# First Person: Calculating the Retail Price of My Handmade Goods

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.

Retail Price

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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