pricing a product with high cost of materials

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Posted by Luann Udell on July 03, 2000 at 11:46:27:

I'm a fiber artist. I've been making wall hangings embellished with polymer clay embellishments, and also making jewelry with the artifacts. Both of these lines are labor-intensive but extremely low costs for production materials.

Lately I've developed a new version of my wall hangings. I make smaller fragments and am having them framed by a local prestigious art gallery/frame shop. So now I'm moving into the world of 2-D art, and need to price my work with the cost of framing included.

This is the first time I'll be marketing a product where the materials cost (that is, the framing) will be substantially larger than my cost of materials. The labor cost will be slightly less, but I still can't make more than a few each day. The art gallery said to start pricing low, and I can always raise my prices. I understand that, and actually will be able to market these successfully (I think!) at an upcoming high-end retail show. But I also want to wholesale these at a high-end *wholesale* show this spring. I feel like I may not have enough time to "test drive" the pricing on this. I don't want to overprice these items, but I dread the feeling of "giving away" my work the first few years out.

I know goldsmiths have the same problem. What kind of pricing guildelines do artisans use, when their cost of product is so high?

Thank you for any feedback on this issue.

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