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Pricing to Sell?

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  • Pricing to Sell?

    I have been wondering recently about pricing issues as I saw a turquoise necklace in a town centre shop for £115 almost identical to ones I sell in my own shop in a secondary area and on my website for under £25. I would struggle to sell a piece of jewellery in my shop that was priced over £25 unless it was very special. The most expensive item on my website is £65 for an amber and amethyst necklace. I was wondering if any forum members has thoughts on these issues and whether there is an upper limit for what you find easy to sell. I don't like to rip off my customers by putting big mark ups on but when I see other shops do this I wonder if I am being not very professional? My items might appear to be more upmarket if they had a big price tag on them. Love to have feedback on this subject.
    Chris W.
    Gemstone Jewellery and Gifts

  • #2
    I'm nowhere in your league but I do make handmade cards and am quite often told by customers that we should put our prices up
    but the way I look at it is the fact that we are reasonable priced means people come back again and again
    our friend said someone took handmade cards into her place at work but because they were priced quite high she didn't actually sell any


    • #3
      this is an interesting one because when I (and I imagine most of us price ourselves) we factor in costs and time and a profit etc. I met a lady this week who charges more than £100 for her necklaces - all semi-precious etc - but I really wanted to ask her how much she was buying all the component parts for and what her profit was but i thought it a little cheeky! The thing is i thought it would be easy to buy some of the stones relatively inexpensively. maybe i am wrong. perhaps her stones are really fantastic quality? I dont know.

      sorry not v helpful post actually - just backing up your sentiments really!


      • #4
        It's the never ending dilema isn't it....

        Do you price your items realistically and sell more but make a small profit or do you price "upmarket" value and make a big profit but sell less ?

        I try to keep my buying costs down as much as possible with my materials by buying wholesale and grabbing bargains as and where I can and then pass the saving to my customers in the selling price.

        I think like many crafters I have spoken to over the years I very rarely "pay" myself for the amount of time some items take.
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        • #5
          This is always the million dollar question isn't it. I too have seen pieces in shops at astronomical prices when I know that I can make them for a fraction of the cost. Obviously if they are sold through a shop there are overheads to take into account and the more exclusive an area the shop is in the higher these costs . Aside from that as with anything else the price can be whatever the market will stand so a more affluent area will bring customers willing to buy at a higher price point. I think we all need to sell in London!!


          • #6
            I make gemstone jewellery and I'm constantly being told that my prices are way too low but like the other posters have said, it all depends on where you are selling. I'm on a market stall in the North West and when people come to a market they expect a bargain. A bargain down South would probable not seem such a bargain to someone up North.

            I pride myself on "not ripping my customers off" and I stick to my pricing formula no matter what I paid for it - for example I can buy a string of beads from the wholesalers and pay anything between £5 and £20 for it. I work out the cost per bead and my prices are worked out on that basis. I may then buy a similar strand of beads on ebay for a fraction of the cost and make a similar piece of jewellery but that one will be priced much lower than the one made using the more expensive beads.

            When customers query the difference between two similar pieces I explain - if I get a bargain, I pass on that bargain to my customers. Its surprising how many of my customers come back just cos they know they aren't getting ripped off.

            If I'm honest with myself - I would probably not stick to this policy if my overheads were much higher but I do find it annoying when I visit a shop that sells the same things I do (we also sell crystals and healing stones etc) and the original label is on so I know which wholesaler it came from, but they have the price at more than double what I would sell it for.

            Truth is - some people are just greedy and I'm proud to say that I'm not.

            Just out of interest Chris, keep an eye on that piece in the jeweller's shop and see if it sells. Just cos they're asking those prices doesn't necessarily mean they get them.
            Last edited by auntynet; 11-08-2008, 10:55 PM.

            Step-daughter's website selling hand dyed sock yarns

            ~ * ~ * ~ Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most! ~ * ~ * ~


            • #7
              Pricing to sell?

              This is an interesting question and one I always ask myself.

              My prices, for my area, is fair. Unfortunately, I am not in a well populated area and there are not alot of local 'big' events to have huge sales. People do come to my stall and say things like, that lady over there is charging twice as much as you, she's charging so much, etc.

              I have found that dichroic glass jewellery is not widely seen in my area. I am one of the few that does it. I am making a profit at what I sell so happy about that.

              I visited a craft marquee today at my local agricultural show and someone from the borders was selling dichroic jewellery for more than twice what I charge, BUT do they sell?

