musings | product pricing

it's so hard to price handmade products isn't it? there are so many factors to take into consideration. the cost of supplies, minimum supply orders, the prices of similar products and competition. the cost of the same item, but mass produced. and most hand crafters don't even take into account the time it takes to make something!

when i first started selling stationery, i put my heart and soul into each envelope. and as such, i priced it accordingly - heart and soul worthy prices which equalled 5.00 an envelope. that's a little steep don't you think? someone named derek didn't actually think so, and he bought one for 5.50. i was amazed, and delighted!

but one customer does not a successful shop make. and so a few months later i changed the style of my products, and the prices too. i began selling sets of envelopes for 6.50 and they remained at that price for just over a year. i also took the plunge and priced my writing paper at 2.00.

a few months ago i decided to up the prices of my envelopes to 7.50. it was so scary! but it takes a long time to make them by hand and their quality is far superior to regular envelopes. in addition, i started to get a few wholesale orders and 3.25 for five envelopes is a pittance and only covers the cost of my supplies and tools.

to me, my envelopes are like greeting cards or notecards. they are the first thing people see when presented with a gift, or when they open their mailbox. they are a gift in and of themselves! it's never made sense to me that we take the time to buy a beautiful card and then stuff it inside a blank envelope. but it's hard for me to express the specialness of an envelope to shoppers.

and so, in order to help you better understand why i charge what i do, i'll give you some examples. i have nothing against the following sellers and believe their products are equally worthy of what they charge. but i feel i must use them in order to justify my own prices. my worst fear is that customers or shoppers won't think my products are worth their price!

this card is beautiful. it's 4.00 for one. (for one!)

most hallmark cards range between 3.50 and 6.50. for one cute card and one cheap envelope.

i love sparrow nest script. she charges 13.00 for 5 unfolded flat cards with envelopes.

the lovely wit & whistle shop sells sets of four for 7.50.

do you get where i'm going with this? consumers rarely think twice about purchasing a set of 8 notecards with envelopes for 15-20 dollars. and i'm offering five quality envelopes and ten sheets of writing paper for 11 dollars. it's a bit of steal when you look at it that way isn't it?

but that doesn't mean that i don't second guess myself every day. when i'm not getting orders i'm constantly wondering "are my prices too high??" the stress is going to be the end of me!

how do you price your products? do you ever feel nervous about it?


  1. I feel so nervous about pricing! The items in my shop are inexpensive - I take into consideration the cost of supplies and how much of my time it takes. I'm afraid to increase prices though for fear that no one will buy anything!

  2. You got at the heart of this issue. I, too, struggle with pricing on a daily basis. The basis formula I've seen is material cost + (hours x hourly labor cost) + 10% and then multiply by 2 for wholesale and by 3-4 for retail. But sometimes you have to strike a balance between the price given by that formula and what you think people will actually pay. It's a tough call.

    Anyway, don't fret -- you are not the only one thinking and worrying about this!


  3. I think your products are really really well-priced, which is part of the reason I can't recommend them enough! As much as I want to buy all the pretty stationery I see, I can't afford to, but I never feel bad ordering from you because I know I'm getting more than my money's worth! :D


thanks for your comment, i love hearing your thoughts!