First, I have to be honest with myself and my readership: I am not a sweatshop. I am a woman who crafts amigurumi dolls, writes her own patterns, and uses her fifteen years of experience as a crocheter to create unique, quality pieces of work.
That being said, I thought I was prepared to watch the “Pricing for Profit” video on Etsy. In fact, I had recently raised my prices after some good advice in the Etsy teams, when I stopped, really did the math, and realized I was paying myself practically nothing. I had realized that I had sold five of my most popular item within two months during the previous Christmas season, and if I had just charged a bit more, then yes, I might have lost one of those sales, but the other four would have made up for it, and my fingers wouldn’t have been sore from working them to the bone for those two months. I thought now I priced myself and my wares fairly, and the video would do nothing more than offer the bolstering “thumbs-up” I needed to keep on plugging away in my shop.
I was wrong.
I was bowled over by the audaciousness of these women and their frank, honest way of telling the world that, if we wanted to run a successful business, we needed to price ourselves to allow for profit. This shouldn’t be a revelation for me; I have seen companies around me grow and expand, and I do not question their pricing for profit. However, I suppose since I am not a “brick and mortar” store, this did not at first occur to me.
Aren’t I awful for wanting a profit? Aren’t I horrible for asking more than what the sum of the materials and my
meager pittance nothing modest wage is? Shouldn’t I just be sharing the love?
What they were trying to say is that the answer is no, to all of those questions. I should want a profit if I want to grow my business; I must ask more than the sum of materials and wage; and I can both share the love and make money doing what I do. (And wasn’t that what made me start selling in the first place?)
I still don’t have an answer for you. I don’t know what I’m going to do about my prices. It’s a scary thought, to change the perception and the perceived value of my wares like *that*. And I have the poor pricing of other sellers against me; notoriously, sellers price crochet items too low because they feel people do not understand how much goes into a piece and therefore, would not pay what an item is truly worth. So even if I change my prices, won’t I look like the bitch in the bunch? (And does that get down to the heart of the matter–my fear of being the fearless one? Still something I’m working on.) But I am definitely going to have to think about it, and think about where I want to take this little business of mine.
Until then, I send the challenge out to you as well, you fellow Etsyians, or anyone who sells handmade goods. Will you watch the video? If so, what will you do, then?
Please let me know.