Jewelry Pricing Formula

the two-step system I use
for pricing jewelry

© by Rena Klingenberg; all rights reserved.

Jewelry Pricing FormulaDo you use a jewelry pricing formula to determine how much to charge for your creations? There isn’t one “best” formula for pricing jewelry – and most artists who sell their jewelry come up with their own price calculation procedures.

Important Elements of a
Jewelry Pricing Formula

In my opinion, using a jewelry pricing formula is just the first step in arriving at the final price of a piece of jewelry.

First, I use a calculation to determine a base price that ensures I won’t be selling the piece at a loss.

Then, once I’ve determined that base price, I adjust the final retail price to more accurately reflect the value of the piece to my particular market.

The key is to be sure that any jewelry pricing formula you use compensates you for:

  • your supplies
  • your overhead expenses
  • your time.


When you’re selling your handmade jewelry, it’s important to purchase your supplies at the lowest possible price – at wholesale or at bulk discounts as much as possible.

This jewelry pricing formula does NOT provide realistic prices if you’re purchasing your supplies at full retail prices from a local craft store or bead store.

For example, if your supplies for a pair of earrings cost $15 from a craft or bead store, but the same supplies would have cost you just $5 if you were purchasing wholesale or in bulk, you can see the huge difference that would make in the pricing formula’s final numbers! 🙂

See How Do I Get Jewelry Supplies Wholesale?.

The Second Step in My
Jewelry Pricing Formula

After using my formula, I add an important second step: Adjust the resulting price to reflect:

  • the overall outcome of the finished piece
  • how easily I could replace all of the elements in the piece if I wanted to make a similar item
  • what I believe people in my target market would be willing to pay.

Of course, these three points are mainly subjective, and require a bit of experience with your intended market. But I know I can’t drop the final retail price below the base price the formula gave me, without losing money on the sale.

My Jewelry Base-Price Formula

It’s a simple equation:

Base price =

(cost of materials + packaging) x 4
+ your pro-rated hourly labor rate

then + 10% of that total for overhead costs.

An Example of Using My Formula:

For this example, let’s say that:

  • you made a necklace using $5 of supplies
  • your packaging (tag, box, bow, bag, and business card) for this piece totals $1
  • the necklace took you 30 minutes to make
  • your hourly labor rate is $20 (of course, your own labor rate may be much different, depending on your medium, your speed, and your skill level).

Now let’s calculate:

1. First, figure out your pro-rated labor cost:

Your 30 minutes of labor equals half an hour. So half of your $20 hourly labor rate equals $10 of labor on this necklace.

2. Next, add up your cost of materials:

$5 of jewelry supplies + $1 of packaging = $6 subtotal.

3. Now multiply your total cost of materials by 4:

$6 x 4 = $24.

4. Then add your pro-rated labor rate to that:

$24 + $10 = $34.

5. Now figure your overhead, which is 10% of that:

$34 x .10 = $3.40

6. Finally, add the overhead to our $34 subtotal:

$34 + $3.40 = $37.40.

7. Our base price for the necklace is $37.40, which we’ll round off to $37.

That means we can’t price the necklace below $37 without losing money on it. Now we can adjust that retail price up a little or a lot – depending on the uniqueness and overall outcome of the necklace, how easily we could replace the components if we wanted to, and how much our intended market would be willing to pay.

Does That Seem Like
a Big Markup to You?

Many jewelry artists price their work by simply doubling the cost of their supplies – charging $10 for that necklace made from $5 of jewelry supplies. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to have a profitable business with that kind of pricing. It doesn’t cover all of your costs.

When you sell your jewelry, you need to be paid for the time, effort and craftsmanship you put into all the various aspects of your jewelry business, plus the cost of all of your overhead expenses, if you want to stay in business.

Your overhead expenses include things like your jewelry business website fees, jewelry displays, tools, insurance, merchant account fees for accepting credit cards, receipt books, digital camera (and its batteries) for photographing your work, jewelry magazines, workshops, etc.

If you’re in business, your jewelry has to pay for all of those expenses as well as your jewelry making supplies.

And after all the expenses are paid for, you’d like to have a little left over to pay yourself too.

That’s what I like about my jewelry pricing formula – by finding the base price, I know I’m not losing money when I sell my jewelry; and the final price more accurately reflects what the piece is worth to its buyer.

