Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Cost of Doing Buisness

 Pricing: How Much Time Are You Really Spending on Your Product?

We all know the formula:
Cost Price (Labor + Materials Cost) x 2 = Wholesale Price 
Wholesale Price x 2 = Retail Price

But what goes into the cost of our labor? 

A day in the life of an Etsy Item
Aside from what you spend on supplies and incidentals, which is relatively easy to track, what about the time you put in? If you are like me, you do not weigh time heavily into the equation because you are so happy while you are in creative mode, and you forget about all of the other stuff.  Recently I have taken a hard look at my time management for pricing purposes and life in general.

Sad but true, time is money, even when it feels like you should be paying someone for the happiness you get from making jewelry.

Lets look at one little piece of jewelry, and all it has to go through to get into the hands, or onto ears or necks of my customer, (not exactly in order of appearance).

Little Piece of Jewelry
  • The research process - this is what I like to call it when I am  daydreaming up new ideas.
  • The sketch – you can skip this  part if you do not need to sketch, but I do. Here are your five minutes back if you don't.
  • Learning and practicing techniques, or, how the heck do I make this? This can include: time spent in trial and error, in courses, reading books, taking Ecourses, or tutorials.
  • Ordering or shopping for Supplies.
  • The actual designing proces.

  • Actually fabricating your piece
  • Modeling it for your significant other or furbaby and telling them they are not excited enough about this new creation.

    Not Really Me
    • Photographing it.
    • The dreaded editing of said photographs.
    • Determining pricing which includes more dreaded research and, yikes, math.
    • The even more dreaded listing of item.
    • Answering stupid and not so stupid convos.
    • Tweeting, FB-ing, Stumbling, Deliciousing, Stylehiving, Pinteresting, Kaboodling, Blogging, making the dreaded Treasury (I make them, but I don’t like them), commenting on T's, and more.
    •    Doing all of the above for your team members, as they have done for you.
    • Messing with Etsy on Sale. Should I, shouldn't I? etc. 

    • Promoting your sale if you chose "I should."
    • Rearranging your Etsy store obsessively
    • Renewing
    • Checking Craftopolis
    • Checking Google Analytics and wondering if anyone really understands it.
    • Worrying about your SEO and asking Bob a lot of questions: 1800-jewelry24Seven
    • Creating and promoting coupons, or wondering if you should.

    Finally,  a sale!

    Continuing on...
    • Ordering or shopping for packing supplies.
    • Putting your precious piece into pretty packaging that you ordered or made.

    • Packing for safe shipping.
    •  Printing a label, cursing at printer %&*((%!!  *(__$%^&!!!.
    • Fixing the printer or running to Staples for more printer ink.
    •  Printing again.
    • Going to the post office.
    • Swearing I am going to get more organized so I can arrange home pick up, which is FREE.
    • Following up emails (yup, you bought it, yeah, its coming etc.).
    •  Worst case, tracking a package. uuugghhhhhh.
    • Best case, happy customer, brilliant feedback, Yayyy.

    Guess what, time to start all over again.

    All of this is not even factoring in the very important time spent on the JET Thread!

    Is your pricing right?
    Do not sell yourself short. Much of the cost of doing business is our time!

    Thanks for reading,


    Beadsme said...

    Geez Norah. Didn't even think of half of these. Hmmm how much for daydreaming? Get we get paid for daydreaming? <<< this is said with excitement!!

    jemsbyjb said...

    This is a great article. Pricing is such a convoluted process and it's often hard to determine. This is very helpful.

    Unknown said...

    Thanks Norah for a great article, lots of giggles and thought provoking1

    Bob J24-7 said...

    I truly LOVE this post. Your time IS worth money. When people ask me about custom items I always mention bench time ... and tell them my skilled labor is priced at $35.00 an hour. You NEED to charge for your time; most people can't do what you do and they understand that. So don't sell yourself short!

    I really appreciate Norah's sense of humor here! If that was a real number I would get calls 24-7 ... Please don't call me at midnight. Even if it IS Jewelry24Seven. Please DO SHOP for jewelry 24-7 ...

    Erika Price said...

    Fantastic post, Norah - thank you SO much! Very funny, and very thought provoking too!!! Erika Price Jewelry

    Tracy said...

    This is a FABULOUS post! I really need to re-evaluate how I am accounting for my time!

    Thanks for the chuckles and the inspiration.

    DG Jewelry Designs said...

    Norah - great post. I definitely need to re-evaluate also. Fun post, also.

    Blanche said...

    HAHAHA I love it,

    Michele said...

    Wow you really don't realize it have to think about repricing items now, great post, has humor but imformative.

    Made By Tammy said...

    Giggle! Fantastic and Hilarious info! Thanks for sharing. :)

    SendingLoveGallery said...

    I'm LOLing over here~ wonderful post Noray (yourdailyjewels)!

    Brooke said...

    Great post Norah! All SO true!

    SatinDollCo said...

    Great blog post! I totally forget sometimes how long it takes before a item/piece makes it's ways up for sale and all things we(seller) have to do to find it a nice home.

    Love your sense of humor too,Norah.

    JillreOzmay said...

    Food for thought AND an enjoyable read. Thank you Norah!

    Unknown said...

    Tack on another half hour per Treasury. Shmetsy is a goner :(

    Heart Vintage Design said...

    Do you ever worry about pricing yourself out of the market?

    Unknown said...

    Your much prettier than that other blonde. GREAT post Norah!

    cooljewelrydesign said...

    Agree with ARE much prettier than the Christie Brinkley gal...this is an amazingly crafted insight into the life/plight of any crafts person.

    Doubtful that the majority of the buyers "get" it unless they are also craft minded.

    You are a GEM!!

    Unknown said...


    nikhajewelry said...

    This is great Norah. I often don't charge anything for my time in a piece of jewelry (with rare exception for the really fancy stuff) and now I see how wrong I am to do that. I also think you're better than Christie Brinkley, as lovely as she is! Thanks so much for everything you do!!

    Unknown said...

    Thank you! I have sooooo much trouble with really doing the pricing thing! I love creating the jewelry and how to price...ah well!
    Thank you.
    You have helped me quite a bit!

    Unknown said...

    Haven't thought of this stuff! Thank you so much! This is an area that's so hard to do!

    Unknown said...

    Fabulous post! (Sorry I just got around to reading this)