How To Up Your Hourly Rate...

posted 25 Aug 2013, 04:28 by Handmade in Peterborough
You've just finished your masterpiece. It's taken you a hundred hours. It's cost you 50quid in materials. So even at minimum wage, you should be charging £650... right?
Nah, you can get it from Ikea for £100. No one is going to pay much more than that.
So do you agree to work for 50p an hour? Well I'm going to go out on a limb and say YES!
But what I will go on to say is that you shouldn't JUST have big items on your stall... What else do you make?

I make a number of small items that cost me very little. If I can make 5 of them in an hour and charge £3 or even £5 for them.... then I'm up to a potential £25 an hour.

Don't have tunnel vision about your hourly rate.... Have as wide a range of prices and products as possible and work out how much you are making across the whole stall.
If you want more cash for your time then find ways to cut your material costs or find faster items to make.

I'm not saying to under sell yourself, but if you are competing against the High Street then you need to keep your prices reasonable.

"Oooh that's pretty! How much is this please..... Oh. I see."

Now I'm going to flip right around and tell you to make sure your prices are HIGH ENOUGH.

One lady I was chatting to at a fair said she decided to make Children's Craft Kits out of her left over fabric. Just some bits and bobs in a bag with some photocopied instructions on how to make something simple. They were a cleverly designed and fun little project for an afternoon indoors. She used to pop it into a freezer bag, tie the top and charge £1. They sat there unloved and ignored.

Then one day she decided to print out some prettily designed labels to fold over the top of the bag, and splash out on colour printing for her instructions. Still nothing. People saw the price and assumed they must be rubbish.
She then put her prices up to £2.50.
In 3 hours I saw her sell 5 or more kits. They covered the cost of her stall and a cup of tea.

If you have the right price and good presentation then even left over scraps could suppliment your income with a bit of creativity.  Giving you the time to get on with making the things you love, while not having to eat your extra wool because you can't afford to go to the supermarket.

The same goes for your bigger items. A price set too low suggests it's lower quality that it looks. It also makes other stalls look overpriced so never just say "Oh but I'm only doing it for fun!" If you are then charge properly and give it to charity.
The key thing to remember is that everyone loves a bargain but: There is a BIG difference between the John Lewis Spring Sale... and Poundstretchers.

"How much??? I'll take five!"

Pricing is the hardest thing to get right. Ask a range of people [PEOPLE WHO ARE YOUR TARGET MARKET!] "How much would you expect to pay for this?" Ask your fellow crafters. Check how much similar things are selling for in shops.

Your stall should always have reasonably priced big items, a well priced materpiece or two, and small items that are designed to move and have a very attractive price. Decide how much of each catagory to take depending on whether you're at an artisans fair, or a school summer fete.

Good Luck!