DrupalWomenQ-#9923

I am a jewelry designer and have been in many shows and galleries. I enjoy the shows and have done well, however, the galleries and high-end stores double the price, so I either have to make less or charge so much more than people would spend. Any ideas?

20 Answers

  1. lorimed75@gmail.com wrote on :

    Njlawson, I went to your site and your work is outstanding! I have also read through the comments…I agree with the comment of posting your prices under each piece…When you mention galleries are those art galleries or museum galleries? Your work is art and does take a lot of time so your clientele will be higher end…have you tried Arte Fire.com? It’s like Etsy. I hope you find your niche are very successful.

    Reply
    • njlawson wrote on :

      Thank you so much for your comments and reference.
      I was approached at a show last weekend and invited to
      Have my jewelry in a high end website that will showcase
      Specialty gifts. It is a new startup site and I will retain
      Possession of my pieces. I name my price then if it is
      Purchased I will send it to the buyer after they have
      Paid. I don’t think I have anything to lose so I will try
      It. I will also look at Arte Fire.

      Reply
    • lorimed75@gmail.com wrote on :

      So happy for you …. you are very talented and you should be showcased!!! Have you thought of submitting your work to some of the beading magazines? That’s another way for you to get recognition. You are so talented and I wish you the best.

      Reply
  2. tookie wrote on :

    njlawson:
    There are some basic costing rules to look at. Check out the link below. But you should still be making a decent profit margin whether you sell wholesale or direct to consumer. Best look at comparable retail pricing and see if your costs are comparable. Don’t sell yourself short!…Literally.
    https://www.nuvonium.com/blog/view/how-to-price-your-product-for-retail-distributor-and-direct-to-consumer-sal

    Reply
    • njlawson wrote on :

      Tookie,
      Thank you so much for this extremely informative pricing guide. There is so much to consider, especially with art that doesn’t necessarily have the base cost, but does have a larger time factor, and as one person expressed it, the composition and enjoyment factor.

      Reply
    • tookie wrote on :

      Why not try to google a comparable item, (yes, I know your product is unique, but as close as you can get). Can you ask fellow show vendors how they handle this situation?

      Reply
  3. AnnettePiper wrote on :

    Wholesale is a whole different ball game to retail. If wholesaling it is recommended you work out your costs and a viable profit level and come up with a wholesale price. Then you double it for retail. I agree however that this often seems an extraordinarily high end price!
    Perhaps you are underpricing your work or the galleries/stores have clients who don’t have the same price resistance your clients have?
    Wholesaling isn’t for everyone, I personally prefer to sell direct to the customer…

    Reply
    • njlawson wrote on :

      Annette,
      Thank you for your response, and, I too prefer to sell directly to the customer. I am in S. CA and have been in shows in Calabasas, La Jolla and Pasadena which are high income and have sold below value in all cases. It is definitely a challenge! Again, thank you so much for your response and suggestions.

      Reply
  4. Susan Grant wrote on :

    The question of how labor intensive your pieces are and your budget are as important to commercial viability as price as stores require replenishment of merchandise (almost certainly consigned by you) on a regular basis as well as new looks which can be an obstacle for emerging designers.
    I wouldn’t sell yourself short regarding price, as high end specialty stores regularly take a mark-up of at LEAST double and their regular clients won’t suffer from sticker shock. The ideal situation is to be in multiple stores not competing with rach other

    Reply
    • Susan Grant wrote on :

      To complete my thought, the ideal situation is to be able to juggle your inventory among your stores. Engaging a showroom or representative would be very helpful if you can afford one.

      Reply
    • njlawson wrote on :

      Susan,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and your input. Most of my pieces are one-of-a-kind, though I do make some repeats of lower cost bracelets. I have been in higher end stores and galleries, no department stores. I do know I will never make big money since my work is so time intensive, and it is not for a general market but for those who want unique “art” pieces. I have a website http://www.beadartistrybynancy.com but have never had purchases from it. From all I hear, my prices are considerably lower than they should be, but that perfect market that will not be affected by price has eluded me. I am in S. CA and have been in shows in Calabasas, La Jolla and Pasadena which are high income and have sold below value in all cases. Again, thank you so much for your response and suggestions.

      Reply
    • Susan Grant wrote on :

      Nancy, having viewed your site, I understand your dilemma. Your work is outstanding and obviously done with tremendous care involving many hours per piece, which, when built into your cost, requires a very discerning and appreciative clientele. I often tell prospective buyers to see such jewelry as art, not to be valued by the cost of the canvas and paint, but by the resulting composition and the enjoyment it delivers.
      I think you should stay in galleries and high end shows, perhaps Etsy, send your portfolio to upscale stylists who would possibly be interested in using your pieces in photo shoots (good publicity) and don’t discount.