Why Multiply x4 in This Formula?

Thanks for asking!

Multiplying your cost of materials + packaging x 4 in my jewelry pricing formula sets your retail price high enough so that if you sell your pieces at wholesale or on consignment to a shop, you’ll still make a profit.

Wholesale and consignment prices are typically 50% to 60% of your retail price. So the $37 retail-priced bracelet in this example would be wholesale-priced at $18.50.

The shop owner who buys it from you at wholesale would then turn around and retail-price the bracelet at $37, and sell it to a customer who comes into the shop.

Your $18.50 wholesale price gives you a much smaller profit margin on your bracelet. So wholesale pricing usually requires the shop owner to purchase a minimum quantity of 6, 10, 12, (or however many) items at a time.

When you make and sell multiples of an item, your manufacturing and selling costs are lower, and you make up for the smaller per-item profit by selling more items at a time.

In contrast, when you’re selling jewelry pieces one or two at a time to individual customers (at shows, home parties, etc.), you’ll need to charge retail pricing to stay in business.

That extra money you receive when you sell your bracelet to a customer yourself (retail-priced at $37) gets eaten into quickly by booth fees, party hostess incentives, travel expenses, wear and tear on your displays, and other costs of selling directly to the public.

So multiplying your cost of materials + packaging x4 gives you the minimum retail price you can charge without losing money.

It also clues you in to the minimum wholesale price (usually half of your retail price) you can charge without losing money when you sell your jewelry to shops or other wholesale buyers.

What If Your Jewelry
Takes Several Hours to Make?

On a labor intensive item, how do you include your labor rate without charging really high prices?

Be sure to see my post, Profiting from Jewelry That’s Time Consuming to Make.

How Do You Raise Your Prices
When You’ve Been Pricing too Low?

These two posts detail simple strategies for raising your jewelry prices comfortably – and without alienating your customers:

Transitioning to Higher Jewelry Prices

How to Raise Your Jewelry Prices Gracefully

Does Pricing Your Jewelry
Make You Uncomfortable?

We have a post and discussion about Jewelry Artists’ Mental Money Barriers and accepting the money you’ve earned for your creations.

Also see the post and discussion about Repositioning Your Unsold Jewelry – on how raising your pricing actually makes more sales, plus other ways to make your work more enticing to buy.

I’m NOT a lawyer or an accountant, so please note that while I’ve researched this information carefully, none of the information in this website is intended to be legal or financial advice.
Please use your own good judgment in determining when the services of a lawyer, accountant, or other professional would be appropriate to your situation.

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  1. Very interesting formula! I have been looking at several formulas because while my materials are low-cost typically, I can spend 1-2 hours on a small piece. I like that this formula includes a labor rate, and I can still make a profit on wholesale. Thanks Rena!

  2. I agree with Rose. Great formula and the simplest yet! Thanks Rena!!!

  3. Thank you for your kind feedback! I like this formula because it tells you the lowest price you can set without losing money.

    To me that’s the most important figure to know when deciding how to price my work, so I’m not losing money. Then I can go up from that lowest price if the piece warrants a higher price.

  4. Thanks Rena! I have been doing this all wrong and think that I may have priced many of my pieces too low. I will need to go back and redo some of my pricing, but as I’m just starting out, I didn’t want to charge too much in order to get business going. I’m still a newbie! Jay

  5. Maretha Hines says:

    Thanks for the advice regarding Jewelry Pricing Formula. Making jewelry is new to me and I love it. Presently I only make jewelry for friends and family. I feel guilty about charging money for my jewelry. I plan to donate some jewelry during the cancer awareness month. That will be the first time my jewelry will be given to someone other that family and friends. I will be retiring in a few years and hope that my jewelry will make someone happy and add to my income. I,m so excited and want to learn all I can about making jewelry.

  6. Elizabeth Simpson says:

    I found your pricing formula very helpful .thanks

  7. Pat Burmer says:

    Thanks Rena. I’m just newly getting into the jewelry making and your formula is straight forward even for me. 🙂

  8. According to this formula I have been losing money. Thank you for this tip. Hope it works, many seem to think am already over priced and all I have been doing is material cost + packaging x 3 +($3-$4 mailing if needed). I did the same thing for the 2nd piece of jewelry I might have made with the left over beads from the 1st piece. The necklace was $5 in material + Packaging x 3 + $18 and I had enough to make matching bracelet and sell $8. Your way makes much more sense and I would be more accurate with all my pricing.

