our prices should be. Maybe we try to price our items similar to what store-bought items might be (not really the best way), or somebody tells you what they would be willing to pay for the item (really?), or we try to figure out how much money we would like to make (how much is that?). If you are trying to sell as a wholesaler, perhaps the stores you are marketing to are influencing what your prices are (be sure to stand up for yourself!). Or any one of a number of other equally inefficient ways. Perhaps we have tried to read books or articles about it, but have been confused or overwhelmed by all the information (there is a LOT of information out there). Or perhaps we just think that we are artists and all that practical side of the industry is for somebody else to think about. After all, we are Creating and Inventing and Inspiring, and we don’t have time for the nonsense of Paperwork and Business.

I found this article about pricing that I think really spells it all out. It is easy to understand, easy to practice, and explains why! The article is posted on the Oh! Boyd Enterprises website. They create handmade leather purses and accessories, which are quite beautiful. I really loved the article though, and recommend everyone read it and bookmark it for future reference.

There is excellent information about how to figure what your cost of goods number is, what your overhead is, what your time is worth, etc. Everyone should read this!


5 Responses to “How do you price your hand-crafted products?”

  1. Sonja Milojevic December 6, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    I also give discounts to friends and family, and also have trouble figuring out how much I should charge for my items. I often wish I wouldn’t have to bother with that, wish I could just do what I love to do and don’t think about pricing and selling. Thank you for the link, I’m going to read the article right away! 🙂


    • Deb Prewitt December 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

      I think a lot of people feel the same way Sonja, which is why this article really spells it all out for you, and why you should care about it.


  2. Linda December 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    The article is too long to ready now, but I will come back later.


    • Deb Prewitt December 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

      Linda, it is a long article, but well worth the time to read it. I hope you can get back to it later.



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