Folksy Ltd

Pricing your items

(Liz Clark) #1

I’ve recently reviewed my prices and raised them to bring them into line with selling via bricks and mortar art shops (which I’m currently considering). I’ve used advice from the Folksy Blog to do this (

I wondered how many other Folksy sellers on here considered this advice and have raised their prices to pay themselves a wage and cover their costs etc. Having looked at some very lovely and beautiful work on here it appears that some are not paying themselves an hourly rate.

So, how do you price your items?

(Jacqueline Austen) #2

Sadly, I don’t pay myself an hourly rate. I am worried that if I raise my prices to cover more than the costs of the materials plus a little bit, then people wont buy. I have seen other items by other Folksters who sell similar items on here whose prices are higher. Their sales don’t seem to suffer, so maybe I should consider it? I am concerned that I might put off any regular customers I have.

Just thinking about it, I don’t think I have raised my prices for years! Just swallowing the rising costs of materials - a silly business plan really…

Jacqueline x

(Juniper Spools) #3

I think pricing is really hard.

We make all our crafts as a hobby so we keep our prices low as we are trying to cover costs and keep our hobby going. But for those who run as a business it a little different.

@BigBirdLittleBird I hope your price increase goes well

@JAustenJewelleryDesign I think that if I was a regular customer I would expect prices to rise a little over the years. At a craft fair I sell at each christmas a couple of our regular customers have commented that we have not increased our prices in the last few years and that we need to as they would be willing to pay more for our items.

Juniper Spools

(Jacqueline Austen) #4

Thank you @JuniperSpools I will think about doing that. It has been about 15 years now!

Jacqueline x

(Hopscotchlane) #5

I find pricing the hardest thing but here’s something I read earlier on a facebook page bear with me it’s a little long but makes a good point I think…A lady wanted to purchase a beautiful hand crocheted dress and spotted a crafter who did absolutely amazing work The lady thought that her price was way too high and said “I want to buy a dress from you, but I think you charge too much.” The crafter said “Ok, how much do you think i should charge?” The lady replied “I think you should charge “X” much, because the yarn will cost this much, and ribbons this much, and buttons this much. I even factored in the price of scissors." the crafter said"Ok, deal. You will get your dress in a week". A week later her parcel arrives in a lovely packaged box. She opens it and inside is yarn, ribbons, buttons and even scissors. Angrily she contacts the crafter asking “How could you do this to me? I asked you for a dress. The crafter quietly replies "My dear, you got exactly what you paid for
Moral of the story, when you buy handmade you are not just buying the materials you are buying the crafters, time, effort, love and dedication that goes into making your items

(Jacqueline Austen) #6

Wow! I wish I had the guts to do that! A good point well made though.

I have thought about raising prices before and put a topic on the old forums about a year or so ago. One of my regular customers said that if my prices went higher, she wouldn’t buy as it would be out of her price range. So I am in a dilemma… Raise prices to be fair and reasonable, but have no customers or keep prices as they are, make a few sales but not a wage… Hummmm…

(Hopscotchlane) #7

that’s 1 customer not necessarily reflecting the thoughts of all??? Why don’t you send your regular customers a mail shot explaining why it would be necessary to raise your prices and see what reactions come back at least then you’ll know

(Stephanie Guy) #8

I include my time when I price each item, so if I sold all my paintings then I would indeed make a living wage. The flaw in the plan is that I don’t sell them all - I sell around a quarter of everything I list, so really I should multiply my prices by 4. By which time I’d have priced myself out of the market!

Stephie [Stephanie Guy Fine Art][1] [1]:

(Helen Smith) #9

That’s always the problem Stephanie!

I think it is really important to sit down and actually work out the true cost of making your items, including your time and overheads as well as the materials.  So many people just make a stab in the dark at their prices.  Once you’ve worked out your fixed costs the only thing that is going to vary is the hourly rate you pay yourself.  If you work out a formula you will be able to see exactly what you are paying yourself.

Having done all that you may decide not to alter your prices but at least you will know then what you are doing.

My feeling is that it is generally better to sell fewer items for more realistic prices than to sell a lot cheaply.

(Jacqueline Austen) #10

Perhaps I will try a slow and steady increase of a pound or two to start and review it every few months until I get the right balance?

