Thursday , 29 July 2021
Pricing For Time Intensive Handmade Items

Pricing For Time Intensive Handmade Items


Article by: Honey’s Quilling

If you are like me you have read dozens of articles, posts, and comments on how to price your handcrafted items. And if you are like me you have been confused more often than not. The number one thing I have learned is that there is not one single formula that will give everyone the right pricing technique. Each type of handcrafted item is created differently. Some are made with expensive jewels, some with cotton yarns. Some take a few minutes to put together, while for some it is the time invested that gives them value.

This article is geared towards those who create handcrafted items that are time intensive. I will share how I have priced my items that fall into this category, and what I have learned along the way.

When thinking about how to fairly price your crafts, you must take into consideration both the cost of your materials, and the cost of your time. There are many pricing formulas out there that only use the cost of materials to figure out the price. That obviously will not work for time intensive crafts because you will not be getting paid for your time at all. Then there are other formulas that have you add in your time cost plus material costs and double, triple, or even quadruple that to get your wholesale price. Again, this will not work for time intensive crafts. You will find yourself with over-inflated prices and no buyers!

The key to the right pricing formula is to make sure you are getting paid for your time, for your materials, plus any overhead costs. This is the formula that I have come up with after months of tweaking:

[(time x $per hour) + 2(cost of materials)] x 1.1 = wholesale price

wholesale price x 2 = retail price

How much you should pay yourself per hour is up to you. I’ve seen a lot of advice saying that the bare minimum should be $10, so that is what I have started with for myself. I’m sure I will increase that as time goes on. The reason I double my materials cost is because there are always overhead costs. Having materials shipped to you, some materials getting ruined, materials you use that you don’t know how to calculate such as glue. I figure these are all covered by doubling my materials cost. Then I multiply by 1.1 to add 10% to my wholesale price. I do this to give myself a little profit and a little wiggle room. There are always overhead costs such as electricity that are hard to calculate in. This gives you that room. Plus even if you are selling wholesale it’s great to be able to get a little profit from those deals! You can then use this to re-invest in more supplies! I choose 10% as my profit markup, but you can put whatever you feel comfortable with.

If you are planning on trying to get some wholesale accounts, you definitely have to double your wholesale price to get to your retail prices. Most retailers will expect to get your goods at half price. This retail price is then what you should be charging customers.

When I first applied this formula to my items I gasped a bit at the prices. I asked myself, “who would pay that??” But then I took the advice of many crafters and artists and reminded myself that those who cannot make what you make WILL pay that price for it! I know I look at many crafts that I do not have the skills for, and I’m happy to purchase their items because they are well made, gorgeous, and it’s awesome to buy handmade! And I know others buy my products for the same reason.

Another thing to consider is the costs such as advertising, listing on etsy, renewing listings, time it takes to photograph, packing, and numerous other expenses! I figure that because I am charging retail price in my shops, I am covering those costs. So basically my “profits” are really the costs for all of that. When I sell wholesale I don’t have those costs, so I don’t feel comfortable adding in those costs to the wholesale price. But some people do, so feel free!

I consider my pricing formula to be very flexible. Once you have a formula that works for you and your craft, and you are happy with your prices, you can leave it for a while. But if you feel it needs some tweaking – maybe you find your overhead costs not covered, or maybe you decide to start putting your marketing and photographing hours into your time (something I have not done yet) – go ahead and tweak it!

If you create time intensive handcrafted items I hope you have found this article helpful. Let me know what your pricing challenges are and how you are handling them! Happy pricing, and happy selling!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. This is a very neat article that summarizes what we can find in countless similar ones. Handmade items are created by very passionate and creative people and it is a shame to see them forced to lower their prices to the level of that found in garage sale.

    While cheap prices certainly appeal to a large percentage of the population, it also sends the message that they want their handmade items be crafted under less than minimal salary conditions, while the buyers are certainly not interested working under such conditions. This is an unfair situation and we, crafters, artisans and artists, must not fear of asking fair retribution for our work.

    Whenever we ask ourselves “who would buy my item at that price?” and we try to answer by fitting in someone that does not have the means to purchase our creation, we tend to lower our prices. That’s what I did at first. And of course it resulted in no sales because I am not targeting the right clientele.

    We have to educate our clients that we are a different breed from that of manufacturers, who have adapted over time in response to the increasing stress of lowering their prices, by sending the manufacturing process overseas, taking advantage of a totally different economic landscape, and by producing cheaper and cheaper items.

