At what price?

Since I started the CLF blog I have written many a post about value and crochet. That we must not ask for comparison to find crochet to be of value, that we must accept that what we do takes skill, time and practice, and that what we make does have an intrinsic value, one that can indeed be reflected in a price tag.

With Holiday Bazaar Season (HBS) upon us, many a crochet enthusiast will take to the holiday bazaars of local churches, community groups, and big shows. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS FUZZY DO NOT…and I repeat…DO NOT UNDERSELL YOUR WORK!!

Recently I posted a simple equation on the CLF Facebook page that read: Materials + Time x Skill = $$

Let me repeat that in big bold print…

In case you didn’t hear me the first few times…let me repeat this again…

So here are some general rules to follow:

1) Remember what you pay for materials. If you buy a skein of yarn for $6.00 and it has 200yds, the item you make uses 100 yards, the material cost is $3.00. If you took 2hrs to make a  hat and you sell it for $4.00 you are NOT making a profit. $3.00 recoups the material. Make sure you RECOUP your materials.

2)Time is valuable. Especially in today’s fast paced world, time is PRECIOUS, your time is VALUABLE. If you spend 2hrs on a  hat and you spent $3 on the materials and you only charge $4.00, $3.00 covers the materials and you just made FIFTY CENTS an hour. Really?  You are not a SWEATSHOP…You are WORTH more than that… So, you’ll mostly likely never charge for your time what you are REALLY worth, but hey at least go for $5.00 an hour, it’s better than .50 cents. So we’re now up to $13 for the hat.

3) SKILL…what you do is a SKILL. I don’t care if you just learned or if you have done this all your life. I don’t want to hear that you aren’t an expert, I don’t want to hear, “Oh it’s just what I do…” Yes, you do it, and yes it takes skill, and if you are really good at it, and you know it, then BY GUM CHARGE FOR IT!!!  So the same hat, done in crochet cables or basket weave, that takes skill right? We have established the minimum charge on time is $5.00 an hour, you with me? And so let’s go back to the $13, obviously too cheap for the cabled hat right? I’d add on another $10-20 in a lower market, in an upper scale market I’d add up to $30.

What about a plain hdc hat? Heck I’d still charge $15-20 for it 😀

BUT WHO WOULD BUY ANYTHING THAT EXPENSIVE.

Go to a department store, look at the crappily made hats and see what they sell for…$25. Not even cabled or basket weave, not even hand made, handmade goes for the same price, and made in a sweatshop.

So have a sign, that shows a) you are LOCAL b) you make it yourself c) put a picture of your children or dogs or cats and say all proceeds feed these guys (yes, use humor)…

When I first started selling at bazaars I sold myself short too, and guess what? I hardly sold a thing…my skill level? It was the same as it is now…So, what changed? I started to charge more. Then I got custom orders and students.

So here’s a refresher…

Items that really can sell at bazaars include:

  • Rosette pins (make Irish Crocheted Roses and affix to safety pins or jewelry pins) sell for $5-10 a pin.
  • Wash cloths and tea towels, sell by the set of 2 for $5-8
  • Hats/Scarf Set. What really worked for me was selling the set for $25 and the hat/scarf separate for $18 ea. (OOOOh they saved money).
  • Wrist warmers and cuffs
  • Fingerless gloves
  • ORNAMENTS
  • Wine Bottle covers
  • Dolls/toys
  • Baby things

Use good, washable materials for garments, hats etc…

Trust me this just might work…

Oh and before you go check out this holiday idea!!

These are too cute!  Christmas Lights Dishcloth & Potholders!! By Linda Bohrn…. Sadly the pattern link goes to a website with malware. I have contacted the designer via Ravelry to inform her.

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8 responses to “At what price?

  1. Absolutely, time is valuable and must be paid for. On the other hand, those who paid for classes to learn crochet, besides paying for the classes, they also invest their time and many, many, many hour of practice and many dollars in materials. Also, good crochet tools and supplies are expensive, you know, if a good carpenter needs a good hammer, we also need decent tools. This is an art!

  2. Hear hear!

    Thanks for the pricing guidelines in addition to the reminder that needlework is a skill and that hand-crafted items are valuable.

  3. I agree about the pricing, although it will be hard to do unless all crocheters see the light. Otherwise, there will be the tendency to “go next door” for a “better” price.
    We are not a society that really appreciates hand work.

    By the way, clicking on the link for the lightbulbs brings up a “danger warning” for that site – “Reported Attack Page”

  4. I just did my first craft show last weekend. I was at a loss on how much to charge for a lot of my items. I figured materials cost and then pretty much rounded up from there. I was so terrified I was pricing things too high. ($15 for a hat? really?) I sold a lot. A LOT of those $15 hats. I even had people say “$15? That’s it? YAY for me!” I was so pleased I was selling I did not think that I was undercharging. Oh well, lesson learned for next time.

    Thanks for this post!

  5. Thanks for this timely post. I am in this quandry right now, your thoughts really helped me to see that my time and skill are worth something. More than I thought!

  6. i think your prices still sound really low/reasonable, laurie! thanks for the reminder.
    once i was at a craft fair where someone was selling granny square wash cloths for $5 a piece and a friend said that was too much, she could make one of those in an hour. i asked her how much she gets paid an hour and how much the yarn would cost, and then she realized! i occasionally get students in who want to learn to make hats so they can strike it rich on etsy, several lessons (and beginner hats that aren’t yet nice enough to sell) later they realize why a basic hat can run $40.

  7. So true! I’m always trying to remind people that crochet is an art!
    I think most non-crocheters don’t really know how much time goes into making a piece… but hopefully, we can get the word out!

  8. Thank you so much for this! I’ve just been asked to make one of my hats for someone, and was having a flaily moment trying to work out how much to charge (I normally sell the pattern, not the FO). I’ve fixed a price in my head for my time+yarn, and if it’s too much then it’s too much – reading this has helped me decide to stick to my guns for my skilled labour 🙂

    Wonderful timing, thank you.

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