              I usually have good sales and do well at well attended events.

              It all depends on the clientelle, area, population etc.

              I believe people are willing to pay more for goods bought from a shop.

              You need to consider what you paid for the findings, labour costs, any other overheads, then go from there.

              Take care

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              • #8
                Well, people often do value something by what they paid for it, y'know! The cheapest stuff doesn't always sell the best.

                It depends on what market you want to aim at - if you want a big turnover at low prices, then it's the craft fair, boot sale and ebay bargain-hunting crowd. Fine if you have the time for it, and don't mind working for next-to-nothing. If you charge more, then you can make more exclusive things, and typically aim at a spe******t market - sell something that the customer can't just go & get at hundreds of other places.

                I usually make very spe******t items, that aren't cheap (as I won't work for nothing - I haven't the time for it!), but are unique and as well-made as I can manage, and I have quite enough commissions to keep me too busy to want to advertise, or to be able to supply shops, or to attend non-spe******t fairs! Works for me...

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                • #9
                  I think pricing is quite a difficult issue and I know I have struggled over it. I think the starting point is whether you are selling to maintain your hobby or whether is to maintain your business. When I started off, my prices were based mainly on the cost of my materials and I did not factor in the time I spent...I sold a good few pieces and was estatic. Sales tailed off when I tried to become more professional. People love a bargain and sometimes it doesn't matter how cheap...someone wants it cheaper still!

                  So, I haven't done any events or fairs in the past couple of months and I have reviewed all my prices...I have done lots of reading...Emma Ralph has written an excellent article (sorry I don't have the link but google her name) and there was one in Bead magazine maybe a couple of issues ago.

                  Essentially, I now believe you have to place a value on your work and if you price it too cheaply, people will think it is cheap. As artists, we deserve to be properly remunerated for our designs and craftmanship.



                  • #10
                    Chris I had a nosey around a few things on your site and your prices seem to be on a par with what I would charge too. Remembering back to when me and Net met we are on the same level too. I think location plays a big part in pricing. One of the Galleries which stocks my work takes 40% in commission which in fact almost doubles the price (ie if i want £6 for a pair of earrings they charge £10) but people do buy there. There will always be that element of people wanting to say "I paid £50 for this necklace" when people admire it - being Barnsley born n bred I am the opposite and would brag if i got a bargain lol
                    Chris xx
                    My Website
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                    • #11
                      Could you increase the range of jewellery that you sell, to include an 'up market' range? You could display and package it differently from the rest of your ranges, to give it an exclusive feel. That way you'd satisfy customers who can't afford to spend too much but you'd also be providing items for people who maybe want to spend a bit extra.

                      "One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star."


                      • #12
                        Pricing is always a tricky one. I recently put up my prices on a range of items by 25%. My idea was that I would put off those who are looking for bargains and encourage theose who want to spend more for 'posh' items!

                        The outcome was that I have got more orders than previously and I am making more margin on each sale.

                        I am infact going to increase the prices once more by 25%. I'm not doing this to be greedy but to find the best possible price point that gives me the number of sales I can manage and gives me a good profit overall. So I will sell less of the item but still get the profits I need, but also it then frees up more time to do other crafts that will increase my turnover.

                        My main reason for doing this is TIME.
                        I just don't have enough time make lots of these items so I purposely want to limit the sales, but maximise the profit.

                        I think the last suggestion is a good one. Seperate the items that you want to experiment with. The do just that, experiment. Set up a seperate website if needed or sell them in different stalls, shops etc... Create the whole upmarket image that is needed around the actual items and see how it goes.

                        The name of the game is testing, try different things and you increase your chances of finding a successful formula.

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                        • #13
                          Just to reiterrate one my earlier comment on this thread.

                          Remember this turquoise set I made 3 or 4 weeks ago?


                          I priced it up at £40 for the set and yesterday it sold - well, I actually split it and sold the necklace for £30 to woman without pierced ears.

                          My customer lives local to where we sell and she had been fancying a turquoise chip necklace in a local jewellers priced at £80 but couldn't justify spending that kind of money (like most of us). She was gobsmacked that I could sell it for that price but I was more than happy cos I actually got all the beads and findings on auction at ebay which meant I could keep the price down.

                          So I stand by what I said earlier, be realistic and don't be greedy when you're pricing your stuff.

                          Step-daughter's website selling hand dyed sock yarns

                          ~ * ~ * ~ Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most! ~ * ~ * ~