Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Pricing Dilemma for Your Handmade Items...

Selling handmade items: the pricing dilemma

Selling handmade items: the pricing dilemma by Bobby Buys

For a craftsman, pricing is often the most difficult part of the process of preparing items for sale. The best way to find your way around is research. Check the price tags of similar products in local stores, craft markets and - most importantly - on the online marketplace where you intend to display your wares. If it is obvious that the items you make have a quality that makes them superior, do not shy away from pricing them in higher brackets.

When you sell via an online marketplace, your overheads are minimal. Since you will be working from home, you need not worry about the cost of renting office space and similar expenses. However, there are overheads that are often overlooked. Even a small cross stitch project, for example, may entail overhead expenses like a fraction of your electricity bill if you work at night. Nor should you forget to include a portion of your Internet bill for the time it takes you to upload the item online and to email your customers. Then, you must take into account the site's selling commission (usually about five percent of the selling price).

Overheads are only one of the elements that you need to bear in mind when pricing your items for selling online. Setting the price at the right level is vitally important. Set it too low - and you will be out of your pocket. Set it too high - and, as a result, you will find no takers.

Other than the overheads, which are marginal when selling through an online marketplace, there are several basic elements that you need to consider when working out the price for your sewing, knitting or needlework.

Materials: Note down exactly what you had to spend in order to start making your item. For example, if you are making a quilt to sell, you will add up the cost of the fabric, batting, and so on; if you are making purses then consider the cost of handles, bag frames, ornaments, etc.

Equipment: If you use a sewing machine or any other tool, be aware of maintenance and replacement costs and weave them into the price of your end product - over one year, or over five years, for example. If you rent any specialised equipment, you need to calculate the fee into the price of your products.

Labour: Include the cost of your time into the final product. The cost of your labour is the hourly wage you pay yourself, or your employees, if you hire them.

Market considerations: Take into consideration what the market is willing to pay for the items you make. Although they may be ready to splash out on really unique items, buyers at online marketplaces are usually looking for bargains. It is a good idea to at least offer several low priced items, and to always emphasise in the description why the more expensive ones deserve the price tag they bear. If your customer base values the style and uniqueness of your products, they will not be deterred by higher prices. In any case, keep an eye on what the competition is doing, especially price-wise.

Your goals: This is an important feature of working out your pricing. Have an idea about what you want to achieve from the sale of your work from the very start: just a few rands to help you fund your hobby, or a supplementary stream of income?

And, every now and then, it might be a good idea to place your artifacts on auction and let the play of market forces determine their final price. is South Africa's largest online marketplace. Buyers and sellers come to bidorbuy to buy and sell virtually anything in auction format or at fixed prices. Contact details: bidorbuy Marketing Department; email, web site

Article Source: ArticleSnatch Free Article Directory

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