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Visible prices?

 What they like about my products includes: [long snip] my prices
are clearly marked... 

OK, this is another thing… Is it better to have prices clearly
visible, or not? Personally, I don’t like to have to ask, when I’m
shopping, but the display looks sleeker, it saves time during setup,
and if someone asks, it offers a chance to engage them, so the price
is put in context. I’m talking about shows here, not a store.

My solution so far is to have a few pieces in each price range
marked visibly, so people have some idea of the ballpark. I’d
appreciate input-- my pieces range from $45 to $800+, with $300-$400
most common. Thanks!

And, by the way-- does anybody have a postcard company they like,
other than Modern? Anyone used PurePostcard?



Noel - I have found that if the price isn’t visible, folks just
glance and walk on. They like knowing what the price is, and if it
is in their range. I do too, when I shop, and usually figure if the
price isn’t showing then I can’t afford it. May not make sense, but
I’ve talked to lots of people who feel the same way.

I have tried doing my booth both ways, with visible prices and
without. It “looks” better without, it SELLS better with! I finally
wound up doing business card sized tags for pieces that tell about
them - folks like to know what the stone(s) is(are), what the the
metal(s) is(are), etc. This tends to start conversations, which
often lead to a purchase. Doesn’t “look” as good, but I’m not there
to look good - I’m there to sell! I suspect that who your customers
are will make a difference in this. You may want to go to shows
prepared to do it both ways.



Personally, when I’m buying jewelry and it’s not visibly priced, I
will very rarely ask. I guess after 40 years of having to deal with
salespeople desperately trying to sell me stuff, I avoid getting
into “sales” type conversations unless I really need the item for a
gift and I have the money in hand. If I have time to shop around,
I’ll leave. The prevailing theory seems to be that you should make
the price tag as difficult as possible to see. I’d be interesting to
hearing what others on the list actually do themselves when they
need to ask about the price – will they move on and check somewhere
else first, or will they just ask?

I think I’d be more likely to make an “impulse” purchase if I knew
what the price was. Having the salesperson in front of me telling me
the price would probably give me the urge to run for my life!
Nothing personally against salespeople :slight_smile: I used to sell computers,
myself. I was always amazed at the sales theories I’d have to put up
with at “sales training” events. Just knowing your product
and selling the customer what they need and want (and not what you
want to get rid of) is the best bet.

I know studio jewellers don’t give their customers the same type of
sales pitch that used car (or computer!) sales people would give
them :slight_smile: But I’m not sure that the customer would know that when they
walk into your door.

My 2 cents, though as a disclaimer, I’m no longer in sales and I’m
only a hobbyist jeweller :slight_smile:

Vancouver, BC


Hi all,I’ll stick my oar in here.I agree with Beth, showing prices
does sell more, but the tag doesn’t have to look untidy. I sell at a
weekly outdoor market. I have my pieces on a soft board ( called
pinex over here) covered with black fabric. The pieces I make are
either on a braided cord or a silver chain. I suspend them from a
indicator pin - that’s a thing like a drawing pin but it has a white
plastic top about 3/8" dia with a paper insert on it. – I write the
price on this and there you have it, looks quite neat and tidy and
customers can see it.- Works for me. Cheers Ian in Nelson NZ


I am very prickly on this topic. As a shopper, I want to see the
prices. I do not want to “engage” with the artist for this particular
bit of I feel annoyed in this circumstance because I am
being lured into a situation that I find uncomfortable and difficult
to navigate; that is, one of being “sold to.” If I like a certain
piece or a whole line, I will feel very discouraged if I can’t see
the prices and will likely walk away without asking about price. I’m
sure I can be very cold when I am approached. Perhaps you could group
your work according to price range, and then include one card that
states the range. This is what I do; but I tend to work in series,
and (at least so far) all pieces within a series are one price.

On the other hand, I suspect that many
jewelers/goldsmiths/silversmiths/artists concerned with this
question are selling pieces that are priced for people who don’t have
many (or any) concerns about price. In which case, you don’t need to
display the price. I’m not sure at what dollar amount that occurs!

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts


Rita, I don’t show my prices for two very simple reasons.

1- For security purposes, I don’t want everyone who walks into my
store to know how much value is in my cases and which pieces are the
most expensive.

2- I don’t want my compitition to be able to come in and see all of
my prices.

John Sholl
Littleton, Colorado


There was an interesting thread on this subject sometime last year
and the opinion seemed to be half for visible and half against. I
don’t like to have to ask prices so I will look and move on. When I
did my first show in November, I grouped my pieces according to
price and placed a 1/2" acrylic cube with the price printed on the
cube in the center of the grouping. It seemed to work well, and
customers would often ask if that was the price of a particular
piece. The system was visible enough yet not obtrusive.
Donna in VA

 As a shopper, I want to see the prices. I do not want to "engage"
with the artist for this particular bit of " 