  9. oanh spano says:

    Thanks Rena,this is really helpful from you,very clear and detail.

  10. I work with only sterling silver and gold filled, which means my materials are more costly. Do you feel in this economy marking up precious metals 4 times is reasonable? There seems to be a fine line between over pricing (and consequently not selling) and under pricing (thereby cheapening your pieces).
    Thank you for your input.

  11. Maria Long says:

    Oh my God, thanks for guiding me with the pricing!! I was practically giving away my jewelry!! thanks for sharing all your tips with us! I appreciated it very much!

  12. Jackie Davidson says:

    I have the same thoughts as Nadeen (see above) — when I make a necklace with a lot of sterling silver chain, the prices with this formula seem high. I don’t want to lose money by underpricing, but I don’t want to lose sales by over-pricing. I have been getting my supplies at bulk discounts, but it still seems like my necklaces are $15-$30 in material costs due to the high price of silver. Also — if we don’t sell on consignment (where we’d only get 50% of the base price from the formula), isn’t it safe to charge a bit less retail, so we make more sales?

  13. Thanks Rena! I wish I had known this formula when I donated some of my pieces to an animal shelter for auction. The lady asked me how much it was all worth so she’d know where to start the bidding. I think I gave her a conservative number, but now I know better.

  14. Just a thought about how to price sterling items. Use the formula above less the sterling components…then add the sterling x 2.
    For example:
    add up the beads and extras (less clasp) and use the “formula” then take the price of the clasp and x2…and add that to it.
    Just a thought…

  15. Lorraine Dube says:

    Thank You for your information. As JJ stated, I too am new at this and your suggestion has been very helpful. All the responses were great. Again, Thank You

  16. Claire says:

    This formula seems a lot better than the one I was using before, but a lot of my pieces seem to be coming out a little too expensive to compete. Is this because of the materials I use? or is it that I don’t get my materials cheaply enough? I get all of my silver and copper from riogrande, so is there somewhere else I should go for bulk metals?

  17. Kathy Joyal says:

    I have purchased one of Renas booth books and found them a great help…especially for checklists for events. BUT I have always had a problem with the pricing of my stuff. Last night I sat down with my hubby (and business partner) and we printed out this formula so we can get better on track. I haven’t increased my crystal earrings in 5 years…now’s the time.
    Though when I use big sterling silver clasps I am only planning on x 2 the cost of the clasp (as I said above) Do you think I am wrong? I am looking for feedback here.

  18. Rena, I love your posts. They are so helpful and insightful, and help stamp out the quivers 🙂

  19. Hi all,
    Thanks for sharing your guide & info, Rena. I’ll try this to see if the prices are close to what I’m getting. I tried a similar formula but it seemed inconsistent with some work having expensive gems. After many frustrating late nights pricing, a friend shared the following & it’s worked for me. I sent it along if it can be of any help. This formula adds a percentage to supply cost to cover over head.

    1. ADD up all wholesale *SUPPLY COST including packaging if desired.
    2. Next MULTIPLY *SUPPLY COST x 1.25, which will cover overhead cost for time finding supplies, shipping cost from supplier…etc.
    3. Next ADD your wholesale *HOURLY LABOR cost for creating piece.
    You will have now determined your FULL BASE PRICE.
    4. Last multiply your FULL BASE PRICE x 2 giving you a true retail price.
    Most retailers keystone (double) the price. I can easily give them my wholesale price by dividing by 2.
    (supplies) $5.00 x 1.25 = 6.25 + 10.00 (labor)= 16.25 (Base wholesale)
    (Base wholesale) 16.25 x 2 = 32.25 (full retail)

    I’m now confident about my base & retail prices so, when approached at a show by gallery/shop owner I can easily know my 1/2 my retail price is covering what I need to get. If I want to adjust price for the (lighter in the pocket) audience, I can always offer discounts or specials. A 10-15% sale sign always helps them feel they are getting a better deal.

    I’m enjoying all the info on this sight! Happy creating!

