Amanda Steinberg is the founder and CEO of DailyWorth, a community of women who talk money. They deliver practical tips and inspiring ideas to help women earn more, save more and spend smarter. You can join their community here for free.
Whether it’s a dress, a set of shelves, or a bar of soap, you created something awesome. Now what’s its market price? Turning your creative passion into a business is something really beautiful, and I love seeing artists do that on Etsy every day.
Running a retail business means charging a price that can help you turn a profit.
This forces us to think about money in a way we may consider awkward — confronting it head-on, pinning an absolute dollar value on something rather than letting someone else set the terms.
Many of us are uncomfortable asking for raises on the job or haggling while shopping. We shouldn’t be! And, likewise, creative people who sell their own works should be comfortable demanding a fair price.
You can accurately price something you’ve created with a blend of analytical and emotional steps. Here’s what I’d recommend.
1. Listen to the market.
Start searching! Look on Etsy to see who is selling similar items. While other Etsy sellers’ prices will likely be the most helpful gauge, also look at different e-commerce options on the web to get a general feel.
2. Analyze your market.
As you’re “listening,” make a spreadsheet to keep track of what you find. You might want to create columns for things like the following:
- Notice differences: Attributes of other sellers’ similar items that are different from yours that would make their items either more or less expensive than what you’re offering.
- Price the market: How many similar items other sellers have sold. This will give you an idea of how much demand there is for them within Etsy’s marketplace.
- Shipping costs: These are particularly important to note if the items you’re researching (and eventually selling) will need special packaging or handling.
And now, set your price.
3. Prepare like it’s a debate.
In order to charge a fair price or even a premium, you need to package your item — and your personal brand — in a way that will draw shoppers toward you. Think of it like a debate: If someone were to ask, “Why should I be paying you this much for this item?” you will want to have your answer fully crafted and ready.
- Make it look good: Great photos will make your products look amazing and help you command a higher price. Set products up against a plain, contrasting background, and take pictures with a high-quality camera. If you don’t have one, borrow one. See this photography video for tips.
- Tell its story, and your story: Talk about what your creative work means to you, how long you’ve been doing it, and how it’s a part of your life. Spell check. Ask a friend to read it over for feedback.
- Offer incentives: This is especially helpful if your product’s niche is a competitive one. Consider adding in free shipping or a bonus giveaway to shoppers who purchase more than one item from you.
This step of the pricing process — prepare like it’s a debate — has very big implications. Getting this kind of practice in branding yourself will make you more confident in your own product far beyond this individual sale.
It’s true that some Etsy shoppers are hunting for bargains, but millions more, myself included, are there because they (we!) love supporting independent artists and makers and want you to be successful. Business isn’t a price war; it’s an exchange of value. Know your worth and have confidence in it. That’s how shoppers will enjoy paying for something they will love to own.