  2. I appreciate the formula! I recently spoke to a shopowner who said her retail costs are multiplied by a factor of 2.5%, so I’m throwing that thought into the ring. Pricing anything of a creative and sometimes intangible process is difficult, but having done so now for a while, it gets easier to do and my confidence level of my product increases dramatically.

    Great article, thanks so much!

  3. I was very interested in the article not as a seller, but rather as a buyer. As a buyer, it’s very educational to understand better how costs are calculated. Handmade items are, by and far, very fickle in how one decides to price them. And if the tenor of this article holds true (that there are many ways to figure out how you want to price them), it makes it very hard for the buyer to sometimes justify the price that is given to a product without understanding fully the work put into it.

    As a crafter, I will also often find a way to make my own version of what someone is selling if the price is out of my budget. Being a graduate student, that budget is not very high.

    I do feel the need to comment in response to Michel though. While I recognize your concern, I would caution that wanting a low price is not simply a wish for horrible working conditions for artisans. As above, my budget is indeed often a very tight one. That being said, when I am able to purchase something myself, I prefer to purchase from artisans and crafters. I would rather give them my money than anyone else. Sometimes, the products are just priced way to high for me to even consider them. That makes me walk away outright and find someone who is offering a similar product I can actually afford. I am always willing to take something that is not perfect for a reduced price or find some other way to give my money to someone who made the items themselves without resorting to mass produced goods.

    I am not suggesting that artisans should compromise their integrity and ask for nothing in order to get people to buy their product. I am just adding the voice of one with very little budget to the conversation on why someone might not be willing to pay as much as is sometimes asked. I hope you find it useful.

    • Yes I also can’t afford much myself but I would like to buy handmade. I think the problem we have is a lot of etsy buyers are also etsy sellers, so how much we can spend on handmade depends on how much we sell. So if we all could start buying from each other more then we’d be able to afford more, but the trouble is in starting that cycle.

      • I would tend to agree, however I also think that the idea of correct pricing makes the difference. I’ve tried lots of calculations to price my items fairly and competitive from others who do the same crochet plushes.

        Here’s an example, I found a online seller who could make 3 Bombs and a Bomb Bag from the Zelda game series and charged approx. $50 for it. I made it and sold it for under $30 with what I thought was a fair price.

        I’ve discovered since then that I’m probably undercharging for what I do, and have since implemented a charge per inch in longest measurement for my work. I think its a good system for me, especially when I will make all sorts of items that can’t always fall under a formula. The flexibility in changing how much is charged an inch gives great freedom to increase prices should I think it necessary.

        On a side note I think it would be really awesome for sellers to do item swaps both for those of us who may not be able to afford an item, or for being able to spread the news about other sellers to our website blogs as well.

    • As an artist, I realize that in order to survive on my work I have to charge more than the people who love it most can often afford.

      I do a lot of custom tell-me-your-budget work, and I make a literal sh*t-ton of prints at lower cost.

      I really want people who “get it” and love the stuff to be able to have it for themselves. I try to find ways to make it possible without hurting my own chance of survival.

      I think the fact that often, with handmade stuff, if you tell someone “I like this or that, but only have $such amount to spend, what can you make?” then you might be surprised by the reply, which is usually “how about (such and such similar but less-time-intensive) object?”


  4. I think you are brave for commenting so honestly KristyG, because there are many buyers out there in your shoes and you are able to buy quality handmade because there are many inexperienced sellers who believe success in business is found in volume without profit. The situation is magnified on etsy because the low listing and selling fees make it possible for hobbyist, who don’t care about profit and are thrilled just to recoup some or all of their supplies costs, can compete against profit seeking business owners. If etsy raised their listing fees, it would knock out the majority of hobbyists and also inexperienced business owners who would see their capital evaporating much faster. But etsy is able to thrive on volume.

    If profit seeking sellers include the KristyGs in their target market, they will always be playing in the price war. Let those sellers who appeal to price shoppers stay in that league. Work on your widget and marketing to appeal to those who seek more than the lowest price. And that means, in general, you must offer something unique, special services that are easily recognized, be able to buy supplies at a huge discount, move your “store” to a higher rent district where price-sensitive shoppers do not tread or be one of those exceptional salespeople who is extremely persuasive; and the latter is tough to do with a virtual shopper.

