i hope you don’t mind me answering this publicly! but i figured it’s a good question that will probably get asked again, so it’s easier for me / other people if it’s somewhere easily referenced.
so far i’ve only got some of ‘em priced, i’m sort of winging it from there — the little ones, without fancy add-ons, i’m putting up for $10 (+$3 shipping, $5 international; i don’t actually know what they’ll end up costing to ship so that may get adjusted, but i figured it gave me some wiggle without making them too much more expensive). they’re all around the four-five inch tall range, with little embroidery faces / outsides.
i figure i’ll go up and down from there, but use that as my baseline. the biggest/fanciest one i have already made right now is 7” tall with 6” wingspan, a pretty button eye and a little necklace made out of trim. between time + materials i was planning to list it at $25. the next-biggest is 5”, with tiny stubby wings but no extra embellishments; i figured he’d be about $15.
(so basically: $10-$15 baseline, but up or down from there depending on size / materials / intricacy)
(also man i’ve never done this before i HOPE that’s reasonable?)
Okay, pricing. Before I ever actually priced anything, I did this thing where I talked to a very close friend who happens to be an engineer. He made me a friggin’ excel workbook with bits and labels and figures and formulas. I still have it and to this day it’s what I use whenever I want to price something new.
(Artsy types are NOT KNOWN for really grasping what their work is worth. I’m hesitant to call myself an artsy type because I don’t make much lately and have a hard time seeing my work as anything other than an amateur playing around with toys. Artsy types also have a tendency to look at their work and try to figure out what THEY would pay for it… which is never as much as someone who doesn’t have the skill would pay for it. Of course the artist wouldn’t pay much for that work- they can go home and make it. To other people, that skill is nothing short of magic and worth actual money.)
The base key is materials+time. figure out exactly how much money you have in materials (which is a BITCH when you are dealing with small bits of stuff that you buy in quantity. All those tiny books in my etsy store? strips of paper from the bigger books, maybe 18 inches of thread, a 1x2 inch scrap of leather, a few drops of glue, a jump ring I made myself, and 18-24 inches of chain that I buy by the yard. pricing those is a PAIN). Round up if there’s much doubt, add some markup for the fuel and/or time in acquiring them. (standard markup in businesses is like 30%.)
Then comes the time! What is your time worth? Never price your time below minimum wage. That is undercutting both you AND EVERYONE ELSE THAT SELLS THEIR STUFF. People consistently charging next to nothing for their work means that the market expects really low prices for handmade things, no matter what they are, and badger crafters and artists to charge less. Not something we want to perpetuate. The stuff I do that is pretty mindless I charge about 8 per hour, if it’s fiddly or annoying or a skill I’m really proud of I charge closer to 15 or 20. I think the standard for people who make their living by crafting is about 30.
Time what you do. Time each step if possible, so if you skip a step because of whatever, you can take it out- or if something happens that increases one step of the process, you only have to re-time that one step. Add about 15% to the time because things do not always go smoothly. They do that when figuring prices for just about anything in the business industry- it’s called PF&D. Personnel fatigue and delay.
once you’ve got the total time, you can calculate how much to charge for your labor and then add that to the materials cost and voila. base price! Fiddle with it from there based on the venue- add in Etsy seller fees and Paypal fees if you’re going that route, booth fee if you’re doing it at a craft fair, that kind of thing. I like to round to the nearest dollar after that.
of course… I also tend to charge the same thing regardless of venue, because I am not trying to make a living at this and I don’t want to try to remember different prices. I’m not charging less than minimum wage for my labor either way, so I don’t worry too much about it.
(dear heavens, I sound like I know what I’m talking about)
Having bought a gorgeous notebook from impling and knowing my skills even at my most handy/creative/skilled - I still feel like I got it at a bargain.
Don’t underprice your art.
In my digital history class, there was a bit in the reading on design about getting an art student to help “for little or no fee as a chance to try out and improve their new skills” - my only note on that paragraph is a large, red, NO. I will be addressing this in class on Tuesday.