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[Newbie] Pricing question


I am self-taught and have been making pieces for one year now. It is
very hard to be objective about my own work and to guess what the
market will bear. I have been told that you have to charge a
reasonable amount per hour for your labor or forget making a living.
My question is: should I expect to get more per hour later?
Hopefully I will get faster. I am just now beginning to plan to
market my work and considering consignment, but no matter how I
figure it, I just can figure a way to make more than $4.00 to $5.00
per hour and still have a price that someone would conceivably pay.
It took me 13-1/2 hours to finish the pendant I just finished with
layered copper and silver with black onyx and Morrisonite jasper. I
always seem to think small, but I don’t see how it could sell for
more than $125.00–giving me only about $55.00 for labor (after
deducting consignee’s fee and materials cost).

J. S. Ellington


I think more people have problems with pricing because of the
underlying emotional reaction of being accepted. IMOP I believe at
best any formula is nothing more than a best guess before you really
start selling.

Honestly “look” at what you make from design, style, and materials
you use and ask questions of people you know. Think about where you
are going to sell your work. For me this helped to establish a
baseline which helped me visualize the markets.

Add to that your personal questions. Are you going to be a solo
artisan and go custom? Will you implore techniques to create
productions in mass? Will you make every single component you put in
your piece? Will you buy most of your components?

A very good way to be objective and help with any fears or doubts you
may have is to simply defer you pricing to a 3rd party. Not just any
3rd party not even a human :smiley: I used Microsoft access and created a
pricer. I pick out the components, put in the metal(s) based on
weight. I can adjust my cost on metal. It takes that figure and
multiples it by my markups. I use 4 levels Manufacturing, Wholesale,
Direct, Retail. It will show me the price which is consistent. It
gives me room for adjustment if I choose.

If the work I did was for a designer and they supply the materials I
use the Manufacturing number. If it’s on consignment or to a shop I use
the wholesale and also supply them the Retail for the MSRP. Direct
speaks for itself.

Since I call the system Jewelry Pricer ultimately I call "her"
Jewely. She is in charge of that department. In cases of the haggle
or questioning the price I simply defer to Jewely.

As for time my mentor said it best it takes as long as it takes you
to make your piece. Ford cranks out many cars per day and the average
cost per is about $25 to $35,000. While Lamborghini averaged about 225
per year average cost $225 - $275,000.

Make mistakes, learn from them, get better.

Guy Payton…
Have 3 cents, that’s 2 if I gave it all I’d
have no “cents” at all.