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How much should you charge for your work?

Many crafters ask "How much should I charge for my pieces?" They want a formula that will make everything easy. You do need such a formula, but not until you have done some craftswork and learned "How much is a customer willing to pay?" Your first step in determining a pricing policy should be to do a survey of what craftwork similar to yours is selling for in each market like the one you are selling in. For example, what does jewelry like yours sell for at craft fairs? in stores? in galleries? in mail order catalogs?

Once you know what prices the market will bear, look at all your expenses and see whether you can profitably produce the piece. The following formula tells you how many dollars you have to get back for a given piece. COST OF MATERIALS + INDIRECT COSTS (overhead expenses like rent, utilities, insurance, phone, etc.) + PROFIT (what you expect to make beyond the cost of your labor) = MINIMUM PRICE Once you know what you must get and what the market will bear for work similar to yours, you are in the position of choosing a price. Now you enter a testing phase where you learn through trial and error how much customers are willing to pay for your work.

About the Author James Dillehay, author of seven books, is a nationally recognized expert on marketing arts and crafts. Artist, entrepreneur, and educator, his articles have helped over 15,000,000 readers of Family Circle, The Crafts Report, Better Homes & Gardens, Sunshine Artist, Ceramics Monthly, and more. James has appeared as a featured guest on HGTV's popular The Carol Duvall Show and he is a member of the advisory board to The National Craft Association. This article is copyrighted and excerpted from James Dillehay's The Basic Guide to Pricing Your Craftwork "An excellent resource . . . a well organized book is nothing without solid information and the book delivers here." The Crafts Report Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and used on your web site or in your newsletter as long as you agree to include the title, author, and bio as it appears above.

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