To Price or Not to Price…?

by Rosanna Ferrazzi.
(United Kingdom)

question-mark-originalThis might sound a bit nuts, but I have never put prices on my jewellery.

I sell a lot of eclectically chosen pieces. Some I have made and some not, some vintage, secondhand, etc. A mixed bag and I have found that people always manage to find something in their price range that they are happy with.

I found that the hanging tags always get tangled up and stickers fall off. Because I have such a mix of stuff, I don’t have a consistent pricing structure.

I do a lot of market stalls, flea markets, etc. so I’ve built a lot of flexibility into my pricing.

Do I need to be more consistent and will people be more willing to buy if they know the prices up front?

Thanks in advance for any responses.

Rosanna Ferrazzi

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  1. I always price my items. I use a security tag and then at shows I put the price on the bust/display or on a card in front of the items. I am uncomfortable shopping when I don’t know the price and will even walk away.

  2. Hmmm. As a shopper, some days spending 50p seems a waste of money. Other days I can validate my reasons for blowing £40 on something – indeed it’s cheap at the price! You don’t know if someone has just won £25 or come into a small inheritance and decides, there and then, to treat themselves if they absolutely fall in love with a piece. To me the transaction is a simple one. You want my money; I need to know the price. If there are no prices, I agree with Mary, I just walk away. Does that help?!

  3. I find it’s easier if you don’t want a lot of tags tangling up is to sort your pieces by price. For example, a small sign in front of a bowl of bracelets or on an earring display, will convey your price to your customer. However, on my larger pieces, or OOAK pieces, I price each piece. If you have someone to stay in your booth while you take a quick break, it makes it easier on your helper if things are priced.

  4. The hanging tags used to drive me nuts. One of my peers used colored rounds of plastic that were clipped on to each piece. Each color was a different price. What is nice is that I can change the prices by changing the master price list (I put 2 on the table so people can see how much each color is). Because they are plastic I no longer worry if they get wet and they don’t tangle.
    The process is as follows: get a number of different colored plastic/vinyl page dividers (I found mine at Wal-Mart), a round punch (I used 1/2″), a needle, jump rings and inexpensive round pinch clasps. Punch out the rounds, poke a hole in each round with the needle (I found I could do several at a time). Put the jump ring through the hole in the plastic and then through the clasp.
    Since I do chainmaille, I have plenty of places to attach the clasp on an item. Another plus is that when the piece sells, unclasp the tag and put aside to re-used on another item!

  5. I know that when I am shopping, I want to know the prices of items. It is embarrassing to ask the price–especially if I need to ask on every single item. Knowing the price helps me determine whether or not I am interested in an item, NOT the other way around (ie: wanting to know only after being interested in it).

    Maybe you need to consider not having a flexible pricing structure? I have seen some folks use whiteout to write prices on items–putting a small patch of whiteout on the piece, and then writing on that. Of simply attaching a small sticky tab onto the item?

  6. As a buyer, I always want to be able to see the price without having to ask. I really like Mimi’s idea that enables you to reuse the price tags. I hate tangled tags too and I think they look ugly. So I think – find a way that suits you to display your prices.

  7. We use hanging tags on our jewelry and always price our pieces. We have talked to vendors at shows and they notice that when pieces aren’t priced, some people just walk away and are afraid to ask the price. There are many sizes of hanging tags, and if the strings are too long, just cut them shorter so they don’t get tangled, that always works for me.

  8. I always price my items. I’m one of those persons who doesn’t like to ask about a price also. I will walk away. I use a combination of little round security tags and tags with strings. I also use signs to price things that are grouped together and priced the same so I don’t have to price each item.

  9. YES! I don’t bother with items that are not priced. Frequently the vendor is busy with other customers or such and I’m probably annoyed that I have to ask the price. If I’m concerned about tags getting mixed up, I either arrange my pieces by price or use stickers. I prefer arranging by price, takes less time!

  10. I have done shows for 26 years and I have always priced my items. People don’t like to ask for prices and I don’t think most would want to look at a list to match up numbers or colors. If you display pieces in a box, then put a tag in the box, if there are numerous items of the same price, then put a card or something with the price in front of the displayed items. If they are on a display, then you can put the price on the display. I do not mind string tags as pieces can get put in different boxes and prices mixed up. Another idiosyncrasy I have is that I don’t like partial numbers ie: $24.99 or $24.95; I like rounded numbers, also makes tax easier. Just call me weird : ) Good luck to you and may you have many sales.

  11. Lynn L. says:

    If I don’t see a price I will walk away, I wonder ‘why are they hiding the price, it must so expensive that it will scare people off ‘. The price is what I look for first before I will let myself get interested in whatever it is.

  12. I am one that if I don’t see a price, I will walk away.

    I also print my price tags out on light card stock, with the inventory number, the item (ear wires), the description (black onyx beads – sterling silver beads, components & French ear wires) and the price in the middle underneath the desscription . If it is a gift, the price can be cut off and the information is still on the tag. I punch a 1/8″ hole in the corner and put light string through it and attach that to the item. I make sure the tag is not hanging way down on the items like bracelets and necklaces so they don’t get tangled up. If it is earrings, I always put them on an earring card and tape the information onto the back of the card.

