Fair wholesale pricing


I know this topic must have been touched on numerous times however I
seem to be unable to find an answer in the archives.

My question is how does one arrive at a fair wholesale price for a
piece of jewelry they made in the studio?


Theres a difference between a wholesale price, ie someone buying say
10 of a design you have made, and some one asking for a trade price
for a one off.

Only you can decide which applies in your studio. You should know
what it costs to make an item, advertise it and sell it., If however
its an item thats been in your stock for a long time you might want
to sell it trade? to recover the materials and effort invested in it,
and put the money into something that will sell much quicker. If you
work to comission then I dont see how a wholesale price is relevant.
you price a comission up front to the customer, and that should be
the end of it.

If they then after you made it, ask for a wholesale price, id tell
them the agreement is as made or is null and void.

We all get the customer who will try for a discount afer a price has
been agreed. Id put the hammer into it in front of him/her, chuck it
in th e scrap bin and show them the door.

My question is how does one arrive at a fair wholesale price for a
piece of jewelry they made in the studio? 

Add up the materials cost, time (wages), overhead and profit. Now
throw all that away, and imagine someone wants to order 10 of the
piece, and ask yourself at what price you would not be kicking
yourself for having to complete the order. Add a little more to
compensate for willful self-delusion, and you have your price.


Hi Chris,

That is a good question. The big issue is what is fair to you.
Unfortunately in my case I fixate on what the final retail price will
be that my vendor sell it for. For me it is a S.W.A.G., (Scientific
Wild A-- Guess). I know my vendor triples her cost. The good thing
about my vendor is she buys it outright, no consignment. Look at your
cost of materials. I would say the minimum profit margin would be
40%. To get that multiply your cost time 1.63. This will give you 40%
profit and 60% cost on the material. Next determine what would be a
fair price for you per hour spent designing and fabricating. Add the
two together and you have the price that would be fair to you.

Good luck,
Ken Moore

Here in Alaska the amount was decided for me by about 90% of the
shops. Here it is 50% A few other places charge 30%, but I have to
figure it at 50%. High but you take what you can get, who suffers is
the buyer. So I stopped formulas, I stopped figureing, and I have
trays that say 25-50-75-100. And build accordingly. It has made it
easier for me. Now that I have Etsy I can lower my general price and
be more reflective of cost. Check me out at Etsy.com at
AlaskaStixsnStones. Next year if Etsy is successful, I will lower
all of my prices and forgo shops altogether. Blessings, pat

As a designer and a retailer I see prices all over the place. You
have to mark up your metal and add your time BUT, I think the biggest
mistake made in pricing is marking up stones at the same rate of raw
metal. Stones bought from the big guys that most artist buy from are
already too high, then they get marked up again by the artist and
then again by the retailer. A 7mm round amethyst could end up
retailing for $75.00 instead of $25.00 which would make the retail
price too high for the market. I think there should be a small markup
on stones like 20%. Less for more expensive stones. If you find a
good source and buy right then you get to markup to the market price.

Bill Wismar

In the archives, there are a number of articles on the subject. This
one might be useful.

A bit of caution - when you say “fair wholesale pricing” I get a red
flag that says you are concerned about pricing your work too high.
You can’t stay in business if you don’t pay yourself.

Judy Hoch

Many people will add up all costs and add 50% to their cost for
markup on materials.

Labor: “Typically” figure how long it took you to make. If its JUST
YOU, whatever time you said is wrong so add 50% to your time. if you
think it takes 2 hours to make, figure 3. Multiply that number by an
hourly rate.

Small shops or very efficient shops figure $65 to $75 an hour. Shops
are think they can get it charge $100 an hour.

David Geller

This is for the conversation about pricing.

I bought a book several years ago for craftsman. It is at

and a reasonable price. They have a pricing guide in Excel. All you
do is enter the price of raw materials, how many pieces you can make
in a day, and how much you want to make in a year in salary. It will
tell you the whole sale price, retail price and more. I don’t know
how they developed the formula, but I am assuming if you enter a
salary of say, 50,000 it is taking in account that you have already
decided that will pay your overhead, and leave you enough to live
on. For the most part, we are not charging people for the materials,
and the cost of making a piece, we are charging them for the spirit
we put into the piece, and how it will make them feel when they wear
our jewelry. Go to the " spreadsheet" page to see all the programs
they have developed for artists.

Roxy Lentz