Pricing Handmade Jewelry Too Low

by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved

(A pretend jewelry ad I created to illustrate our discussion.)

Pricing Handmade Jewelry Too Low, by Rena Klingenberg

Many artists make the error of pricing their handmade jewelry too low.

Often it’s for one of these reasons:

  • They don’t value their own talent. They feel “lucky” to sell one of their pieces at any price, even if the sale barely covers the cost of their materials.
  • They believe their jewelry is “unworthy” of netting higher prices.
  • Their well-meaning friends and family (who don’t know anything about the handmade jewelry market) urge them not to “risk failure” by setting their prices too high.
  • If their jewelry isn’t selling, they assume it’s because of the pricing – so the first thing they do is drop their prices.
  • Their financial situation makes them desperate to make a sale, so they hesitate to put higher prices on their work for fear of scaring customers away.
  • Their jewelry involves a time-consuming technique – but they feel uncomfortable charging for their time.
  • They’re not sure how to price handmade jewelry.

But why not charge low prices for your handmade jewelry?

I’m going to share some of my thoughts here:

Working Harder to Earn Less

Pricing handmade jewelry too low means the artist may have to make and sell 5 pieces of jewelry to earn $50, rather than earning the same $50 for just 1 piece.

When jewelry artists set themselves up to work harder while earning less, it’s not a sustainable way to run a business.

Sooner or later the overworked artist tends to either burn out, or shut down the business because it’s not profiting enough to stay afloat.

Growing the Wrong Customer Base

Under-pricing handmade jewelry also means that artists tend to attract a customer base that consists of “bargain shoppers” rather than “handmade jewelry shoppers”.

That makes it hard for the artist to raise their prices without losing a big portion of their customer base.

It Devalues the Overall
Handmade Jewelry Marketplace

When some artists get into low-price wars, or try to compete with cheap imported jewelry, it can hurt other jewelry artists’ sales.

Unrealistically low prices can cause some customers to equate “handmade” with “cheap pricing”, and pass up jewelry that’s priced higher and more realistically.

Undercutting other jewelry artists doesn’t do you or your fellow artists any good.

You Don’t Want to Make
This Kind of Jewelry Sale:

I’ve seen some jewelry artists actually buy other artists’ low-priced jewelry … specifically to take it apart and remake the components into a much higher-priced piece of jewelry!

The under-pricing artist is thrilled to make a sale – but has no idea their creation is being bought as a cheap source of jewelry supplies.

Don’t let that happen to you!

The Best Way to Increase Your Jewelry Sales:

The best way to sell more jewelry is to raise your prices.

That may sound counter-intuitive, but when people see higher prices, they feel that the product is higher quality and more special.

And that translates into jewelry that’s more desirable in the customer’s eyes.

But when people see low prices, they feel that the product is lower quality and less special – so shoppers are more likely to pass by without considering making a purchase.

Try raising your prices and see what happens!

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