How to Price Made Easier
Thinking about selling those crafts you’ve been giving away as gifts or maybe you are just running out of rooms to put them in? Sites like Etsy.com are reporting record sales of handmade items. But craft makers taking the initial leap into starting a home business share a burning question: “how to price my handmade products so I make a profit?”
James Dillehay, author of the new book How to Price Crafts and Things You Make to Sell says that the key question you need to focus on is this: “how much will people pay for products like mine?”
Dillehay’s book offers a wealth of guidance into how to price crafts and unique personal creations. Here are some of his best ideas on getting it right quickly:
How to Price: Quick Tips
Know Your Production Costs
- Identify the material costs – know exactly what it costs you to make an item. Include all materials, even small stuff like thread, paint, accessories, and other items that may have cost you only pennies. Example: a handmade gift contains $4 worth of materials.
- Determine the cost of labor – what your time is worth to you. If your personal minimum wage is $12 an hour, then multiply $12 times the hours it takes you to make one piece. Example: the handcrafted gift takes one hour to make for a labor cost of $12.
- Identify all your overhead costs. Cover overhead expenses like rent, utilities, phone, etc. Look at your monthly costs and divide it by the hours you work or the number of items you produce. Calculate a unit cost for overhead or use an estimated number like 25% of your material and labor costs added together. Let’s say overhead comes to $4 for the gift example.
- Calculate a total cost per unit. Add the material cost, cost of labor and overhead cost together. Example: $4 + $12 + $4 = $20. This is the minimum amount you must recover when you sell the item, but not necessarily how to price it for sale.
Research the Market Price
- Identify similar products in the marketplace where you will be selling. Document retail prices. Research prices for similar items online. Visit local craft fairs or retail stores. Talk to the owners and ask them what items like yours sell for, even how to price them, and what they are willing to buy them for. Note: stores will usually double or triple their cost when calculating how to price at retail.
- Decide if you can make a profit. If the average retail price of similar items is higher than your minimum recovery cost, you stand to make a profit. Go ahead and start selling.
- Reduce your materials, labor and overhead costs so you don’t lose money. Stop and reconsider. Can you lower your costs? Can you make the item faster? If not, look at alternative products to make.
- Improve the perceived value. Increase the perceived value of your item by improving or enhancing any number of its core elements, packaging or the creator’s reputation. Photography, product samples, packaging, display, location, environmental qualities, media coverage, the creators’ qualifications and unique accomplishments and credentials, every and any known way to add uniqueness and quality to the product for the customer. This step is vital for how to price items higher without encountering customer resistance.
Don’t lower the price
- Resist lowering the price. Don’t think that you’ll sell more because you won’t. Unique handmade products command higher prices everywhere. People associate low prices with cheaply made items. In fact, you may have to raise an item’s price till you find the best selling price.
ISBN for paperback edition: 9780971068476
ASIN for Kindle edition: B006LQVR2W
ISBN for e-book edition: 9781466100411
How to Price Crafts: Table of Contents
Published by Warm Snow Publishers
About the author
James Dillehay is a professional craft artist, gallery owner, and author of nine books. He has been interviewed in The Wall Street Journal Online, Yahoo Finance, The Chicago Tribune, Bottom Line Personal, Family Circle, The Crafts Report, and many more including Entrepreneur Radio and HGTV. James is founder of www.Craftsu.com, a social network where craft artists can buy and sell for free.
What People Are Saying about How to Price Crafts and Things You Make to Sell
“Once I found this book I said “this is exactly what I need!”” ~ Lene Randol
“Pricing your art is an impossible task that James Dillehay has totally solved. This book covers EVERYTHING you ever needed to know about how to price your hand made crafts.”~ CB Burton
“Well put together and very informative, every crafter can benefit from this information.” ~ Michelle T.
“There’s so much valuable information in here that I highly recommend it to any crafter who’d like to make a profit on her wares.” ~ H. Grove, Maryland, USA
“An excellent resource . . . a well-organized book is nothing without solid information and the book delivers here.” ~ The Crafts Report (reviewing the previous edition of How to Price Crafts originally titled The Basic Guide to Pricing Craftwork)