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For all those asking about pricing...

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I have deleted this link because the lady running the site is tired of receiving nasty emails. I am disappointed that the members of this forum could not behave better and learn from this thread instead of just getting nasty.

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I've seen some "interesting" prices in the short time I have been looking, but if that is the going rate I think I'll retire and take up full time mailling tomorrow

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Like I said they are expensive but most people on here sell themselves short. The public in general will not buy things they think are too cheap because they think it's poor quality. A happy medium is what's needed.

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A happy medium is what's needed.

I quite agree - as PaganPaul said on the other thread, if it sells its too cheap, if it doesn't its too dear.

It strikes me that, having struck the right balance, the biggest problem is really finding the right access to the market (and I have read much of relevance on here with interest over the past few days) - or creating a market for yourself :D

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/whistles

You could make a living off this if you manage to sell that often enough.

I wonder what their actual sale numbers are though....

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Good lord!:eek:

I'd kill to get $220 for boxmaille! Sheesh...

Did anyone see the "Eternity Knot" thing? $60 for (yes, I counted) 16 rings. This lady (guy?) is getting $3.75 to the ring on those things!!!!!

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So after browsing her site and being astonished by her prices, I decided to write to her to see what her opinion was on the whole pricing issue and referred her to the forum. She replied and in a way asked for her reply to be posted(she should be a member of the forum). So, hers her reply:

Hi Chris,

You are the third person today to tell me about the controversy my prices are causing on that forum - and I've never even visited that forum until I was told about it today. But thank you for being the courageous one to ask a question instead of saying how uncool my prices are.

I've been a full-time, career jewelry artist for almost 10 years now. My clientele is more upper class, and I sell primarily through fine art shows, galleries and stores, and my website. Over the years, I have learned that first, you need to educate your customer on what you do. Once they really start to think about what actually goes into making a piece of jewelry, whether it be chain maille or any of my other designs, they realize there is a lot of time and work involved, as well as cost of materials. In my case, my prices also include overhead expenses because I am a real business and pay taxes on it. Overhead expenses include the electricity I use, things needed in my studio office, website fees, the gift boxes I put my jewelry in, etc. Plus, with the price of all metals going up, you have to figure this into the retail price as well, because eventually you are going to have to buy more metal if you plan to keep making jewelry.

The thinking on the forum about artists selling themselves short is correct. Many do - and I, as well as others who make it a full-time business, wish they wouldn't. I'm going to tell you what I've told some of my past students. When you price your work, think about what your time and creativity are worth. You are making something entirely hand-made. It was not one of a hundred identical cookie-cutter manufactured pieces by a machine press. It is of a much higher quality than that. Your time and creativity is worth a lot because not everyone can make what you make. Just to give another example, it's the same reason a painter can use oils ..ing of a sunset on canvas and ask $3,000 for it. You are not just paying for their paint and canvas.

If you want to post this on the forum to help clarify things, go for it. I don't apologize for my prices. I have confidence in what I do. I have a great clientele who love my work. And I am not scared to charge for my time, effort and creativity - which is something all people should learn to do because they are worth it.

Thanks for liking my designs. I consider myself lucky enough to do what I love for a living. I hope my answer clarifies things a bit. Thanks for asking, and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Christina

Kryzia Kreations

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I don't normally chime in with my own personal opinions on threads like this but this time I think I will have to. When I first logged on this morning and saw this thread, I read the posts and then went to the website in question and looked at the pieces there. When I saw what was offered, the materials it was offered in and the quality of the work (as much as could be seen from the pictures), my initial thought was - maybe a little high, but not that far off of what I charge.

Now that I have seen the response that she herself wrote in defense of her prices, I have this to say - NO ONE should ever have to defend the prices that they charge for their pieces. Each one of us creates unique pieces of artwork out of metal. Even if we replicate a design from another, our piece is our own creation and we deserve the right to price it accordingly. That fact is ESPECIALLY true if we manage to create a new design that is 100% our own.

