Wednesday, November 21, 2012

let's talk about pricing....again

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post about pricing that has become the most widely read post on my blog.  The fact that it gets so much attention and traffic makes me happy because I want others in the handmade/indie business world to correctly price their items. It is important that we as a community value our work.

I also wrote about pricing and valuing your work on Design*Sponge about a year ago. Obviously it is something I am passionate about :).   My blog has a small reach, but Design*Sponge has a ridiculous reach, so I know the message is out there and I know many of you have the same frustrations.

My personal frustrations stem from the fact low prices hurt the entire handmade community.

After vending at The Queen Bee Market last weekend, I saw so many LOW prices.  As I walked around and shopped, I was constantly impressed with the quality of work and the creativity that each and every seller possessed.  And I will admit, as a shopper, the low prices were enticing but they are damaging in the long run.

Don't get me wrong, many vendors set their prices just right - high enough to make a profit but low enough to be competitive.  However, every few booths, my eyes would pop out of my head when I would spot jewelry priced lower than that at Forever 21 or Claires.  

I know how much certain materials cost and I know that some of these materials are really inexpensive but we cannot forget all the other factors.  Factors such as marketing costs, packaging materials, booth fees, and your time.  Your time and my time is worth SO much more than a few dollars per hour.

The whole pricing issue in the handmade world can be a really frustrating topic.  I know I shouldn't let it frustrate me and I should just focus on my own product and blah, blah, blah.  But this isn't my hobby, this is my livelihood.  And when I see products similar to mine priced for a third of what I sell mine for, I want to scream.

I know so many of you who read this blog are also small business owners and we all struggle with the fine line of making a living and setting fair prices.  It isn't the easiest thing to do.  

When I first opened my business, I was in the mindset that "lower is better," but over the years I have realized that that couldn't be further from the truth.

There is no need to be greedy when pricing, but we do need to focus on fair pricing.  Our culture is addicted to cheap goods but trust me, there is room for reasonably priced goods.  

This is how I price my items ~

When I attend a handmade market,  I am expecting to pay a little more than I would at say, Target.  If we continue to price our items at a Target level, then we will create a thinking that handmade is cheap.  Cheap is a word I would never use to describe my business, so why would I want to give that impression with super low prices?

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