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  • Nicole Seafolk

Pricing Items Made Easy : Craft Fair 101

Pricing. Oh pricing.

Picking the right price can make or break your craft fair sales. On one hand you need to make enough money to cover the cost of your materials and pay yourself something for your time but you also don’t want to price your items out of your customers budget. It’s a fine line and a very delicate balance. It is also deeply personal.

How you choose to price your items is ultimately up to you but I have received a few questions about how I price my makes and wanted to walk you through my thought process.

I use a spread sheet I downloaded from Paper and Spark and follow a lot of the advice they give in heir blog post where you can also get the spreadsheet. Read their post here. I love this spread sheet for its built in formulas (praise be for not having to do math!) and how easy it is to customize. It is seriously one of the best free resources for small makers.

In the spread sheet you are able to enter your own hourly wage, profit mark up, material cost, and over head and then the magic formula genies give you a number your item should be priced at.

For my personal business I chose an hourly wage of $10 and a profit markup of 3. As of right now, Sew Uprising Handmade is a hobby and I don’t have any aspirations to make it a full time gig which is why those numbers are lower than a lot of yours might be. If I was doing this full time I would most likely use an hourly wage of $17 and a profit markup of four to be competitive in my area.

And then it gets personal for each business. Do you use the number the formula gives you or tweak it? I chose to tweak it for a couple of reasons.

First is ease. I choose to price all of my items in easy increments of five so that I dont have to deal with one dollar bills and making more change than necessary during craft fairs or markets. and I highly recommend this!

Second is my goals. I am a one woman show (plus my hubby who helps me haul things and works bigger shows with me) so I dont have any employees to pay and I don’t want to do this for a living. That means I can round my prices slightly to appeal to more buyers and make more sales (albeit with a lower average sale per transaction) without too much worry about by bottom line.

If you compare the “Retail Price” given by the spread sheet to “My Price” which is what I charge in person you will see that all of my bigger items are slightly rounded down but all of my smaller items (scrunchies and key fobs) are slightly rounded up. Because I sell a lot more of the small items at a profit I am able to help cover some of the costs I am losing from rounding down those bigger items.

The third reason is simply knowing my market. I looked at prices for similar items at craft shows for years before jumping into selling my own makes. I saw which items sold and which didn’t and I even asked quite a few makers about their price points and quickly learned that the small community I live and sell in simply wouldn’t support some pricing structures. This is one of the main reasons I choose a “sell more stuff at a lower price approach” than to sell fewer items at a higher price. This may be totally different than your area and will take some research, as well as trial and error, to figure out.

I hope this was helpful to you if you are looking into how to price your own handmade items for craft fairs!If you have any questions feel free to leave them below. Happy crafting!

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