Man, the day after Hallowe'en the commercials started. Too soon, I say. Way too soon! Glad that Shoppers Drug Mart at least cut back on the Christmas music. Yikes.
That said, it is the season of Studio Tours and Sales of Homemade Treasures. Every year, I entertain the thought of doing something, but I end up making gifts instead, which take all my time.
This year, I was approached to take a gander at a book that addresses the whole issue of pricing your treasures for selling. In the world of rug hooking, it is a discussion as old as time. What value can you place on your goods so that you feel your work and artistic soul is "valued".
There were no strings attached to this offer, just a mailed copy of the book which is cleverly titled "How To Price Crafts and Things you Make to Sell". I would reserve my judgment about whether or not to talk about it until I read the book. (I got this picture from Amazon.)
It is a good book!! I was expecting the formulas and guides for pricing etc., since that is not new.
There is lots of information about online resources and the ability to
do your own research into what others are charging for their work. What I was pleased about was the subject of "value" that the author, James Dillehay, spends so much of the book discussing.
Here is a quote from the beginning of Chapter 1, titled What We Value: "If you really do put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price." - Anonymous.
He also stays with the belief that "Price is not typically the top buying criteria in the hand-made marketplace." and that "lowering the price more often lowers the perceived value."
I love to purchase hand-made things whenever possible and I don't begrudge a price that is reflective of the work and creativity. I just need to apply the same thinking to my own work - and I guess that is the message he is putting out there.
The book if filled with tips to get organized and find a fair and equitable price for selling direct or selling to retailers - even selling online.
I am not sure I will ever be in a position to sell my wares - as I say, I prefer to spend the time making gifts, but if I do, I will definitely heed his advice. But the best thing about the book for me was the affirmation of the "value" of spending the time creating unique treasures. It definitely felt like a great pat on the back - even without the selling part.
The author is not only an artisan himself and a well-published author, he is the founder of the social network, Craftsu.com and he blogs about craft business topics at Craftmarketer.com