Friday, February 3, 2012

Profit or pull even?

I just did one of the hardest things I have yet to face on ETSY. I took a serious look at my prices and had to change then appropriately.  It all started when I began to restock my craft room. I have run out of so many items and was in desperate need of crafting supplies. But when I drained my pay pall account and realized I still needed more and had dropped nearly 250.00 I was shocked beyond belief. For one, that's a lot of money. I still didn't get everything, and I spent all my profits that quick.
                 I realized I had been under pricing my items so badly that most were just barely covering cost.  I have always prided myself in having fair to low prices, but realized I could not continue creating if I didn't actually make a profit. I took a look a polymer clay and vintage finding necklace to calculate.
Sold for 27.75
About four dollars in fees between etsy and pay pall                                      4.00
Five dollars in polymer clay used                                                                               5.00
Six dollars worth of vintage beads and findings                                                  6.00
Three dollars in modern findings                                                                               3.00
A dollar and a half in branded packaging to send it out                                    1.50
Let's say in paints sealers pigments est. three dollars worth used                              3.00
And then I try to add a complimentary gift valued at five to ten                  5.00                                                                                                                                                                                                        ----------
This totaled is                                                                                                                    27.50
                I made twenty-five cents in profit, but when you consider I spent a total of four to five hours creating it. Paid minimum wage at 8.00 an hour totaling labor cost at 40.00.  I lost 39.75  
So in reality I have been grossly cheating myself and my family of both time and money. Something I can no longer do. I have to create, its not only part of who I am but necessary for my therapy and treatment of disabilities. But to continue on ETSY I have had to raise my rates to include at least half the time I spent creating each item.
I would have had to charge 67.50 on said item to pull even and additional for a profit. I could not bring myself to raise my prices so high even after reviewing, but at least now I will make sure that the high quality supplies I use and a portion of my time spent can be recovered.
I hope everyone understands and I do not lose too much business
Please let me know your opinion on the subject.


  1. you absolutely are doing the right thing by upping your prices. it's difficult for artists like us sometimes to ask for prices that enclude the intangible supplies we put into a piece (time spent, the level of skill you've worked to gain, your own vision and design). i actually wish more artists would charge more for their jewelry in particular- because i feel like the general public should not expect the lower prices that other artists offer. my 2 cents :)

  2. you do need to factor in your hourly wage in addition to cost, so changing your prices is a must.

    I do have a suggestion, however that may help increase your sales.

    I've gone to purchase several items fomr your shop to discover that I was unable to due to your settings. You have shipping set to USA and Australia only... and Australia is the most expensive to ship. I suggest setting USA and Canada rates, which are both fairly close to each other, then set 'everywhere else' at one price to cover all over seas shipping.

    If etsy charges you for each setting, look into they're completely free to use and you do not pay to post items. That might be a better option for you and save on the listing costs.

  3. Good for you for realizing that your time and talent are valuable. Your work is professional quality (and incidentally the gloves are stunning) and you should treat yourself as one. Also, by underpricing so drastically you cheat not only yourself but every other artist who is trying to make a living.