Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pricing Beadwoven Jewelry

How do you price your beadwoven or bead embroidered jewelry? Is there a method to this? What things do you take into consideration? Am I underpricing my work? Am I charging to much? These are all valid questions, and I would like to shed a little light onto my thoughts about all this. Let me say first, I do not create jewelry as a hobby, I do this as a passion, addiction, and a business!!

1. I take many things into consideration when figuring out my price for one of my pieces. First I take into consideration my cost of materials. You must be sure to keep track of your materials....For instance, if you buy a 16" strand of 8mm pearls for $8.00 and there were 50 pearls on that strand. If you use the whole strand that is easier to calculate, however if you use 37 of those pearls your cost would be $5.92. I usually put the cost per bead on the container when I check my items in.

2. Then I take into consideration, how much time I have invested. You must figure out what you are going to pay yourself for your time. I charge approximately $18.00 an hour. It used to be higher, however I considered with the economy, I would lower my hourly wage, just like many others in this nation have.

3. To have a successful business, you must consider your other business costs, such as advertising costs, business cards, signs, displays, show entry fees, shipping fees, travel expenses, learning materials or expenses. I am only naming a few things here, however there may be many more business expenses to consider.

If you are doing word of mouth advertising via social networks, consider your hourly wage in here, however keep it to a minimum! We know this could raise our costs considerably, because we spend a large amount of our valuable time trying to promote our work. How long does it take you to snap, edit, and post your pictures and listings? These are all things to consider!!

After I have taken all these things into consideration, I have the basis for my costs.

For instance if I made a big necklace that cost me $30.00 in supplies, and 23 hours to create, plus I add on the average $4.00 to each product to average out my business expenses. My necklace would wholesale for $448.00!! I actually sell my necklaces for wholesale prices, however if I had a larger business, that had larger expenses, I would sell them at retail. Retail (to my understanding) is usually considered triple the cost of wholesale.

I have every bit of faith in my work, and I sell One of a Kind pieces of art that I have poured much of myself into. When someone asks me, how can you sell something for $450.00, I simply state that I feel my prices are actually on the lower end, when you consider the amount of cost and time that I put into it.

My target market is not someone who can not afford my pieces, but rather a collector who truly appreciates art and who can not afford not to have one of my pieces!!

Artists, have you found the value in your work?


  1. Great post Rachele. I agree, your prices are on the lower end, and your product is exceptional value for dollar, given your outstanding aesthetic. I sell both on Etsy and in two galleries and my prices must be consistent. The gallery price cannot be higher, even tho the gallery charges a 35% - 50% commission. So my pricing is similar to yours, but I use the wholesale (or at least discounted) cost I pay for materials, and then double it, so I am not giving away half of the materials at the gallery. I charge $20 per hour for my labor, which becomes $10 if the piece sells in the gallery. I do not charge for thinking time, or ripping time, and keep track of time only for the things I do not change, so the price reflects what it would cost to make the piece again, with the design all worked out. I think what I get paid through galleries is wildly inappropriate, but for now, while I am still deciding how I want to sell my work, it's what I choose to do. Thanks for the great, thoughtful post.

  2. Thank you so much for your blog post - it's great to hear how someone else is doing it!

  3. Thank you so much for commenting ladies, It's truly appreciated!!

  4. I really love the jewelry specially the exhibitions where i can appreciate all types and styles of earing, necklace and bracelets. I really love to shine outstanding and gorgeous every time because i am trying to conquer a handsome boy...
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