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Thread: How do you price your work

  1. #1
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    Default How do you price your work

    Pricing my work is something I've always found difficult, but now that I've started working in silver, I'm finding it harder. I've just made a load of button earrings - see my gallery and post of earwires. I'm wondering what to price them at and don't want to just pull a figure out of the aire - I'd like to be able to know what's the best way to price them.

    So how do you experts out there price your work and what tips can you give me to figure out prices for my work.

    Many thanks
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  2. #2
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    Basically:

    Materials total x 2 + Labour (I earn 20 / hour) = TOTAL

    Now the TOTAL above can be added to to cover shipping (so you offer free shipping to your customers because nothing is ever REALLY truly free) you also need to cover overheads (electric, water, petrol to take them to the post office, wear and tear on your car, bus fairs, tools wear and tear, website costs etc etc etc) I usually add a certain % on depending on what is is made of or if it is a bespoke order or not.

    Everyone has their own different ways of costing up their stuff but everyone should do it as it's no use selling something for 3 if it cost 10 to make... that's just bad business (and what most people on etsy and the likes are doing it seems).

  3. #3
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    One thing to consider is whether you want to sell your work wholesale - ie to shops/galleries. As you may have to practically double your selling price to account for their cut.
    Last edited by AlexandraBuckle; 20-07-2009 at 01:15 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Bijou Dragon View Post
    Basically:
    Materials total x 2 + Labour (I earn 20 / hour) = TOTAL

    Everyone has their own different ways of costing up their stuff but everyone should do it as it's no use selling something for 3 if it cost 10 to make... that's just bad business (and what most people on etsy and the likes are doing it seems).
    I agree that the above is a good pricing matrix, however (from experience) there are a lot of Hobby jewellers who price things as 2 or 3 times material cost & don't even include labour, then there are the importers of this world where the things are handmade but by folks being paid 50p an hour

    There is also the fact that when we are making a new design it's going to take us longer than if we'd set up a it of a production line....some of my bigger more dramatic pieces in the 100+ bracket I'm probably only making 4-5.00 per hour on (less than minimum wage) but they are "advertising" pieces that get folks to visit my shop.

    My best sellers are pendants in the 20-35 range, rings in the 25-40 and Earrings in 10-20 ranges. So the decision is sometimes what should this be and then what realistically is the market value.

    If I saw your button earrings in an Arts and Crafts tent I'd expect to pay somewhere in the 25-30 range but at the higher price point I'd dither....
    On folksy/Etsy I'd expect them to be 16 to 22...However if they were priced at 10 I'd think "they can't be made very well" (go figure, but it's the way many folks are).

    As a shop owner if someone came to me to sell them wholesale I'd expect them to be about 10 so I could sell them at a profit...
    I have no idea how much time they take you I'm just giving you an honest opinion on the market value I'd expect them to be, apologies if they take you a whole day each and should be 65 a pair.

    Nic x
    Monthly FREE entry giveaways on Blogs!
    Shop Blog: http://muranosilver.blogspot.com/
    Silver Clay Blog: http://pmctips.blogspot.com/
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the feedback - I think it's interesting to see how people figure stuff out. I certainly don't think I'd price my pieces according to an hourly rate. I'm thinking more along the lines of materials and overheads used and that also takes into account the packaging.

    As for the buttons earrings I've been making I think I'm always going to be making them in batches of ten or more and this certainly speeds up the process and it's easier to work on stuff in a production line rather than just one item as I have such a small workspace that I need to set up everything for soldering, Do all of that, then clear the decks to work on finishing.

    I was thinking of pricing them at between 25-30 - lower prices range for my online shop to allow for the p&p cost on top of that. Probably do the same for craft fairs but I'd have to see how people react to the prices and adjust accordingly. The higher range would be for shops as I have to consider the commission that is taken for each item sold.

    I've found in the past that pricing can be trial and error - lots of items I have for sale at craft fairs have been adjusted in price over the past year as I hear people's comments and learn from them what people would expect to pay for something. I've reduced some of my bracelets from 25 to 15 for instance as I can sell more. I'd rather sell more at a lower price than hardly any at the higher price. They were originally 25 as they took a long time to make and I'd seen similar items in Edinburgh shops selling for that price. But I found people tunring their nose up at the price.

    Venturing into selling silver items is going to be a learning process as there is so much more to consider. I will eventually get my own formula for prices, but it's nice to hear how other people go about figuring out their costs.
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  6. #6
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    If you're not going to charge an hourly rate where are your wages going to come from?

    If you want to work for nothing that's your choice but it does make it exceptionally difficult for people who need to earn a living as often we get the "well they do X for X amount why can't you?"

