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Topic: Making money (or not!)  (Read 2132 times)
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« on: April 05, 2013 09:34:24 PM »

I know that in these times of The Big Buck, I shouldn't be asking this question, but I have to ...
my husband has been very ill for the past year+ and I've had a lot of time at home and with him (we live way out in the country so are quite isolated) in the hospital when I needed to do some crafting or I'd go nuts.  All the various things I've made and continue to make are piling up and I'd like to rent a table at a craft market or fair later in the year, but most of my supplies I've used are from my HUGE stash collected over many years so I have no idea of the cost of most of the materials, so can't put a price on them for re-sale purposes.  Secondly, a lot of the items I've made and shown around to family and friends to get an idea of what to charge for them, have been met by "Oh wow, that must've taken you forever to make so you're going to have to charge X amount to cover your time and effort".  They have then made suggestions which have been so far out of reality when it comes to price.  My dilemma is:    making these things have been my therapy and have kept me sane, so I consider the time and effort as being inconsequential in monetary terms.  We will have to sell our home/small farm and move to a smaller place in a few months so I need to downsize my supplies and also make a few $$ of course.  So, do I listen to my head and advice from family and friends and price what I make in realistic terms (i.e. high), or listen to my heart and charge what I feel is a realistic price, taking into account the cost of therapy (LOL), materials that I have to use up as we downsize and the time it's taking me, and just sell them to get rid of them and hopefully make a few $$ and have a quick turnover because of the lower prices.
Sorry this is very rambling, but I hope someone will have some suggestions to pass on.  I appreciate any input.  Thanks.

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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2013 04:01:08 AM »

Well, you have to make at least whatever the craft table/s are going to cost you. As getting rid of the inventory must happen one way or another, I would put low prices on them but attempt to make a small "profit", otherwise you'll have to practically give them away at a future garage sale anyway. If you're not planning to make crafting your #1 passion and income-producing monster, the rules about pricing/business are pretty much what you make them.

« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013 08:35:27 AM »

Don't forget that if you are selling your goods for a fraction of what similar vendors at the same show are selling for, you will not only upset many people by grossly undercutting their prices, but will also be contributing to the devaluation of hand crafts in the public eye.

Perhaps have a hand-written sign outlining your pricing, rather than tags on each item. That way, if you get to the fair and your prices are not in line with other vendors selling similar items of similar quality, you can adjust your pricing simply by writing up a new sign. You could also have a little folded-card type sign for each category of item (like a "hat" sign midst the hats) with the prices relevant to that type of item, further enhancing the flexibility of your pricing.

You might even consider a section of your table devoted to a "clearance sale," where your least emotionally-invested items can be placed for a steep discount. I've heard that a lot of vendors will discount more and more items as the day goes by so as to clear their inventory by day's end, yet still make a profit.

There are quite a few threads around this section of the forum that discuss pricing schemes. Just remember that the sale of hand crafted goods is not only about your personal profit or lack-there-of, but about the hand crafts industry as a whole. Western culture has a tendency to equate status with a dollar value, so a $10 hand-knitted hat will have just as much perceived status as a $10 mass-produced made in China hat, whereas a $50 hand-knitted hat may actually force someone to consider WHY there is a difference between hand-knit vs mass produced, but will almost always automatically have a higher perceived status even if the person isn't willing to actually pay that price.

My thanks to the ladies in the Ravelry Advanced Spinning group for crystallizing a lot of my thoughts regarding this very subject. You can read the looooong discussion for yourself in this thread.

So in short, therapy is good, but you worked hard on developing your skills, so don't let yourself undervalue the product of your talents.

« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013 03:09:16 PM »

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my thread.  You raised a number of issues that I had not thought of before, and I will now re-think my approach.  I really appreciate your input.

Everyone is creative, you just have to find your motivation!
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013 03:08:50 PM »

There are some fairs or shows that have a set vendor list on the website... If you decide to get in on one of these, maybe you could check the other vendor websites and get an idea of what they make and how much they sell their items for? That or if it's a regular thing, like a monthly craft show or weekly farmer's market type thing, you could check them out a few times to get a better gauge of what they do or don't do. You might even be able to talk a few of the other vendors up and see what their opinions are in regards to the regular clientele of that particular location/event which can also change what you can price things at. Farmer's markets may be for younger customers and so I've been told to price things maybe a little lower/have items that can be priced lower vs a special, once a year type craft show that a wider range of customers will be in attendance for and have saved up money in the intent to spend that you can have more of a variety on price and items to sell.

« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013 06:44:13 AM »

Keep that heart price as the absolute LOWEST you will go, but price according to your head. The difference between head and heart gives you room to haggle, have a sale, or trade.

"Set your life on fire.
Seek those who fan your flames."
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