After watching a Youtube video on pricing handmade jewelry, I thought to myself, what if I could price and sell mine? I dabbled with the idea of selling my jewelry creations in the past and assumed it was as simple as slapping a reasonable price on a piece and calling it a day. Learning that there was a way to properly price my handmade jewelry so that it sells quickly and makes me a small profit, made me more inclined to give selling a try.
I imagine that there are many jewelry creators out there that have their pricing down pat, but I’m sure there are also many, like myself, who have no idea where to begin. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to the jewelry making game and are interested in earning some extra income on what you love to do, check out these tips for pricing your jewelry.
THERE ARE FOUR MAIN POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN PRICING JEWELRY TO SELL:
COST OF MATERIALS
TIME SPENT ON THE PROJECT
How are each of these considered when pricing jewelry? Let’s break it down.
COST OF MATERIALS
Cost of materials may be the most important factor when pricing jewelry. Making a profit on something requires an investment and that investment in this case are your raw materials. When pricing jewelry you need to be sure to adequately cover the cost of the goods you are selling. This is where making a profit happens. Materials can be expensive, especially gemstones, precious metals, freshwater pearls, crystals, etc. The more expensive the materials, the higher the price point of the jewelry.
Let’s say you have a pair of earrings to sell and the materials to make those earrings cost approximately $8.00. You’ll want to price those earrings for absolutely NO LESS than that amount. Otherwise, you might as well throw some money out the window. And who in their right mind would do that???
As you’re making a piece of jewelry, write down the costs of your materials as you go. Be sure to include EVERYTHING. Thread, crimp beads, findings, glue, etc. IT ALL ADDS UP! You’d be surprised by how much you actually use. Put the finished piece in a plastic bag or a box with the materials and cost list in it so you don’t forget. When you’re pricing your pieces later, you’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips
In addition to the raw materials of your jewerly, there may be some additonal costs you’re not thinking about. Don’t forget to include any packaging costs. Perhaps you provide a nice gift box with your jewelry or a simple earring hanger. Don’t forget to include that in your costs. Even further, if you’re selling online, you are incurring additional costs like postal packaging and shipping/handling. Don’t forget about these and write them down!
Here is an example:
Beads: $4 Thread: $2 Findings: $1.50 Glue: $.50 Gift box: $1.00 Postage: $4.00 Postal Packaging: $2.00 TOTAL: $15.00
To markup or not to markup?
It is totally acceptable to add a markup to your raw materials. Everyone does it! Consider adding a 30% increase on your materials cost to cover hidden overhead costs. It will make you a few extra bucks in the end. You be the judge.
TIME IS MONEY
How do you value your time? Have you ever asked yourself how much your time is worth? What rate would you wish to be paid? What rate do you think is fair? Once you’ve asked yourself those questions, decide on a rate for yourself. For each project, be sure to reference the time it took your in your notes.
As you’re working on a project, keep accurate track of how long it takes you and take note for reference later when planning a price.
More intricate beading projects like the Tchacka Boom Bangle may take you a few hours, while a simple wirewrapped pedant necklace may take an hour or less. Your time is valuable and the pricing of your jewelry should reflect that.
Here is an example:
Hourly Rate: $10/hour Time for project(including color section, creation, and finishing): 4 hours Total cost of labor: $10/hr x 4 hours = $40
In time, and with experience, a beader will be able increase their speed on projects. What used to take 4 hours may now require only 3. Don’t feel as though you need to lower your price because you worked faster. You can if you want, or you can keep your price on that project the same and make a larger profit.
Current PRICE: Materials $15 + Labor $40 = $55, but we aren’t done yet!
For some of your pieces, the price tag is going to climb pretty high. What if it took you 4 hours to make a bracelet at a $20/hour rate with materials costing you about $15? Your beautiful piece of work now costs $95! Woah!
Can the market bear that price? Or is that going to be a hard sell to consumers?
Bead weavers know the time it takes for quality work and many recognize that and are willing to pay the price. Others may gasp at the high price tag. Some consumers have large amounts of disposable income and if that is your target market, then you could likely sell higher priced items to them. If you’re targeting a market where disposable income is lower, perhaps selling lower-priced jewelry to that market would be in your best interest.
Who doesn’t love a good sale? Another option would be to offer a sale on items (If you can afford the sale and still be profitable) to help draw interest and sell your jewelry faster. Some consumers don’t care about sales, while others are always looking for a deal!
It is great to have projects that take a long time and are a bit higher in price range. However, try and add some inexpensive projects that are a little bit more accessible to the everyday person if you are selling at small craft fairs and markets. You can be the judge on whether or not you think the consumers you are selling to will drop $100 on your beading work. That said, items ranging from $20-$40 are going to fetch you more money, even in high end craft fairs because buyers get a piece of your beautiful jewelry without paying an arm and a leg for it.
Competition: What Makes Your Work Special?
Ask yourself – how many people are also doing what I do? How many alternatives do my customers and potential customers have?
Suffice to say the internet is an awesome place to sell your pieces. But also put in mind that it is flooded with people who make jewelry, making the competition pretty stiff. It is a great idea to go window shopping and see what other people are selling their jewelry for. If your price points are higher than your competition, you need to make sure to make it clear what makes YOUR piece special. What makes it stand out? Did you use sterling silver instead of a coated copper wire? Did you use freshwater pearls instead of coated glass pearls? Are you using real turquoise and not manmade turquoise? Educate your consumers!
Wrapping It Up
Having considered the cost of raw materials and your time, and understanding the dynamics in pricing, it is fair to say that coming up with a price that a market will bear can be quite a task. However, once you figure out what works for you, creating and pricing will be easy.
In summary, find a way to make your niche, make good quality yet affordable pieces, and consider your target market, as well as your sales location (i.e. a trade fair, a jewelry store, etc.).
Always remember to properly value your time to make a profit, as others will not value your time as much as you.
The more you create, the more skilled and efficient you become, and the less time it takes you to make your pieces. This in turn lowers your prices. So, in the end your trade becomes more profitable.
Are there other factors to consider in improving profitability? Please do share them with us!
Here’s to becoming #betterbeaders together!