Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A little help from my friends!

The hardest thing about doing a show was the need to actually put prices on my creations. It is hard to put a value on my own work. Am I arrogant and conceited if I ask a high price? Am I being foolish and insecure and not valuing my work by pricing too low? If I'm willing to accept a low price for my work am I actually devaluing not only myself but my artist colleages as well? The last question is an interesting one that I never would have thought of had I not spent a lot of time on internet forums with professional artists. As a hobbyist crafts person, it is easy to think "I'd be making it anyway, so selling for peanuts is better than not selling at all" with out thinking how undercutting other artists prices can contribute to undervaluing the entire field and negatively influencing the earning potential of the professionals artists who are trying to sell their wares to put food on their table. I guess asking a decent price not only says you think that your work is worth it, but that you respect other artists in you field. Heavy huh?

Since this whole subject stresses me I decided to take the easy way out. On Friday night I invited a few good friends over for a pizza (and wine) and pricing party. I was hoping they would give my some guidance, and like good friends do they went beyond the call of duty. Instead of giving me the ball park prices I'd hoped for, they sat down and priced every single piece for me. Tori would suggest a price, and April, who is my partner in crime at the Gem Faire would say "but those earrings have expensive silver bead caps" so it should be more, or Traci would say "I really like that bead so I think it should be more" etc. etc.. Before you knew all my cards had prices written on them, and I didn't do any of it. I Just ordered the pizza and poured the wine! I actually went to my show not knowing what my prices were. You have to really love getting a little help from your friends!!


Anonymous said...

Pricing is tough. I remember being told many years ago to state my price (as a freelance sign language interpret)without apology in my voice. I did exactly that recently when a doctor's office called asking about my fee. They never called back and then I found out later that another interpreter undercut me.
Your friends are good ones - hang onto them!

Anonymous said...

I love that pricing technique. Was it fun to get to the show and see what they valued you at? In line with what you thought?