Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pricing and Your Etsy Shop - Being a Good Boss To Yourself

Pricing is something we all struggle with. For Etsy shops in particular it is hard to compete and many times shops find themselves second guessing their pricing when trying to go up against resellers and those who are under pricing. When shops don’t sell or sales slow the first question we almost always ask is in regards to our pricing.

Robin incorporates vintage and contemporary into her original mixed media creations. She has some words of wisdom for online shops in regards to pricing.

Rizzart Collage Mixed Media

For those who are creating intricate designs, bridal pieces or one a kind she notes “Do not shortchange yourself! A bride who may be spending thousands on her wedding outfit will not blink at spending $100 for a stunning piece that will become a keepsake and a family heirloom.

We all have a habit, especially when starting out, to look at our work and ask ourselves, "Would I pay that much for that?" But remember, you aren't selling to yourself. You aren't even selling to your friends, who may be in the same economic strata as you. You are trying to target people who have an appreciation of fine materials and skilled work, and particularly with regard to bridal items, are willing to spend (and even overspend) for something special. I once read that if as an artist you can afford your own work, you are not charging enough! 

Rizzart Decoupaged Keepsake Trinket Jewelry Box

You have to ask yourself why you (and not just you, all of us) charge what you charge. Are you pricing low so that your work can be affordable to a mass of people and therefore you'll sell like crazy? Will you make up in volume what you're giving up by undercharging? Probably not, unless you're Target or Walmart - they've got the market cornered on cheap, wholesale purchase everything overseas for pennies, and reach millions of people. You'll never be Walmart - you'll just struggle along accepting Walmart prices for couture work. But if you charge what you're work is really worth, you may sell less often, but you'll get what you put into it. Your market will be smaller, and it may take more work to find them (or get them to find you) but they are out there. My brother is a manager for Neimann-Marcus - despite the economy, they are still making profits - millions of $$ every day in his store alone. I would strongly suggest, for anyone who makes jewelry, to take a trip to Neimann's and just look at what the jewelry is going for. Look for the simplest item you can find - maybe a silver ring or bangle bracelet. Just see what they're charging for it retail. And people are BUYING them! Well, those same people buy online! Find them! Show them that your work is made of the same fine materials, handcrafted by a skilled artisan, one of a kind! These people don't want cheap - they want special!”


  1. Great post! And really excellent and helpful information!

  2. Thanks so much for the feature, Bonnie! I'm so proud to be a part of your blog's maiden voyage! It looks great & I wish you much success with it!

  3. Encouraging and wise words about pricing.

  4. Great post. I just did one myself to show my customers exactly how I determine pricing and how much time truly goes into something hand made. I hope it will open eyes to customers who are unaware how much goes into products to make them treasure them more and help understand why things cost what they do.

  5. Thanks Fabric!

    I would love to read it Tiffany! There is an awful lot of work that goes into handmade from picking your supply to shipping them out. People don't realize that not only are you hand making the item but all the other work that is involved as well.

  6. Great post. I constantly go back and forth on my prices - too much? too little? I was recently given a formula for quilters and that has helped me with my price decisions. I feel a lot more comfortable with my new pricing.

  7. Thank you for posting this! I am starting an Etsy soon, and pricing is always kind of overwhelming to me.

  8. Awesome! I was just thinking about this today! It's so hard to set a price with photography work.

  9. Generally I don't look at others work or pricing. I did in the beginning and nearly drove myself insane. I started asking questions and finding out lots of information like some of the people who sell jewelry say since this is what I do, are also suppliers or work for them. This means they get supply for much less than I could and can afford to price accordingly. Many people no way around it are basically giving their stuff away, some are even paying people to buy it. There is a vast array of people on etsy from the occasional hobbyists to people who's sole income is their art. I find it best to simply try to figure out what your cost is, what it took for you to make it and pay yourself a fair wage for the time it took you. If you have a product like me this is easier said than done because as of today there is close to 2.5 MILLION jewelry listings. If you have an original product it's much easier to name your price. I try to think what I would pay if I walked into a boutique and bought this item. I say boutique because I don't expect to pay big box prices for handmade items.


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