  20. SANJEEV KUMAR says:

    i am looking that the formula is good to know the price of a product but it is alwayse difficult t o know that how much consumable we used to add in the cost.

  21. Daniele albanese says:

    I had a question. What if you are making beaded rings, earrings and do forth with 20 gauge wire? Would the price be lower because I’m not using real gold, silver ect.? thanks for your help.

  22. Just found you and would like to get your newsletter.
    I am in need of understanding pricing. very hard for me to figure. And competition on Etsy is rough. I have looked at Etsys way of pricing,I like how you price and will be trying it. Thank you Rena

  23. Kathy Joyal says:

    I personally like Renas pricing…it made me look at how I was under-selling some of my pieces that were taking quit a bit of time to make. I am now able to sell wholesale and still make a profit. BUT I do adjust the pricing a bit different as I stated above when calculating those pieces that have my large and most expensive sterling silver clasps.
    Its great to be able to post here and read other peoples posts.

  24. Kathy Joyal says:

    Hi Danielle
    Let the prices you pay for supplies and the formulas dictate. Silver plate should sell less than sterling silver.
    Daniele albanese says:
    I had a question. What if you are making beaded rings, earrings and do forth with 20 gauge wire? Would the price be lower because I’m not using real gold, silver ect.? thanks for your help.

  25. Monica Miranda says:

    I’m Brazilian and I have been living in Australia for 1 year. I have finished my jewelry design studies in Brazil and I want to start my business here in Australia. You have no idea how much your web site is helping me. Thanks! 🙂

  26. Jaishri says:

    Thank you! I was so confused about it! You helped me a lot. Now I am sure i will get good profit without any guilt.

  27. I’m enjoying your site. Thanks!

  28. I use a software package that has 3 different levels of pricing – Wholesale, Direct, and Retail. The package came with 3 percentages pre-set, and I think they were 2x, 3x, and 6x, although I’m not positive on the lower end because I played around with them. The way it works is similar to Rena’s formula as it takes those percentages times your total material costs, then adds labor and “Other” which I guess is where you would add your 10% overhead and supplies. I haven’t been putting anything in “other” so am probably underpricing, as I was thinking that the “Overhead” was covered by the 2x, 3x or 6x formula.

    In this market, I really DO have a problem with the 6x Retail formula. The prices seem outrageously high. So, most of my sales are around the Direct level or somewhere in between Direct and Retail, depending on what I think the market will bear. I suppose I will need to rethink this a bit if I ever want to wholesale or do consignment, something that has been crossing my mind more lately.

    Thanks for this post that I finally just read! Great article, as are most articles and videos on this site, Rena!


  29. Lee McCreadie says:

    This is perfect. Thank you.

  30. Great pricing system – will have to see how it works out for some of my items. Just afraid that some items may come out too high to sell – but won’t know until I try.

  31. I am also in the same situation as Jackin & Nadeen above, what is your suggestion for sterling silver, vermeil, gold fill items that are higher priced from the beginning. I didn’t see your answer to them both, would love to gear your thoughts. Great and very informative post though, I went to sleep thinking about it and woke up thinking bout my pricing!

  32. Your posts are super helpful for beginners like myself who are just trying to start out. Can I ask you where you get wholesale supplies from? Sorry if that’s a dumb question but I have been looking online and have been having trouble finding good options.

  33. Now i understand why my 18k 7.6grams gold ring almost double the supplies cost.

  34. Hi Gabrielle! Yes, I use this basic two-step formula for any jewelry I sell, regardless of the materials.

    Multiplying x 4 in my jewelry pricing formula sets the retail price high enough so that if you sell your pieces at wholesale or on consignment to a shop, you’ll still make a profit.

    And remember, this formula only works when you’re purchasing your supplies at wholesale / bulk prices. 🙂

  35. Michelle says:

    Thanks for posting! This guideline is similar in how I priced catering events for my coffee shop. It’s actually pretty standard for retail. We all want to stay in business! I too have seen other jewelers buy underpriced designs, and some don’t bother taking them appart, they just mark them up and resell. While most people don’t think of it, the sales industry is very cut throat. Don’t undervalue your time or your talent. You have to keep in mind that when other retailers run sales, even at 50% off, they are still making a profit over & above cost of goods & overhead. Custom pieces are not for Big Box shoppers. So don’t cater to them. Build your brand base. As to Nadeen & Jackie’s question on their base metals….part of my 20 years in retail management was in fine jewelry at chain jewelers. The Mark up for cost of goods is usually 300%. Soft-lines retailers use a 2.5 markup then round UP to next price point. If you’re unsure what your target market will bear, you have to get out there and do your research. Think like a business, not like a hobbiest and you will always do what you love, and love what you do.

