I am in the process of photographing a selection of my bears to put in my new Etsy shop. I would like some guidance about pricing them. They range in size from 5-6 inches to 17 inches. The smaller ones are generally handsewn. I want to sell them, not price them so high that people won't buy. I remember the old guideline of $10.00 an inch, but that would put a 17 inch bear at $170.00. Shipping, handling and sales tax would be separate from the base price of the bear, of course. Thanks in advance, Gail.
Gail, it really is a question of how long the bears takes you to make, and how much the buyer thinks they are worth. My friend makes chocolate wedding cakes and when she started out we used to joke because one chocolate rose sed to take her an hour and she used to ask what she should charge if she were to sell her cakes. When we worked out the time they took it would have been way into the thousands to make it worthwhile time wise. But I used to say you can't charge for the fact that it takes younages...but once she got it to a fine art then she could charge for expertise. I think that applies to all art. You know your price is correct if they sell reasonably quickly at the price you set. I think eBay used to be a good way of measuring that but even fabulous bears are getting ignored nowadays.
I think that $170 for 17 inch bear is not much money because I think it would take me about 2-3 days. Once you take off the costs of making the bear...that might be $70 ...then for 3 days work you get $100 on which you pay tax.
I work on materials, plus a portion of additional expenses( accountant, advertising, fair stands, subscriptions etc) plus a daily rate wages, then profit which enables me to sell to shops. If I did not add profit I could not sell to trade as I would end up making bears for free. It also means that shops would sell my bears for a price not so very different to mine. I work the cost of UK postage into the price of the bear so I then offer subsidised shipping worldwide ...which makes sense to me . If people come to my house to pick up the bear...which I am happy for them to do...I knock off the postage costs.
That's how I arrive at my prices...if I couldn't get near the price I need I would have to seriously think about selling bears..but touch wood I do get that price. You can lay out your stall and hope that you get it right but sometimes it literally is a guessing game.
Since you're targeting the etsy audience, it might be helpful to look for sellers whose bears are something like yours, and see what they get. (You can look at sales from an etsy shop - not just what items are listed for.) It might give you a ballpark idea of what buyers there think bears are worth.
I hope you have good luck there, but if not, it's a great place to hone your photography and description-writing skills. Etsy seems to work best for shop with lower-priced items that are listed daily or even several times a day, but I'd love to hear that you're doing well there.
I would like you to meet one of my bears. This is Bernice. She is 17 inches tall standing, and she is made of Schulte mohair--I think it is feathered and sparse. She has German glass eyes, an embroidered nose, and is five way jointed with locknuts.