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The Art of Pricing: Understanding Your Costs

Oct 10, 2007

by bethela handmade and vintage goods

Beth is an admin at Etsy on the Business Operations Team. She is writing about pricing in a multi-part series, so ask her your questions in the comments below.

Figuring out how to price your items can feel like the most challenging part of selling. Don’t worry, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed. Fancy business schools devote full semesters to this subject. And the one thing they teach? There is no magic pricing formula. Fortunately, pricing is more art than science, and Etsy is full of great artists.

If you are running your Etsy shop as a business and not just as a hobby, the first thing to do is to cover your costs. Direct costs include:

  • materials used to make the item
  • packaging
  • PayPal fees
  • Etsy fees

Even include that yarn that you dug out of the closet where it’d been stashed for years or those buttons your next door neighbor gave you; these are materials you could be using for something else, like design fees, the internet in your home office or rent utilities.

Indirect costs may include machinery: for instance, a large loom, or payment for access to a darkroom or a metal shop. These costs should be factored in as well.

Next, consider your time. Think about the time it takes to create the item and list it. On the creation side, don’t forget the time to design the item as well as the time to physically make it. Include time that might otherwise be considered “down time,” like working on the item while at your table at a craft fair, knitting on the bus on the way to work, or spinning during your favorite television show. In addition, remember it also takes time to take a great photo, to list your item, as well as to carefully pack and ship the item.

(Picture by gisarah used by permission)

On Etsy, sellers don’t fold the cost of shipping into the price of the item; it’s a separate but real cost you need to consider. When you list an item on Etsy, you are responsible for calculating accurate shipping amounts. You name the cost of shipping for your customer to pay. In determining the shipping prices, don’t forget to think about insurance, tracking, or international shipping costs (for articles on shipping and packaging, click here).

Consider how much you want or need to make for your time. This is how much of a wage you’re paying yourself. This is particularly important if are looking to quit your day job. You need to make a profit to make a living. You deserve to be paid for your efforts, your time and your creative talents.

Danielle, an Etsy Labs admin, had this to say from her education at art school and her experience being a fulltime Etsy seller (preciouspups):

“Here’s one way a professor of mine taught us pricing. Figure out how many pieces you make a day. Figure out what salary you need to be paid/would like to be paid.  Figure out how many pieces you can make in a year and then divide your desired salary by this and see what you come out with.  Most people will find they are selling themselves way short.”

Once you know your total costs and total time to make the item you can start to think about price. Many of you sellers have your own calculations, no doubt. Share them below in the comments. We want to hear what you think! Check back for the next segment on Competitive Pricing.


  • thefunkyfelter

    thefunkyfelter said 12 years ago

    Thanks so much for this information! I'm thrilled that you are doing a series of articles on this subject. Product pricing is usually the most difficult thing for me to determine. I love creating my hand felted items, but I am somewhat at a loss when it comes to pricing, even with a formula that I go by. I always try to consider all the above mentioned things in your article as well as what price the market will allow and competitors' prices of similar items. Sometimes these things don't seem to match up, and I feel that might be selling myself short. So I guess, I'm wondering how to find a balance. Do I price it for my costs, time, etc., but if its too high, it just sits in my shop, or do you have to sometimes let the market for your items dictate price? This is my biggest struggle with pricing. Thanks again! I know your series on pricing will be helpful to me and many others. I look forward to more info.

  • bopdotdesigns

    bopdotdesigns said 12 years ago

    this article is very helpful! I like to think of etsy as my retail shop (as a general rule retail is 2X cost+labor). take all of the costs (packaging, materials, tools, etc) and TIME into consideration. and double that amount making sure that you are making a fair wage. always think of the # of hours you have been working. I think this pricing is very fair to customers too. they understand they are getting a quality hand-made product. I also like to compare similar products' pricing by browsing other etsy sites. in a perfect world, we see that if an item is priced higher there is a higher quality of material used. ok last comment: I have been very happy with the quality i find on etsy and the prices that go along with them. if a shop has a great balance in price, quality materials and craftmanship it's bound to be a hoot.

  • shoshonasnow

    shoshonasnow said 12 years ago

    This is an excellent discussion! It is also important for buyers to realize that some of us on here also sell in galleries and shops and need to keep are prices on Etsy in check with those prices. Most galleries and shops take a much larger percentage of your sale than Etsy and Paypal fees total up to. I can usually still offer my work a little less than in the "real" world by offering work that is exclusive to Etsy. Yay! for making a living at what you love!

  • bethela

    bethela said 12 years ago

    Thanks for the great comments so far. In response to thefunkyfelter, pricing is a challenge, particularly in a highly competitive market. Sometimes making your best estimate and a little trial and error is the way to go. I will looking at this issue more in-depth in my next article. Shoshonasnow brings up an excellent point about "Channel Pricing," that is the price of your items in different places, such as in gallerie, boutiques, etc. There can be differences in price, but large differences may cause confusion, as well as frustration from the other venues.

  • peelapom

    peelapom said 12 years ago

    Great topic! Right now my artwork is a sideline, but I would (of course) love to do it full time. Pricing is a HUGE question for me. The work I do tends to be very time intensive, so I have to factor that in, as well as materials, but I also look at artistry. I do both entirely original designs and pieces that have a modification of something else. I charge more for the thoroughly original pieces because they require more artistry. The others require skill and craft, and artistry, but in a different way. I think how badly you want the sale vs. how much you value you work work also has to come into the equation. And of course -- what the real market value for your work is. But I ramble! Great topic and I look forward to the rest of the articles and discussion.

  • RealReal

    RealReal said 12 years ago

    While I think looking at a shop's competitors is good practice from a sellers perspective it can be a bit of a trap. Nothing on Etsy is a commodity, with the exception of some supplies, things are unique and should be priced accordingly. I know when I am buying, I am not comparing the prices of similar items. I find the item I want and if the price is reasonable I buy it. Often I buy a more expensive item because I believe the price also shows me something about how much the seller values their product.

  • wonderamy

    wonderamy said 12 years ago

    While I try to be logical about how I price things, I have found at times it's also an emotional issue. With my paintings (which I sold early on in my Etsy seller days), I knew I had priced something too low if I felt like crying when I handed it to the post office clerk! So much of our heart and soul goes into some of the things we make. Pay attention to your gut when you send something off...was the amount you got paid worth it, given your attachment to the piece?

  • XOHandworks

    XOHandworks said 12 years ago

    bopdot- If "as a general rule retail is 2X cost+labor," how do you figure your wholesale cost? This seems way too low to me ...

  • Craftiejean

    Craftiejean said 12 years ago

    Over the years I have known it to be X3. This is what my momther & great grandmother has always told me. And I have also come across a lot of people that has always done it this way... So if your cost is $5 wholesale would be $10 and retail would be $15..

  • PicturesofLily

    PicturesofLily said 12 years ago

    I look forward to the next segment on competitive pricing. I know when I started selling here, I wanted to make sure my prices were not to much higher than similar items from other sellers. I figured if a customer could buy say, some magnets for a few dollars less somewhere else, why would they buy from me? Since the beginning, I have learned to have more confidence in my work. Now, I think that if my prices are a bit higher than those of sellers selling similar items, it's OK, because someone will like what I have enough to pay what I am asking. How nice it would be to have an incredible, unique item that is in such high demand that I could dictate the price completely. I can dream.

