Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Labour fees

During some point during my setting classes, I ask ‘each’ student
how much they charge for their labour? I draw a line on a white
board, so the question is answered. Some at $25.00 & very few at
$75.00 or more. My next remark startles them. Those below this line
will be bankrupt in one year!!! Those at $50.00 might just make
it!..Anyone at the $100.00 mark will nicely succeed! I keep on with
my “Business, 101”…you have rent, insurance, food, travelling,
telephone(cell), business taxes, tools & appraisals, even a little
ring box…(ad infinitum!) all for $35.00 an hour? I charge at least
$75.00 to a max of $100.00/hr. from the moment the client even
telephones me. What I charge for my teaching, (is not printable), but
I cover my travelling costs! Tim & Jo Haemer are so-o right in their
fees. We run a business, not a hobby!"…:

Actually, there is a difference between covering labor and covering
overhead. a lot of what Gerry mentions I put in my overhead
category, not in my labor category.

Either way, I still don’t understand the base question - why are you
doubling labor at all?

Figure your wholesale price - THAT covers all of your actual costs,
including labor and overhead. Most retailers at least double that to
reach an actual retail price.

Why would you double labor at the wholesale level? I’m confused…

Once you have your wholesale price, you are good.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the only other key to remember is
to never, ever, ever undersell your retailers!

In your case, if you don’t think the work will sell for at least
double the wholesale price, then it might be a piece you sell
yourself, instead of offering it at wholesale. Just be sure it isn’t
close enough to something that IS At wholesale to make a retailer
feel undercut.

Beth Wicker

Thanks Gerry. I spend a good bit of my teaching time talking about
how to make a living at this.

When I last worked in a Union trade shop I was paid the journey man
wage of $10.00 per hour. My bosses charged the stores $50.00 an hour
to cover cost of taxes, work man’s comp, health ins., utilities,
office staff, supplies, materials, advertising, delivery costs,
profit etc. The stores then charge 2.5-3 times the $50.00 an hour
they were charged.

I have worked in, run, and owned both wholesale and retail
businesses so I’m familiar with just how much overhead can cost.

Tim and I are not rich by any stretch of the imagination, we live
modestly but we are able to pay our taxes and bills in a timely
manner and live a lifestyle that we find comfortable.

Remember folks it’s all about perceived value and scarcity. " How
much?! That’s a lot. Oh, you must be very good. It’s going to take
two weeks? Oh it must be a complicated process." If this were easy
everyone would do it.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

I’ve had a few instances where the prospective client wants me to
teach them fully…‘gemstone setting’!! I quote a price in full. then
break it down to $$per hour! “Oh, I can’t afford even your low

I think to myself. that lower price is equivalent to about $50.00 per
hour. but what are you getting? A full teaching curriculum that will
put food on your table for decades to come!! And $50.00 per hour is
too high? A school up near Toronto, pays me $85.00 per hour!!! I know
of a consultant who charges $650.00 per hour, and that’s his low
price!!! As I am trying to explain to the beginning craftspersons,
you have a skill no one else has. You’ve created 'Pieces of Art!“
think at a higher level of pricing, you’ve paid heavily for learning
your skills, your tools & please don’t sell for ‘cost+’…The more you
charge, the more your jewellery will sell, sell cheap & you’ll be
sorry nothing is ‘moving’! I have a friend who sells costume stuff,
he buys at $3-4.00 each & sells at $25-$30.00 for the same item. His
many customers buy loads from him!..It’s now YOUR

Last year I did a webinar on pricing your work-- I consulted and
quoted several of you fine folfs. Here’s a little YouTube promo:

Or if that gets removed, google How to Price your Work Yovovich,

You can buy the webinar on the Interweave Store :

A lot of these questions are addressed, but of course there is no
one real answer.