If you look around online, you’ll see lots of product pricing guides. Etsy has a lot of them, and they apply to both Etsy users and people selling anywhere else online as well. Unfortunately, people don’t listen to the advice that’s given, and the pricing trends are actually hurting business for artisans everywhere.
It’s a horrible habit, but a lot of artisans see that sales are slow, and instantly lower their prices. When they set prices for new items, they try to price theirs lower than what other people are charging. This low price mentality creates a serious problem. People associate price and quality. The lower the price, the more the customer is going to think that the product is cheaply made.
When you keep lowering your prices, you also create a yard sale mentality. You only attract people who have little money and are looking for a deal. If you’re a quality artisan, these are not the customers you’re looking for. What you really want are customers who have money to spare and are looking for quality products.
It’s important to charge what your work is worth, not less than what other people are asking. Sure, your item might be double or triple the price of another artisan, but you are projecting quality. If all sellers priced reasonably, we’d have a much better market. Unfortunately, one person prices low, another prices lower, and eventually artisans aren’t even making back what they spent on materials, much less a profit.
Generally, crafts are supposed to be priced at materials x 3 or more. This number is supposed to include all materials, including packaging, and even gas to the post office. Other pricing guides recommend at least $10-20 or more per hour. Not all work can be priced per hour, which is why there are varying pricing guides. Anything less than these and you’re hurting yourself and everyone else.
It may seem scary to charge what your work is really worth, but think about it this way: Would you be willing to work a job that only pays $1 an hour? Then why only pay yourself that much for your crafts or art? What you charge tells the world what you think of yourself and your work. And even if you’re a hobbyist rather than someone making crafts for a living, you should still charge reasonably. When you don’t, you hurt the people who are actually doing it for a living.