      Reply
    • njlawson wrote on :

      Thank you, Susan, for your follow-up, and most of all your brilliant “valuation” point about jewelry as art. I have researched stylists and wish I knew where or how to make myself known to them. I’m in the S. CA area and would be able to meet with them, but their websites don’t necessarily give contact information. Interestingly, I was in a show yesterday and have been asked to be a vendor in a high-end drop-ship retailer similar to an Amazon concept. It will debut May 15, so this could be very interesting.

      Reply
  5. Bessheit wrote on :

    Dear NJ-
    Pricing is one of the most difficult parts of designing jewelry. What you have to decide is will you sell wholesale and retail or just one? It’s almost impossible to do both unless you have separate lines. I, for example, made the decision not to sell in stores at all except for one or two special boutiques. If prices on your website are 50% less than a store, no one will be happy. High end stores and department stores mark up the wholesale price at least 200-300%. The only way you can do both is if you create separate lines like Amy Kahn Russell who has her special line in boutiques and at shows and a mass market inferior line under Statements on HSN. You can’t blame her – at some point people want to make big money. You can check out my website http://www.bessheitner.com but I’m planning to revamp it this summer to make it more up to date. I sell at very low prices for my quality but I can do that because I deal directly with my customers. I sell on the web, at shows, and through image consultants and stylists who get a reasonable commission on what they sell. It’s true that it’s hard to build a brand on your own but I can’t deal with the hassle of stores who return your stuff after it’s been handled a lot and didn’t sell or don’t pay you if it does. If you have any other questions, let me know. Bess

    Reply
    • njlawson wrote on :

      Thank you so much for your insight. I do have a website http://www.beadartistrybynancy.com (which I had no responses to except for those wanting to get me more exposure), and had prices on the pieces and PayPal for purchases, however, I decided that was a problem if I was selling wholesale to stores and my cost online and at shows as you suggested. I do know I will never make big money since my work is so time intensive, and it is not for a general market but for those who want unique “art” pieces. As far as stylists, I am very interested in that concept. I have researched this and read that they generally don’t buy pieces for their clients but are either loaned or given to them for exposure. If you have any guidance on how to reach this market I am very interested. Thank you again for your help.

      Reply
    • Bessheit wrote on :

      I checked your website and I see that your pieces are very special and incredibly time-intensive. I can tell you one thing – NO ONE is going to take the time to inquire about the purchase cost. You must put a price on your website or else it is there just to bolster your image for shows and galleries. I do about 1/2 my sales online and never had prices under the thumbnails, just when you click through to the detailed picture and description. Now I do. People have an incredibly short attention span and there are millions of competing sites on the web. They are not going to click through three times to find out the price. You MUST list a price if you expect to sell online. This is why I’m not in stores — because the prices would be totally incompatible. As I study your work, I imagine your prices are rather high and I think galleries and high end boutiques or shows are your best outlet. The other thing you can do is email people who have bought from you in the past suggesting new one of a kind pieces you’ve made that they may like. Hope this is helpful.

      Reply
    • njlawson wrote on :

      Thank you. I have gone over this many times trying to decide which is the best since I would have to put the retail price on the website, so I won’t be in competition with the few stores I am in. I do get all my clients’ email addresses and send them notifications of upcoming shows and find that I have many repeat customers. I see your beautiful work on your website and only wish I could be as prolific.

      Reply
    • tookie wrote on :

      You absolutely should set the retail price across ALL channels. This is exactly what major retailers do, for both margin and brand consistency. Then if you need to , you can offer your ‘special customers’ a discount at shows, etc.

      Reply
  6. roseruni wrote on :

    Are each of your pieces unique, or do you manufacturer one or more of your designs? Are your high end stores boutiques, or department stores? The reason I ask is that there is a value to branding, and mass marketing in the higher end stores can help you with that in a way no one else can. If you have an eye towards marketing, (along with your eye for design), you might consider selling your jewelry on Etsy, Ebay and even Amazon. Pick a catchy name for your brand, or store – one that people can remember, etc. I sell on eBay who’s fees are 10%, and Pay Pal cost between 2%-3% per sale. Etsy is a percentage or two higher. Create a website to help drive your business. It marketing is not your thing, consider a business partner and arrange a split that works for both of you, and beats the costs you incur now. Building a brand takes time, quality stores, whether brick and mortar or on-line, can go along way with building your brand.

    Reply
    • njlawson wrote on :

      Thank you so much for your reply. Most of my pieces are one-of-a-kind, though I do make some repeats of lower cost bracelets. I have been in higher end stores and galleries, no department stores. I did try Etsy, however, there are many bead artists on there who make less detailed pieces, so I’m not sure mine can be competitive. My work is extremely detailed and the beads minute, so it is very time intensive. I do have a website http://www.beadartistrybynancy.com (which I had no responses to except for those wanting to get me more exposure), and had prices on the pieces and PayPal for purchases, however, I decided that was a problem if I was selling wholesale to stores and my cost online and at shows. Again, thank you for taking the time and your very thoughtful and helpful reply.

      Reply
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