I did a craft show this past weekend. It went fairly well considering it was an outdoor event and it was 44 degrees Fahrenheit. I featured my painted wooden signs and my re purposed cabinet doors. Now my cabinet doors take a lot of TLC and preparation before I can even paint. Most take 3+ hours between all of the sanding and cleaning, etc. Then I have to paint them! That takes another 3+ hours depending on the design that I am painting. You are probably wondering why I am telling you all of this; I promise there is a method to my madness/sometimes incoherent rambling!
The reason I wanted to share this whole tid bit about how much time is involved is because in our realm of business, people often forget that their TIME is valuable. It is the most important part of the “pricing equation” because people often undercharge for it or they don’t bother to charge for it at all! When you forget to charge for your time, you are selling your product, your skill, and your talent short. You deserve more than that and you owe it to yourself.
Now, back to my story about the show this past weekend! I had more than one customer that made a comment about my prices. Some were great comments and some were lacking in the tact department. It happens. However, the way that we handle it makes all of the difference.
One woman made a comment about my 9 inch X 18 inch “Laundry Sucks” sign (See Photo). I had $30 written on the price tag which is actually lower than I usually go for a sign of that size. She told me that there was no way that she would pay that much for that, even though she really liked it. I bit my tongue, took a deep breath and then smiled. I told her that I was glad that she liked it, but that my prices were set according to the cost of my materials used, along with the hours I had spent patiently painting it. She then asked about my custom made Ouija board that was painted on an old cabinet door. Once again, she complained about the price. Once again I explained that I had over 8 hours of work into it and that at the price I was asking ($65) I was making less than minimum wage even before taking into account that I had material expenses as well. She changed her tone fairly quickly after that.
“My favorite is when people say “I can make that for X amount of dollars…” I always reply with, “I’m sure you could… but WILL YOU?”
You see, people like her.. they are NOT my customers. Yes.. she liked my work, but she is the type of person that would complain about a blanket unraveling that was made in China, that she acquired from Walmart. Handmade prices are not Walmart prices, and lets be real shall we? They SHOULD NOT be Walmart prices. Handmade items usually take A LOT more time to make than those store bought items and they are usually made with higher quality materials. Sometimes we have to put things into a different perspective for a potential customer that is questioning your pricing. They would not want to make less than minimum wage at their job, so how is it fair for them to expect you to make minimum wage at yours? Whatever type of crafting you make/sell, always remember to NEVER sell yourself short. Time = Money. It is the truth. That is time that you could have spent with family or friends, but you chose to spend it making a one of a kind hand-crafted item for them to purchase. So next time someone asks you, “why do you charge so much?”, just remember that they might not understand all of TIME and LOVE that goes into each product, and that could be a perfect time for you to “take them to school”, so to speak!
Until next time- KEEP ON CRAFTING!