I feel the same way. What is accomplished if the price is hidden -
Do you think if I like the piece, price won’t matter? Actually, if
can see the price and know it is within my constraints, I am then
willing to ask you to let me see it and may even discuss it with you.
However, if I don’t know the price, I am likely to ignore it because
I do not want to ask you to take it out for me to look at only to
find out it is more than I wish to pay. I do not want to ask you the
price because I don’t want to have to say “oh, that’s more than I
want to spend” when you tell me, or worse yet, I might even say
"You’re kidding, I would have thought it was lots more than that" and
that wouldn’t make you feel very good, for sure. If you are
satisfied that your prices are fair for your work, then why should
you hide them Buying something should be as easy as possible. In your
own shop you can do whatever you wish. But at a show, where the sole
purpose is to SELL things and the time frame is limited, having
prices displayed facilitates buying. I know how much money I have for
discretionary items and I don’t wish to discuss this with anyone or
be put in an uncomfortable position because I have to ask. Remember
the old saying "If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it?"
Just my personal thinking on this matter. If you are making lots of
sales by not displaying prices, more power to you. But if you aren’t,
then you may want to try displaying prices and see if it makes a
difference. Kay


There may be some legal issues cropping up in this question. I know
that in Massachusetts it is a law that product be clearly marked with
a price (as a matter of fact Home Depot was taken to task on this
very point by one lone but pushy activist). I think it is also
ethically important that pieces be marked. Whether or not the prices
are immediately visible is not so much the question (we have hundreds
of pieces out and if we tried to put signs up for everything there
would be no room left to show the jewelry), as that they are all
clearly tagged in some way with 1) a price 2) metal quality and 3)
stone weight and (if applicable) quality. It is ethically important
so that 1) the consumer knows exactly what they are getting and 2) it
does not appear like you change your prices depending on who is
looking. I believe, actually, that a number of ethics based
organizations, including the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (although I
may be wrong as I haven’t reread their bylaws recently) require that
items be clearly marked. If your intent is to engage the customers,
then a small price tag will still allow you to do that while at the
same time staying on the up and up. As a matter of fact, most more
expensive jewelry is not all one price, so simply posting signs is
not usually a viable alternative to price tags, especially if your
inventory is fairly large. As for hiding your prices from your
competition, why would you care?

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140


Dear All, My vote is definitely for visible pricing. Some methds, as
discussed, are more elegant than others, but I have found it to be
very important. My husband and I have found that anything that
hampers our customers, any roadblock (physical or imaginary), will
send our potential client packing to the next booth. Visual prices
seem to reassure shoppers that it is ok to look at our jewelry, that
they are not in way over their heads. Our prices are similar to
Noel’s, ranging from $50.00 to $700.00, with the majority being in
the $300-$400 range.

That leads me to another interesting point. We have found that
having a range of prices tends to lead to additional sales. We show
our most expensive item many times at every show, and most people
say they can’t afford it just now, but it grabs their attention and
stirs up that “buying emotion”, and often times they will find
another piece that is less expensive and will buy it instead. It is
almost like they want to take home something, and if they can’t have
the top dollar piece, they still can have this other ring, pendant,
etc, that is really cool too. I’m almost to the point where I hope
we don’t sell our most expensive item, as it is a great conversation

Nesheim Fuller Design
Mason City, Iowa


Rita, I’m with you on that one. If I’m shopping and can’t find a
price on something, whether it’s in a grocery or jewelry store, it
makes me suspicious of something not quite right. The price could
change, magically, if you looked especially prosperous or
interested. Who’d know ? I’ve always felt it in the best interest
of vendors in general, but especially jewelers, to be above reproach
where honesty is concerned. Why hide a price tag ? In whose eyes
do they make the display less pleasing ? Perhaps some creativity is
needed to devise especially attractive ones. That would get my
attention as well as the merchandise and tell me the person selling
the things is someone I’d want to talk to and buy from - they go the
extra step to succeed.


  If you are satisfied that your prices are fair for your work,
then why should you hide them? 

I asked the question because I feel the same way about seeing
prices, but haven’t found a good way to show prices that doesn’t
really slow down my setup. I don’t want to hide them, I just want to
steamline the process. I used to write my prices in silver ink on
red, iridescent glass blobs intended to be put in a vase. People
really liked them-- they thought I was selling the blobs. It took
ages to match up the blobs with the pieces. I guess maybe I should
go with little tags on thread so they’ll stay attached and be
visible. Now they’re marked on the back, so if someone asks to see a
piece, they don’t have to ask the price. Any suggestions that are
time-efficient and classy-looking?


I find that having the prices conspicuously displayed is distracting
to the eye in an artistic showcase. I’ve noticed that people begin to
compare prices rather than study and react to the actual work. There
is merit in making prices available to those people who don’t wish to
engage the creator/tress. I’ve studied both scenarios and find that
marking the prices on the back, inside, inconspicuously works best for
me. For low-end merchandise I post the price and allow for lots of

springtime fresh,
Argyle, NY

Why hide a price tag ?  

The only reason I would have to hide a price tag is because it
clutters the display case. I attach the price tag, and try to put
it somewhere under the piece. If someone wants to look at the
piece, I hand it to them, and they can easily see the price.

The ones I hate are those who don’t even ask the price, but say,
“put this piece away for me, I’ll be back later.” I wonder what is
going on in their head . . .don’t they want to know how much the
price is? Why is it that they always assume it is "inexpensive?“
If it were me, I would at least, ask “how much” . . . as a
"reatailer” I try to guide people to pieces within their price
range, I don’t feel it is rude to ask 'what is your price range?
It could turn out to be anything between $3.00 and $3,000.00.