  • sharonoyoung

    sharonoyoung said 12 years ago

    I agree with peelapom about the work we do being labour intensive, but sometimes it's not feesable to cost the work according the hours spent on it. I try to find the middle ground, bearing in mind that I'm an unknown artist, but at the same time all my work is original and should therefore be worth more than a copy. But at the end of the day, what counts is that somebody likes tour work enough to want to buy it. A great, much needed article, looking forward to the next segment.

  • phbeads

    phbeads said 12 years ago

    Great information. I use a different formula but will now work out prices a couple of different ways to see if I'm on the mark.

  • DesignsByTrisha

    DesignsByTrisha said 12 years ago

    Thanks. That is the hardest part for me. Your help is greatly appreciated.

  • CreationsByKari

    CreationsByKari said 12 years ago

    Thank you for this information. I think I fear charging too much and not making a sale or charging too little and not getting a fair amount for my efforts. Setting prices is hard!

  • BigSky

    BigSky said 12 years ago

    Thanks for the great series of articles; looking forward to more. I have found that, at least in the wholesale aspect of my business, there is a "wow" factor on some pieces that justifies the price being a little higher. But I certainly struggle with pricing myself!

  • AthenasDisciple

    AthenasDisciple said 12 years ago

    I have a formula for this that is a bit complicated to talk about too much. But I basically record time for everything and seperate it all out so that I can specify time for a specific item vs design that can be recreated. Also listing time for retail. Also record and categorize all fees. Have a formula built in excel that figures out a retail price and then cuts it in half for wholesale. The wholesale price has to be at least $10/hour for it to be worthwhile, and thats not even that much, but I'm just getting started in figuring this all out. Excel is your friend. :)

  • FrenchTouch

    FrenchTouch said 12 years ago

    This is a great article, thanks! Based on this, however, I definitely charge too little! But with euro/dollar rate being what it is right now, I'm afraid my items would not sell if I set higher price. Ah, the dilemma of pricing!

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa said 12 years ago

    Ah, international exchange rate is something to take into account too!

  • momomadeit

    momomadeit said 12 years ago

    it is a struggle. i want to be able to offer folks a quality made item at an affordable price. if i did the 2x cost+fair labor, then a simple cotton apron would be in the $32-38 range. in my mind, i don't think an apron should cost more than the clothes it was designed to protect. i know there are sellers getting that and more, but i guess i want to keep it more realistic. and with consumerism the way it is today - just because you can, should you? i have had several wholesale inquiries lately - and i can't see wholesale being profitable for me as i can sell my things at half my listed price as i would be essentially giving my time away.

  • tlsexton0913

    tlsexton0913 said 12 years ago

    I know this article is somewhat old, but I would like to offer this. I just listed my items on another site and I had to list them in Euros. The dollar is falling in value and the Euro is now worth more. How do you account for this when figuring your costs? On another note, I am using the x2, x2.5, or x3 rule. Since I make jewelry and I don't pay attention to time I use a different formula for labor. This has been an extremely helpful article. I still feel like my items are overpriced even at x2 and I keep very detailed records of what goes into each piece of jewelry.

  • dinaladina

    dinaladina said 12 years ago

    Thank`s for the help! Great discussion. I always have a problem when I want to know the price for my work, and the problem is : most of the pieces I create take too much time to make, so, I can never get the fair value for my work. If I take the fair and real value for my time, how can I get a competitive price?

  • sugarplumbaby

    sugarplumbaby said 12 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I find pricing to be the most difficult aspect of my running my shop. I make a lot of fabric labels and they are time intensive from start to finish. I'm trying to stay competitive and offer a quality product while still paying myself a fair wage. Sometimes I loose money because the time involved in design or fickle customers and communiction delays, keeps me working on a single, particular label for double the normal processing time. Nothing I can do about that because of the made on demand style of product that I offer. In the end I do feel that I'm doing a pretty good job at staying on the plus side of profit.

  • GarySnyder

    GarySnyder said 12 years ago

    I would modify the recommendation such that you compute the labor component using what you would have to pay someone else to assemble the item, not by what you would be satisfied with per hour. If you are a business, and want to be a successful business, then eventually you are going to have to grow, and that means getting and paying for help. My model is cost (materials + labor + overhead) x 2 = wholesale, and wholesale x 2 = retail. If the retail price seems like it's going to be "unsellable", then I don't make the item. I find an item I can make within those boundries.

  • miguez

    miguez said 12 years ago

    Thanks to your article and to all the other comments. I got featured on Handbag Designer 101 and I received a comment that my prices are too low. It made me think and realize that I am really underestimating my product. Here's another article that might also be helpful:

  • ClockworkZero

    ClockworkZero said 12 years ago

    taking photos is something commonly missed I suspect. I spend quite a while with my photos - not just taking them, but resizing, editing, rotating, adjusting for colour.. whew! it can really add up. Even though I increased some of my prices from what I used to sell... I sometimes get told: its is still too low! I'm always shocked.

  • luckyloulou

    luckyloulou said 12 years ago

    thank you for all the comments... I am doing 2x's cost right now and not selling wholesale at this time because I dont want to raise my prices to my etsy cust .. hummm lots to think about!

  • nicoleleeartistry

    nicoleleeartistry said 12 years ago

    Wonderful article! I was seeking this exact information because a buyer sent me a convo to ask if I accepted "best offers" on my work. I have already COMPETITIVELY priced my items (and in some cases, perhaps underpriced - which needs to be changed) and I was initially insulted, but my immediate second thought was that it was my opportunity to educate the buyer on pricing and the value of my hand made, one-of-a-kind items. This article, along with the many forum threads I read, really assisted me in formulating a response to the interested buyer! Thank you!

  • windyrbs

    windyrbs said 12 years ago

    I wish I knew how much to pay myself versus how much I wish I could pay myself. For my time, so far, I've been figuring about $0.75 per minute. But even with that built into my Etsy prices, my items are not selling and I wonder if they are priced too high for the market?

  • anaprindiville

    anaprindiville said 11 years ago

    Fair pricing is a tricky subject, however it all depends on the perception of "value" if you price your items too cheap the buyer perceives the item as "cheap" or having cheap components, you have to be the judge of the "perceived value" of your items, if you use good materials and your workmanship is good, you will be able to get a higher price for your items and the buyer will feel that he is getting value for their money.

  • CreationsBySallyLynn

    CreationsBySallyLynn said 11 years ago

    I have to agree with (last year's response)Craftiejean . I was always told to take Cost + Labor X3. I've been making my items since 2005 and used this method and no one seemed to complain about the cost being too high and received 100% positve feedback that the quality and craftsmanship was well worth the asking price and better than those they could get from well known companies who charge twice as much.

  • CreationsBySallyLynn

    CreationsBySallyLynn said 11 years ago

    WOW for some reason it posted twice...

  • CreationsBySallyLynn

    CreationsBySallyLynn said 11 years ago

    ...And the wrong time posted as it is 11:26 PM here in the Southwest! Wonder why it post 2 different times zones? Weird...

  • jewelsgems

    jewelsgems said 11 years ago

    Thankyou for your information. Your input makes it easier to understand the uncertainity of public pricing. I feel that I have priced well. I paint for those who appreciate art and the beauty of color. Art lovers will take notice! Again, thanks!

  • yellowwalls

    yellowwalls said 11 years ago

    Great info! Thank you!

  • rkdsign88

    rkdsign88 said 11 years ago

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • sheilascrafts

    sheilascrafts said 11 years ago

    I still have a difficult time pricing my items since they are crocheted items. Could someone please convo me on the proper pricing for items such as mine? Thank you for this great article.

  • justagirlcreations

    justagirlcreations said 11 years ago

    I hadn't even thought about all the time I put into taking pictures and listing the items. Great info!