    In a nutshell, on-line selling is a tough road to travel if profit is the goal. A few clicks and buyers can find someone out there selling it cheaper. You have to market to and appeal to those not looking for the cheapest price.

  5. Thanks so much for this article. I often wonder how competators are able to sell their work for so little. I’m priced a little higher than some but I’m making good sales and I think that my customers appreciate that I provide quality pieces with no shortcuts

    Thanks for confirming my pricing strategy.

  6. This is an interesting formula. I have struggled with the “add time & supplies & double” formula for the same reasons that you mentioned. I think that many of us make mistakes in pricing. At first, you price way too low, because it’s a hobby and you don’t know any better. Then, as you educate yourself and gain experience, you often price a bit higher. I like this formula and will give it a try. : )

  7. I think your formula is good. However, I don’t really see it applying to everything.
    I am a needle felter. While I do believe that my time is worth at least $10 an hour, I don’t think needle felting has been around for long enough for the public to see just how long some of the pieces take to create and therefore, it’s worth.
    I can spend any where from a few hours to 20 hours on one of my pieces. Using your formula (and $10 an hour for my time) a 20 hour piece would come out to about $450 for the retail price. Does anyone think a customer would pay that price for a needle felted animal? If you do I would like to get in touch with your customer base!
    Unfortunately, it takes time to educate our customers as to the true worth of some handmade genre. Needle felting is not there yet.

    • Hi Victoria, I’m a needle felter who charges £85-£175 for small pieces but regularly £350-£600 for my larger work. I’ve worked hard to ensure my pieces are of a really high quality and I position myself in the market with confidence, and some clever wording (talking about sculpture and art rather than needle felting) and for me it works and I make a living from it. So, it can be done! I also show at high quality contemporary art and craft shows where my customers are happy to spend money on what it is actually worth. You can see my work at www. :)

    • I totally agree. It’s really annoying not being able to charge properly for my time, but I’ve just used the formula which would price my hand knitted baby booties at $118.80 a pair, and that’s for the bog standard quick knit ones, for the fancier more time consuming you are looking at 200+. When I look on etsy there are tons of ‘hobbyists’ selling similar for under $10. I just won’t make any sales if I’m that much higher than the rest of the market. Instead I have my own system, I times my material costs by 4 and then see where it is, if there’s wiggle room I add a little more on, trying to make sure I’m fairly middle of the price range, but in the higher middle if you know what I mean!

  8. I’m in the same position as Victoria. I make baby quilts, and paying myself $10 an hour and then doubling equals $350 for a baby quilt. I can’t imagine many people would be willing to pay that amount, especially when the going rate is at least $100 less. So I do feel at a loss when it comes to wholesale, because I am basically selling at wholesale, and am not willing to sell for less. There is such a delicate balance that I have yet to figure out when it comes to pricing. Thank you for this article. It’s sparked some thought for me.

  9. Thank you for all of your feedback!!

    Victoria, that is a good point about needle felting. I think that as long as you are selling at wholesale plus a bit to make up for etsy and paypal fees then that is fine. You wouldn’t want to sell for less than that b/c you’d be losing out. As long as you are not out to try to get wholesale accounts I don’t think you *need* to double the wholesale price to get your retail price.

  10. This is a very helpful article and also some great comments to consider. It seems to me that if your item that you are making and selling takes alot of time to make, you are actually in a different class of artisan seller. Your item would be more of a specialty item, because of the extensive time involved, and would have to be priced and considered as such. This would explain the higher price and add to the desire to own it. Don’t sell yourself short and charge what you should expect to get for this type of an item.

  11. Definitely one of the most helpful articles I have read, as I have had the same issues with pricing. My pricing method is very similar to yours and I feel somewhat confident about my prices – I try to put myself in the buyer’s shoes whenever I price anything and say to myself, “Self, would you buy this item?” And of course the response is definitely a resounding YES!!! But then reality kicks in and I spend the next 3 days waffling back on my prices.

    I do have one question. How (and if) do you figure in any sort of design time – the thought process and the actual creative process that lead up to your actually making the product? As an artist, I usually write that off as time enjoyed immensely(who of us doesn’t love to create?), time well spent, but also time lost(money wise). I am thinking since we are in this handcrafting business that this is going to be one of our “crosses to bear”, and that will be the way it is? A pricing article, I have read prior to this one, said not to totally ignore this aspect, but it is easy to do because of the extreme pricing issue.

