There is a growing opportunity to sell needlework and sewing. Handmade goods are increasingly popular and people love to buy these unique items at craft markets and from online stores. Purses and bags, soft toys, machine embroidered wall hangings, quilts, etc. all sell well. However before starting to sell and market your work, setting the price at the right level is vitally important. Many people look to sell some of their sewing and needlework projects through craft markets, galleries, or online through websites such as Etsy.com or Ebay.com.
There are many different elements to take into account when working out the price for your sewing and needlework.
Of course it is equally important to ensure that the cost of the materials is taken into account when pricing your sewing and needlework projects. There are the direct costs: for instance, if you are selling a quilt there is the cost of the fabric, batting and other notions; if you are selling purses then there is the cost of handles, bag frames and beads etc. However, there are other non-direct costs which need to be applied. For instance, perhaps you have used a few beads from another project. This needs to be taken into account too.
Overhead often gets forgotten when working out pricing – particularly by someone looking just to make a few dollars to help fund her hobby. Even a small cross stitch project, for instance, might have entailed the use of electric lights. Overheads include electric, other bills which are incurred through your craft (gas, water etc), plus of course any Internet costs of running a website or online store. While selling your sewing project through Etsy or Ebay isn’t expensive, the sales commission should be taken into account with your pricing.
In theory the wear and tear on your equipment should also be taken into account. If a project has required a lot of use on a sewing machine then this will mean that the next service will be brought closer, or needles needing replacing, etc. and these costs should be apportioned and included within the pricing.
Don’t forget your time! An item may only cost pennies in materials, however if a piece of embroidery, or some cross stitch has taken 10 hours to complete then there is a large time investment which has been made. A cost for your time should be included – and don’t sell yourself short!
This is less of an issue with handmade work as it is with mass produced items, because of course everything that you make is unique! It might be worth keeping an eye on what other people are selling their work for – but as long as you are happy with the pricing levels that you have calculated, and that the pricing is fair to you and to your customers, then don’t worry too much about anyone else!
This is an important feature of working out your pricing. What do you want to achieve from the sale of your work? Is it just a case of making a few pennies to help fund your hobby, or are you hoping to supplement or earn a living from your sewing or needlework?
What the market will bear
Finally – and importantly, when pricing consideration needs to be given to what the market will bear. There is no point carefully making a bag or purse, or embroidering a cushion, working out the costs factoring all the elements above, and then finding you are selling a $50 item at a craft market where the average price of items is $5!
Make sure you have the right market for your work – and correspondingly the right work for the market. Look around for the right place to sell your $50 cushions, and make the right products to sell at a market where the average price of goods is $5.
Getting the price right is not easy, however there is a lot of help at hand and research is possible by looking through the sewing and needlework projects on Etsy and Ebay and see what sells and for how much.