  • ShoestringPress

    ShoestringPress said 11 years ago

    I just read an article in The MBS Newsletter(Miniature Book Society) about pricing miniature books...same concerns: What contributes to publishing & binding costs and how to establish prices that cover those costs and still provides a reasonable profit. With direct-to-customer pricing we are able to eliminate many of the costs associated with retail selling.

  • ShoestringPress

    ShoestringPress said 11 years ago

    Whoops! Don't know how the comment got published twice with such different dates and times????

  • vintagekeepers

    vintagekeepers said 11 years ago

    I figure I am worth 15 dollars an hour when I knot between each bead.......... 16 inches takes about 1 hour. If they do not want to pay $15 an hour then I do not do it for them!!! MY WORK IS WORTH 15 DOLLARS AN HOUR: DO NOT UNDER SELL YOURSELF. If it takes longer than it should then of course that;s your flaw ...adjust the price for that item only!!!! You know what is fair. Then I triple what I paid for the Materials. If you are GOOD you will get your price UNLESS there is 10000 of the same thing out there......YOU KNOW >>>'DEMAND' BUT I did notice ALOT of Bead designing artists UNDERSELL on ETSY!!! Alot of twisting and wrapping and not pricing HIGH enough for their labor. WAKE up....if it is a hobby and you do not care what you earn; you should, because it ruins it for us artist that work for a living!!!! WHEW!!! I"M OFF MY SOAP BOX!

  • CuteHeartDesigns

    CuteHeartDesigns said 11 years ago

    so if i sell an item for a buck or two i wont make anyhting profit cuz of fees?? im a real newbie

  • Tinateee

    Tinateee said 11 years ago

    I agree with this article I did a blog about this at my blog. My hand knitting takes sometime for my cable hand knit scarf it takes 18-20 hours to make and on top of that it takes about 9 hours to complete a cable hat and 9 hours to complete a pair of cable wrist warmers. I have a product pricer I use and do include etsy fees, paypal fees, ontop of listing fees and along with packaging which I try to use priority however the scarves are too beautiful and need to have a clear plastic bag for protecting my work. I am low I believe in my pricing, for 7/hr for my stuff however I've been getting that my scarves are too high, it's appears to me people arent understanding the time it takes. But I also stand by the pricing system.

  • JacquieT

    JacquieT said 11 years ago

    This has been the toughest part of selling my hand made work...Pricing.. Agh! This article and all the comments have been great! I do however totally agree with vintagekeepers about underpricing. We do need to get paid for our time. However, I may be guilty of this at times myself...It's Just So Hard!

  • havilahashby

    havilahashby said 11 years ago

    This topic has been a HUGE issue for me. I am trying so hard to keep my prices low for my customers. Especially since it is a childrens clothing line and I know parents dont like to spend a rediculous amount on outfits their child will wear for 3 months. However, a lot of mine are grow with me outfits and I try to keep my cost around $30.00-$34.00 which I think is reasonable. Right now it can be frustrating though because all the time I put in for such a small profit. Plus I dont buy my fabric in bul yet so every time somebody orders something I have to pay for their fabric plus shipping for the fabric to be sent to me...augh!! I could go on and on all day, lol. Any suggestions on how I can start making more of a profit and keep my costs low? Thanks! :)

  • ThePink

    ThePink said 11 years ago

    This is a huge issue when your work is fairly time consuming! Have yet to figure it all out...Great article!

  • olivebrown

    olivebrown said 11 years ago

    thanks for this pricing tip. i knit most of my items, and even though prices are similar to some of the other sellers, i feel that sometimes i need to charge more--it takes time to knit! i've also noticed that the other etsy sellers who knit, have priced their items WAY below what they should be, therefore, making sellers like myself seem too expensive... what to do?!

  • risingphoenixtoys

    risingphoenixtoys said 11 years ago

    Wow, I would never have thought of paying myself for coming up with the ideas, packaging time, etc! I've been calculating strictly the time I spent on the item, even the time it takes to get out and put away materials! Thanks so much!

  • gifteddesigns

    gifteddesigns said 11 years ago

    Pricing has been an issue for me as well. For instance, I have a necklace in my shop that I priced at 85$. It cost me 22$ to make the item and it took 3 hours to make (I never even though to include photography and set up and everything!) I'm charging a very fair 20$ an hour for my work. So that came to 82$. I put it to 85$ because I have a think of 5s...:) According to many sources on pricing...what I have just done is to provide the Cost Price. They suggest that this price should be multiplied by 2 for wholesale and 2 again for retail. That would be 170$ whole and 340$ retail! I've shopped around on Etsy, online, and in stores and I've noticed that items made similarly to this particular piece of mine are priced in the 80-150$ range. Would it then be fair to even list at 170$? Which is, according to these publications, the wholesale cost? It's rather confusing!

  • glorygifts

    glorygifts said 11 years ago

    Thank you for this helpful and important information!:)

  • bugbitesplayfood

    bugbitesplayfood said 11 years ago

    Excellent info, that has been hard for me too, this series helps iron out the icky details of selling. I use the 3x method.

  • CatTingles

    CatTingles said 11 years ago

    Thanks for all the info given, it is difficult do find the balance between price and what people will want to pay!

  • LJNixonartist

    LJNixonartist said 11 years ago

    Thank balancing act when it comes to pricing.

  • ShimmerMeBlue

    ShimmerMeBlue said 11 years ago

    I am SO confused with pricing. I have not really been using any of these methods. I've tried to do the x2 method, but at the same time, all my bracelets are priced the same. Some sost a little more or less to make. As far as my time, packaging and picture taking, I don't really include that. So I'm thinking maybe I should charge more for my bracelets, but then at the same time, I'm very new to this and I want my stuff to sell. Uggghhhh, why does this have to be so hard lol.

  • dnash

    dnash said 11 years ago

    Thank you for the information!! Pricing is so hard- I want it to be fair for everyone including myself.

  • bellasparty

    bellasparty said 11 years ago

    Great info. Thanks!

  • nikolabean

    nikolabean said 11 years ago

    If I honestly did the math on the time I have spent making quality handmade products over the years, I would have quit 10,000 times. I have always considered the fact that I can stay home, enjoy my craft, look at the birds, not fight traffic or a boss, avoid sneezing co-workers, eat and workout when I want, worth at least $5.00 an hour. If I want to pay myself $15.00 per hour, I actually make $20.00 per hour. Loving your work in a comforting environment contributes to good health, and unfortunately, most business educators refuse to acknowlege this as monetary gain.

  • Easy123

    Easy123 said 11 years ago

    I have been knitting scarves, wraps, etc. for the past several years. Brand new to Etsy, but had my own website and have sold high quality items to friends and at craft shows for the past few years. I have a set price I charge to knit a scarf, a pair of baby booties, etc. Some materials cost a lot. I want to use quality materials, and my clients can afford them, because I charge a nominal charge for creating the item. I cannot include the hours it has taken me to decide what stitches or pattern to use, knitting a swatch for gauge or shopping for the perfect yarn. That's like raising kids. You just do it because you love it and want to!