  36. Kathy Joyal says:

    This website really helped me re-assess how I approached my selling prices. My time is worth something. Thanks Michelle and Rena too!!!

  37. Thanks Rena for getting back to me! lots to think about and adjust in my next collections then! Thank you so much!
    Have a great weekend

  38. Turns out, i’ve kinda been doing this all along, (Just out of guesswork really).
    But it’s good to know i’m not overcharging or undercharging!

  39. Hello everyone,

    Thanks Rena and everyone else for such great advice on pricing! I’m just starting to sell to my friends and family and needed to know how to price my peices. I do have one question though and that is how do you choose an hourly labor rate? Is there a certain way to do it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated I have absolutely no idea how much I should charge for that on my jewelry, which really kind of stalls me. Thanks again and I hope to hear from you guys soon!! 🙂


  40. I hope one of these days I can use the same sort of formula you have provided. I am starting out on my own handmade jewelry (mostly wire and polymer at the moment.) I try to keep prices not too high or too low but then sometimes I just wonder if I am even making the higher prices not enough or too high. I’d just like for people to start making purchases. It’s hard to break into the scene when your 1 person up against a million. X_X

  41. I think it’s a fair pricing formula. I only started working on chain maile a year or so ago is 10$ an hour to much?

  42. Thank you Rena. I so appreciate your articles, videos, and you sharing your advise and expertise. I really respect it, and I look forward to learning a lot from you! You are my teacher. This was so helpful to me as I start out on my entrepreneurial journey with so many questions. Wishing you the best!!

  43. Hello!
    My friend and I are starting to sell some jewelry; she makes it while I sell it and we split the profits 50-50. Because of this we both take a lower pay, so I was planning on charging a bit more money. For a necklace and earrings the equation ended up having a worth of 96.80 (we both took 10.00 per hour for 4 hours total), and the supplies were 4.00. But will that really sell on a website like etsy? Would it seem unprofessional to start out really high and work our way down? Or to start off on the lower side of pricing and work our way to the more expensive side?

  44. I suggest reading all the above comments…they will be a great help for deciding on how you will price. I use Rena’s formula for all of my “one of a kind beaded necklace and earrings”.
    I personally feel your asking price for $4.00 of supplies is really high…but if you have lots of return customers then you are doing well.

  45. Veronica says:

    Great advice! Yet I read above that this formula only works when buying materials @ wholesale, how should I calculate when I’ve bought retail? Much more expensive, yet I have just recently joined this field and am still working out all the logistics. Any feedback? Thx so much -V

  46. Tyronda says:

    Thanks so much for this information and advice. I’m not sure how I was pricing but I have always been a little hesitant about raising the prices on my product. But not anymore!

  47. Alicia K says:

    Hi there!

    Thank you so much for this. I make really intricate netted bead necklaces with swarovski crystals etc etc and my pieces take 15+ hours to make. So I was surprised by how much I should mark them up. I fully believe my time and the craftsmanship is true to the price . I’m afraid the sticker price will scare my customers away. Anyone’s thoughts?

  48. Tyronda Carr says:

    This pricing formula has helped me so much! I am so thankful for this information!

  49. Hi Alicia! Maybe your intricate netted bead necklaces would become your higher priced line, and you might create an additional related lower priced line of items that take less time / fewer materials. (For example, pendants instead of full necklaces.) If you do make a related lower priced line, it would be a wonderful “gateway” product for people to experience your art and own one of your pieces – leading to sales of your higher priced necklaces later. And if you’re selling your work in the right venues, you might be surprised at how many people wouldn’t hesitate to pay your adjusted higher prices for your necklaces. Also be sure to see my blog post, Profiting from Jewelry That’s Time Consuming to Make.

