Sunday, August 23, 2009

So, How do you price your beads?

That's a question a posed on a forum that I frequent. How do you price your beads? The answers were quite interesting.

One person said that she felt that pricing beads was like religion and politics. Feathers might be ruffled. I honestly didn't understand that response.

Other responses were really quite helpful. One person said that she paid herself $1 a minute to make the bead or piece of jewelry that she was making. She said that after she made the beads she would sort through the beads and then reprice. Beads that weren't made as well as other were priced down.

Another person agreed with this and included in her pricing system the time she spent photographing and cleaning her beads. I felt that was very helpful, too.

Someone else said that she priced her beads at the level she felt comfortable selling them.

We also had a brief discussion about hobbyist versus professional. Most of us agreed we want to make enough money to pay for our glass and tools.

Now, I'm throwing this same question out to you professional bead makers. How do you price your beads? What criteria do you use?

For you who buy beads, what criteria do you use when you buy beads?

I'm still struggling with pricing my beads. Help!


Manuela said...

When I decided to sell my beads I decided to start ebay. Guess why?
Because I am very bad in pricing my work, I would rather underprice my beads.
After some ebay years I could see for how much money my beads are selling on ebay, ebay pulse is working good for me and that´s the price for my beads (when I don´t put them on ebay of course).
My husband is still saying that I underprice my beads, my friends are telling me to double the price but my goal is, that people loving my beads should afford them and I must be able to make a living from.
So ... I have a price for one hour work and if the bead is OK I will consider this price for that bead (something between 75 and 100 US$ depending on the style of the bead) even if it takes me longer to make the bead, then I add 30 % for Glass (it´s my time for making murrinis, shards and other stuff to incorporate into the bead, looking for a good place to order glass and tools, ordertime, paying the bill, paying taxes etc.), kiln, cleaning, nice package, shipping, taking pics, time for Internet, Emails etc.
What I don´t charge is the time developing a new design :-) or "poking around" without results.
And not to forget, a lot of classes I have taken to increase my skills, my studio setup etc. etc. etc. Perhaps I will do it some day too ... because I am now a fulltime lampworker and have to think about a lot of things more than all the last years when I did it just for the love of beads.
I am happy to make beads and I am looking for to be able to do this for the rest of my life :-).

Hope it helps?

Deb said...

In answer to the initial question "With great difficulty"!

rosebud101 said...

Manuela, Thank you for commenting! Your system of pricing makes a lot of sense to me. It also tells me that you value your beads and your time. I appreciate the input!

girlfriday1962 said...

well said Mallory and responses!

Lauren said...

This is my biggest struggle! I'm now challenged to price my beads for a show, where a percent will go to the design center that is selling them. So I have to somehow account for that without making my prices outrageous. And I have two days to figure it out!

Manuela - thank you for your input! And Mallory - great topic! I hope more people comment.