How Do I Price an Exclusive Jewelry Line?

by Danielle Hunte.
(Barbados, West Indies)

beachy lariat on blue cord

Beachy Keen Lariat

I have been approached by one of my wholesale clients to create an exclusive jewelry line for her business. I am willing to do so but have no idea about pricing for such a venture.

I currently wholesale to her at 60% of my retail price.

Can anyone advise me on pricing for an exclusive line?
Thank you,

Danielle Hunte
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  • Sandra says:

    I don’t wholesale, but why would you take a loss on your own profit so someone else can make their own off your work? I think you should do the usual materials+time math to figure out how much money you have invested in that piece ( money as in your time as well as the materials). For your own sales you’d add in esty/shop listing costs, packaging materials, etc, so you wouldn’t have to include those for her, plus if you’re selling to her direct, there’d be no shipping added on to her end, so she would be able to buy from you direct cheaper then through your shop. You could do a discount if she buys over a certain amount at a time, but if you’re going to put in the extra time and work to design specific pieces just for her, make sure you reflect that in your price. Remember, you’re not consigning with her, so the profits of a sale aren’t split between you in a percentage. She is buying your work then turning around, marking up the price, then reselling it for her own profit.

    Like I said, I don’t do wholesale, so maybe I’m way off here… but selling your hard work at a loss so someone else can make a profit doesn’t sound like a good deal for you. ( but since i don’t know how you figure out your shop prices, for all I know that 60% could be you covering costs and making a small profit >.< lol, just tossing in my two cents as I see it 🙂 )

  • sandi m says:

    Not sure why producing this line would be any different than what you are doing now. Figure your materials costs, labor, creative value, overhead, profit, etc. If these pieces warrant a higher retail price you’ll see that in your numbers.
    Nice thing with wholesale is that you sell to the vendor and you get paid right away regardless if the piece ever sells.
    There is so much information out there re all aspects of a jewelry business. Take a look at Flourish and Thrive Academy; Robin and Tracy have many years of experience and are a fountain of information.
    Also check out Andrew Thornton – he recently did a great series about working with galleries.
    Good luck!

  • Christa says:

    I am considering selling wholesale as well. I figured price of materials, labour plus other expenses = wholesale price. If anyone has a better idea, please let me know.

  • Danielle Hunte says:

    Thanks for your suggestions. Sandra I don’t lose by selling wholesale, the pieces are discounted because of the volume of the purchase but it would be crazy to sell them at a loss.
    Sandi M thanks for the resources, will definitely check them out.
    The benefit of selling wholesale is that you get the money up front, for a larger volume of pieces than you would normally sell at one time on your own, especially since I don’t own a store myself.
    Danielle.

  • Having been in the wholesale/retail field for many years the standard is that retail marks a wholesale price up 50%, and sometimes more. Some wholesalers list a retail price for their items and give you a discount depending on the dollar amount you purchase, going from 30% down to 50%. You will easily see this type of discounting if you purchase from Fire Mountain Gems. So if you are going to sell at wholesale be sure that your item is sale-able at being marked up 50%….and that you can actually produce the quantity needed to make yourself money. Some items are to time intensive to create. Also remember your time IS money.

  • Danielle Hunte says:

    Thanks Maryanne. You are absolutely right, some items are too time intensive for the wholesale market, and I am careful about that. Its not so much the wholesaling as the exclusivity that I need advice on. If I create an exclusive line for one client, it means I can’t use those designs for any other client, wouldn’t that make a difference in the price?

  • Beth says:

    When I ran a boutique pet shop, we expected exclusive items to run about 10-20% more at cost than similar items available through other outlets. In order to justify the higher point of sale price to the retail customer, items needed to be different enough that clients could readily see what they were spending the extra funds for… the more obvious the differences or improvements, the higher the “exclusive” pricing.

    In the article on this site found at
    https://jewelrymakingjournal.com/jewelry-pricing-formula/
    there are some good guidelines for setting your prices. I’d take the final price you arrive at by that formula and add 10-20% and use that as “suggested retail price.”

    One think I strongly encourage is an agreement that allows you to set the sales price in the store but includes a buy-back program. Without it, a store may end up discounting the items that move most slowly. This undervalues your work and limits your ability to sell other pieces directly to those customers who see the big “CLEARANCE” sign over your creations.

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