Sunday, May 30, 2010

Etsy Selling Tip 4: The Price Is Right!

I frequent a lot of craft forums and I see this question over and over again: "Do you think I am charging too much/too little for my items?" I think the best answer to this question is another question, "Would you pay that much for the item or a similar item?"

We all know that money is tight these days. When I price my items I always ask myself how much I would pay for a similar item from another seller if I were buying online or at a craft show (I'll talk a little more about craft show pricing later in this post.) Now this is just my personal opinion and it has worked for me. Never sell yourself (or your craft) short if you put a lot of time, effort and love into something you've created you should by all means get paid well for it, but remember to be realistic. Also take into consideration that most people buy handmade because they are looking for a unique item...without the heavy price tag of something mass produced.

What it really comes down to is you know your price is right if you'd pay it yourself. If you wouldn't pay the amount you are charging for a similar item, no matter how unique and well made it is, you are charging too much.

Now, how do you decide if your prices are too low? Ask yourself this, Are your making a reasonable profit over your supply cost? Can you cover your Etsy fees at the end of the month? (Assuming you haven't spent all of your money visiting other awesome Etsy shops lol!) If you answered no to these two questions, then your price is probably too low. If you are at this point don't be afraid to raise your price a little. The price of your item can reflect the quality of your item just as much as the photo. If a price is too low buyers may think that the quality is low as well.

Craft Show pricing

The most important thing to remember about a craft show is that it is a craft show not a flea market, therefore do not drop the price of your items to unreasonably low prices. I have been to shows where fellow Etsians are selling their crafts for half and sometimes less than half the cost they sell their items online for. I am all for giving a price break at a show, but once again do not sell yourself short. Knocking a few buck off mid-level and high ticket items is a great way to get people out to a show you are participating in. I post information about shows I am doing in my shop announcements and on my blog. I often let buyers know I will be discounting some of my items during the show as well as selling items not listed on Etsy. This not only brings potential buyers out to the show but also to your table/booth.

Now, how do you decide if you should keep your pricing during a craft show the same as in your Etsy show or slash the prices. This should be gaged on the show it'self. I say always start out the first 1-3 hours(depending upon the length of the show) as close to your original price as possible. As the day goes on base your pricing on the following:

Hows the crowd? Is it large, steady or very thin?
How many other vendors are there selling items similar to yours?
Do buyers really contemplate an item after learning the price or do they walk away immediately or shake their heads (I see this a lot from older buyers)

One thing I've learned is to stay firm on a price if a potential customer really ponders and it and comes back several times to look at it again or see if it's still there. This usually means 1) They may be a fellow vendor and need to make a few sales of their own before they can buy anything, they saw something at another table they liked and are trying to figure out which item they like best or if they can afford both and finally if you are going to drop your price. Remember it is not a flea market or a swap meet. Your not just cleaning out your garage and throwing the items on a table. You worked hard on your creations. Do not be discouraged if the person ultimately walks away. Their going to be the ones on the ride home kicking themselves because they didn't buy that item from you they really liked. On several occasions a few days after shows I have gotten orders/convos from people who saw one of my items at a show and didn't buy anything then, but when they got home decided they really liked it and should have bought it.

If the day has been slow and and the crowds haven't been great, you may want to drop your prices a little. Your goal should always first and foremost be to make back your table/booth fee and your supply cost, because everything after that is profit. Even if you don't make a profit at least you are not out any money and you got your name and your product out in the public. My 1st show I didn't even come close to breaking even, but several people saw my stuff and looked me up online.

Finally it's important to take into account the area of the show is in. Potential customers may not have as much disposable income to spend as those in other places in your city. Keep that in mind as you are pricing your items.

Wow! Sorry this one was so long. I probably started rambling there for a bit.


  1. Excellent tips - couldn't be more 'on.' Thanks!

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