Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Contest Continues; How I Price Finished Crafts; a Reality Check; and, Half a Hug

Filed under: Retired - Folkcat's Fiber Crafts — folkcat at 9:14 pm on Friday, August 26, 2005

Many thanks to everyone who has commented so far in answer to my questions on yesterday’s post! The advice you are offering about “how many stitch markers make a set?” and “what would you be willing to pay for a set?” is helping me a great deal.

The answers to the first question are enlightening. 5 seems to be popular, with the reasoning being “4 corners and a beginning marker.” Makes sense to me! It seems that, in that case, you’d want a set of 5 where they all coordinate, but one was a little different so you could tell it from the others. Hmm….something to think about!

The second question is meant to provide what I call a “reality check” for the concept of pricing. I’ve got a fair bit of experience with pricing my finished beadwork – I made most of the finished jewelry we sold in my bead store.

The process of pricing, as I go about it, includes two calculations, and a reality check. The first calculation is to add up the cost of all your materials. I then usually double that – we’re presuming you purchased the materials at wholesale quantities.

The second requires you to have decided on an hourly wage for your labor – and remember, if you’re a crafter, we’re talking skilled labor. I usually use a figure of $15/hour. So, start by adding together the cost of your materials, and the cost of your labor.

The final step is the most important – the reality check. This requires some knowledge of the market. What you have to do is ask yourself – and as many people as you can – “How much would you pay for this?”

Let’s say that you are making something with a small amount of inexpensive materials that takes you about 5 minutes to make, yet is an elegant item in much demand. Your materials cost may be under $1, doubling to $2; your labor cost in this case is $1.25. If you based your final price on materials and cost alone, you’d be selling this item for $3.25.

This is why the reality check is so important. Let’s say that most of the similar items in this category sell in the market for between $7-$15 dollars. Compared to that reality, you’d be grossly underselling yourself if you stuck with that $3.25 price point. It would make a decent wholesale price – you could even mark up a little more for that – but not a good price if you’re selling directly to the end consumer.

And thus, I get to the reason why I asked all of you that second question – “How much would you be willing to pay?” I haven’t shopped for beaded stitch markers before. I think my LYS recently started carrying them, but I’ve been too broke to even spend the gas to get there lately. So my personal knowledge of applicable “reality” in this case is sorely lacking.

Based on my eBay research, the answers you’ve been kindly offering are right on the mark. And that makes me feel pretty good about the prospects of it being a reasonable business proposition to try to sell these stitch markers.

I’ll hold my final decision about what number to put in the sets for a little longer. After all, you’ve got until midnight Sunday night (Eastern time) to continuing adding comments to the contest!

Oh, yes – the Half a Hug. That’s the progress I’ve made on Wearable Hug 11 – I’ve reached the halfway point! There must be an impending need for this one, it’s urging me to finish in record time!

Thanks for reading, and thanks so much for your input! Be watching Monday when I’ll announce the winner, and keep adding your comments until midnight Sunday!

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