Kelly & Radonna, one of the most difficult things to do is to
charge for your own time - and that’s not unique to the jewellery
The subject of pricing has been covered before and can probably
be located in the Orchid archives. I had the same problem
earlier (prior to an earlier Orchid discussion) and I took in
the advice of charging 2 to 3 times material cost. In fact I use
3 for Sterling and 2 for findings etc as I believe that a margin
of 50% is OK on others work… In addition to that I charge for
my time as much as I dare.
Cost of your own time has to be calculated by yourself - the
best advice I got from last discussion is something like: Work
out your total cost for jewellery related work (i.e. all costs
applicable - cost of capital, rent, the annual share of cost of
tools and machinery, capital cost of stock etc) and don’t forget
your salary and perhaps some nasty taxes. Then, divide with the
total number of hours you think you will spend on your work but
remember to include all hours (not only bench time) as you
include ALL your costs. The figure you get should (if
everything is in) give you an indication of what the cost of
your time is - I’ve found it valuable to know the true cost -
you sort of know here your bottom limit is i.e. when you start
giving money away. To this cost figure you should add your
hourly mark-up - for me a 50% margin (i.e. cost *2) works OK but
this is of-course related to how much time you can charge for.
This is much easier said than done - but try to do the exercise
to learn the truth (?). I did this and found out that my hourly
cost (calculated) was much higher than I dared to charge (after
all - It’s your own judgement that has to be thrown in at last).
My analysis was that:
I worked many more hours than I first expected - I recorded
ALL my spent time during a few months
I used much more money on gadgets than I could afford related
to what I sell.
Finally I looked to what I produce and I adjusted prices as much
as I thought possible.
One advice I can offer is not to undersell yourself - and if you
for some reason (call it marketing, image making or whatever)
feel you should lower the price for a specific reason - make
sure that the one in favour of the lower price knows this - and
R G D S Lars Dahlberg - Gotland/Sweden