    By the way, I love your jewelry and have many on my favorites!! You are very talented and your quilled rose earrings are so unique!

  12. Jamie and Honey, I’m in your same boat with some of my crocheted treasures. A baby afghan can take me 40 hours or more. In a perfect world both of you and I should not be selling these items on a venue like etsy. But I am, in a couple of instances, to go thru a yarn stash.

    Ideally, for the time, our effort should be selling in a museum shop where it would be acceptable to price a handmade baby quilt at $350 and it would sell at that price without sticker shock. And in this real world, if you wish to make a profit selling those time-intensive items, etsy is not the venue, nor ebay, nor Artfire or several others. In reality, on etsy, you’d be better off creating your $350 baby quilt, then cutting it apart to create 10 smaller and precious wall hangings, wipe box covers, yada, for $35 each……now you are making a profit.

    You can’t sell Tiffany lamps at Walmart. As painful as it is, we either have to create some things because we just love to do it but without adequate compensation or we have to find a widget that fits our market more appropriately.

  13. I just wanted to clarify my earlier post with a few concise points, as I realize I might have rambled and come off in a way other than I meant to.

    1) I do feel that artists should be compensated for their time and that prices which only reflect goods used and not work, advertising costs, etc. are inadequate.

    2) I am always willing to pay more for handmade than manufactured (for the above reasons).

    3) As I buyer, I find the article educational in understanding how pricing is calculated, and believe that this is certainly a fair way to do so.

    4) The purpose of the post was to offer an alternative viewpoint to the statement made by Michel that wanting cheap prices..”sends the message that they want their handmade items be crafted under less than minimal salary conditions, while the buyers are certainly not interested working under such conditions.” While I do not dissagree with the statement it may send, I felt that I ought to give an understanding of why someone might want to patronize crafters but might not have the money to pay for high end crafting goods.

    5)Finally, I am certainly aware of my own budgetary constrictions and due to them there are certain items that I know I cannot afford to purchase handmade, as what I could pay for them would not adequately cover the time of the artist. This is my own limitation, and I am happy to abide by it.

    As for the comment by Michel about educating the buyer better, I do think that a better understanding of the work that does go into the product is useful as a buyer and does help to put the prices into perspective.

    I hope this clears my thoughts up, and apologize if they came off suggesting that I do not wish for crafters and artisans to be properly compensated.

    • I like you. I want to reiterate what I said above: the best thing about buying handmade is that we are real people, who have often been broke too. And a lot of people who make stuff are very easy to approach and talk to about your needs and your budget.

      It’s so hard not to have money, and to see so much talent in the world. I’m an artist trying to sell, but I also collect and feel the sting too.

  14. Wow, this is a great discussion. I find myself thinking of the ‘emotional’ buy I made on Etsy last week, when I decided to purchase a handmade skirt for my daughter instead of going to the store and finding something similar from overseas. Pricing was a factor, but not the most important factor. I also did not cross-shop other Etsy stores once I landed in that particlar store.

    I also think of my Mother, who purchases the highest priced, most valuable brand names only- again purely ‘emotional’ buys. The emotional buy is definitely a factor on Etsy, especially for items that are unique and represented well.

    The formula suggested here is terrific. I’ll be toying with this for my tutu line pricing. Having time intensive items is a challenge, and it does help to offer smaller items that coordinate with my line.

  15. I have really enjoyed this post and the responses to it! And I find myself in the same boat. But here’s my twist;

    I look at what I make and apply the price formula suggested. Then I ask myself, “would I pay that price?” and the answer is, “No!” It’s not that it not worth the price. And the price may seem fair to many, but having a reasonable price doesn’t mean it’s one that I can afford. I’ve struggled with this my whole life. I’ve seen many, many lovely things I would love to own but that doesn’t mean I can afford to own them.

    I can’t imagine that there are so few folks like me who justify themselves out of purchases because there is always something more important to spend the money on then whatever it is that piques my desire.

    My folks were poor people. I grew up watching them stretch that dollar until it tore.

    I am not much better off. But I am an artist and I know my value. The question for me is, how can I gauge a good price for my artwork when I know it’s a price I would not pay, not because I’m a cheap so and so, but because it’s not the way my brain works?

  16. And, here’s another question…

    Are there internet venues that cater to artistic people who are serious sellers, not just hobbiests? Is there a place where I can go and find a list of such sites?

