Pricing Your Jewelry
How much should you charge for your work?
For most people who want to sell their jewelry, the question of pricing can be daunting. The issue becomes increasingly important when you want your jewelry to be a large source of your income.
The process can be complicated, but it's necessary for a viable business. The optimal price will vary with individual circumstances, but these guidelines will help you calculate what's best for you.
First, do some research. What are similar pieces going for at the venues that interest you (local art fairs, galleries, boutiques, online sites)? Use this as a guideline when you decide on your final price.
For each piece you make, keep track of the cost of all materials. Include shipping and any other extra costs. Then decide what your time is worth per hour. This is somewhat subjective. Depending on the intricacy of the work and the skill needed, consider $10-20. Record how long it takes to make each piece.
One simple option: Double the cost of labor and materials for your wholesale price. Double that for your retail price. Many people simply charge 2 or 2 1/2 times their cost in materials and labor when setting a price. But if this is going to be a major income source, you'll need to include things like overhead and marketing costs.
Overhead can include rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, insurance (health, business, car), loan payments, office supplies and tools, child care, and professional services.
Professional services include an accountant, a lawyer, or marketing services. Marketing costs can include booth and equipment rentals, travel expenses, printing and design costs, advertising, credit card processing costs, a public relations professional, and online site fees. Look at credit card and bank statements to track these costs. Come up with an annual total for both overhead and marketing.
Figure out how many hours you spend making jewelry in a year. What percentage of that total time did an individual piece take? Multiply that percentage by the annual overhead and marketing costs.
Finally, include the amount of profit you want/need to make per piece. If the final price you come up with seems too high, look for ways to cut costs. Don't underprice your work. You may get some short-term rewards, but you can't stay in business that way.
Also, remember if you sell on commission through boutiques, you'll receive only a portion of what they're actually charging for the item.