If you are following along with the Mompreneur series from last week you have an idea of what you are going to sell and you know where you are going to sell it – now how should you price it? This is always tricky and I still have problems with it from time to time.
Too often I see items priced way to low and I have even been guilty of this myself. I came to realize that my prices were too low when I went to the SNAP! conference and listened to a panel of other awesome handmade sellers including the ladies behind Allora Handmade, Lil Blue Boo, and Just Love.ly. On the other hand you may be wondering why your items aren’t flying off the shelves as quickly as you would like and it could be because they are priced too high.
If you are starting your shop to bring in extra income then you need to be fair to yourself and to other handmade artists who are trying to make a profit. If you are pricing things too low then you are hurting your own pocket and the pocket of others who are selling similar items to you because you are their competition and if the competition isn’t making money then nobody is! If you are pricing too high then you are only hurting yourself. Besides for doing some actual math (yes, gah, I said math!) it is also a good idea to see what shops with similar items are pricing their items at.
Now to the math part-
Here are the costs that you need to think about when pricing your items:
- Supplies and shipping
- Packaging costs (envelopes, paper, tape, business cards, any other extras)
- Fees associated with your marketplace (ETSY fees, Storenvy custom URL fees, etc.)
- Advertising fees (if applicable)
- Gas used to purchase supplies or go to the post office
- Internet (needed to run an online business!)
- Paying yourself for the time it takes to make/package the finished item
- Paying yourself for the time it takes to create the listings in your shop, relist items, and answer emails/convos from customers.
- Paying yourself for the time it takes to purchase your supplies.
Tell me – have you been calculating all of this into the price of your items? If not the sad part is that we haven’t even made a PROFIT yet. Paying yourself for labor does not count as profit. If you are trying to quit your day job, use this money to pay a bill, save for college, or whatever the goal behind it is you need to make it possible and worth your while!
The formula above shows how I go about pricing my items. I don’t always multiply by 2 at the end for the final shop price but I do add some to it to make the price a nice even number and allow for the possibilities to sell wholesale if I get inquires. I have taken one of the necklaces from my shop that I have listed for $12.50 and am showing you how I break it down for an ETSY listing. As you can see from the breakdown it costs me $9.70 to make and sell on ETSY with a built in profit of $1.00. If I were to sell this necklace on a site like VeryJane (which would be similar to a wholesale order) I would recalculate the expenses and labor costs and they would be substantially less because I know I am not going to pay the same amount in fees for Paypal OR Etsy and I will use my gas for one trip to get ALL of the supplies needed. My labor costs would go down because I would be doing things like an assembly line instead of pulling out my supplies to make one item, waiting for glue to dry and then putting them all back away again.
For the model above I calculated my labor times based on the fact that I want to make $14 an hour. There are items I consider ‘one time costs’ such as creating a new listing. I will only create one listing and take one set of pictures and keep relisting it. I figure that I relist an average of 25 times before I might decide that I A) don’t want to sell the item anymore or B) need to make changes to the listing/pictures. I use the formula below to divide ‘one time costs’ across my listings.
If you are good with Excel I suggest you use it to make your life easier! I keep an excel sheet with a listing of all of my item supplies and figure out their individual cost. Then I have other formulas set up to determine the cost of supplies for each item I have listed in my shop. Sure it takes a lot of time at first, but if you have or are planning to make this into a REAL business you have to know what your costs and profits are!
Please feel free to ask me any questions or let me know if you want me to expand on any of these areas in upcoming psots. The upcoming Mompreneur posts that I have scheduled include:
- October 28th - Taking Payment
- November 4th – Bookkeeping
- November 11th - Product Photography
- November 18th - Using Social Media for your Business
- November 25th - Creating Community