  50. Jeffrey s. Elliott says:

    I found this to be a very good tool. i was always trying to value my product and felt guilty for over priced items. Without consider there worth, this gives me the ranges i was looking for. As well as offering me the ability to sell an item at a discount without loosing money. It is hard to compete with china prices and this gives me options…. thank you

  51. Thanks so much for this site and article, Rena! So very helpful!

    A very good friend and I did consignment as a side hobby for three years before I branched out on my own and started a business at the beginning of this year. She had become too ill to continue and has since passed away. 🙁

    We were only in one shop, plus I sell to friends a little. I gave away nearly half what I made until going into production mode a few times this year to build up inventory for a new Etsy site and to refresh the shop’s displays. The shop is now moving to a higher traffic location, so that’s exciting, but I need to find additional venues. They do comfortably-sized trunk shows as well.

    I look at the cost and time overall for an entire line, then come up with a price that covers my time and materials, but the process is still difficult for me, so I am going to try your formula. It’s hard to know what the market will bear in the new location, but all their prices are going up a bit, so mine will, too, as some have been too low in the past.

    I do find that earrings are my best product for many reasons. First, they are easy to do assembly-line style, even if they are involved, which cuts down on time spent. I don’t make most of my components, but am starting to make findings, and that means my earwires are cheaper, yet obviously artisan-made – a win-win. The cost of materials is low because there is less material needed. Yet I can easily sell them for $20-$30 a pair (I get half of that). Because they are less expensive, more people buy them, and that winds up recouping some of the loss I might experience when selling a bracelet or necklace that used more material and took more time to make. I rarely repeat designs, but always make sets within limited lines that have a range of price points. That way, people can buy a small piece of a style they like. I make more earrings than anything else in each line because I know that’s what will sell the most.

    Rings are a similar area. I will sell a ring for the same price as a pair of earrings because I make the band myself, but there is again a very small amount of material. It takes me one or two minutes to make a pair of earwires assembly-line style, and about 15 minutes to make a ring shank that way, and I’m only using a small amount of 20g and 24g wire for these.

    Still another piece that works well for me is hairpins, at &7.50 each or three for $20. Again, low materials cost, quick to make, and they sell well because they are inexpensive.

    Wedding jewelry is a great niche, even though there is a lot of competition. Definitely network with photographers and hairdressers. People will pay well for items for their big day, especially if the quality is good. I did sell several of my veil combs to a high-end bridal shop. You need a range of prices here, too, since not everyone can afford so much. I reproduce some of my designs in all-white and market them for bridal without increasing the price, even though I was encouraged to by some people. I really don’t think that would be fair and would rather be a part of someone’s special day. I have done bridal pieces as my wedding gifts to good friends and relatives and asked them to spread the word.

    Pricing research on the internet and on Etsy is all over the map, so not as useful as a newbie would like. But sites with articles like this one are wonderful, so thanks again to all of you!

  52. Hi Rena,
    Wow! wonderful site wonderful people. thank you all for sharing.Pricing is always been my big question. I will keep this formula very close to me so i know what to charge my family & friends:) I think of my work right now as practice. Someday i would like to share my work with you all nice ladies & love to hear what you think.
    My friends & my daughter love them. I made a friend a larnyard /eye glass holder to hold her id/badge. she txt me later on and told me she has 2 orders for me. I thought that was funny she also told them its for $20.

  53. Cean schopf says:

    I price custom made things made to the customer’s specifications much more than if the item is my stock jewelry. I think this is justified because their ideas are usually more time consuming, especilally if I have to locate sources for supplies. Do you agree?

  54. Greetings,
    I was attending jewelers school when I had to flee my malignant narssistic ex.
    I didn’t quite finish. We never discusses pricing, as they were planning we would become employed by other people.

    I had a B in design so I started designing right away. I have just made a really super OAK design to b a cast in sterling.
    It will cost about $500 just to cast.

    This has always been a problem with hiring out casting …. my pieces are big, and the casting g labor is high.

    This would make my retail on this pieces about $2400.00.
    But it is sterling. It is a killer design, but can I realisticly ask that much?

  55. Hi Katheryne, prices at that level are not necessarily unrealistic. It mainly depends on the quality of the craftsmanship, the quality of the materials, where and how the piece is presented – and most importantly, whether a customer falls in love with it.