  17. Laurie – thanks for your sweet compliments :) As far as design time goes, like you said, that usually goes unaccounted for. For me I actually do a lot of my design thinking time when I am doing things like cleaning, washing dishes, singing lullabies to my daughter, etc. But there is of course actual working design time like when I created a new pattern for making paper quilled dachshunds for a custom frame. It took some trial and error, but I don’t count it. I try to make up for it by making several items with a new design so I’m not always creating new designs.

    Shute, I like your comment “You can’t sell Tiffany lamps at Walmart” Luckily I don’t think selling on etsy is as bad as trying to sell at Walmart. At least Etsy seems to be better than craft markets for me.

    KristyG – not to worry, I understood what you were saying the first time I think :) I know, I would LOVE to be able to afford all handmade goods, but I really can’t. And I do want to know that those making handmade items are paying themselves fair amount. So I buy when I can.

    Judy, I definitely understand where you are coming from, I come from a poor family as well! My siblings and I made a lot of our own toys even! You have to remember that people who cannot afford it are not the ones you are selling to. You are an artist and deserve to be paid for your time and talent! I have a hard time with this as well. There are some people who have gasped at the prices of my products (usually at craft fairs here in Malaysia where ppl have the mindset of paying less. A LOT of made in China cheap stuff around here! And I even offer lower prices at craft fairs!). BUT if they cannot afford my more expensive items I gently guide them to my simpler and less expensive ones, NOT lower my prices even further. It’s hard, but I have to respect myself as an artist!

  18. There is no way i could pay myself for the time I spend on many of my items. I do a lot of beadweaving, and anyone who has done it know it takes a Loooooooooooooooong time to finish a piece. Even one of my simple bead embroidered headbands take me about 12 hours to make. There is no way I could charge $120 + supplies x 2 = Over $240 for a beaded headband! Yikes!

    My typical price for a headband is $25. That is simply the market price I have been able to calculate. Some of the more complicated ones I can sell for up to $50, but there is no way I could get anyone to spend more than that. In my mind, lower prices (but not too low) keep the merchandise moving off of the shelves. High prices may be great if someone actually buys something, but if they don’t then the finished pieces will just sit in my studio without a home to go to. Not a best case scenario in my book.

    I think that it’s more important to calculate time into your pricing formulas if you are a made-to-order seller. Meaning, you make the items only AFTER the custom has paid. you will be needing to charge for your time so you don’t get over whelmed and backed-up on orders. However, if you are like me and make the items beforehand, it’s important to price what the market will bear, otherwise the items simple won’t sell.

  19. Dear Honey,

    Your post sparked of many thoughts in my mind and I wrote shared some stuff with fellow crafters, that I’d like to share here.

    Please forgive the typos, (in advance).. been working non-stop and no energy to correct… but here goes… :)

    “Valuing one’s work.

    Posted on January 3, 2012 by prishth

    I have been conducting intense research and while I know one doesn’t NEED to offer explanation, I’d like to share this article with all of prishth’s fans (and everyone else too) as I feel one needs to be able to appreciate both sides of the coin. For everyone, who works as a teacher, writer, crafter, no one would like their work to be undervalued. We all look for better salaries, better perks, super hikes and fantastic growth. If as a teacher, you were asked to lower your fee though you were providing a specialised sort of training/learning would you do it? I think, that before we ask crafters why their rates are so steep, we must ask ourselves if we would have asked for for fair prices for our area of expertise or not, and have expected to receive it.

    I myself am someone who’s very mindful of purchases that I make, but growing up in an environment where art, (whether fine or performing) has been kept in very high regard. Also as a crafter over many years and a teacher, write, and business person, I have played many roles, and have closely observed and thought about how budgets work for people with super earnings and scarce earnings.

    As crafters, we are usually the ones to pay ourselves and it comes naturally to us to ‘charge’ ourselves very little as one tends to think more about “people should enjoy my work and I’m happy if they’re just using it” as we ten to think more of the creative aspect than the financial aspect and often end up under-valuing our creations. I would however like to ask that if a certain price is too steep and one somehow manages to rework and forces themselves to price lower, would that price continue to sound steep? Where does a crafter who’s essentially a feeling and design person over a thinking and numbers person decide to draw the line?

    I raise these questions not to challenge buyers (as we are all buyers for some form of art & craft/service) but as a concern and a discussion point for all those who are crafters cum sellers or buyers.

