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Posted on Pricing on ETSY, Unreasonable? Specifically Bandsaw Boxes.

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148 posts in 2550 days

#1 posted 12-26-2012 06:10 AM

Heh, so maybe it is overpriced since as you noted no one seems willing to pay it :D At least based on how they are presented and marketed there.

As long as you’re being fairly compensated for your work there is obviously a pretty wide range of “acceptable” for pricing. If you don’t need the money it makes more sense to price it high because you get a better return/hour. OTOH if you’re trying to scrape together a few bucks so the kids can have christmas, maybe some bargains are in order. I know a good handful of professional woodworkers and they are largely envious of me being able to do “fun” things as a hobbiest.. Unfortunate but its not what puts food on my table so I have some leeway, they otoh have to pay the bills with it so whatever the customer needs is what it is.

Blackie_ makes a really good point about appealing to the customer to (“I think it’s all about what people want and what appeals to them.”). If you can get your customer engaged with the item (make it have a story somehow) you can raise the price commensurately. The best prices are always for something people want, not something people “need”, need items are generally pushed into commodity prices and then you’re out of luck (a good ?bad? example of this in another field is a hand knitted sweater. They take 3-7 days for a good knitter to make at $10 per hour that’s $250 to $600 in labor.. you can’t reasonably compete with that against the $10 sweater at the mall no matter how nice yours is). I’ve done a few small but complicated pieces that I’ve given away to friends and other people asked if they could buy one.. I told them that I had ~100+ hours into it.. even at local minimum wage that would be $880, ain’t no way that’s happening (I did it for fun so its cool, but I couldn’t possibly sell them for what they would be “worth”).

I would add that pricing to low ends up hurting the craft industry as a whole in the long run as it devalues the effort required. Don’t work for (less than) minimum wage, if you are you need to re-evaluate how you can either increase the value per item or simplify and produce more items. Doing the latter is certainly possible but you risk ending up fighting the pricing of imported commodity items and that’s a hard one to win.

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