  56. The formula seems very reasonable, however, but it seems to me that one has to price their products at whatever their market will bear, regardless of your style of product. In my area there is a lot of competition for tourists who want to pay the same prices for jewelry that they pay in less developed countries or from Chinese online sites. It seems to me that they don’t care if it is handmade, they just want silver (most don’t understand or care about the difference between nickel silver and sterling or argentium silver for example) and to pay very little. They also don’t want to stop long enough to learn about the process or cost of materials. The online market is pretty saturated and it isn’t everyone who can catch the eye of trend setting bloggers. All that to say that I think formulas are for those lucky few who have a regular clientele or a stable market. The rest of us are subject to market forces which tend to be pretty brutal at the moment, largely due to a glut of home-based jewelry makers.

  57. Hi Kenna
    I set my prices where I feel they should be. Tourists who want to pay the same prices for jewelry that they pay in less developed countries or from Chinese online sites can buy from others. My time, designs and expertise are worth something. My basic attach a non sterling bail to a plain drilled pendant is 4 times the cost. All my designed jewellery that is, I don’t like to use the term, one of a kind, uses Rena’s formula. It may seem high but when you calculate your time and your expertise, it should be worth something. And I never ever do 2 designs the same…different mix of colours…different spacers…different pattern…different mix of shapes.
    Yes the market is really tough right now. Christmas sales were down here 40%. BUT I always am changing how my booth looks. I like to change my overall layout…change the colour of my table toppers…and always have something new for each market year. This year, because sales were down last year, I wanted to do something that was not a big $$$ outlay. I am working on new 20-24″ big leather cords. Which I am hoping to sell as a stand alone piece of jewellery. Hopefully this year, which really doesn’t start until May for us, will be better than last year. Have faith that the markets will improve, try to be optimistic and remember your time is worth something.
    I initially came here for Rena’s Jewelry booth book which someone else told me about. And I also signed up for her newsletter and actually spent some time reading “tips and ideas” and about other jewellery artists. It was a good investment of time.
    Good Luck!!!

  58. Sheila Meador says:

    This is valuable jewelry math to me, Rena! My primary source for selling my creations is by consignment. I’m not motivated to pursue the selling part and don’t care anything about having a business. I am just a crafter and make jewelry because I enjoy it. Friends and family occasionally ask to buy some of my jewelry, and I am happy to see them wear it. I’m retired and just want to enjoy my hobby.

  59. Great info,,, every one needs a good formula. Thank you..
    Cheers Emilie ………?. Ladyemsgems.
    PS Love your site….

  60. Thanks so much!
    Your article is very helpful. I find the money side of things very difficult, but you’re right.

  61. Very helpful! I too have thought I was pricing too high but when I see a bracelet of mine being auctioned off at $235, I feel great about that. These are just silver pieces. I urn to work with the precious metals, sterling silver and gold. They are very expensive and I do buy in bulk and not in stores. I do like to display and package my pieces like they have received a nice piece of jewelry. I can’t go below that. I too donate to a lot of causes and many ask me to display my jewelry at shows and donate for causes. I get the wow look which feels good but I feel bad I charge too much. Thank you everyone for your tips!! I have been making jewelry for 40 years.

  62. Nicole says:

    Will be using this formula in future for the which is quick to make. Thank you.

  63. Hi,

    I’ve been making Rosaries for awhile now and I feel like I can’t get a decent price! I put 5-6hrs of work into each rosary, but I don’t add a fee for my time. I really enjoy making them and I want to make a little bit of money in my free time. I Ajay but my beads for cents from China, so a Rosary costs me about $3 to make. I also post how much work goes into one, the beads used, and a warranty.
    I’ve listed them on Etsy, Ebay, and several “for sale” facebook pages with no luck! I’ve had many people tell me that they are beautiful and want one, but no one wants to pay my asking $15-$20! This is a lower price than what Etsy sells them for and does not include the labor. I also include a gift box, a 30 money-back guarantee, and a 6 month fix for free with every Rosary. I don’t know what I can do to sell them and I already think my asking price is really low. I really need to sell them so that I have the money to keep making them in my spare time! Advice?

