View Full Version : Help with Pricing

08-22-2004, 03:54 PM
Hi, sorry I don't have a picture, (my scanner is outdated for my newer computer and I don't have a digital camera yet!) but I really need help pricing an item. Please keep in mind I am just starting out and live in an area of the U.S that isn't as well off as average and prices tend to be lower here. My necklace is selling in a relatives store on a route traveled by tourists often. Thsi store has not sold jewerly before, but does have a case and sells fine crafts like woodworked things and apples. (As theres an orchard there.) The necklace is a pendant, a lanscape bead that came out very nicely in shape and form with trees and moon, dichro stars (lampworked by me). The pendant is about 3/4 an inxh tall and less than half wide. I used some goldfilled and sterling silver beads to set it, and its crimped in the middle of some black accuflex. I took a lot of time on the bead as I work on a Hothead torch and put a lot of detail and colors in the bead. Materials together I think cost me $11.75 and I probably spent 1 to 1 and half hours on the whole peice. How would you price this? I don't want it to be too high because i want it to sell, and plus my family ( who don't have that much idea of jewerly and handmade glass beads prices.) have the idea that all my prices I come up with are way to high. But I am afraid of selling too low as well because I really want to make this a good business and be able to pay for my kiln, torch glass, supplies etc. Also I don't want to hurt other lampworkers who sell higher just because I made some stupid pricing mistakes! These landscape necklaces will hopefully be a popular item in this certain store because they go with the stores theme and I think would appeal to the customers that are there, and also happen to be something I very much enjoy making. They are also one of a kind very unique items as are most all lampworked beads. This is the first real store I am going to be in and am planning to put my things more stores soon. Thanks for all your help!

08-22-2004, 05:02 PM

I've give you the advice I've seen repeated here often ... set an hourly rate for yourself that is fair and accounts for your experience & talent. $60 a hour has been quoted by one successful lampworker; I've just heard $75 quoted by a very successful beader & jewelrymaker. I wouldn't put myself in the sphere of either of these folks ... if I were to price my work this way, I'd be more in the realm of $20/hr. Then take your cost and multiply it times four for retail ... double check me, someone, for accuracy on this formula.

I actually just try to figure out what the market will bear ... and then my friend & show partner jacks the price up at least ten bucks. I'm terrible at pricing my own work ...

I hope you get lots more answers.


08-22-2004, 05:31 PM
I personally stick to the $60 an hour rate, but I have never worked on a bead for more than 1/2 an hour. I guess it is my ADD at work there. When I do a wire wrapped pendant that is just a bead a couple of crystals, some metal and a wire loop I charge $15. BUT I don't usually do too crazy of a bead on there either. Remember also, that if it takes you an insane amount of time to do a piece that would take someone else 5 minutes to make, you don't need to be billing at $60 an hour. It would be MUCH easier to help you if we could see it. Is it just a pendant or is it on a chain?

08-22-2004, 05:31 PM
mandy - because you have already figured out your material cost and the length of time it took to make(the hard part!) check out the crafters calculator
i've tried it a couple of times and seems pretty accurate - it gives you a place to start - ebay can help sometimes to see what the going rate for a similar item can be and remember - you can always raise your prices here and there to get to where you want to be but it is hard to explain a lower one to a repeat customer - good luck :wink2:

08-22-2004, 06:16 PM

I actually just try to figure out what the market will bear ... and then my friend & show partner jacks the price up at least ten bucks. I'm terrible at pricing my own work ...


You sound just like me! I hem and haw and change the prices at least 4 times on my site and then still get flak from DH and girlfriends that I'm not charging enough...

08-22-2004, 11:12 PM
I want YOUR friends! For every 10 customers/relatives who whine that my prices are "too high" (they aren't--I tend to the low side) I get at least one person who declares to her kid "you don't want that, it's just cheap junk" (mind you, it's a sterling/pearl/swarovski bracelet we're talking about!)
I've got one store that sells next to nothing of mine because my stuff is "too nice & too high priced" for the area, & another that sells my lower end stuff "too fast" for me to keep her stocked--it's a $8 item exactly the same in BOTH stores....dunno why it sells one place (where it's in a basket, on a tiny stand, nearly invisible) & not the other (where it's displayed just lovely, the woman does wonderful stuff with her merchandise, just doesn't sell it!)
I'm a big fan of the crafters calculator--for everything EXCEPT earrings! Quickie earrings always get marked up--a bunch! No one believes their really sterling & swarovski if they aren't at LEAST $10! (Mine are $12.95)

08-22-2004, 11:27 PM
Well I've heard it over and over again, if you don't value the work you do and set a price to reflect that, then no one else will either.

I've also heard, if you aren't selling, then you need to raise your prices - if it's not priced at what it's worth - or at what other people sell the same quality items for, then people will not think it's a bargain, they will think it's junk.

I've also heard (LOL - me with pricing advice - this is really funny) that you should start out pricing how you would expect to down the road when you are established - it will be hard to raise prices and explain that to your existing customers down the road.

SO....I'm thinking you either have to make cheap jewelry if you have a cheap market, or find a way to sell to a market that appreciates fine materials and design.

Here are some pricing links in case anyone needs them:




Hope this helps!

08-23-2004, 09:03 AM
Unless you are an experienced bead maker, I don't think time should enter in to the equation. If it did, one would on average pay the LESS experienced artist MORE than the experienced, and presumably higher quality, artist.

I think you should take your costs --double or triple them and this is what you make (Double or triple depending on your market). Then when you go to the retail store you tell them -- this is what I want out of this piece -- you can set it for whatever you want. Generally, retail is a 50-50 split, so most will then again double the price to get their split.