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Selling Products

12 Dec

I’ve been reading online how to price handmade items and each time I finish an article, I am floored, if not more defeated than before I started.
I fully agree with taking in all cost of the product when considering a final price, and as such, adding a few bucks extra as an incentive, but all this doubling to wholesale, then doubling to retail stuff can be one heck of a struggle! Maybe this would work if you expect to sell things full time and are an accomplished crafter; your name is out there, it’s your only paycheck, Ellen Is raving about it and calling you up. When it comes to reality, however, this information can ruin a promising business, on small talk terms.

Take for example, my lightbulb ornaments I have seemed to make into a tradition around this time of year. Following the rules of the things I’ve found online, I’d have to sell each ornament for $50-70 to make a profit. WHAT?!!? No, no, no. Even someone not in this business can purely see that is not the case here. I am in no ways an accomplished artist, and even if I was, if I had to spend that much money on a simple lightbulb with some paint slapped on it to make a cheery looking snowman, I’d turn right around and walk out without a purchase.
True, hard work does go into it, but it’s a given with any handmade gift. Even simple little earrings, or a small doodle shouldn’t go for more than someone is willing to pay for it.
When I started selling my knitted hand warmers in a consignment shop, I decided on a price of $25. It’s a modest price for an item that only cost me less than $10 to make, and from that single skein of yarn, I could make 2 and a half pairs of them. Using the foundations I have come across, that price would be too low. Let me explain:
The yarn I was using cost roughly $8. I could make two sets of gloves, so it would come out to $4.00/pair. $2 for a new set of knitting needles would bring it up to $6.00. Now they’re telling me that I should make my labor costs around $10/hour. It takes approximately 4 hours to make a pair, so that would be $40 in labor. Total cost so far is $46. Now I would have to double that to come to my wholesale price…$92. Now I’d have to double that again to come to my retail price…$182.00.

One pair of handmade knitted warmers would cost you, as my buyer, $182.00 if you were buying from me.

That’s quite absurd. Even using the formula I found on another site, the retail price of a pair of my gloves should be $101.00.

If that’s the case, I better have made my gloves out of the hair of a unicorn from the mountains of Tibet!

As such, I just wanted to share my way of pricing items that I hope would give others in this romp of decisions a way to ease their mind. Using my lightbulb ornaments, I shall explain to you my pricing scale.
I utilize the dollar store. It’s a crafters best friend. I can buy a 3 pack of lightbulbs for $1. That’s .33 cents each, and what I will base my price off of. A packet of ornament hooks for a dollar, we’ll say about 10 to a pack. .10 cents each. We’re up to .43 cents. Glue sticks are a pack of 20, .05 cents each, and I can make about 5 ornaments with one stick: .44 cents.
Each ornament takes about 4 hours to make. With labor charges, I’d already be pushing $40 here, so I’m going to drop it down to $3/hour. Total cost so far? $4.44. Paint I already have on hand, but all of the product I bought together cost about $15. I’ll just say I use about .05 cents of paint for each ornament: $4.49. Paintbrushes I already have, so that’s free for me. New ones for this kind of project can be found at a dollar store: $5.49.

That’s all I have to consider for my material/labor cost. $5.49. Now to get my wholesale cost, I’ll double that to a nice even $12.00. For a little extra profit, I’m rounding it up to $15.00/ornament. That’s doubling my price for one ornament! Because of the product, I’ll still have enough paint and other supplies to last for dozens of ornaments more. If I sell all 3 lightbulbs, I’d have made $45.00. Minus $3 to replenish my lightbulbs, that’s $42.00. That’s a hefty $36 profit.

Now, this is only taking the lightbulbs into consideration. I do use this way of pricing for everything else I do as well, and guess what? My items always sell. The consignment shop I sold at had asked me if I wanted to stick with my price and not raise it. I’m sure I could try a game of roulette and raise my prices until no one buys anymore, but why do that when the price I have is already reasonable and brings in a few extra dollars in pocket cash?

My advice is to add up your products, do the tedious math on figuring out how much is used on one item, and raise it from there using your gut instinct. Don’t undersell yourself, but don’t oversell yourself either. Take your product to family and friends and ask them to honestly tell you what they’d feel comfortable paying for it. Use your own judgement on your work; you know that wonky, splotchy painting would never sell for $100, but maybe for $20 someone would buy it. That scarf has holes, dropped stitches and a few wrong color additions, it definitely isn’t worth $30, so maybe add it to a clearance special and sell it for $5.