  64. Hi Sarah, try raising your prices – even double or triple them. It may sound crazy, but if the price isn’t high enough, people assume it isn’t a quality piece. Also be sure you’re selling the right products to the right people, and at venues where people are NOT bargain shopping. See this post and the comments below it:
    Repositioning Your Unsold Jewelry. Let us know how it works for you! 🙂

  65. Thank you! I hadn’t even thought of charging more. It makes sense though. A higher price could make my audience believe it’s a more desirable product. I will give this a try and see how it goes!

  66. I have been scouring the internet to help me figure out pricing for my handmade jewelry, but cannot find an answer to my question: What kind of pricing formula should you use if your supplies are bought retail (often with discounts due to coupons or sales)?

  67. Katie Wile says:

    I’m really new to the jewelry making scene. I’ve been reading alot of the replies and such I understand about figuring how much each beads costs and all of that but how in the world do you calculate wire for instance. I mean I’ve had people tell me to calculate it by the yard, but I don’t use wire by the the yard I use it by the inch. Can I please get some advice on this? Thanks

  68. Katie, thanks for asking! If you want to price out your wire by the inch, I would note down the number of inches in each roll of wire you buy. For example, if you have a 10-foot roll of wire, that would be 120 inches. Then divide the price of the wire roll by the number of inches in the roll – and you’ll arrive at the price per inch.

    To more easily calculate the inches of wire in a roll, do a google search for the type of conversion you’re doing. For example, do a google search for “convert feet to inches” (or whatever increments you need) for a handy conversion calculator. Or even convert metric measurements (such as millimeters) into inches – with a google search for “convert millimeters to inches”. Try it! It makes the math so much easier. 🙂

  69. Katie Wile says:

    Thanks yes it helps a lot Rena.

  70. I have such a thought time pricing. I normally just double the cost and add about $1 for my earrings (much of which are $5 and under because I use mostly, nickel free brass and nickel free iron findings so it seems too much for me to price something at around $17 (taking into account about $3 cost and paying me only $15 labor an hour pro-rated accordingly).
    I’m planning on working with copper, brass and probably silver this next year and after reading this I’m not only sweating because I know my market can’t bear me pricing my current pieces at $17 let alone thinking of how high will the price be when I start working with finer metals!! I already use beads in only glass, crystals, woods and ceramic so my beads are already good (not extra expensive gem stones and such, but not cheap dollar store stuff either) so half my work is nicer than what I price it for and the only thing keeping me at that price line is the market and my lower end metals.
    I guess I just can’t imagine anyone buying my pieces for more when I’m not giving then finer metals. And then I can’t imagine having to price them that much higher when I start offering better metals in my jewelry because I see what my area wants to pay for and how much people bargain shop around here.
    I may sound pessimistic, but it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to buy it for more expensive than what it is when they already don’t want to pay the current price. Is anyone here having this same problem? That their market won’t bare the price even when sometimes marked under. I make other things; I also work with paper and vinyl (outside of the jewelry scope) and I’m having the same problem.
    This is killing me because I love what I do so I keep making and alredy have so much product sitting all packaged (handmade jewelry cards also) in boxes on shelves because I’m not selling. Maybe I need to hurry up and open an online store to see if that fairs better; but even then pricing scares me to death!

  71. Sorry about the typos ^^ My mind goes a mile a minute and I kind of hyperventilate thinking about this subject since it’s been impossible to crack for me! LOL

  72. Very useful post. I also wonder if I am underpricing myself and still in my first year of selling jewelry, I do not want to under nor overprice myself. I use a similar pricing method as mentioned in this post, but I also take into consideration my market and the target group.

  73. So if you buy at wholesale prices do you use the actual lower wholesale price you paid or the price that the general public can buy at. To me it kind of seems all your hard work at getting & achieving wholesale prices is blown out the door if you mark it up from that lower special cost. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Can you please advise.

  74. My husband had a business and he told me that yes you are throwing your time away by charging the lower price. He told me that it’s best when you are buying in bulk to figure out what the price would be say before sale price or what not and price from there.

  75. Rena Solomon says:

    I’m new to jewelry making and I’ve made many pieces. How do I figure out how to determine what each piece should cost. I have receipts but the item’s name isn’t on it so I don’t know what the actual price is. How do I set prices at this point?

  76. Hi Rena (love your name! 🙂 ) You might look through jewelry supply websites and catalogs to find similar items – then work with the prices you find there.

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