On pricing and $6 earrings

28 May
(Be sure to get to the end — I have some questions that need answering!)

$6 earrings!

Etsy is a try-and-try-again kind of thing — especially in the jewelry market. The DIY site is inundated with necklaces and pearls and earrings and gold and silver way more than other categories (click on the “art” category — 25,363 pages of stuff; 10,893 pages of paper goods; 67,356 of jewelry (all as of this posting)).

There are so many things to get right. Are your photos any good? Etsy provides all kinds of tutorials and blogs and forums offering advice, but often said advice is conflicting: plain white background? or cordinating colors background? leave your item solo? or include props? Lord knows, I’m still working on my photos, though I like to think they’re way better than when I started.

I don’t know that I’ll ever been 100 percent happy with 100 percent of my jewelry photos, though I did very recently create a formula to figure out how to price my jewelry.

When I first started, I heard a lot of feedback about my price, and it was all the same: You’re charging too little!!! The idea is that if an item is too underpriced, a buyer will figure that said item is crappily made and move on. Now, I don’t want to be one of those shops where all my items are $50-plus. Sure, there’s a market for that, but I like keeping things affordable. I make jewelry more because it’s fun and less to make a buck.

I increased a number of my prices, but as I would post new goodies, my final “price” was often arbitrary. After reading up on some Etsy forum and blog posts, I created what appears to be a pretty accurate formula for creating my price:

$6 earrings!

  • How much did my materials cost? — I add these together.
  • How difficult was this item to make? — I’ll add on an extra $1 to $5 based on the item difficulty.
  • What will Etsy and PayPal charge me to relist and sell? I add $1 for this, figuring the items that sell quickly will even out with the items that require a few relistings.
  • Once I add those three numbers, I figure out how much I want to make on each item. This depends on how cool I think the piece is, how much I’d like to wear it, how versatile I think it is, how interesting I think it is, etc.

And voila — my final price. I’m happy to say that most of my “random” price listings are very close to the number I come up with when I use this formula.

As I looked through my early sales, I realized that my very first “stranger sale” was a pair of teeny, adorable earrings with a simple leopard-print glass bead dangling from a small kidney ear wire for only $5. It made me realize that, by using my formula and listening to the “You’re not charging enough!” crowd, I am charging a little more than I thought I would when I started out, and I don’t like that I don’t have any bargain goodies.

So I created a $6 earring section to my shop, and there are currently four pretties in there. Check them out, won’t you?

To fellow Etsy sellers: Do you have a formula you use to price your items? If so, what does it include? If not, how do you figure them out?

To fellow Etsy buyers: How important is price in the item you’re looking to buy?
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