Monday, January 14, 2013
The Handmade Business For Real - Part 2
I wish I had this awesome quote below for my first post! Oh so important and a huge reason why I am doing this series. I am still so early on in all this so I hope that all of the handmade biz newbies will feel right at home during this series.
So moving on to...
This is really important because the majority of people starting out will price their items terribly low. Gussy Sews has a great post on this (Please read it HERE), but here are my thoughts as well. I run my shop through Etsy, so you will find this helpful if you run an Etsy shop as well.
There is so much more to take into consideration than just your materials cost. You have to factor in labor (that would be YOU), etsy fees and overhead like packaging, buying needles, scissors, the things it takes to run your business.
The prices really vary in my particular field. Some are very expensive, some are not. I found a price I like that I am comfortable with and I am still making a profit. Yes. A profit.
If you go into this with the idea of wanting to make items affordable, that's great, but in the long run you devalue your product and the products of other sellers in your field. If buyers are online and wondering why your item is $6, but someone else's is at a more accurately priced $12 they will begin to think that everything of that variety should be $6. Remember that there are so many in this business, some that do this for their living, not just a hobby. Pricing items properly isn't just good business sense, it being considerate to others as well.
Supplies are obviously a big part of your cost. I try to buy as much as I can online (Amazon is amazing for shipping supplies) but I buy my burlap in person as that is the only way to ensure I get what I want. Buy in bulk as much as possible. When thread is 50% off at Joann I buy a ton, but:
DO NOT BASE YOUR SUPPLY COSTS ON BEING ABLE TO USE A COUPON!!!!
Base your costs on paying full price, getting a discount is then just icing on the cake :)
Scout out the best prices for the things you need and buy in bulk as opposed to buying just what you need for the one item you are listing. It is always cheaper. Here are some of my favorites:
Fabric.com (best deals on loads of fabric)
Amazon.com for shipping supplies (envelopes, shipping labels, etc)
Le Box Boutique on Etsy (she sells a lot of great things like twine and cute packaging extras for a good price)
Zipit on Etsy (Zippers, zippers and more zippers! All kinds and colors)
Do your own research. Shopping online works best for most things, but not all things. Remember you might have to pay for shipping, but driving and going to a store is time and money too.
And remember...PAY YOURSELF! My prices are also based on an hourly rate that I pay myself. Remember that doesn't include just the time you spent on making the item, but on listing it, photographing it, etc. Just because you are new in the biz doesn't mean you have to low-ball your product and essentially yourself. In order to start making a profit sooner, it is vital that you price things right.
Don't be afraid if you feel others will have sticker shock at your price. When people are in the market for a handmade item, they are looking for quality and a personal experience. Most people realize that there is a different price tag for this than buying a similar item from Walmart that was made in China.
Remember, you are worth it! If you make something beautiful with your two little hands, it is well worth being well paid for it!
Have a great week and I hope you come back for more!