PDP Exclusives by Rebecca

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wenchkin's Equation for Pricing Handmade Goods or Art

Making the decision to start selling your handmade goods, and artwork can be stressful. Where do you sell, who is your target audience, do I make a website, HOW MUCH DO I CHARGE!?!?!??!  That last one is an issue even experienced sellers can have issues with. It can become very difficult to price your items, and make sure you are selling them for what they are worth, at the same time paying YOURSELF what YOU are worth. So Wenchkin came up with a pretty easy way to go about this difficult task.

In this last part of toy painting and modification, I go about establishing setting a price for a toy. Now pricing of hand made items in general may seem a daunting task in coming up with a fair price. Many people have many ways of approaching it. This is simply how I go about coming up with pricing for items I list in my ArtFire store.

Since I have mainly been addressing ponies I will pull a pony listing then rip it apart from there to explain how I got there. So for instance let's take this http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/3827288

One Day of the Dead Pony, 40 bucks
pony cost: 1 buck
paint cost: 1 buck
clear coat: 1 buck

It took me two days to finish due to paint drying times which I do not charge for but actual paint time it took me 8 hours of actual paint time to get two layers of basecoat, block out the bones, add in the color and clean up the line work

So say I am only charging 5 bucks an hour (which is way under minimum wage), then I have already come up with my 40 bucks.

But I am not done yet

I still need to spend another hour of labor photgraphing and listing
and I have not counted shipping materials, i.e. box, packing, tape.

So basically, in my mind I am giving you a cut-rate deal for me to be able to do what I love. I could charge more. I try to keep my prices reasonable for my fans.

Also with all of this said and done it never hurts to surf the competition to see what other people are selling equivalent items for. With that I have seen a lot of new people base their pricing off of other people's pricing when the items were not of the same quality. Just because I can get 40 bucks for a pony does not mean you might be able to if you are new and starting out. I have kicked out over 100 ponies now and my skill has increased.

Lastly, I hope this is maybe a little eye-opener for the people that have to ask why hand made is so expensive. Being asked that makes me want to raise my prices as this is my full time job and I do a good job and i know it. I would never go to someone else's job and say you are overpaid, it is rude. I am asking a bare minimum for what I provide - most artisans do, when you think about the time it took them to create any given item. 

You can find more of Wenchkin on her Facebook page, or over on G+.


  1. This is a great post! It's a great equation for artisans and artists to figure out initial pricing, which can, as you mentioned, be adjusted based on customer demand and what the market will bear (i.e., what our fans are willing to pay). Thanks for writing this up!

  2. If I worked out my total cost for the printing of ONE shirt, it would be in the 100's.. Luckily I don't only sell one shirt, so I can spread the cost over all of them.

  3. I had someone just about drop dead when they asked what it would cost for me to draw them and print it on one shirt and I quoted them 100 bucks. Screen printing is it's own whole different expensive bag. Sure a shirt might be five bucks. But screen, emulsion, chemicals, tape, and ink adds up fast and never cheaply.

  4. I've been getting people asking me to create a custom pendant (OK), but they want it from an original painting of their pet. That's fine and I will happily take that commission, but can someone tell me why they're surprised when they hear I charge for the painting ($100-200) and give the pendant ($20) for free, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND? Anyone? Seriously, I've gotten five of these requests in the last few months.

  5. i need to know where i can buy one of those tees!? great post too!

  6. You are really undercutting yourself. I hope one day you can get paid the amount you deserve. Best of luck!

  7. Holy crap, Krissi, that's ridiculous! Have you ever gotten this one?: "Can you design a tattoo for me? I'll tell everyone you made it, so it'll be good publicity for you!"

  8. @"Anonymous" It's a bit harsh to tell an artist that she is undercutting herself. Wenchkin, like many artists I know balance several considerations when pricing, like:
    * INCOME REQUIREMENTS. In Wenchkin's case, she is a full-time artist who supports herself with her art, therefore consistency in sales is more important than making a few extra dollars on pieces that sell intermittently.
    * PRODUCTION ABILITY. She works pretty quickly, so she can create more pieces in a short period of time. It may be better to sell pieces quickly than to let them stack up in her studio space.
    * DEMAND. most collectors of low-brow/underground art aren't brimming with money, so a $65 "bony" may not have a good customer base.
    * WHIM OF THE ARTIST. This is really the most important factor. Like other low-brow artists, Wenchie stated that she likes to keep her art affordable for her customers. Many of us collect each other's art and the networking and connections we receive in return for making the art available is sometimes worth more than an extra sale.

    Pricing is a very individual process, and like child-rearing, there is a lot of advice out there - just take what works for you, make sure you don't FEEL like you're cheating yourself and, whatever you do, avoid the temptation to tell someone else they're doing it wrong.

  9. Kit... Did you miss this post?? http://modernrosies.blogspot.com/2011/09/ask-krissis-art-studio-using-someones.html LOL!