daisy orangeI was at a craft fair recently and next to a person who was attending their first ever fair. Her work was beautiful, appealing, well made and (I thought) reasonably priced. However as the day went on and sales were lacklustre (see my blog post on what to do at a dead craft fair!) she started to question whether her pricing was wrong. I suspect we have all been there.

As an involved maker it can be incredibly difficult to price your work for sale and we often end up with a 'gestimate' and then test this in front of customers to see the reaction. This then leaves you open to having undersold you work or having to lower the price at a later date.

I don't think there is any failsafe formula and different makers undoubtedly have different approached, but when I am pricing work I take the following into account:

1) Cost of materials - I can work out roughly how much raw material is needed to make each piece and what this would cost me to buy from my supplier.

2) Time to make – one small piece may take longer to make and have more processes, than a large piece so think about how many you can make in an hour (or a day).

3) Time taken to reach an audience – a new design or range may take a long time and lots of effort to get to the market e.g. time spent uploading to your website, listing in online shops, discussing with galleries etc. where as someone wanting a commission may just phone you up and ask for you to make it for them!

4) What the audience is expecting to pay – understanding your audience is a lengthy process and something which never stops, but every fair is an opportunity to talk to customers and your past sales are a valuable indicator of what people like and what they are happy to pay.

5) What other options your audience has – if a potential buyer is looking ay my glass bowl and comparing it with something they can buy in a high street store, then I'm never going to be able to attract them based on price alone (and nor would I want to). So, by stressing all the individual messages about your work such as your creative inspiration, the approach you use, where you are based, you can communicate the uniqueness of your offer to the buyer and hence help them to understand your price.

Do let me know how you price your work and whether you agree with my approach.