    I’ve had a lot of nice comments on the price tags that they like the fact that the price can be cut off easily and the information is still on the tag.

    I know this might sound like a lot of work but I have used stickers and store bought price tags but this way works for me.

  13. My theory is, if you don’t tag it with a price then you don’t really want to sell it. Now on my own jewelry I sell, I cut the strings off the tags and use small safety pins to attach them to the jewelry. I make wire jewelry so that helps. Along with the price and optional inventory number, on the flip side of the tag I write down the metal type and the stones used, as I find people I have dealt with like that information too. This also helps me, when I have so many varieties of stone that sometimes can look similar to each other. Helps my helper too. 🙂

  14. As a shopper, I need to see the price of a piece I am interested in. If I have to ask, I figure it is out of my price range.

  15. When I first started making jewelry, I thought my prices might be scaring people off, so I tried not pricing for awhile. I found that very few people will ask the price of an item and my sales decreased further. So I went back to pricing and saw immediate results. Of course, I also worked on improving my skills at the same time, so the quality of work contributed to the sales increase as well. But truly, if people can’t tell the price, they usually walk away.

  16. I will not ask for a price if it is not labeled, I just walk away.

    As far as pricing my jewelry- for my pendants and earrings, I back them on custom made display tags that have my business name and etsy shop information on the front, on the back of the tag is a small white sticker with the inventory number and price. These peel off easily if I need to make changes. For necklaces and bracelets I use string tags. If I have a large grouping of similar priced items I’ll place them in a wooden box or bowl and use a small plastic sign holder to identify the price.

  17. I walk away if there are no prices since my assumption is that the vendor has different prices for different people. I won’t do business with anyone on that basis. In my opinion, prices are crucial

  18. I have prices on all of my individual necklaces. For my bracelets and rings, I will have a small sign with the price(s) on one of those table weight clips next to the trays. For my carousel of earrings, I have a price on the top of the carousel. People will still ask sometimes, but I agree with the others that if you don’t have prices, people will walk without asking – I come from the generation that was taught: “if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it”. At least with the price tags, they just will look and silently make up their minds they either can or cannot afford the piece without having to make up some excuse verbally to me. Just my 2 cents 🙂

  19. joan cooper says:

    I also will walk away if the item is not priced. I agree with the commet of Anita Campbell, I also was taught “if you have to ask you can’t afford it”

  20. Sue Shade says:

    Great question Rosanna, to my surprise everyone who answered is for pricing. I thought there would possibly be a mix of answers. I too always price items I sell. I will walk away often without looking if prices aren’t listed. I have also found at my shows that someone may be reaching for something, see a higher price tag and take their hand away. People don’t want to embarass themselves if they can’t afford it or don’t want to pay the price. They also love to get a good deal if they think it should be priced higher than it is on your tag. I have also had customers who haggle over a price that they can clearly see as in I am buying four of your… will you give a quantity discount. I find it fascinating dealing with customers and those who just look.

  21. Rosanna – whether it is true or not, I have always felt “if you have to ask you can’t afford it” and will shy away from vendors that don’t price their items. On another note, I too cannot stand hanging tags! I actually purchase tags without the string (still have the hole) and I clip the tag in the clasp for bracelets and necklaces. I make my own earring cards so I just write the price on the back. As I finish each piece I just attach a tag/earring card right then and there so it’s done. You can always price later and even if you forget one or two people are more likely to ask as they can compare it to other items in your stall and then assess for themselves if they can afford your items. Then you can go in with a pen if it doesn’t sell and write the price right away. I know it can be a challenge but pricing your items may work out better for your bottom line.

  22. Christine says:

    When I see things without prices, as you sometimes do at flea markets or antique stalls, I assume that the price is flexible and that the best price will go to good negotiators. Since I am terrible at bargaining, I don’t even engage. Give me clear, consistent pricing every time!

  23. Rosanna says:

    Many thanks to all of you for all the answers you’ve provided and it’s overwhelmingly FOR pricing, so I have taken all your good advice and priced every piece on my stall ! I found those fold over round tags work best for most things since there’s enough room to write a tiny bit of info. All that remains is for me to watch sales increase as a result (hopefully!)

  24. I have only my business logo and name printed onto some business cards – no other details (they fit four in a row on one card) then I cut the four pieces out, punch a hole in one end, attach a string which is colour co-ordinated to the piece and on this I write a brief description of which stones/metals I have used and the length. Then I attach a small removable price sticker. It saves me having to think about which stones I used, how long it is and how much it is. Also helps when I have assistants.
    When people buy the item. I remove the price sticker (and tell them I have done so), but leave the tag on, that way if it is for a gift, the recipient can see who made it and also my website.
    It seems like a lot of work, but if you do it each time you make a new piece it only takes a few seconds. It saves time at point of sale and you are never stuck for an answer to any question they may have about the piece. And if you forget to add a business card it doesn’t matter as your website is on the tag.
    I only make one of each design, so I don’t have lots of pieces hanging on a rack, they are all placed on their own stand. And when I’m done I repack everything in it’s own individual zip lock bag, so getting tangled tags is not a problem for me.

  25. I will use my business cards to display and price earrings and rings.
    They will hang on a peg board. Necklaces or odd items would
    have a business card nearby. I want customers to be able to
    handle the jewelry.

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