Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pricing bead sets

I have recently decided to try making and selling sets of beads on etsy. Mostly small sets of spacers at this point. I made several sets, timed myself and my bead cleaning buddy, and then tried to figure a price. Who ever thought that would be the hard part.

I figured that, with the time involved, expenses, etc., I would need to charge about $4-5 a bead. Hmm, that meant a set of five small spacers would be about $25. That sounded a little high, so I did some searching on etsy to see what other folks were charging. Surprise! Spacer beads for $1 to $2.

Now I'm not exactly a math whiz, but when a set of beads takes about 25 minutes to make and you charge $12 for it, that doesn't seem like it could be cost effective in any way. Sounds like a lot of money? $24 an hour? Are you considering supplies, gas, paypal and etsy fees, income tax, and the time it takes to photograph and list those beads? If you look at all of that, I'd say you might just as well cut that income in half- $12 an hour is really not that great a wage. And that wage only applies if you can sell every bead you make at the price you set.
So my bead sets are priced in between what I feel they should cost and what others might sell for. They are a bit more complex than those beads that are less, so I'm hoping that will be a good selling point. Guess I'll just have to sit here on my hands and wait to see what happens!


CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

L, I often wonder if folks selling their beads that cheap are supported by wealthy husbands! It's one of the reasons I rarely make sets!

Judith Billig (Icarus Beads) said...

Laurie, great post, thanks. Your're right in that many people underprize their beads.
And yes, Holly quite often it's because they do it as a hobby and don't need the money or just want to get back the money to buy new glass.
But at the moment it's also that the buyers just don't want to pay more ... the market dictates lower prices - some of the reasons are the huge competition (online selling is now so much easier than several years ago), Chinese imported mass products, and also the bad economy that puts pressure on the bead market.
I had to lower my prices a bit to counter act that, but refuse to go as low as some of the other bead makers do. Don't want to give the beads away just for the price of glass, material and shipping/handling costs.
Would love to hear a follow up to this post!
Take care, Judith

Patrice of Shepherd Creations said...

I also feel your pain, these beads are so beautiful and you shouldn't have to give them away. It's often a matter of finding the right buyers, and unfortunately there's a lot of imported-bead-noise distracting them from finding your lovelies. Hope you sell them for at least near what they're worth!