    I invite everyone to share their ideas about this as I feel it would help many of us and help the sellers understand the buyers’ limitations and the buyers appreciate the sellers’ work and passion.

    Anumeha Fatehpuria
    Designer & Owner at prishth”

    This in turn sparked off a discussion among many crafters. Seems like everyone goes, “Who the h**l is going to pay this” … and we doubt our pricing.

    Warm regards

  20. Pricing is something I have been having a hard time with. I make baby/toddler Quiet books. They are basically the counting, colors or animal books you’d purchased for a little one, but they are fully constructed from felt and completely hand sewn. All books are either interactive or personalized. My materials cost usually doesn’t amount to more than $5.00 or so, but the construction time can be anywhere from 30-40 hrs. If I charged $10/hr this would equal a very expensive little book! I could cut my time down by machine sewing some of the aspects but I feel that takes away from the unique and special quality of the books. How would you ladies suggest I price my items?

  21. im struggling trying to price my crochet creations…
    i havent sold anything in a month or more. compared to others my prices are way less, seemingly im going to have to try my had at the equasion presented above and see how far off my pricing is.

    i hate seeming greedy and i would like people to be able to afford what i make. however i hate to think im selling myself so short when the extra income is desperately needed.

  22. If I put 40 hrs into an afghan or sweater, I should get a weeks pay. Alas, I’m competing with people who just want to purchase another skein of yarn….
    How can we educate our buyers?

  23. This is such a great conversation. I was searching for a formula to help me and while I love the possibility of being able to sell my creations at a fair value that included my investment of time, I’m wondering whether or not that the result would be no sales at all, a bitter disappointment, and failure. On the other hand, I recently had a customer who needed paws for a mascot costume, and said that the going price for mascot paws was 250. I usually charge under 25.00 for a pair. Maybe that formula is spot on!

  24. I’m a little late to the party as usual, but I found this very interesting.

    I make scale dollhouse miniature food, and food themed jewellery from polymer clay. It’s a very time consuming craft. Maybe not the 30+ hours some people list, but because the product is so small people expect it to cost less. People think because obviously not very much material went into something, it should be cheaper than a full-sized version. Of course they ignore that the smaller a miniature, generally the longer it took to make due to the level of detail and concentration required.

    I am not the cheapest miniaturist I have seen on Etsy, but I do feel I am on the cheaper end of the scale. And I realise I will never go beyond the realm of hobbyist if I carry on as I am, much though I daydream about it!

  25. I’m feeling sort of silly for stumbling into this article again after about a year or two of working on my own pricing. When I first found this article I wrote it down and started working out my costs, I had the same reaction on my costs! And since then I’ve even lowered my time costs on the larger pieces because, simply put, nothing is moving. My crafts are very time extensive (nearing 30 hours on the larger pieces) and even my lower time-cost (ten hours) are not finding new homes. I get compliments out the ears and people encourage me and give me tips all the time… But the sales just won’t come. Is there something wrong with how I am utilizing the formula you’ve given? It seems like an incredibly straight forward one!

    Anyhow, I just found this article again and had to post. Since I started the business I’ve gotten faster and as such the prices has slowly started coming down. I feel really encouraged by my personal progress and your words to keep to keep going because someone without my skills will eventually make the purchase!

  26. This formula would work well for quicker items too if you change the hourly rate to a smaller unit of time or use it as a difficultly gauge. So say your quickest item is what you rate as a 1 and you want $5 in labor minimum to make that item. A slightly more complex item could be a 2 or even a 1.5. Your hardest to make item could be a 10, something you wouldn’t take less than $50+materials cost for it.

  27. As usual. .I am a day late. . But I too have problems pricing. I used to make custom made hand bags. Really couldn’t finish more than two in a day and I sold them for $35. Had a few folks to grimace when they saw the price. I had so many to do before Christmas I was purely sick of them. I am doing other items now which aren’t so time intense and doing better making and selling. Thanks so much for this article.

  28. Marlene Miller

    As a vendor in our local market and a buyer of handmade goods I find this pricing ridiculous and always have. According to your articled a blanket that I sell for $30 (and yes I make profit) should be priced at $86 and people would walk right by my table and I would be known as the person who has lovely products that no one can afford! This might work selling to a retail store but won’t in the general public!

  29. It’s always tough to find the right price range for handmade quality items especially when you can easily be undercut by less than quality copies. This is a good article to help explain a formula for pricing your items correctly. Thanks!