  • creationslova

    creationslova said 11 years ago

    This series is great! I'm glad Etsy has this type of support system. I've been making jewellery for 4 years and i've had to adjust my pricing because I wasn't charging enough. The first thing I did was buy a computer program to help me manage my supply inventory and price my pieces. It was getting to hard to price my pieces when I had to go through 10 pages of hand written supplies. I was worth that $100 investment. Once i got this program, Wow, was pricing ever easy. It calculates all the supply costs automatically. You enter your labor and all other costs. You need to set your own wholesale, detail and retail price markup (X2, X3, etch.). I usually use X3 unless the piece is very expensive where i might go down to X2.5. To figure out my labor I timed myself making earrings, a bracelet and a necklace. I set my hourly wage and figured out preset labor costs for those pieces. The way the program calculates the cost of the pieces is: (markup X supply costs) + labor + other. I usually add $2 for other which includes boxes, ribons and packing supplies. My price, is my price, I rarely reduce it. When I sell on consignment, i add the shop's cut on top of my price. This marks up the price by 40%, and you know what? People are buying my pieces at this price. So don't sell yourself short, charge a price that will make you profitable. I have a question: what about specials and sale prices. Is it a good idea to include a *Specials* section to my shop? I'd like to liquidate pieces i've had for some time.

  • oopa

    oopa said 11 years ago

    "Loving your work in a comforting environment contributes to good health, and unfortunately, most business educators refuse to acknowlege this as monetary gain." I wholeheartedly agree with nikolabean on this. Having said that, I still think I should not sell myself short. But how difficult this is!! Since I sell from the Netherlands, the falling Dollar against the Euro is increasingly difficult for my pricing. I am a new seller on Etsy, but have sold before to people in the USA and can now see my very moderate hourly fee vaporise... As nice as I generally try to be to other people, and buyers in particular, this poses a problem.

  • nichan

    nichan said 11 years ago

    I used a detail calculation for my pricing and compare it to short formula I set up...I got this formula idea from a reference I read in internet...the result?...the difference is sometimes 5-10USD (my detail price is usually depends, too)...I use this formula as my top limit. It's like, I can set up the price at any amount between my price and that formula... Let's see this short formula: Material + Labor + FOH (electricity, water, etc, etc...)&Administration (fees, blogging time, etc) (FOH calculationexample: 10%x (M+L)) ==> I like it...FOH is included in the calculation... + Profit (ex: 20%x M+L+FOH) ==> some may calculate profit based from M+L but as I think that cost is M L and FOH, so, I include all of it as a base... = Price It's a little bit math...if you work that formula further, you can arrive at the simplest shortest formula...then, after that, all you have to do is making some modification with the % , so you have some pricing options in a faster way... even so, seems like I must "underprice" my stuff a little bit yet, still within reasonable range for a while in order to build trust, too... Every time I want to lower more, I always feel, I'm not appreciating myself. When the feeling starts to ruin, like I want my stuff to get sold at whatever price, I always look at my pricing sheet then i get calmed down (^.^)'...

  • Forcomfort

    Forcomfort said 11 years ago

    Thanks for the infor..I think my price points perhaps scare away buyers. The quilts I make take a long time. I can not make more than one in a day. Some take days or weeks to make, construction time alone not the creative part where sketching, thinking, planning, purchasing fabric, gathering materials together, happen. I have been successful selling my quilts and things at other venues but have had little success here. Perhaps you can address the success of some sellers over others. How is an artist to know whether it is their shop, presentation etc, or their pricing, or their actual work. I think if I used some of the formulas presented here my pricing would be even higher.... It clearly does work for some vendors I wish I could say the same. Thank you for the information though.

  • lillybugboutique

    lillybugboutique said 11 years ago

    Good article. Knowing what to price your work is tough. Everything takes time to do, especially the time needed to create things. Sometimes the time flies and it's difficult to remember how long it took to make a piece. It always seems like there's not enough time to get all of it done. Pricing is a challenge.

  • gabeadz

    gabeadz said 11 years ago

    Great Information. I guess am not doing very well my calculations. Thank you very much!

  • TheRusticRoosterFarm

    TheRusticRoosterFarm said 11 years ago

    Very helpful. I hope I can price my items at the price they need to be and still sell them. I am just getting started with my etsy store. I am sure there is alot to learn.

  • LeBune

    LeBune said 11 years ago

    Thanks for information. When I started selling my creations, I was very confused with pricing,I thought that I asked for too high price. But then I was advised by my friend who liked my stuff. The used to tell me : "every piece you created is one-of-a-kind masterpice, and it should find a person who wants to possess it, like paintings... And she was right,when byer really likes your unique product, they are ready to pay higher price. I've noticed that in the boutique where I'm selling my staff, the most expesive products are beeing sold pretty fast.. I'm a new at Etsy and have to learn more how it works here.

  • ShabbyNChic

    ShabbyNChic said 11 years ago

    Some great ideas as pricing is something sellers sometimes stumble into figuring out. We don't want our prices to be too low or too high, but that balance can be a challenge to find. Thanks for new ways to think about it!

  • squeeky001

    squeeky001 said 11 years ago

    hello,I am new to Etsy and hope to become a seller this summer(09). I am a potter and am currently wall to wall in pottery and jewelry.Trying to figure out new ways to sell and am having problems pricing my work.Pottery is very hard to price. I check other sites and try to get an idea of what similar pottery sells for but my work is somewhat different and I don't see many similar pieces.There are many good ideas in the above article so maybe it will help me determine what,when and how to sell my pottery.

  • CircesHouse

    CircesHouse said 11 years ago

    Such a helpful article, and helpful comments as well! Thanks to everybody. This is a hard issue, isn't it? I particularly like the comment about knowing you're selling something for too low a price if you feel like crying as you package it for shipping. I view each of my pieces as "my baby," to some extent, so I think you have to ask enough that you feel okay about letting an item go. However, the bit about charging for each hour of work seems iffy to me. I do bead embroidery and beadweaving, and some of my pieces take upwards of 40 hours to complete. If I charged $15 an hour for that plus the cost of materials, I suspect most of my items would sit in the shop forever. Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to get that much for them, but especially in this economy, it just doesn't seem realistic. Any thoughts on that?

  • OnceAgainDesigns

    OnceAgainDesigns said 11 years ago

    Very helpful info. Thank you!!

  • debthedollgnome

    debthedollgnome said 11 years ago

    This will help alot. Thankyou. It was very helpful. I am new to etsy and new to selling online. Every bit of info I can get to help me succeed is appreciated!

  • Resign

    Resign said 11 years ago

    This has been very helpful. I am very new at this and pricing is definately the hardest part. Someone made a point before about being confident in your work, I think that is a big part of pricing things appropriately...I know I originally listed my pieces and then got cold feet and drastically reduced them, only to have to increase them again when I realised I should never have dropped the price. This only confuses everyone. I have yet to work out a formula that works for me but when I do, I'm gong to stick to it and have faith in myself. One thing I have learnt very quickly is even if you don't think you will wholesale your items, work out a wholesale price anyway and work out your retail from there, then if someone enquires about buying wholesale you won't have to panic about your pricing. I was taken by surprise when I was asked to wholesale to a shop, 3 weeks into my businesss and of course I didn't have a wholesale price and it really made me realise my pieces are too cheap. much to learn!

  • coquicita

    coquicita said 11 years ago

    Great information Tim! Once again thanks for all of this. You are definitely doing a great job helping people out. Pricing is one of the most difficult parts for me; I will try to start implementing some of this formulas.

  • midnightcoiler

    midnightcoiler said 10 years ago

    This is an interesting, helpful article. Thanks for bringing it to light again.

  • charlene60

    charlene60 said 10 years ago

    Thank you for this article, I spend a lot of time on how much to charge for my work since some pieces take an hour and others (like my rope necklaces) take up to 5hrs. after I put the price I think that I am charging too much but as one writer rightly stated if someone really wants and appreciates handmade (teason they visit Etsy) they will pay the price asked. I will have to redo some math and reprice. Thank you again.

