Recently, I wrote a series of blog posts about why I’ve just about had it with the craft fair scene. You can read all about it here. Here’s another comment I received that deserves exploration:
“Thank you so much for articulating the problem so well… as a ceramicist with large overheads and 20 years of experience on top of an honours degree, I have just put my prices up to something close to what they realistically should be and not what would compete in this completely muddied market.
It’s taken a long time to pluck up the courage to break free of it but why compete any more with the ‘assemblers’ market, which is as far-removed from the designer-maker end as a chippendale chair is from a flat pack table?
There’s a perfectly reasonable cross-over (most of us have a mix) but you would never find them in the same place, sales/promotion-wise. Time to widen the net and admit it isn’t working. Thank you for saying it out loud.” Ceri White.
Pricing is a funny thing. From personal experience, I’ve found that I’ve sold more when I’ve raised my prices to where they are now, than when I was underselling myself back when I was a novice at this lark.Not just a few pieces more, but, percentage-wise, in the hundreds of percent more. Why would this be?
The public, consciously or not, use price as an indicator of quality. If I am selling at cost (or below it) to a customer, they can see I don’t value my work or my effort. So why should they?
If I set a price that covers my costs and pays me for my time, then I am valuing what I do and therefore expecting others to do the same. Which they will. I am more professional and polished and have upped my game to match the price tag. And that’s why, in a nutshell, I won’t waste my time with amateur events anymore. Harsh but true.
Pricing is something that everyone struggles with. I hear indie designers talk about it all the time, and it’s always been and probably always will be, a hot potato. I could drone on about it for hours, but thankfully for me, and for you, dear reader, people far more eloquent than I have already written cracking posts about it:
And if you’re moving on up to the next stage, selling your work to retailers, then Clare Yuill, from the awesome Indie Retail Academy, has a great article about pricing your work for the wholesale market.
Even if you’re all sorted, pricing-wise, they’re worth a read, you may find an angle you haven’t thought of before, or learn something new. I know I did. Now, go get your price gun, tiger.