Does that sound reasonable?

Stephanie - I know what you mean. Some of my pieces take days to complete, so if I took into account the minimum wage, I too would be out of the market. Unless I re-name my shop ‘Tifanys’ perhaps?

(Liz Clark) #11

I remember arguing with the Folksy team over this. At the time I made soft toys and just charged for materials and then added on a bit extra which was a donation to charity. I still had people look at my items and say they were too much!! They were comparing my handmade toys with what they could buy in the shops. Now there is no way I could compete with a large manufacturer. And then after reading the article Folksy posted I had a long hard think about what I was trying to do. Thinking about my target customer. Whether this was a hobby or a business.

I also recalled some words of wisdom from a fellow crafter; if you don’t value what you do, why would others? And so I changed because I want those that purchase my items to feel they are purchasing something of value.

I get a lot of positive response to my birds, animal heads and other items when people see them, and will be trying out the new prices at two new fairs I’ll be attending where my target audience will be shopping. I’ll let you all know how it goes LOL.

(Margaret Jackson) #12

Jacqueline, just because some, or one, regular customer mightn’t be able to buy from you any more doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your prices up. There will be other customers who earn more who will still buy and you might attract different customers too. You have to think of your business first and if you haven’t put your prices up for that long you really should think about it.

(Minerva) #13

We don’t charge what we can afford. We need to charge what is right. There is such a wide range of buyers out there with so many different buying habits. Some are looking for a special gift, some are big spenders, some can simply afford to treat themselves or loved ones to something nice. And of course, there are people who associate low price with low quality.

But you have to be reasonable too. If the materials/work are not of good quality and the price of the items is high then this difference might confuse buyers. Everything has to match.

(Jacqueline Austen) #14

Thank you everyone - sorry if I have hogged the thread somewhat.I will be doing my returns once the little ones go back to school, so I will be able to see if I am making any money overall and I will have a long hard look at my prices. Until then - grab a bargain if you like!

Jacqueline x

(Trevor Harvey) #15

I like Stephie try to price mine to include the time and effort that goes into making each of my pictures, plus I don’t want make it look as though my work is cheap and nasty - I want people to know and appreciate the difference between what I make and mass produced work

(Fabriccreationsbygiggle) #16

Hi all, quite new to all this.
Pricing…I always find this really hard. The main problem I see is that many people like the look of our items, but think hand crafted should be cheap! They think that if you have a big brand name item then it’s ok to pay large amounts but they don’t want to pay for the hours we put in as we are not famous! @hopscotchlane, I think you’ve found the exact description of what many people think! Claire

(Nifty) #17

very true. I was once “advised” by someone who said they knew the price of my yarn and that therefore I was overpricing - but it’s not my yarn I’m selling. It’s my time and skill and ingenuity. wish I’d had the nerve to unpick something!

Of course, the person who made those remarks is NOT your (or my) target demographic.

(Nifty) #18

I think many people are living in the past. When I was a child (I’m getting very close to 60!) home-made was cheap, shop-bought was expensive. So kids like me who had to wear jumpers knitted by our mums and grans to school were looked down on.

This is completely different now of course! Asda and wherever knock out sweatshirts for next to nothing.

We have even changed the word, from home-made to handmade. Most people now understand that most of us are richer in money than in time, and will pay the price to get someone to spend their precious time handmaking for them.

Anyone who still thinks along the lines of “homemade is cheap” is not our buyer.

(Helen Smith) #19

But even then (and I was brought up in homemade dresses) homemade was only cheap because you (or your mum) supplied the labour…

There was a time when I wouldn’t consider buying a dress or skirt, I would always make. But then decent fabric got sooo expensive and clothes got so much cheaper. Plus people have got taller generally so now I can wear something off the peg now without looking like an awkward teenager who’s just had a growth spurt and grown out of their clothes (not a good look at my age!)

(Helen Smith) #20

I think perhaps it is the older generation who remember making themselves who think that handmade should be cheap. Whereas often the younger generation are amazed that an ordinary person can, for example, knit socks, as it’s quite outside their experience. So perhaps one answer is to make sure that your designs appeal to the younger rather than the older generation? Of course, not many of them have any money to spend so then perhaps you need to make it a truly aspirational purchase, one to be saved up for. That’s one approach anyway!