The simple truth is that most of us create for ourselves first, and sell our work second. For those few who manage to combine their love of creation with the necessities of business, I say leave them be. If they charge a price that YOU believe is to much, then I say you do not need to buy from them. As PaganPaul said (in a different thread I think, though related content) "if you sell a piece, you priced it to low, if it doesn't sell it is to high."

I think that statement is exactly true - set your own prices, as you personally see fit based on your personal effort, materials, market, etc. If you really feel that you must ask the opinion of others then do so. But please everyone let us stop the bashing of other people that are in this for the same reasons that we are - the love of creation.

Ok, enough of my soapbox, thank you for indulging me this long.

Pink Flamingo

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Each one of us creates unique pieces of artwork out of metal. Even if we replicate a design from another, our piece is our own creation and we deserve the right to price it accordingly. That fact is ESPECIALLY true if we manage to create a new design that is 100% our own.

I completely agree! It's all a matter of what I think the piece is worth. If someone doesn't like the price, oh well... Someone else will come along someday and pay it. I would let myself down by lowering your price to what you think the public wants. It's not their creation, it's mine! I don't do a whole lot of selling, just to friends that want something interesting. I just enjoy making it. Maybe someday I will sell most of the chainmaille I've made(once it gets to the point where I run out of room to store it), but then I will sell it for what I think its worth. That's just my 2 cents.

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I heartily second everything Christina and pink Flamingo said. I couldn't have said it better. (saved me a lot of typing as well. ;) )

In my case, my prices also include overhead expenses because I am a real business and pay taxes on it. Overhead expenses include the electricity I use, things needed in my studio office, website fees, the gift boxes I put my jewelry in, etc. Plus, with the price of all metals going up, you have to figure this into the retail price as well, because eventually you are going to have to buy more metal if you plan to keep making jewelry.

I don't know how many new crafters I see who don't include overhead in their pricing or even in their expense account. Anything paid out of pocket is a loss. Please, for your own, and your fellow craftsmen's sake, include overhead in your pricing. That's the way all the "big" business meet their operational expenses and that is the way you should too.

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First off, :rolleyes:.

I think my problem with the pricing issue on her site is the fact that the website doesn't match the quality she is trying to offer. The layout looks like a quick frontpage thing, and the pictures aren't the best. Hard to tell that is sterling silver in most of those.

If you can get away with higher prices, go for it. It's always about what your customers are willing to pay. If I could find a place to sell that high, I would. :P

Pricing is always a touchy subject around here. A lot of people undercut themselves, and then freak out when they see someone else's higher prices. It is shocking to see someone charge so much more for an item you know you can make. (Ever see byzantine on QVC?!) By the way, I can't really tell due to the pictures, but if those are soldered pieces, then the pricing is easier to justify.

All in all, I'd say if her website matched her pricing range, then it wouldn't be as bad. A professional looking website is needed for professional prices. Also, I do have to say cheers to Christina. She seems to be handling herself well for being flamed so much here.

Moatis

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Just because someone posted pics of something online, in something akin to a shopping cart, for real high prices, doesnt mean that anything ever sells.

I have jewelry posted on my site for $100. Now I have the exact same jewelry in a retail store priced at $150. Wanna guess how many of each I sell a given week? Or what sells more? ;P

Having something on the internet does not make it credible.

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I don't see why anybody would be upset that somebody is charging more for a similar piece of work.

If my neighbor sells his house for $100,000 more than anybody else on the street, this is a great thing - it increases the value of my own home.

We should all be thrilled that a box chain bracelet is selling for such a high price - it only goes to increase the value of what we all do.

Just my 2 cents worth :-)

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I once thought about this issue. I have a suit of armor I priced at $1500US. It gets a lot of looks and comments, but nobody has made an offer on it. I've even had a few people comment that it was a reasonable price. If I included a roughly hourly rate, that same suit would cost at least $10,000-12,000US. Even in the going market, that price would be rediculous for something done in GS and copper. Besides, I'm not running a business. I do this mostly for fun, and as a form of meditation. If I sell some, so much the better. If not, no big loss.