  • kkennedydesigns

    kkennedydesigns said 10 years ago

    I found a very good book about running your craft as a buisness and it had a good pricing guide in there. We are up against imports from China and people that price too low for the work. I will try to find the name of the book. But there is a certain formula the book suggests. And what is being left out of the 2 or 3 times materials and labor is the overhead, what it costs in electricity, gas, rent, whatever to run your studio, even if its a home studio, because if you do intend to run this as a buisness some day as your sole employment, the sale of your items has to cover the cost of your studio costs as well. And there's also the idea of profit. You need to make a profit on the item beyond cost and your labour to have money to reinvest in product development, marketing, craft show fees, etc. You have to realize that you can't compare your hand made wears to imports and mass produced items, and you have to find a way to set your work apart from those items so people understand what they are buying. Show photos of your studio, explain the time that spend on a piece or why it's special. Be realistic on how much you want to make an hour. It is tricky, but you need to think through a great deal on your pricing because it is what will make or break you being able to take a hobby to the next level. I have also recently made my first sale to a retail establishment and realized how important wholesale pricing is.

  • PansyMaiden

    PansyMaiden said 10 years ago

    I went to SCORE to find someone to help me with pricing and I highly recommend each and everyone of you who wants to make your living via your craft to find your local SCORE branch. It's totally free and worth soooooo much. When I met with my SCORE rep, I was lamenting about how much my materials costs and how much time I was spending and about how lots of sellers price their items so low and it's impossibly to be competitive AND make money...and he said something to me so simple, it pulled me out crisis mode. He said, "Have you thought about how you can cut your costs without sacrificing quality?" I had not. I was too busy lamenting that I wasn't thinking outside of the box. He help me set up my business in a legit way (collect taxes, business cert, Fed business ID) so that I could then buy my materials at wholesale costs. Granted, I had to search for wholesale vendors who offer low minimum orders and I'm still trying to really work out my pricing but I feel like I'm getting close. Go to SCORE!

  • JuliesAtelier

    JuliesAtelier said 10 years ago

    All great comments! I'm a brand new seller and doing loads of research before I post my inventory and start selling so this is all incredibly helpful for me. Thanks! I agree with the struggles that some of the artisans are having specifically the knitters. It seems that ceramics has the same issue - so time consuming and labor intensive. It takes me countless hours to construct one teapot plus add drying time, and firing times and glazing time, etc. If I charged for my products based upon labor and shelf time (can take up to 4 weeks to complete because I have a day job), I'd be pricing pieces at $400+ which is not at all realistic. Along with that, is the extreme importance of perceived value by the consumers as others have mentioned above. Buying handmade is great, but what's stopping a customer from purchasing a mug or plate at Ikea or Target, same goes with baby blankets and scarves for the knitters? That's the struggle I'm going through right now. I suppose this all goes back to finding your niche product, making it unique enough for someone to think, "wow, i have to have that!" I've also looked at other etsy sellers in my market (pottery) and it's been tremendously helpful seeing what items are priced at, but like real estate, it's not the price of the house that you need to be concerned with, it's the price at which it sells at. As far as I know, etsy doesn't post sale prices like that. Is that something anyone else is interested in seeing?

  • BigGirlJewelry

    BigGirlJewelry said 10 years ago

    I take into consideration more than just cost of materials, etc. I think about what I would be willing to pay for a similar item and how much it would cost in a department store. It's difficult for me to factor time into the equation because I do 90% of my work in front of the TV, so I stop to watch every so often.

  • ChateauDesigns

    ChateauDesigns said 10 years ago

    This has been my biggest bane. I pretty much used the formula you mentioned about material and my time, but if I got paid for time, I priced myself completely out of the market. I still find my things are higher than others on etsy doing the same thing, and I can't figure out how they can do things so inexpensively and still get paid for their time and effort.

  • lolascraftycreations

    lolascraftycreations said 10 years ago

    I have the same problem as BigGirlJewelry, I make all my stuff in the evenings after being at my 'proper' job and out of the house for 12 hours... I tend to drift a bit by pottering round - must stop and focus, then I will achieve more in the same time = increase productivity!

  • AndreaGiler

    AndreaGiler said 10 years ago

    Thanks for take time sharing this important tips, sometimes we can forget the value of our efforts and creativity but its important to appreciate our work first specially if it is hand made, it makes it something more personal and special!!!!

  • magicwrd

    magicwrd said 10 years ago

    Thank you so much for this. I always have a hard time pricing my creations. I have a distinct tendency to price my talent low. I appreciate all of the input on this and will utilize it on Etsy. I am new to Etsy and have just started to show my stuff so any info I can get is wonderful!

  • smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog said 10 years ago

    This is such valuable advice. I am still fairly new, and pricing is one of the hardest things for me to figure out. I will be working on this! I have one piece I'm not sure I want to part with, so I priced it much higher than my other pieces. I don't know if that's good practise, but I'll feel better if I have to sell him :)

  • smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog said 10 years ago

    Lolascraft...ditto for me.

  • KuDum

    KuDum said 10 years ago

    i agree with olivebrown, that lot of knitters undervalue their work and it is making it hard for others. i make little things and they still take a quite a lot of time. for example a newborn cardigan takes about 6 hours to knit, that time doesn't include any of the finishing touches as hiding the ends, sewing buttons, adding the application, washing/pressing. i thought i'd pay myself just £4/$6,5 hour (i pay my cleaner dbl the price for an hour) and there is no mark up for materials used. i don't even include the time it takes to take the pictures and posting the items, nor designing them (new design ideas usually come to me when i'm working on a current project). considering all this i still find that my prices are one of the highest among similar items. it's a very big concern and makes me doubt myself and having no sales yet doesn't help...

  • kinaloon

    kinaloon said 10 years ago

    There are lot of things I did not consider about the price. For example, my time. Thanks this article is very helpful.

  • myglamour

    myglamour said 10 years ago

    This article needs to circulate often. I don't understand how some sellers on Etsy honestly make a profit. They're selling $15.00 earrings for $6.00 and with FREE SHIPPING. However, it's not always the prices; it's the people. Some sellers take other sellers ideas and then sell their lesser version for much less money. This makes it hard for the seller who birth the idea to sell their item and get paid for their talent and time. Don't get me wrong; it's wonderful to be inspired but at the same time "keep it real" (price wise). What good is it to sell a lot for less and still end with nothing. Don't just go after sales... It's like a catch 22. You can price it low and make no money or price it right and make no sales. You can't win for losing. I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to ever have true success on Etsy. I pay for showcases after showcases and still and no sales generate from them.

  • FeeVertelaine

    FeeVertelaine said 10 years ago

    That's a BIG QUESTION!!!....pricing! As an artist we want to share our art and sell it. Often I hear that my doll are expensive but considering the time that I put on one's not! I agree with one that said that we are worth at least 15 $ per hour, but sincerely my price would be so high. Article like taht will help me made my mind and figure it all. Some people that sell similar doll are so cheap, I can't even understand how they do with reading the different comment I figure that it is more of a hobby than a business. And what do you do with a buyer that send about 20-30 convo..?? That take time's a BIG QUESTION! :-)

  • lulujewels

    lulujewels said 10 years ago

    myglamour and FeeVertelaine are right, etsy is overrun with sellers who craft mainly as a hobby, making it tough for the professionals. A lot of sellers would realize they are actually spending money, not making it, if they took into account their time (not just making items to sell, but time listing, promoting, packaging for shipment, trips to the PO, time spent shopping for materials...) and overhead costs such as paypal and etsy fees (including the fees you pay to etsy to list items that never sell!). It is a shame and I think that is why many of these shops are short lived... I also agree with myglamour's point about quality... there are varying skill levels on etsy, and varying levels of quality of materials used... and all too often the buyer does not realize these differences until the "bargain" item they bought falls apart. The one consolation on this point is that the sellers who have perfected their skill and use the best materials will gain a loyal following of repeat business. One other point to those who think selling at the lowest possible price is the way to go... of all the cost associated with doing business, very few are variable. It takes as long to list a $4 item as $40 item, it costs the same .20. It takes as long to wrap for shipping, and the shipping materials, business cards, etc. cost the same. Your time (per hour) costs the same... and so forth. These are constants. This means that your margin per item is LOWER. Personally I'd much rather sell ONE $40 item than TEN $4 items, because it saves me lots of time and I make more money from that ONE $40 sale!

