What an interesting discussion about pricing. I live in USA. I have been making and selling hats since 2004. I have learned a lot about myself through this process. My business plan was to make and sell the best quality hats I was capable of making at a fair price.
Now I realize that was a flawed plan because what I thought was a fair price did not match what most people think. In the US most people are comparing a hand made hat to a factory made hat in China. They have no clue what skills and materials are involved.
My new business plan is still to make the best hats I know how but I price them based upon the idea that my hats are worth top dollar. I have branded myself and worked on my sales pitch. People love a dream that I had and followed through with that of teaching myself how to be a milliner. That is what sells my hats along with the look of the hat and how well it looks on my customers. If they fall in love with my hat and my ideology the price really is inconsequential.
I have really priced my hats higher by a 100.00 this past year. I have sold fewer but made more money over all. They now cover expenses and some profit. I realized that I don't need to justify my pricing because the hats look exceptional and unique compared to the factory hats.
I met another milliner and she has fantastic advertising skills. She has great taste too, but as I looked at her hats I realized that her techniques are not there yet. She is doing very well because she has great advertising and self promotion skills. I admire her. She will be going to the top.
This made me rethink my own situation. Why am I not self promoting if my hats show better technique. Why of course it was me holding myself back. So stop nickel and diming yourselves reach for the top if you think your hats are really special.
Don't forget to factor in your hat block costs as well. Sometimes your client may be willing to pay for the block cost, otherwise divide the block cost by how many hats you want to make to get return on that investment and add that into the cost per hat as well. A $300 hat block divided by say, 20 hats is $15 per hat etc...
And do not even try to compete with cheap imports. All that does is drag the whole industry down in value and quality. You Can't beat them, you don't want to join them, so aim higher, much much higher. Look for customers who want to and expect to pay a good price for a good hat.
You might be in it for fun and a hobby, but bottom line it is business...and that is to make money at the end of the day.
Welcome Denise, this is awesome! You can also access it online here
I came looking for this discussion tonight as over the last week a workmate has been telling me I need to "flog off" all my pieces for $50 each to "build my image and get my name out there". Thank you to all the people who commented on this discussion so many years ago as many years after I originally posed the pricing question, I'm still looking for answers.