  30. I used your formula and did a quite calculation for my handmade baby items (bibs in particular). I’ve been selling quite a bit using lilly pulitzer fabrics at $20.00 each; but based on your calculations, I should be selling them for around $35.00 retail! Quite frankly, I don’t know anyone who is going to pay $35.00 for a bib! I have so many “favorites” on my items which I’m trying to convert into sales by offering a “first order discount” ~ charging $35.00 per bib is going to result in 0 sales for me. Any suggestions?

  31. I like this formula better. The other one puts my products too high as most of my things are time intensive. I’ve currently priced my things at cost of materials plus time plus selling fees. After 3 1/2 years, I’m finding I’m not even breaking even, so I’ve been looking for a better formula. Thank you for this idea.

  32. I appreciate this as well as the discussion. Thank you all, it is good to see people sharing and giving thoughtful answers.

    As a crafter I have struggled with pricing and many of the “formulas” are simply outrageous. This one seems more reasonable.

  33. I love how much discussion this post has created – it’s clear that pricing is something we all struggle with. One thing that concerns me that hasn’t been mentioned is the $10 per hour rate. If the goal is to make a living from selling your handmade products, then once you’ve paid taxes this would leave very little to live on. I live in the east coast of US and that hourly rate would not pay the bills. When I work out my pricing, I use a much higher hourly rate.

  34. I agree, you shouldn’t go by “how much would *I* pay for this?” because you’re the one that just made it! They can’t!

  35. I wish I could use this formula. Right now I am using something similar, but I can’t multiply the time and cost by anything or it gets way too expensive. My retail cost is minimum wage times how many hours, then add on the costs. I know that makes wholesale super hard, and I am trying to figure that out. My blankets take about 20 hours EACH. :( I have recently raised my prices quite a bit, and I am hoping these prices are ok with my customers, because they are quite steep. But at the same time they are getting a high-quality handmade item.

  36. Thank you so much for this article! I have been trying to work out a way to reliably standardise a costing framework for my handmade items. I’ve tried this on several things now and it seems to be working very well!

    Thank you again!

  37. These post is very helpful for me,i’m new to Etsy. there are a lot of things that I need to learn. Thanks!

  38. Yoou rooock! that is what I have been looking for sooooo sooooooooooo long time ago, thanks alot

  39. The thing about handcrafted is that people assume many things. They can not or do not realise the effort/time that goes into it. The do not realise that some pieces take time to mature, materials are not the same cost as produced in China.

  40. Really appreciate you posting this article. I’ve been making and selling handmade jewelry for a few years, more of just a hobby really. But recently I’ve been wanting to get more serious about possibly making a small business out of it. I haven’t sold very much, just a bit at craft fairs. I’m working on setting up an online shop soon. I know I haven’t been pricing my pieces anywhere near enough to make a profit, but I’ve heard comments from people saying my prices are too high. Particularly on a piece that was beaded wire crochet, I think it was priced at $35 and I’ve seen items like that go for much higher. I’m working on a piece now and I’ve decided to pay myself $8/hr. Just in time alone I’m up to $40 and I know that will increase because I’m only about halfway done. I feel like if I price it at $100 that’s way too high for someone to pay, even knowing they can’t make it themselves. I don’t know what to do at this point. It’s a bit discouraging to me. Any advice you can give would be great.

  41. I was really happy to read your information. I have been struggling to figure out how to price some hand made items I’ve done. After I did all the calculations and some that were even estimates, I am shocked! The prices I have been selling at are not even close to what I should be getting but if I increase them to how your formula works out I would never sell them. I don’t know what to do. I want to be able to sell wholesale, which would work okay on the formula, but then the retail to my customer base would be so high that I doubt anyone would buy them anymore. I just feel awful.

  42. Hi everyone, something interesting to remember is that sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have a higher priced piece of eye candy in your shop, something to make people ooh and aahh over, that you expect not to sell. But if everything in your shop is too highly priced you’ll run into difficulties unless it is a popular item. I think when creating a shop, people need to look more at demand for the pricing – for example, in some categories there is very high demand and very high prices and in other categories there is too much competition which equals lower demand and therefore lower pricing. Looking at the demand and the competition allows you to see if what you will make will be profitable enough or not, before you even begin.

  43. Another thing to consider is the amount of time ,travel accommodations and money spent on learning and improving your craft – courses,seminars,books etc .

Leave a Reply to Jean Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>