  • handstosew

    handstosew said 10 years ago

    Well, this was a lot to take in! Someone, a few years ago, when I first began the Craft Fair Circuit, told me to: ~double the minimum wage as my Salary per Hour ~add up all my materials, for me that would be fabric, thread, any kind of trim, etc. ~add up potential fees (include shipping, unless you are offering Free Shipping) ~include packaging, and don't forget the stuffing, ribbon you might also need. So, if I were to do this on Etsy, that means that I would be selling my most popular item for $37.00 instead of $15.00. I do consider myself as putting out a high quality item, with only good quality fabrics, but who in their right mind would pay $37? Thing is too, is that I've seen similar items in such opposite price ranges, e.g. $10., and then as high as $25. So, $37 is definitely not feasible. I think what it all boils down to is to do what you feel is right, for you. And for me, I think possibly I will be increasing my prices after the holidays, by only a few dollars. Thank you so much for this wonderful series. Looking forward to the next installment.

  • handmadeingreece

    handmadeingreece said 10 years ago

    I've justed started out but the pricing is really hard. The dollar is so low to the euro, between 46-50 cents on a dollar depending on the day. If i go to much lower than what i have now, i can't break even, and i think my prices are to high now, for the dollar. But what can i do??? I'm starting to wondered if this is even a good idea to try.

  • HumbleBeeGreetings

    HumbleBeeGreetings said 10 years ago

    I'm just about ready to open shop and I cannot tell you how valuable this information is. This is a very "serious topic" but with what I have read and researched and after veiwing all the comments here, I am happy to say I seem to be on the right track (thank goodness). I tend to agree that the formula regarding pricing, should be "cost+labor X 2 or 3". This should work in most cases. Adjustments can always be implemented if necessary. Advice: Take your time, think things through and do whats best for you. Sometimes one size doesn't fit all. Again, Great Information! Again, Great Information!

  • HumbleBeeGreetings

    HumbleBeeGreetings said 10 years ago

    AM I SEEING DOUBLE!!! It is getting late.

  • tashascreations

    tashascreations said 10 years ago

    It is tricky subject. I am still having a problem figuring out pricing, I know I underpriced my feather fascinators because when I started to sell them I needed to find clients, now when I tried to rice my price I didn't sell one, and on the other side people might think if they are priced too cheap it means that quality is not so good.

  • HeleneEriksen

    HeleneEriksen said 10 years ago

    Great discussion. We definitely have a dilemma when we compare what we earn to what we should be earning. The problem is that there are too many cheap items on the market from China etc so that people have lost the real comparison for well made handmade products not produced by virtual slave labor.

  • eroa

    eroa said 10 years ago

    Thank you so much. Very helpful article.

  • mindbolt

    mindbolt said 10 years ago

    I can't tell if this has been answered yet, but I will be opening a paper goods store sometime this year and I think the cost+labor X 2/3 makes sense. However, how do you come by the numbers to use in this formula? Is it for instance, for one greeting card: price of an individual folded card (a few cents)+ink (since i will be printing on a professional large format inkjet printer+price for time spent drawing and/or on the computer (about $15/hr)X 2/3. Does anyone have a good example of how they priced a paper goods item to illustrate this? Thank you so much.

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 10 years ago

    thanks, very practical info here, well stated

  • sacredjewelry

    sacredjewelry said 10 years ago

    Just bumped into this article. I'm always juggling with issues between wholesale and retail, and find it very tricky to price things accordingly. I don't want to overprice my stuff for retail sales, but don't want to under price them either when doing wholesale. Ah... Not easy! Thanks for the post.

  • feralchildren

    feralchildren said 10 years ago

    I'm really glad to run into this series. I too am struggling with the balance between what the item is worth in time and cost, and what the "market value" might be. It is also good to consider that people unconsciously think of a products worth and value by what the price is. Have you ever, for instance, seen a product and wondered what was wrong with it that it would be so cheap? I am really new to this process, having had only one sale so far, so I hope to work this out when I get more viewers. Education should also be considered. I have 7 years of school and 50 grand in student loans to pay off learning to paint. How do I add THAT up? Do I add it to my plush creatures that have no relation to my degree in painting? It is, I suppose, one of the challenges of being an artist and entrepreneur.

  • feralchildren

    feralchildren said 10 years ago

    I am also struggling with the idea that we are sometimes competing with mass manufacturers. We can't. Some of them pay people pennies a day making their products in factories overseas. There is no way to make a living if we give in to the attitude that we need to compete price wise with K-Mart or Target. Hopefully people know that they are buying a piece of art, essentially, not just a cheap factory made thing.

  • feralchildren

    feralchildren said 10 years ago

    Reading the article posted by miguez makes me realize, when we underprice our work, we are not just hurting ourselves, we are potentially undermining the whole market and hurting all the other craftspeople trying to make a decent amount. The market value is partially determined by what people are willing to sell things for! Thanks for that article, it's encouraging. I raised a couple of my prices after reading this. They may still be too cheap, but I think once I get a bit more efficient and people start seeing my shop, I may be able to figure out a good balance.

  • roroism

    roroism said 10 years ago

    Thank you! but do buyers read such articles too? I still have a feeling that they want to pay as for fast-fashion 'made in china' trendy accessories rather than for an artisan/designer, original, hand-made work...

  • sakizome

    sakizome said 10 years ago

    A beautiful item takes a long time to make. What I make for my shop, I do for pure pleasure so I generally try to recover for quality materials and not focus on the time spent - probably way too long! The time put in is just great fun! I thank Etsy for making this possible.

  • MeAndBoo

    MeAndBoo said 10 years ago

    I have read this article before but it always helps to read again and to read new comments. It is one of the hardest things to determine and I struggle with it, as if I factor in all the costs, and make it retail rather than wholesale, the pieces would, in my opinion, be far too expensive for what they are. (I make mostly beaded jewellery). I hope I am charging a fair price - I would hate to undermine the rest of the craftspeople on here (and other venues) by having prices set too low as Miguez and FeralChildren pointed out. I agree that we have "lost the real comparison", as Helene Eriksen mentioned. I used to work in a bead store, where we also made and sold beaded jewellery, and had to constantly justify our prices, being inside a shopping mall and surrounded by other shops selling cheap imported pieces. Frustrating!

