Posted by Jo on June 04, 2003 at 10:04:49:
In Reply to: Pricing posted by Patti on April 11, 2003 at 21:08:46:
I feel the same way. It seems to me that the calculated fair retail price far exceeds what the average consumer is willing to pay.
I make my living in the corporate world (in a non-artistic field), and have been beading as a hobby all my life. People show interest in my work, and I show interest in selling it to them, although I would not want to make a living out of it. My reason for selling has more to do with the fact that I tend to overspend on supplies, and it soothes my conscience to get some money in as opposed to money out only!
I calculate that for my work, 10$/hour plus the cost of materials and packaging is the upper limit that appears to me reasonable to charge, as a retail price. We are far from the amount recommended to see profits...no, I could not possibly live on this, I agree. I better keep my day job! While I fully realize the quality of the artistic work, the exclusivity of designs, the labor it involves and the sacred aspect of creativity, I find all of this has little to do with the money people are willing to let go of for it.
The thing is, frustrating as it is, the average consumer usually makes no difference between top-quality items and the imported cheap stuff so he feels ripped off, and even if he did appreciate the difference between high and low quality, he could not possibly pay 500$ for an amulet bag. (Personnally, I see what the cost of high-end supplies is and what labor beadwork entails, but I would not pay what is recommended to charge as the retail price - this is one of the reasons that I make my own beadwork as opposed to purchasing it.) Which means...try and find the above-average consumer who sees the difference AND can afford to pay for it! If you cannot find them, what choice do you have but adapt to the market that you can find?
One way to adapt is by making less work-intensive items to streamline your production line so that you can at least get some money in, and keep a few of those items that take longer to make for that rare pearl of an ideal customer.