Your Low Pricing is Hurting Me

Arrogant. I know. How on earth can your low pricing hurt me?? How dare I!!

Well, let me break it down.

When you are out there, as a crafter, or a creator of handmade items, you represent not just you, but you represent all of your fellow crafters.  

As my regular readers know, I don’t just do one craft, I do a few.  I also happen to own an embroidery machine. 2 in fact. I was very lucky and got both incredibly cheap and it has helped to expand my business considerably.

I have only been doing this a year, but already, I’ve learned the fun of “ITH”, embroidery projects that are completed entirely in the hoop, with little, or no actual sewing.

Which is great. I often make the joke that I’m just the monkey that flips the switch. The designers out there are amazing and the entire concept of “in the hoop” is crazy to a long term seamstress.  I now do stuffed animals, which I never used to do because frankly, they are time consuming.

But no more. The latest craze in the embroidery groups that I help to admin are these cute little bunnies.

So, let me show you how this works.

Design $10.99

Fabric $6.25 (plus shipping) for enough to do one rabbit.

Thread, stabilizers, and contrasting fabric, not costing me exactly, but not free either if you accept that I bought them before hand for another project or “just in case” for things like this.

So right there, I’ve put about $16 into this rabbit.

Yet, people are selling these rabbits for $15 each. Or less.

Is your time not valuable? I know it has to take at least an hour, if not longer to make these rabbits. Is your ability to match fabrics, and your knowledge of how to use this machine not important? Are you putting these out in a sweatshop environment? Is Simon Legree overseeing you?

Why is your rabbit worth so little? You’re making something the customer can’t. Your customer has no machine, and has no knowledge of how to use one even if they did.

And customized? Personalized? Check this rabbit out. Not even HALF as cute as the one you are making, and just the ear has a monogram, and it is $42.

So back to the meat of this post.

How does my pricing hurt you?

Well, when you sell that rabbit for $15, and someone comes to me, or another crafter and says “well, so and so is selling it for $15”.  We have two choices. Lower our  sale price, lose our profit to gain a sale that we are getting nothing from, or shrug, and have the buyer go to you. 

So convince me. How is your $15 price tag benefitting you? How are you making a profit? Where is your hourly wage?


And I’m not speaking of “samples” or “oops” items either. What you sell that item for is your business. You want it out of your house and someone wants it. Who cares if you only get $5 for it. That’s between you and your conscience. No one elses.

But having said that, how can you expect to be taken seriously as a business when your prices are a joke?

If you’re doing this as a “hobby” that’s fine.  But please, if you insist on selling online, raise your prices, you obviously don’t need the money, or the work, so think of it as pin money you can use to get a new mini van.


(ETA: This article was apparently timely given recent trends in the embroidery world. So I’ve added a couple of remarks to my OP)



Filed under Business, Musings

9 responses to “Your Low Pricing is Hurting Me

  1. I see things on etsy all the time and I think “Why do you not value your time??” Selling a T-shirt for roughly $3-4 profit that I KNOW takes a *minimum* of 30 minutes. I have a family. Two small children. A household. My time is VALUABLE.
    Not just raw materials, but my skill and talents.
    Thank you for saying this. And also for pointing me to that ADORABLE rabbit!! ^_^

    • Jaie

      Cute isn’t it? And yes, I think that’s my biggest gripes. I see a lot of stuff that I know takes hours of work, for nearly nothing, all because “tee hee, this is just a hobby for me”. That’s fine, but c’mon, try not screwing over your fellow “hobbyist” in that case.

  2. Sue

    Thank you!! Great article. Our time is worth something!!

  3. Pingback: That’s too expensive! I want a coupon code! | Dirty Girl Designs

  4. Pingback: Don’t Be a Dick | Dirty Girl Designs

  5. Toivo

    Won’t this dumb bitch underpricing her shit get tired of it and go away? See not making money, she probably isn’t making very many goods. Stop fretting, she’s not worth it.

    • Jaie

      Oh, if only. But sadly, the folks who price like this never seem to grasp they aren’t making a profit, or don’t care that they aren’t. After all, to them, this is a hobby pretending to be a cute little business. She’s doing this for self esteem, not a living.

  6. Thank you for writing this. I am a WAHM with 2 children and another on the way. Right now I sell my work locally but have been trying to expand to sell online. However, it’s way too discouraging when I see comparison prices! It leaves me scouring the internet for hours searching for whatever magical supply chain they are getting supplies from for seemingly free as I do the math in my head of what my aftermath profit margin is and then just give up.

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