  • chocolateandsteel

    chocolateandsteel said 10 years ago

    Here's my formula Materials x 3 plus labor total x 1.2 (20% profit) = wholesale price wholesale x 2 = retail price

  • TexasHillCountryArt

    TexasHillCountryArt said 10 years ago

    The question I need to settle is: What market am I aiming at? The folks cruising the internet looking for a bargain? Or is it the folks cruising the internet looking for something unique? My pricing so far has reflected the first answer, especially the PIF items and greeting cards that I have used to get some attention to my shop. My excel spreadheet shows a lot of line items with wages for me of about 17 cents! Reading this has made me realize that I need to change. So, lots of work ahead on re-pricing. And re-re-pricing as I don't expect to get it right the first time. Then even more work as I target my real customer and figure out how to help them find me. But I am not going to fuss if some of my etsy competitors choose to go for the bargain hunting market. thanks all!

  • BugUnderGlass

    BugUnderGlass said 10 years ago

    love this blog! thanks

  • katarajade

    katarajade said 10 years ago

    Thanks for the article, but I think I need one that deals with how much my customer target is willing to pay. Then perhaps I could decide whether to do my stuff as a hobby or as a business. I feel more confident charging a more respectful price on Etsy than I do at my local markets. I (a 30-something) sit there amongst retirees who are selling knitted slippers, pieced aprons and dolls clothes for AU$6.00! My handmade jewellery is priced between AU$15 - $60 and I do see people interested until they see the price tag. I also sell some commercially made jewellery and can provide lower prices on that, and that is what my market customers buy (I can't sell it here on Etsy). I also have some really awesome quilted book covers and lots of people look at them, but I haven't sold one at $18 yet, even though it is a lifetime item. If I charge less I'm at risk of not covering cost, let alone labour. I'm new to selling on Etsy and yet to make my first sale here. I have had some success on eBay but do find I have to heavily dicount there so I can only list when they offer free listings. Selling on Etsy can only be worth it to me if the customer base is people looking for unique, handmade items, not bargain hunters comparing our goods to sweat-shop items and happy to make the whole world a world of slaves. That helps no one. I know I prefer to buy goods that empower the creator. It may cost more but it's about quality and the right item, not quantity.

  • bittybambu

    bittybambu said 10 years ago

    Good reminders, thank you!

  • CraftMeCrazy

    CraftMeCrazy said 9 years ago

    Very helpful! I try to take all that into consideration but I also don't want to have high prices that I wouldn't even pay for my items. Thank you for the insight.

  • bbags22

    bbags22 said 9 years ago


  • BabyBundleBoutique

    BabyBundleBoutique said 9 years ago

    i'm having a really hard time with all of this..i've come across many formula but i don't know if there's any that will work for me for all my items...for example, every formula i've tried comes up way too high priced..almost double what i currently charge..lot of great tips on what to take into consideration but i guess i'm still on the lookout to find what will work for me!

  • TwinTreeCrafts

    TwinTreeCrafts said 9 years ago

    Pricing is such a difficult topic. I plan to read the rest of the articles in the Seller's Handbook. My issue is that I have several hats that I would like sold. They are quality made, but not my favorite work. Therefore, I priced them very low, but I'm afraid potential buyers may think I priced them low because they are not quality made. What to do with this dilemna?

  • byhandbyjean

    byhandbyjean said 9 years ago

    Thank you for the discussion. It has been a real struggle to price my items. I have been with Etsy for 3 years now and started really as a hobby that I thought I could do to just pay me enough to fund my hobby or addiction! At any rate I started to just charge what I thought the item would sell for, making sure all my costs were taken care of...just didn't think about the labor. (After all, I just did it in the evenings and it was something to keep my hands busy chilling out!) Not until this year did I think I should really take a look at the pricing and tags and now I do price my items better but emotionally haven't gotten to that optimum price that they should be. I believe my New Year's Resolution is to charge what they are worth and see what happens. Thanks for all the comments...eye openers to me.

  • divaintraining

    divaintraining said 9 years ago

    This is probably the best blog I've seen so far- thank you so much for sharing this with me!

  • KaransPotsAndGlass

    KaransPotsAndGlass said 9 years ago

    This fall, when evaluating my new line of pottery, I created a spreadsheet with nearly every aspect considered... such as weight of clay, quantity of glaze, time, fees, utilities, etc, and I created some helpful formulas. (such as... each pound of clay costs me $-.00 amount, and each cup of glaze costs me $-.00 amount... the time I put into each piece- at $-.00 per hour, etc, and by using this spreadsheet, I plug in my amounts, and it totals up what my selling price is. So far so good- I like it! :-)

  • BittnersCreations

    BittnersCreations said 9 years ago

    Hi Thank You All for your great tips. I crochet doilies, very time consuming. I try to keep my prices fair. But still having hard time to figure out the selling price. Help!! Thank You

  • hautebath

    hautebath said 9 years ago

    Hi, thank all of you for taking the time to share with us. I just upload my first couple of items this past Sunday, and like a lot of you, i too found pricing a bit tricky. A friend of mind is an economist and he was able to help me, but this information, along with all the comments are truly priceless. Thanks.

  • elementalscents

    elementalscents said 9 years ago

    This is a great article. Pricing is always a high wire balancing act. You have to price to what the market will pay while making certain you get paid for what you're worth.

  • HillbillyHandcrafts

    HillbillyHandcrafts said 9 years ago

    Thanks for so much good advice and ideas! Those of us who'd love to craft full time MUST value our time. When we don't, we hurt those who are doing all they can to support themselves. Artists work. We should value ourselves as an employer would!

  • handpaintedbyarlene

    handpaintedbyarlene said 9 years ago

    Liked the information. Thanks.

  • pienchips

    pienchips said 8 years ago

    This is the best and most realistic article I've read thus far on pricing. When doing my home budget I always look at the big picture. Not just what I have to pay for this month, but 6 months down the road or more. Perhaps I should start budgeting my crafting business the same way.

  • bezaleljewels

    bezaleljewels said 8 years ago

    I usually add my materials costs & hourly wage and then times that by 3. Then I add shipping and any extra if it is a special piece. I take away some if it is a piece I am not in love with.

  • boobahblue

    boobahblue said 8 years ago

    Once again...great info. Thanks

  • fiveorsixgirls

    fiveorsixgirls said 8 years ago

    maybe you could do an updated article on this?

  • FairestLJ

    FairestLJ said 8 years ago

    Great article...I'm pretty sure a lot of sellers out there are selling themselves short. I cringe at the prices I used to sell my handmade items at when I first opened shop! I was practically giving them away!! Using these formulas, I am enjoying my profit more and still have some adjusting to do on some items.

  • Mmonrose

    Mmonrose said 8 years ago

    Old news...old advice! Danielle-Precious pups WHO? This recycled 1988 (guess) advice applies to who? Don't send us email on shops that don't exist anymore and had very little sales to begin with.

  • Retromojo

    Retromojo said 8 years ago

    Agree with Mmonrose, why point us in the direction of such an old article??

  • GraysCrafts

    GraysCrafts said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the article. Etsy is filled with articles on correct pricing and correct selling. Still, I see a ton of people who would promote $4 item, paying $7 promotion fee for it. Yes, I know, they usually fail very soon, but, nonetheless, they stay in the way of people who do it full time as a business. I think Etsy should be divided into professional and hobby sections, with product selection tests. In our company, our formula for pricing is simple. As we usually know precisely how long it takes to make an item, we calculate is as (time + materials) x 2= wholesale price; wholesale price x 2 = retail price. This x 2 covers overhead.

  • SimplyUniqueByRLosco

    SimplyUniqueByRLosco said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the info!

  • GGradPhotography

    GGradPhotography said 8 years ago

    Very good information. I'd like more regarding pricing photography and products made using my photo's. Thanks again

  • brookeelissa

    brookeelissa said 8 years ago

    Great tips! One tip I would like to add: If I used an exact cost for time formula, some items would be way overpriced and others underpriced. Some of my very detailed wire wrapped items take a lot of time, to make up for keeping those items priced reasonably for my market audience, I bring up the price on other items that are more simple and easier for me to make. The items I'm making a higher profit on make up for the lower profit margin on some of my other items.

