How To Price.

Q: How do those of you who sell beaded jewelry price your pieces? I'm going on actual costs, and a fixed amount for labor for each design, figured from an hourly rate. Of course, this doesn't take into account the time I spend coming up with new designs, or driving back and forth from the post office to ship things, or keeping the webpage updated, etc. If any of you do something similar, what kind of hourly rate do you use?

A: I thought I'd chime in on this one...I've only been selling for about 2 years, but what I've done is figure out my material costs, multiply that by three, and add an amount for labor. Unfortunately, this means you have to keep meticulous records on what you spend on your beads, findings, etc. I store my larger beads and findings in 'Ziplock' bags (seed beads in tubes), and write the cost per bead or part on the outside of the bag. Generally, I try to do this right after I buy the materials, otherwise I can't remember. Then, after I assemble a piece, I add up the cost of the parts, multiply by three, and then add an amount for my time. It's nearly impossible to calculate the cost of thread or 'Softflex', so that gets covered in the x3 amount. My hourly rate right now is around $10.00 for simple things, more for more complex or woven pieces. I'm pretty anal about that already. :-) I have an 'Excel' spreadsheet all made up, so all I have to do is plug in what I used, and how many. It pops out total costs. I'm in the midst of writing a piece of software that will do this for me with even less bother. The only thing I would like to add here is that I reverse this process - I also use about $10/hour as a base rate, but find that makes pieces like amulet bags too expensive for my clientele. Those are probably more like $5/hour - but of course, the matl. cost is usually less than a strung necklace of semi-precious, or pearls.