Behind the massive sales you see : learning how to charge for your work

If you’re a creative that has service packages with pricing ready to go, then great job you’re officially a professional. For those creatives who are still struggling on pricing, don’t ever give in to charging lower for your work.

I’ve been freelancing for about two years now and still flip flop on my prices just because those things range and vary so much. My clients are usually really small start ups, which probably can’t afford to spend hundreds on a logo — so they search for the alternatives. Learning how to price is probably my least favorite subject even though that’s the money maker?

I have a story for you though. I recently talked to an Etsy store owner, Lyndsey Nesbitt from Lovely Stitches Crochet and we dived right into a great story about pricing. It was near Christmas 2017 and she saw an opportunity to make sales since the holidays were around the corner! Nesbitt decided to do a 15% off as well as a free shipping sale for her products.

On the consumer end, for sure that is a steal, just look at how cute her products are — my favorite is a the Beauty and the Beast cozie (I’m a huge Disney fanatic)! On the production end, through calculations and many headaches later, Nesbitt determined she was undercharging her product by $3.00 USD. She had a hit in sales (yay) but also overloaded herself with over 100 orders, which let’s not forget she hand makes. In the end, she crafted all alone day in and day out!

From this we can learn that anytime a business wants to jump into being one of the big guys with the “15% off and free shipping” we need to see what that is doing to the business. In the consumer perspective, we don’t see it but the product is STILL making a profit even if it’s on so called “sale”. What they’re really trying to say is “we’re done with this shit now, take it out of our inventory please.”

Always think out your sales and don’t let it dive into profits

It’s going to be a headache but talk it out with your team, if you have one. If not, just give yourself a couple of hours to honestly sit down and see if this “sale” is even worth having. Calculate the time it takes to produce each product if you’re making, made-to-order. Put in estimate order amounts to see how much you could make if you sold x items for the sale. 

Know when to cap off your sales

I suggest starting small, let it last a week if you’re up to par and can work with an expectation of a lot of orders. If you’re unsure then do the ever so popular “flash sale” where it lasts a day. Then you won’t overload yourself with work, but you’re making some type of money and getting some traction.

Don’t go on sale, JUST because things are not selling

With this mentality, you might end up falling into a situation where you’ll start underpricing your work. As a creative, quality is everything to us. You priced it that certain price for a reason, keep as is and be patient. Invest your time into more marketing or look up new inspirations to make more art. Some pieces just don’t do well on market and that’s something we have to accept in the creative world.

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2 thoughts on “Behind the massive sales you see : learning how to charge for your work

  1. Tina Stoffel says:

    Great post. I don’t put my originals on sell for the simple reason it’s unfair to collectors who paid full amount. Therefore aim to price things reasonably. Of course, some art prices slight vary due to framing costs and gallery pricing and commission which affects my overall pricing too.

    The only things that I sell are from my online stores or something I’m ready to move out of my studio, but that isn’t often.


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