  • FreshRetroGallery

    FreshRetroGallery said 8 years ago

    If one truly wants to quit their day job, how do you figure overhead and what can be deducted on taxes? Is there a list of info on that somewhere on Etsy or suggestions of where to get advice?

  • MattiOnline

    MattiOnline said 8 years ago

    Marking to read later! Looks like a wonderfully helpful read. Thank you for writing this.

  • kimberleeannkreation

    kimberleeannkreation said 8 years ago

    I love articles on pricing and yet I am still so nervous to price my products the way each of you say I should. I sell myself short on the creativity end of it all and need to be brave and just give it a try. Thank you for always encouraging me and others Etsians to give ourselves credit where credit is due!

  • SigalFJewelry

    SigalFJewelry said 8 years ago

    That's a good one! Thanks for the tips Before I decide the price of a piece I made - I put all the costs in an excel chart (material, etsy and paypal fees, taxes, packaging, etc.) - summarizing it all help me to decide of the price I want to charge. I also take into account the number of hours I worked on a piece and the level of complexity in crafting it.

  • EdenDreams

    EdenDreams said 8 years ago

    I would never sell anything at a retail of 4 x cost/labour.... it's useful to read but yuo have to compete otherwise you wouldn't sell anything.. if only EVERYONE followed this we would be on an even playing field rather than trying to undercut to make a sale... would you rather make a sale or have it 'expensive' and never sell it.... it's so tricky.... for example... I have a bird/branch necklace in my shop at the moment which took 1.5 hours to make( at $23.00 per hour which is a cheap labour rate in australia as it is) , material costs were $ that's $179 wholesale and $358 retail - never in a million years!

  • donnabryan

    donnabryan said 8 years ago

    It is all very complex in this economy, just trying to sell with all of the competition It is good advice and I have done all of this but have decided there is more of a profit in selling low to move more product than selling high and all of it sitting on the shelf plus I get a chance to keep making the products I enjoy.

  • Cattytaurus

    Cattytaurus said 8 years ago

    As a new Etsy seller (Just a couple of weeks now) and still not having sold anything-I'm constatntly asking myself "Should I lower my pricing or not?" I crochet and though I do this in my spare time, the materials I'm using are not cheap. I used to think, "If I can make the cost of my materials back-it's all good." The problem with that is you're not making any money. My shop sales are nill, but I'd rather stop creating my dolls than give them away. If they sit on the shelf for awhile, it's okay, I think eventually the right person will come along and know that particular creation was meant for them and pay the price I'm asking. Everything I make is from scratch, no patterns, no free downloads etc and my husband is my biggest supporter. He says if I undervalue my work, I'm undervaluing myself. So, my formula is this: Materials x 2 plus time @ $20/hr plus costs (Gas, packaging, research, fees etc). This works for me, but I also do this: I price out the materials, my approximate time to create the item and all the rest and if at the end I think it will cost too much and won't sell - it doesn't get made. Thank you for the article, very helpful, very informative.

  • BlackWillowSoaps

    BlackWillowSoaps said 8 years ago

    This is a great discussion. I have found that setting prices is one of the hardest things so far. I am always second guessing myself and thinking that I am listing way too high.

  • MelousIllustrations

    MelousIllustrations said 8 years ago

    I was quite confident of my pricing strategy until I found this article. I am planning to start selling on Etsy in a few weeks and my items are hand crafted fashion apparel based on cultural notes. Since they are all original designs do I charge for the idea? The nominal rates for the item? I need help pl send me a convo... Thanks in advance...

  • claudiadelrio

    Yaya from Liukenko said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much, I am pretty new on Etsy and all the tips on the Seller Handbook has been really helpful for me. I believe that pricing your items is the most complicated part. We need to believe in what we create is unique and special for us and for whoever is going to buy it.

  • cardenas3

    Andrea Cardenas from cardenas3 said 8 years ago

    I have the hardest time pricing because if I wouldn't pay that much for it then I don't expect my customers to pay that much. I love what I do and hadn't really thought about the time. Now that I find myself unemployed and really needing to get my etsy shop going I have to say time has to a factor now. I would really like to discuss this in more detail if someone could contact me. I really am feeling overwhelmed with all the etsy stuff. I have never run an online store before so I am completely new. Help please!

  • SiggisEclectica

    Siggi Enderlein from SiggisEclectica said 8 years ago

    Yes, pricing a handmade item is the most difficult part of selling. With an item bought at wholesale it is generally accepted that a store owner sells it at "keystone" plus a few percent for shipping. With artist's creations it is so much harder. However, though you definitely don't want to under-sell yourself, and that's where customers input is valuable, you also don't want to price yourself out of the market. Having been in actual retail for 11 years, I have come across many theories of how much to sell your creations for. One fact stands out. If you sit on something "for years" it is either not desirable or it is too pricey. If you reduce either item and the pricey one sells, you know why. If the non desirable still not sells, you most likely also know why not. So, my thought is to keep the outside public, i.e. customer in mind when pricing your product. In other words, regardless of what I feel I and my product are worth, the majority of the time I have gone by the motto "the product is only worth what a willing buyer is willing to pay", and I am not talking about bartering. Remember, friends, even strangers, may tell you that you under-price yourself, they usually won't tell you the truth if the price is too high. They'll just walk away.

  • SewSimplyFresh

    Kim Opoku-Ansah from StitchLightly said 8 years ago

    I just went to my shop and doubled my prices. I am a very new seller and haven't sold anything yet, so I feel that now is the time to make huge changes like this. I wasn't wanting to do it because I was just scared nobody would even consider my items then. But it was very invigorating doing it! Now I have a weight lifted off of me because I feel like I will actually be making a fair amount for all the time and cost I put into my items. I also feel like I can really sit down and take the time to make high quality products (ie. if I make a mistake while sewing an item I don't have to get frustrated about taking the time to go back and fix it, because I know I will be getting paid for that time! Awesome! ...Now lets just see if my items actually sell. :)

  • byawire

    Jessica Busey from byawire said 8 years ago

    Great info and interesting comments. Like so many others, I am fairly new to selling my jewelry and have read tons of articles about pricing to try to figure this out. I see the same concerns here as everywhere else, finding that balance between pricing that will allow you to make a living vs. pricing that won't scare buyers off. I think I am on the right track so far, but I started out concerned that I was too expensive before I eventually got more confidence. What convinced me to raise my prices is the fact is that I don't want customers that are looking for the cheapest jewelry out there, that's not what I make and not the market I want to be in. I hope the people who buy my jewelry will see that it is made using high quality supplies, offers unique designs, and great attention to detail and will appreciate these facts and come back for more. I would rather make a few sales at a higher price and be known for my quality than make many sales at a low price and be known for pieces that fall apart. I should be paid for the time and effort I put into these pieces and price my pieces accordingly. Best of luck to all out there fighting this battle, its a tough one!

  • KeychainsandCrafts

    Amanda Stockman from AmandasHomemadeGifts said 7 years ago

    I was always taught to price your item by adding the costs of the materials and multiply by 3 so if something costs 1.50 to make you should sell it for 4.50 thus giving you back the original 1.50 you spent to get the materials 1.50 to cover the cost to make the item again and then the final 1.50 as your profit or as I see it I earned enough to make 2 more of the item and got my money back from the first item :)

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