It’s a bit of a struggle to get it right, but you’ll never know unless you just throw it out there for the world to decide.

Merry Christmas!

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Cat’s Got Your Jewels

3 Mar

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The other day my cat, Panther, sat down in front of me, his back toward me, and posed almost as if he was begging me to doodle him. Instantly, I grabbed a pencil and a scrap piece of paper and came up with something that looked like this. During a slow time at work, I drew a quick doodle, refining what I already ha in my head and came up with how I wanted these earrings to look like.

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After work, I tagged along with my friend, Jozette, and while she and her gang talked and giggled, I had my head downward, coming up with yet another idea that had flittered into my brain…I had forgot to feed my cat and what a better idea than to add a kibble bracelet to the earrings!

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When I’m bored, I search through the clip art on my computer to help inspire me on my doodles. In the ‘cat’ section of the clip art, there’s a picture of a cat’s face behind a fish bowl. It only took me a few minutes to make up a charm that would be included in the bracelet. I was a little too excited over everything and soon passed out from over-exertion.

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I spent this weekend crafting up the newest addition to the 3DKnits line. I’m excited to get these bracelets and earrings out there into the world!

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And I hope you find these as cute and charming as I do.

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A Peek Into The Future

23 Feb

I’m an avid Coast to Coast AM fan. For those of you who havent heard of this marvelous radio talk show, it’s five hours of paranormal goodness! Highly recomended! Tonight, they had the first hour filled with a guy reading tarot cards and an idea hit me so strong, I couldn’t resist. At first, I was thinking that I could knit a tarot card deck…then noticed that it would need some planning. So I turned to my lovely Shrinky Dinks. Right now I’m only making the templates of a full deck of Tarot Cards. With it, I plan on making jewelry! I know I’m not the first one to come up with this idea, but I figured that I can doodle fairly well, therefore my Tarot jewelry can add to the mystifying art.
The first thought I had was to theme it with smiley faces. They’re very versatile and something I’ve had years of practice drawing. Other than stick figures, I consider myself a pro. The Tarot deck has 78 cards, and that mixed with smilies, I have an infinite amount of choices that will give me hours and hours of fun!

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My first ever Tarot Deck that I still have and will pull out a few times a year when I need some sort of ‘other worldly’ direction is a deck drawn out by one of my all time favorite artists, Brian Froud. This deck is base on Faeries and has been true to its word, sometimes scar-ily so. If I’m not in the mood for a reading, even just looking at the magnificent pictures is always refreshing. When I first got the deck, I used to pick a card weekly, and display it on my bedroom mirror; they’re that pretty! Even my mother enjoyed looking through the deck from time to time, and asking me for readings.

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Though my templates are far from the final production, I couldn’t help but share! They’re backwards because I prefer to have the drawing on the frosted side of the Shrinky Dinks and the front show through to the shiny side. Unfortunately, I only have the clear Dinky’s right now, which can only be used with permanent marker. I can use my own sand paper to make a frosted side-or spend some time outside scratching one surface with the sidewalk…but I’m looking forward to doodling my heart out and just buying a package of frosted Dinks.

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Otherwise, for those of you interested in an update of my knitting, I am still making my gloves for sale at The Marketplace but plan on slowing down here. Because I want to get ahead of the season, I am planning on spending the spring and summer seasons making a huge stock of gloves (and maybe a few other trinkets). I’ll keep The Marketplace stocked with gloves, but only a couple because though Knitting is considered something for fall and winter time, these gloves can help keep fingers and wrists warm when comes down to freezing, air conditioned offices.
I have a custom order, something that I have to go shopping for within the next week to gather the yarn in the colors of my customers needs, so maybe I’ll consider making more custom orders for others. Normally, because knitting is time consuming and my hectic work schedule, custom orders are usually turned down. However, due to the changing of the seasons, custom orders may become more of a possibility =)

Oh! And before I forget, The Marketplace is changing their name! A Touch of Colorado is their new name, so should you try searching them out and come across some heartburn in it, try that.