    Just something to bear in mind

  7. #7
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    I work as a freelance web designer - that's where I get my wages from - that's what pays the bills. My jewellery is a sideline.

    If I was to charge my normal hourly rate of 35ph for my earrings they'd be about 90 a pair and that's not including the cost of materials and overheads.

    I doubt anyone would pay 90 for a pair of earrings. I know I certainly wouldn't unless they contained precious stones for instance.

    That's why I think it might be better for me to price according to materials used+overheads - I will take into account how long it's taken me to make and will just have to come up with a rate for that, which I guess is an hourly rate - but this might change depending on the coomplexity of the work and the processes involved.

    I'm just a beginner and trying to figure out the best way to price whilst also considering the current market and interest in this type of work. I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes here - just looking to discuss and share opinions/thoughts/formulas.
    Find Milomade online - follow the links below....
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  8. #8
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    Eek I wasn't having a go it's just that I (like alot of people on here) rely on my business to put food on the table, I don't have another job so people who don't cost in their time undercut people like us and we are the ones who lose out on sales if you see what I mean!

    Would be like me not charging for my time when I do websites, it doesn't make it a fair playing field and I'm sure you'd be annoyed if people said they were coming to me instead of you because I do it X amount cheaper.

    Like I say it wasn't meant to be accusatory or rude it's just that I'm struggling to get anything out of my business as it is (infact I've had hardly any money for three years).

  9. #9
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    I totally understand where you're coming from and I have the same problem with regards to web design - I'm competing with loads of students out there who live at home with their parents and have no rent or rates to pay, don't have to pay for their broadband connection, telephone bills etc - bascially they have no overheads and can get away with charging a lot less that me.

    I'm lucky though that I get 95% of my work through recomendation - my clients do all my advertising for me and each new client brings new recomedations.

    I'm sure that once I get more experienced with silver, the time it takes me to make a pair of earrings will be reduced and so the price will more realistically reflect an hourly rate of 20-30. That's what I'm aiming for. Over the w/e I've noticed finishing off each pair has got faster - the first day I made only two pairs, then the next I managed to finish off another 4 - tonight I've got three to finish off and I know that won't take long. So just in one w/e my skills have improved.
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  10. #10
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    Unfortunately it is my honest belief that the UK market is such that people generally either:
    1) Pay for a brand in which case you need a "name" which has to be built up over time or marketed via high ticket sales websites like Astley Clarke
    2) Expect you to compete (to a degree) with high street prices.
    If you are making one off individual pieces of jewellery and haven't yet built up a "following" then expect to be poor. Happy making what you want and experimenting with design, but poor.

    Here's a few scenarios:
    Scenario A - The Individual Creator:
    You spend 12 hours making a one off sterling silver bracelet and would like to pay yourself 20 an hour, plus lets assume it's nice and solid and the components cost you at least 40 then you had to have it hallmarked.
    So you'd be looking at a 330 bracelet.

    The customer goes to the high street and realises they can go and buy a Tiffany bracelet for the same price - OK it's made overseas, in bulk and there's hundreds of others just like it (not including copies) but which is the average wife going to ask for and which is the average hubby most likely to buy??

    We are looking for needles in haystacks, customers who like stunning (or even quirky) individualism, are prepared to pay a UK made premium and who like your work.

    Scenario B - Outsourcing, Casting and Wholesaling
    This is where those that have "served their time" will often begin to make a viable living. They design and make a one off piece with a view to replicating it in larger numbers (either in the UK or via outsourcing). The initial design time is then split between the replicated pieces increasing the profit per piece....This also allows you to wholesale your jewellery and be on websites that need stock levels and a uniform image.
    The down side is that it often results in small niche collections as the initial mould making costs are higher (+ you need them to be very commercial & fall into a suitable wholesale cost bracket).

    Scenario C - Some Making, some selling on
    This is where I am currently, I own a little shop and have about 25% my own makings, 25% other small companies and individuals makings and 50% more unusual but commercial offerings.
    The 75% of stuff that isn't mine allows me to enjoy making the 25% that IS mine without worrying about the bills.

    It's in my 5 year plan to eventually move more to Scenario B, do one of the big shows and start to build a saleable brand & style. My only worry is I don't want to put myself into the Rat Race again. I used to sell computer software and have a salary 3 x my current income (which I spent aimlessly shopping and cheering myself up). Now I'm a happy & poor artisan jeweller (well not quite poor as I have a addictive tool habit & would be much richer if it wasn't for that!! :p)

    Nic x
    Monthly FREE entry giveaways on Blogs!
    Shop Blog: http://muranosilver.blogspot.com/
    Silver Clay Blog: http://pmctips.blogspot.com/
    View images of my work on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/muranosilver

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