Thursday, April 14, 2016

If you make an apron, you will have to price it

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On my last post I shared that I am, for the first time, going to try to sell some of my homemade items at a craft bazaar.  The whole idea makes me quite nervous but also excited to see what will happen. So after years of hearing "you could sell this" and blowing people off, what changed?  Well, during the church's holiday bazaar last fall I donated an apron that I made for a raffle.  In doing that simple donation, some people talked to me about selling at the next bazaar.

This was a holiday apron I made.

It was sort of like a "if you give a mouse a cookie" sort of thing.  If you give a bazaar an apron, you will want to make more to sell...

Really?  well, that is what happened with me.

So I bought some fabric and made some aprons.

reversible apron

These were actually the first thing I made for the bazaar.  The baskets came next as they were a fun idea to add to my table.

coffee lover apron
I bought fabrics in the same coordinating fabric line.  I don't know if that was such a good idea because it limited my variety.  But they are pretty.

So after making the aprons, I needed to figure out pricing.  This is hard.  It is actually one of the reasons I never sold things.  The thing is, people are used to buying things that are made in third world countries and do not really want to pay for things made with an American wage.  Also, since I am not a business working in large scale, the best I can do is use a coupon to buy my supplies; I do not get the price advantage of bulk purchases.

This is my favorite!

I read several articles to help me figure out a fair price for my work that will still make my item attractive to local shoppers.  Etsy actually has several blog posts on this topic.

There are different ways to evaluate this also.  One that is simple is to take your material costs and multiply by 3.  This is so easy.

French Country chickens

But another is to take your material costs and add (your hours multiplied by your wage).  This makes sure your time is properly accounted for.  But if you are just starting to make a particular product, you may not be very efficient and the customer should not pay for you learning to make something.  You can account for this by making 10 items and averaging the time made for each item.  You will be faster on items 9 and 10 then on 1 and 2 but that way they all have the same price.

Blue bird apron
But what if you do your work while watching TV or riding in the car?  Well, then the cost X 3 is probably the better price equation because you are using your 'free time' and not dedicating your full attention to the product and may be less efficient.

So if you give an apron, then you have to sew a bunch to sell.  And if you sew a bunch to sell, you have to price them fair for you and fair for them.   ... and if you price your aprons you will want to make baskets...

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