Wednesday, 22 April 2009

What's it Worth to You?

(Copied from Etsy Success email, 14/04/09)

Imagine if you will, a complete stranger asks you to create an item
(something you currently sell in your shop). That's not all, they want
you to photograph, list and promote this item as well.

Whew! "Is that all?", you ask.

No, they have one more request: package that item, print a shipping label and drop it off at the post office. Now imagine they want you to do all this for the price you currently have this item listed for in your Etsy shop.

Would you do it happily? Would you grumble? Would you deny this task altogether? Reality check: It's up to you to determine the value of your time and efforts. Make sure you are taking a step back from your work and your pricing and looking at it from all angles.

WOW. Food for thought? I'm going to be taking a long hard look at my pricing over the next few weeks. Am I undervaluing my skill and time? Are you?

Don't let's go mad though. Just because I *want* something I loved making to be *worth* squillions, doesn't mean there is a buyer out there who agrees. To keep my feet on the ground I shall go back and read the wonderful JillHannah's pricing advice, and then start making swimsuits for fishies.


Alison Reid said...

Great post heather and fits well with my observations on Folksy yesterday. For those of us who have got our pricing aproximately right there is nothing more frustrating than seeing people underpricing their work. It undersells their talents and undermines those of us who are prepared to price at a sensible value.

Unknown said...

Excellent point, especially if you ARE going to make more of whatever you sell after it sells. Then that's EXACTLY how to think of the LOWEST price you'd be willing to sell things for and go up from there if buyers will pay more.

BUT (as you've already linked my yammerings and you clearly understand), never forget that for the one that's already made, you can't get all that time and material back. It's gone. If another one isn't going to take its place when the item sells, then whatever money you get for it is better than it uselessly sitting on your shelf. But then try to get as much as people are willing to pay! Just because it only cost you $5 and five minutes to make doesn't mean buyers won't love it and spend $30 on it. Look at the final product!

Thanks again for the link. I heart sensible people.

SpringColors said...

food for thought indeed. and you items always make me smile.

Helen Smith said...

I don't think low, low prices is ever a sensible way to go. If things aren't selling then you are far better off spending the time when you would otherwise be making working on photographs - over and over again if necessary until you hit on a formula that works - my flower pics went through quite a few incarnations before I took the trip to ikea to buy those vases ;-)

Linden said...

Some really great points here and a lot of food for thought - thanks for posting!

I'm currently looking at my prices as part of my shop overhaul. One of the things I find really difficult is working out exactly how long it has taken me to make something.

I need to find a formula to factor out tea breaks, loo breaks and staring out of the window breaks from my start to finish time, lol!

Nic said...

Did I miss a comment on pricing on Folksy yesterday? I agree with what you say, some people are doing no-one any favours by selling stuff for prices that are cheap by foreign import standards no mind handmade.

Kitschy Coo said...

Great post, Nifty, good to see other people sharing their views on pricing :)

Lynn said...

Fantastic post. Something I chatter on to myself about all the time. Some of my intro stuff is still low and I have asked myself if it is a good idea to have a couple of low priced items from the original days or should I be balancing my prices of my items. Thanks for making me think about it again...and virually talking to myself again over this dilemma

Vanessa @ See Vanessa Craft said...

Great post and great advise!

Caroline said...

That ****** email! Sorry - but the section on number crunching (that you wisely didn't copy) infuriated me!

I agree with Helen, to a point. The most perfect pricing formula in the world doesn't make up for the fact that things need to sell.

If your costs are coming out too high - way above comparable items - then you need to rethink. Are you in the wrong market? Do you need better descriptions/photos (if online)? Do you need to get better at what you do so you can work faster and more efficiently, so cutting costs? Are you overspending on materials that could be bought at a discount elsewhere?

There is also the trap of pricing an item and thinking "I wouldn't pay that much for it" Course you wouldn't - you can make it yourself. If we don't think twice about paying others to do jobs we can't/won't do (chef, plumber, plasterer, windowcleaner, decorator etc) then there will be people out there who also won't think twice about paying someone to knit, sew, sculpt, paint for them.

We just need to find them.

*hops off soapbox*
Sorry - feeling a tad militant today x

Heather Leavers said...

Another aspect to "I wouldn't pay that much for it", whic was pointed out to me by the lovely is that I'm not in the same income bracket as many of my customers (unless they're also unemployed, LOL)