Friday, 22 January 2010

What price for a sale

Regardless of how you price an item, the price is only one factor in getting a sale, but you must get it right, and for the right reasons.

What do people think when they see the price of an item?
a) it is priced perfectly
b) it is far too expensive
c) it is far too cheap

So what do these three key words mean, perfectly, expensive and cheap? There are people who will not buy something if it is too cheap. Let’s say my wife’s birthday is coming up, I wouldn't buy my wife a handmade scarf for £10, that’s far too cheap and probably not worth my time looking at. I would certainly consider £35 - £65. So here you can learn something. If and when I decide that my wife needs a handmade scarf, I would dismiss scarves that are cheaper than $35 and more expensive than $65.

Now apply that logic to the items you create.

In the post ‘One percent’
We have looked at how many views an item need before a purchase.

Now I am going to use myself as an example of a buyer, whom do I buy for, simple, myself and my family.

There are some 500 sellers on folksy at the time of writing this; I doubt I would buy from quite a few of them. Why? I admire their skill, their use of materials, their designs, the technique employed. A lot of my favorites are woodworkers or jewellery makers (I need to refine that); they are people who hand craft a piece from raw wood into a unique object. So many of the people I have in my favorites are woodworkers or jewellery makers. Somebody who glues one item to a finding and calls it jewellery is just not my cup of tea. They have a market, and some people have sold hundreds and thousands of objects. But it just isn’t what I’d buy for my wife, mother, or sister.

So there are loads of sellers who have had visits from me on their pages. I admire their work but won't buy from them.

I have also looked in amazement at some seller’s shop’s, whose work I think is just awful....... (Sorry, simple truth)

Now one of folksy faults is that to get on, you need people to favorite your shop, I think this was intended as a type of peer review, but many people (myself included, have asked people to favorite them, in exchange for being favorite back), thereby defeating the objective.

You may make the most beautiful brooch and live in a large urban town. Do you decide to price because nobody in your town would pay more than £5.00? You had a look in a few shops, and that was the price they were selling at, even though there’s was not handmade. No. You price your product properly for the time, raw materials, overheads and profit. I have never sold an item off folksy to someone in my town. Why would I price what my local economy would accept?

You all need to price your items for the right reasons. Never, ever think that because you hand knit a scarf, and that to price it correctly you need to charge £60 that it will not sell. Why should you only price it at £20 because that’s what you think it will sell at? There are buyers out there, they will pay extra for handmade, and they want original, quality items. If they want cheap tat, they can go to asda or anywhere else selling dirt cheap mass produced crap.

Make people want what is special, not what everyone can have.



  1. Very interesting post, Woody. There's a great worksheet here: that might be of use when calculating how to price an item. I found it helpful.

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  3. Thanks Woody, thats a great post. When I first started out I had a really hard time pricing my jewellery. I use only the best I can afford as starting materials (sterling silver, PMC, etc.) and I truly handmake the pieces I do, often including the chains and clasps. So that means that my prices came out as 'expensive' compared to a lot of other jewellery makers who might use cheaper materials, such as silver plated wire, or maybe not put as much time into their pieces. Trouble is the public like a bargain and its hard to compete with much cheaper jewellery. My partner is a woodworker and he makes pieces in traditional ways, using sometimes very expensive highly figured woods and again he has to price his work highly compared to other woodworkers, so he is in a simialr position. Do you think you just have to wait it out until you build up a reputation and have a fan base? what's your advise?

    Susie (Lynwood Jewellery)

  4. Hi Susie.

    The true price of anything you sell is not determined by the mass market. it must be determined by you, and it is your job to find the market that can aford to pay your prices. if i want to target a group of professional upper income customers, i will try a direct route. solicitors and Layer groups, Doctors, accountants, dentist etc. local business betworking groups are a great way to find the upper salery bracket. Don't feel you need to spend a lot to find them, good photos an a postcard sized flyer are fine. speck to the people in your area that organise these meetings. and either offer to supply a set number of postcards with links to online shops and or local outlets. a good way to start is to talk with a gallery. explain that you will support them with your own marketing to drive people to their shop using the above business networking groups. You will build your own client base in this manner.
    I will be doing a future series of posts on self promotion and marketing in your local areas.


  5. Woody - I never even thought about that, so you mean busness link type of thing - I know they do networking events, so I'll get in touch with them.

    I'm a bit shy about approaching a gallery, they sometimes seem a bit austere (do you know what I mean?)

    Anyhoo, that is just brilliant advise, crikey thank you so much!

    Susie XX

  6. This is a brilliant post and I am looking forward to seeing the rest about marketing!

    Just a suggestion--I recently joined a group called WiRE (Women in Rural Enterprises) and although it hasn't been great for sales it has been brilliant for networking and meeting the very people you are talking about. In most things in life its never WHAT you know ...but always WHO you know. (well in my experience anyway.

    thank you Woody for your time and your insight...its always so very useful!

    Suze (handmade ~from the Heart)

  7. You are so right Suze. I'll be doing a post on marketing and promotion that will look at thinking outside of the box (and folksy) to get sales.


  8. For such helpful blog posts, I've awarded you a Sunshine Blog award, you can collect it from my blog here :)'s a bit girly, but...your blog deserves one for helping so many people here and on the Folksy forums!

  9. Woody for your words of inspiration I am awarding you teh Sunshine Blog award:

    You can see what it is here:

  10. Such helpful advice Woody. I haven't a clue when it comes to pricing my work.

  11. Have blogged about re-pricing my bags today and linked back to you Thanks Elissa (*_*))

  12. brilliant advice here woody. thankyou for the post