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to not know how to value my work?

(13 Posts)
Timeforanamechangey Mon 14-Dec-15 21:32:35

That's a slightly strange way to phrase it but I will explain!

I make and sell a 'thing' (fairly unusual and don't want to out myself :D ).

Not actually sold any so far as I've been practising in order to get good enough at it that I feel the 'things' are of a sufficient standard to be worth selling.

Word has gotten around through mutual friends and I now have 2 orders for Christmas, yay for me!

However, when it came to negotiating price I literally have no idea how to value my own work. Aibu? It sounds silly but I just have no idea how much to charge!

I've looked up similar items online and the ones I've seen are pretty ridiculously priced, very very expensive (to me anyway). I don't feel that mine are worth even nearly as much, I honestly couldn't feel good charging a similar price to the ones I've seen online as the 'thing' doesn't cost that much in materials and I would feel like I was ripping people off.

At the same time I don't want to sell myself short! How do you go about pricing your work? I'm torn between feeling arrogant and cocky and giving them away for nothing :/ I also don't want to overcharge and put anyone off ordering from me in future. How do I negotiate this? Help!

RudeElf Mon 14-Dec-15 21:36:51

Could you advertise yours as "20% cheaper than the rest" or does that make them sound like less good versions? Or maybe just price them at 20% less but dont acknowledge the others and then word will get roud that yours are cheaper so people will try them firt?

gabsdot Mon 14-Dec-15 21:39:16

You should cost materials and then pay yourself an hourly rate and see what that comes too.
Don't undersell yourself. You'll end up resenting the product and your customer

NickyEds Mon 14-Dec-15 21:41:21

It's tricky. What you should do is calculate your material costs (including packaging/costs of selling/postage etc) and hours worked then pay yourself an hourly rate. So say materials are £20 and it takes 4 hours to make look at around £ theory. In reality you look at what you can sell something for and work backwards from there. What did the people ordering think they were supposed to pay? How much money are we talking about?

Drquin Mon 14-Dec-15 21:59:57

I'll take the other point you made ....... The other "things" which are already for sale seem ridiculously expensive to you?

That's almost irrelevant.
If you worked as a mere minion for a company which made diamond jewellery that sold for six figures, you'd probably think that was ridiculously expensive, yes? So, let's say you had access to tools & materials to set up making your own diamond jewellery. What would you sell it for? Admittedly you may not make half a million per piece at your first go ...... But neither would / should you sell it for a fiver, just because that's all you'd pay for jewellery!

If your "thing" has an established market value, then there's a starting point. You could / would maybe come in slightly cheaper if you're not an established brand name yet, or you may have lower costs at present. But do not sell yourself short ...... If only because in a few years time, you'll be the established brand and you'll not want some new kid on the block thinking they can undercut you!

EmilyPunkhurst Mon 14-Dec-15 22:04:18

I always turn to the Design Trust for this kind of info. Lots of free resources. This one gives information on 15 different methods for pricing your work.

timelytess Mon 14-Dec-15 22:06:20

Don't forget that you have the skills and commitment to make the 'thing'. If other people had that, they'd be making their own. They pay you to do that for them, so remember to charge for it.

Timeforanamechangey Mon 14-Dec-15 23:23:08

That's a good way of looking at it Drquin smile

Thanks for the link Emily, got some good ideas on there, and yes that is very true tess! I just don't want people to think I'm too expensive, I want my 'things' to be lovely but affordable or else no one will buy them.

tibbawyrots Mon 14-Dec-15 23:28:36

Get over to hikeyourlikes on facebook - they'll put you in touch with many resources to help you price/value your product and many other things.

They did start out by aiming to up your "likes" but soon changed into small business advice and help - they throw a question into the community and you'll get responses from similar set ups.

Don't forget to register with HMRC as self employed if you haven't already, if you're making to sell then you need to be. Good luck, don't sell yourself short.

DPotter Mon 14-Dec-15 23:57:31

I have this as well - its difficult. Worth bearing in mind......
that the thing you make, may be out of your price range to buy and for some of your friends, even with mates rates
Don't drop your hourly rate below £10
If you're offering a 'Mate rate' - say so. It could get embarrassing if a mum of a friend of a friend turns up and wants the cut price
if you were selling through a shop, they would double what you charge, minimum
Good luck and well done with the orders !

ifyoulikepinacolada Tue 15-Dec-15 06:06:22

Also worth remembering - it's a lot harder to up your prices than it is to charge reasonably the first time around! You can of course slightly undercut the market rate or offer 'mates rates' but it's not greedy or cheeky to be paid adequately for something that requires skills, time and effort and that people are willing to pay for.

Well done and best of luck!

IguanaTail Tue 15-Dec-15 06:10:32

I think it's harder selling to friends or friends of friends even.

As well as your time and the materials remember that you will have a particular skill which you are selling.

Sighing Tue 15-Dec-15 06:26:17

I have a friend who makes and sells armour. He costs things with materials, his hours (usually including design as it's bespoke work) ... that's for friends. Then he adds overheads (workshop space, heating, admin and a 2-5% "profit"). He isn't the most expensive and because he factors in that extra (tiny) margin he continues to work on new tweaks and ideas all the time improving his quality and production speed.

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