Lots of people who love any of the fiber arts end up wanting to sell their work. Sometimes it is because they run out of people to make things for as gifts. Or because they have a friend that has asked them to make something in particular. Or sometimes it’s a simple matter of making money to help pay the bills.
This always leads to questions. How do I price my work? Am I asking too much because people seemed surprised when I mention the price? Why am I not selling anything when my prices are low?
While there is nothing really set in stone on how to price handmade items, let’s discuss various ways to go about finding that right price for your items.
What It’s Worth VS. What People Will Pay
When pricing handmade items made of yarn, the first most obvious way is to keep up with the number of hours spent working on the item, multiplying that by an hourly wage, then adding cost of materials used.
Problem with that is even when using minimum wage, the price most likely will be more than most people are willing to pay or can even afford to pay. This doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve that price for the items. We all deserve to be paid more for our work than we can ever sell them for.
So what should I do?
Using The Cost of Supplies As a Guide
Another way to calculate price is to take the cost of yarn used for the project and multiple that by 2 or 3.
This method is used most often. I like to multiply the cost of yarn by 3 because I do not want to undersell myself. If the item is very time consuming due to it being a complex pattern, I will always add $10 to $50 depending on the size of the item and how long it took to complete.
But that seems too high to ask.
Most people do tend to under price their items. They think that people will not pay a higher price for their work.
Let me just say this. Never underestimate the value of your work.
Some people will not buy an item if they think it’s too cheap. They may think you use inferior yarn. Or that there is something wrong with it.
But people complain about it being too high, and they are able to buy it at a store cheaper.
There is always people who will complain about the price. If they think they can get the same exact item with the same exact quality for less at a store, I can guarantee they will be in for a huge surprise. Machine or sweat shop made items are not high quality. They will not hold up to time and wear.
In other words, they will get what they pay for.
But I bought my yarn on sale. Do I use that price?
If you buy your yarn on sale, I would recommend not using that price, but the regular price the yarn retails for. That way if you need to make the same item again with the same yarn but need to buy more, your price will already cover the yarn not being on sale at that time.
If you are still unsure of what to charge for something, look on the selling sites for similar items and see what those are selling for. Then you can price your items accordingly.
Geographic Area Dictates Price As Well
Don’t forget that items that sell for higher prices in places that are known for artists and tourism will not sell for as much in small towns and lower populated areas. Also places where the income is lower will need to have lower prices on handmade items than in places where income is higher.
Therefore you should always take into consideration where you live, who you are selling to, and how much people can pay for handmade, unique items.
So how much should I charge?
When considering how much to charge for something, it really all comes down to 3 things: location, price of supplies, and personal consideration. Each person values their time and effort differently. Therefore, it is a personal preference as to how much each item is worth when selling it.
Is it too high? Is it priced too low??
Only you can be the judge of that. Just because it doesn’t sell at a certain price does not mean it’s priced too high. Only that the right person hasn’t seen it yet to buy it at that price.
There will always be people who will complain about the price. ALWAYS. And there will always be people who will offer you a lower price. Therefore it is better to price your items on the high side so you do have room to for those that offer less.
And if they still complain about the price being too high, here’s a suggestion on how to deal with them. Already know how much the price for that same item is when using the hourly wage price calculation. Then explain to them that if you were wanting to get paid a hourly rate for your work like they get paid at their job (tell them what that per hour rate is and how long it took to make the item along with cost of materials) that the price would be this amount instead (tell them the higher price) and that you are wanting to give them a price cut to begin with.
Most people really have no clue how long it takes to make these things. While putting it into perspective for them may not cause them to pay the price you are asking, at least then they will now be enlightened. Or not. Some people can never be enlightened…
Just remember to not be rude. State the facts in a matter of fact manner. And always with a smile. If you keep on smiling to rude people, it makes them feel uncomfortable. I love doing that…
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE VALUE OF YOUR WORK!! Whatever you do, do NOT price your items too low. Your time and effort is always worth more than you can ever earn for a certain piece. Just consider it a gift to mankind at whatever price you sell it for because you will always deserve more than you earn.
After all, it is art. Always. ART. No matter if it’s a hat, scarf, or blanket. And whoever buys it will treasure it for what it is. ART. Love is put in every piece. If even made just for selling, you love the craft, or you wouldn’t do it. Not like you are working in a sweat shop with no option otherwise.
In short, again, YOU ARE WORTH IT. Price your work accordingly. Is it correct? Yes. If you are comfortable with the price, then it is correct. Even then, it’s probably too low. But as long as you are happy with what you are paid, then it’s worth it. Don’t let others tell you otherwise.
And as a side note… If you are taking a commission to make something for someone, please get at least half if not all the money up front. That way you will not be out any money if they change their mind. And NEVER give them the item until full payment is made. I have seen so many lose money by trusting people to pay them after they receive the item. Unfortunately, friendships have ended over this very thing. Just be careful and get paid up front.
Keep on loom knitting those lovely projects whether they are for yourself, for loved ones as gifts, or for sell no matter what the reason. YOU ARE WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!