Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pricing - or how much am "I" worth

So we have decided who our target market is and from that we have hopefully determined what things we create that will be appealing to that market. We even excitedly create some pieces that we "hope" will sell. Translated - I hope they like ME. Our work is part of our soul and our mind. Even when we create a chair, photo, painting or piece of music for possible sale, it is still a reflection of what we feel people will want to buy that we create. We take it personally because - face it - our creations are personal.

Now we face the difficult task of pricing our work. Especially if we are new to selling our work the task of coming up with a price for our efforts is terrifying. After all - aren't we just a "wannabe" artists? No one could possibly want our work, or if they do they don't want to pay a lot of money for it. So we make a HUGE mistake and try to guess at how much it should sell for based on mass produced overseas items that are similar to our work. Let me ask you -- how is something created by a machine or created by hand using a set formula and pattern by poorly paid overseas laborers any thing at all like what you have created? It's made from the same basic material and it serves a similar function but after that . . . ??? For artists the best (or should we say worst) example of this is on the Etsy site. I have seen artists who still think they are just "crafters" putting prices on their creations that can't even pay for the supplies that went into the piece let alone pay them for their time, their expenses and allow them to make a profit. Then for the artists who decide to use that site to offer their work but who correctly price their work, these artists end up losing out to the artists underpricing their work. One artist on the MC group I am in said she was leaving Etsy because her clients who knew and bought her work through other venues would go out to that site to look at her offerings and end up distracted by the lower priced items.

When we place a price on our creations to be sold we have to remember we are NOT placing a price on us but rather on a material piece that represents our creativity. So how do we accurately come up with a realistic and accurate price?

Over on the "Sites to check out" on this blog is a site called Home Jewelry Success Tips by Rena Klingenberg . Rena has found great articles from all over on running a jewelry business. She has a section on pricing jewelry, which contains various articles from different sources on pricing formulas as well as subjects like - if cutting prices help with sales, how to price haggle with customers, factoring in design and experimentation time and other great articles on the value and worth of your creations. Read them all. Then pick a pricing formula that works for you and you feel comfortable with. I picked one, did some calulations of some pieces I had and then went out on the web to other artists offering comperable work (who I knew understood the worth of their work) and found the formula I had picked out was right on target with their pricing (I was a little lower because as I am newer at this business I "pay" myself at a lower rate).

Okay - trying to get stuff together for my accountant so best stop avoiding it. I'd rather be creating but this is part of having a business too. Later . . .


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