Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pricing Amazement

One of the things I have never been good at is pricing my items. However, I noticed something this past weekend during Art in the Park. People will pay what I think is an outrageous price for one titem, but won't pay what I think is a reasonable price for another item.

I'll give you an example. I had several crocheted cotton washcloths for sale. I priced them at $5 each. That is, $5 for one washcloth. I sold two of them. Now mind you, I can make 2 2/3 of these washcloths from a single ball of cotton yarn that cost me about $1.89 after tax. That's a pretty hefty profit for 2 washcloths if you ask me. I'm just saying. :P But yet people didn't even flinch at seeing that the washcloths were $5 each.

Now we have one of my favorite bracelets that I've made. (Go on, click it, you know you want to. I'll wait.) Now that bracelet right there is $20. The materials alone make up half of the price of that bracelet. Yet when people asked me how much that bracelet was, they were shocked to hear that I wanted $20 for it. They would quickly put it down and leave our booth. Yet when I talked to another jewelry artist who was selling at the next booth over from ours, she said that she had bracelets she'd made with beads she bought for $3 at Walmart, that she had maybe $5 worth of materials total in these bracelets, that she had priced at $35 or more, and the same people who refused to buy my $20 bracelet were more than willing to go to her booth and pay what she asked for a bracelet that she said herself, was worth less than the one I had made. She was in shock as well.

Now I will say that maybe, just maybe, $10 for my time to make that bracelet isn't quite fair. After all, I don't think the bracelet took me more than 10 minutes to string together. But when I attempted to price it less than $20, I was told that I wasn't charging nearly enough. And another bracelet that I had made (this one which I sold to a friend of mine) had beads from the same company, same store, but were $2 less in price, and my friend refused to pay less than $20 for that bracelet. I know, because I tried to knock it down to $15 since she is my friend, and she refused.

But yet people weren't willing to pay $20 for the playing cards bracelet. How can it be that people will pay $5 for a single crocheted washcloth with less than $2 worth of yarn in it, but won't play $20 for a bracelet with $10 worth of beads in it? I just don't get it.


  1. I can never guess what will sell at shows. And what sells at one might not sell at the next one...it's funny like that.
    The only thing I can think of is that a wash cloth is a need and a bracelet is a want???

  2. Hmmm. This woman in the other booth, was her jewelry a similar style to yours? If it was pretty different, then personal taste may have been more of the issue.

  3. I have pondered this thought to the point of it making me twitch in a corner..lol. I think it almost impossible to make sense of the purchasing habits of people. I have a formula that I use for pricing my items,...and I try to stick with that. Otherwise I would be pricing my things different for every venue I attended depending on the type of clientele. I used to sell perennials from my front yard a few years ago. I found it so interesting that people who would pull up in a luxury vehicle would dicker about prices and hated to pay out more than a couple of dollars for a high dollar item. But then those who would pull up in a old beater of a car would not hesitate to purchase $100.00 worth of flowers at a time. I also agree with the other comments as well that perhaps it boils down to the difference of a want or need,..and style preference.

  4. I am thinking that it may have been the want vs. need thing myself. Although the gal in the booth next to ours had very similar jewelry to what we were selling.

    I will say that the playing card bracelet lady seemed upset that I didn't have spades or clubs - she wanted those. I *could* get them if I shopped on Etsy, and I've considered it, but I haven't been able to get them elsewhere. LOL