Handmade items are extremely hard to price accurately especially if there's nothing similar on the market. In order to accurately price my crocheted afghans, throws, hats, bedspreads, blankets, and doilies, I take into consideration the cost of materials, cost of storage, my hourly rate, and the retails prices of similar items.
Cost Of Materials
The first thing I have to take into consideration is the cost of materials. To make one doily, I need one ball of crochet thread. The cost to purchase a ball of crochet thread is $2.50. To make a small throw or openwork afghan I need two balls of yarn for a total cost of $5. To make a large queen blanket I need eight balls of yarn for $20. A lace bedspread for a queen bed takes 20 balls of crochet thread for $50, and I need one ball of yarn to make a hat for a total cost of $2.50.
Needless to say, the larger the project, the more balls of yarn or crochet thread I need, and the more expensive the item is to construct. On average, I can find crochet thread and yarn for $2.50 a ball.
Cost Of Storage
I can store my handmade items two different ways. I can store them in plastic containers in my apartment, or I can rent a storage unit. It depends on how many items I have on hand at any given time. The threshold for me is when I have two or more plastic boxes of items. At that point, I rent the smallest storage unit I can find for $25 a month. That cost has to be spread out over the number of items I have for sale. Assuming I have 20 crocheted blankets and bedspreads and 50 other crocheted items, the total cost per item per month is 36 cents. I add that 36 cents onto the total cost of the item.
My Hourly Rate
Since I'm just starting out, I think minimum wage is fair. In Indiana, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. I can crochet doilies and hats in about an hour for a total cost of $7.25. It takes me four hours to crochet a small blanket or throw for $29. I need 20 hours to crochet a lace bedspread for a total cost of $145, and it takes me 10 hours to crochet a large queen blanket for a total cost of 72.50.
In calculating the retail price of my items, I add the cost of the materials, cost of storage, and my hourly rate. This makes the price of my doilies and hats $10. My blankets and throws retail at $34. My bedspreads retail at $195, and my large blankets retail at $93.
Can I Sell It For Those Prices?
The last calculation I need to make is whether or not I think I can sell the items at those prices. A good way to figure this out is to visit websites that have similar items for sale. In the case of my doilies, I found a vintage doily reproduction site that sells their doilies for $12.95. My doilies are cheaper so I know I can sell them for $10 apiece.
For my crocheted hats, I want to charge $10 a piece. This is cheaper than the prices on the handmade crocheted hats I saw on various websites by $5. I can absolutely charge $10 a hat.
In the case of my crocheted throws and afghans, I want to charge $34 a piece. On Ebay, the prices range between $15 and $40. On a handmade website, those same items are retailing for between $125 and $300. I know mine aren't worth the latter, and if I plan to sell my items on Ebay, I need to lower the price to no more than $25 which means I'll make no more than $5 a piece on my afghans and throws.
In the case of my bedspreads, $200 is about right for the intricacy, detail, time involved, and the fact that they really can't be purchased outside of an individual that makes them. In other words, there's a niche market for lace bedspreads.
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