Last weekend, I did a really fabulous local craft show (the Lavender Festival) and once again, I learned the power of having the right price. I spent two full days meeting lovely knitters, crocheters, and wanna-be-crafters. I noticed them pick up my yarns, check out the price tag and I watched their reaction. This is maybe the hardest part of selling in person: watching and hearing reactions. Will they be negative? Positive? Indifferent? This tension can throw a normally-sane business-gal into a tizzy. It can cast doubts on all the math you did to figure out that price.

Because your price is not just a number. It represents value.

The value you place on your work and skill and passion. And the value your customers place on what they hold in their hands.

What I’ve learned through 4 years of selling my yarn in person is that the right number on the price tag is just the first step.

The  clincher is how I feel about that number.

Do I apologize for it? Do I hem and haw? Do I trip myself up trying to explain that it’s ohmygoodness it’s made by hand from local wool and really rare and and and

Or am I confident? Am I proud of my work?
Do I truly believe I deserve to make what I put on its price tag?

My confidence my belief in my work is communicated to the customer and allows them to feel accept the price. My comfort with being paid for my skill and time, gives them comfort as they reach for their wallet.

This comfort may not come naturally, but it can be learned. And if you’re going to sell (online or in person), it’s vital that you learn it.

The combination of the Right Price (one that pays you fairly and reflects the quality of the work) and the Right Person (someone who loves your work and is happy to pay for it) turns the sale into an easy, fun experience for everyone.

Oh, and at the festival this weekend? I heard not a single word about prices. Every Right Person snatched up what they wanted and whipped out their wallet with glee. I had a great time, they had a great time and we all ended up with what we needed.

 

Is that the experience you have selling your work? If not, why do you think that is?

PS. Not sure what your Right Price is? Wish you just had a simple formula and some ideas for becoming comfortable with it? Learn how to figure it out in Pricing 101, a bonus class in Pay Yourself. 

8 Comments on The Power of Pricing

  1. Christina Myers
    May 27, 2010 at 2:48 am (9 years ago)

    I struggle with this all the time. I'm a designer. I design and make clothes for people….from the ground up. It requires all of my experience, knowledge and skill to produce something of great quality that they are proud to wear and I'm proud to present to the public. I'm definitely signing up to find out about this class.

  2. Amy Crook
    May 27, 2010 at 2:55 am (9 years ago)

    This can be such a hard thing to do! I especially have a hard time with it because in art school, we're given this expectation that others (galleries, the “art world”, collectors) will set prices using their own standards of value, but then out into the world there is a huge range even at the “unknown” end of things that I end up flailing. And then there's Etsy, which tends to skew so low that I'd feel like I'm devaluing my own talent, skill and experience if I tried to sell my own work for such low prices, but at the same time it can undermine a confidence in my pricing that wasn't that rock solid to begin with.

    I think I'm already signed up to find out about the class, and I can't wait!

  3. Amy Crook
    May 27, 2010 at 2:56 am (9 years ago)

    This can be such a hard thing to do! I especially have a hard time with it because in art school, we're given this expectation that others (galleries, the “art world”, collectors) will set prices using their own standards of value, but then out into the world there is a huge range even at the “unknown” end of things that I end up flailing. And then there's Etsy, which tends to skew so low that I'd feel like I'm devaluing my own talent, skill and experience if I tried to sell my own work for such low prices, but at the same time it can undermine a confidence in my pricing that wasn't that rock solid to begin with.

    I think I'm already signed up to find out about the class, and I can't wait!

  4. maya
    May 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm (9 years ago)

    ooh. right price is hard. it's especially hard to stick to when you sell a more seasonal product and it feels like everyone around you has suddenly started pricing based on cost of materials only. i just can't devalue my time like that – i don't feel i have enough of it as it is.

    i'm so glad you had a good experience at the craft show – what fun that must've been!

  5. Melissa
    May 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm (9 years ago)

    I have only ever had 1 person say anything about my prices in almost 2.5 years. And she was one of “Those People” who it's obvious didn't understand the value of hand dyed yarn or any quality yarn for that matter. She just wanted a deal. I didn't even let it bother me. I know I have competitive and fair prices and that if you don't want to pay that price for something unique then someone else will.

  6. Beth
    June 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm (9 years ago)

    Yes!! Yes!! Yes!! I can't tell you how often I hear “how much do you pay for a sweater/shawl/baby thing design?” People need to establish the value of their own goods whether it is a product or service. It is then my decision whether or not that price falls into my budget or not. It is not the buyers place to determine price.

  7. TaraSwiger
    June 5, 2010 at 5:54 am (9 years ago)

    It's so great to hear this from the other side, from the person doing the
    buying!
    So even with designs, you expect the designer to set the price? That's good
    to know! I'll make sure and mention it in the class!

    Thanks so much,
    Tara