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I am a bit amused at many people here offering an opinion on how high her prices should be. She's the professional making a living at it. You (most of you anyway) are amateurs unable to make a living at it, or making a poor living at best. *She* gets to tell you what good prices are, *she's* the one doing it right :)

I love how everyone here thinks the price they set is perfect. If someone else values their time higher and charges more, they are "ripping people off." If someone else lives in India and is happy making maille for a few cents an hour, there's venom directed at them for daring to do that, too. Double standards abound.

The bottom line, is she has a plethora of customers that see what she has for sale, looks at it, knows what it's made out of, sees the price, and says "That item is worth that amount to me", and they buy it.

To Christina's response...

When you price your work, think about what your time and creativity are worth. You are making something entirely hand-made. It was not one of a hundred identical cookie-cutter manufactured pieces by a machine press. It is of a much higher quality than that. Your time and creativity is worth a lot because not everyone can make what you make. Just to give another example, it's the same reason a painter can use oils ..ing of a sunset on canvas and ask $3,000 for it. You are not just paying for their paint and canvas.

I don't think that's a fair comparison. Painting, as an art, is quite difficult. It can take a lifetime to master. No two paintings are alike. One artist couldn't even paint the same painting twice if they wanted to. The artist's style, vision, and personality get swept into the paint strokes and what you end up with is truly unique piece of art, unique and possibly identifiable to that specific artist.

Chainmaille, is not difficult. It's just not. Show me just about any piece any of you sell, and I can teach a 10-year old how to make it, exactly the same as you, with a couple minutes of instruction. Quality, in chainmaille, comes down to a grand total of "are you closures good?", and that's about it. The art itself just isn't skill-based. There's nowhere you *can* improve. Experience doesn't get you anything (besides perhaps speed, which should lower your prices). That's in part why I have so much respect for those that do maille sculpture, because it can't just be picked up and done well by an amateur, and it's not easy. (Note I can't speak to her woven items as I have no familiarity with the skillsets involved, I'm referring only to the maille items).

So, if not based on skill, all you're left with is your creativity. It's what you dream up, not how hard it is to make what you dream up. ... and, looking at the Medieval Times site, I'm really not seeing anything that amounts to much of anything, in my opinion, in terms of demonstrated creativity. I'm seeing very simple byzantine, box chain, etc bracelets. I see only 2 stylistic choices made: 1) "what ring size should I use?", and 2) "what metal should I use?". That's the grand sum of the creativity involved. I don't say that to be rude, just to be matter-of-fact, there aren't any other choices being made in the creative process of designing those items.

In my opinion, her work is simple items (and simple weaves, at that) being applied in a straightforward manner. And there's not anything wrong with that in the slightest. I just challenge the claim that it takes skill or talent or vision to produce the items she chooses to. And it's pretty easy for me to defend that counter-claim, because the items she's selling are items that you typically see people (children even) making for their *FIRST CHAINMAILLE PROJECTS EVER*. Heck, even as their first project people often make more difficult items than these.

I won't say anything about her skills as an artist, because one should not presume that she is producing items at the peak of her skill level or imagination. She may very well be capable of many things many of us are not, it just turns out that the items that are easiest to sell, that net the highest return, or that are considered most beautiful by her customers, are the simple ones. Maybe a world-class furniture maker spends his time churning out 2x4's instead of carving coffee tables because that's what's best worth his time. Hard to say. Kind of a waste though, to be just running a sawmill if/when you're capable of so much more. *shrug* I guess that's the way the world goes sometimes.

I don't apologize for my prices. I have confidence in what I do. I have a great clientele who love my work. And I am not scared to charge for my time, effort and creativity - which is something all people should learn to do because they are worth it.

I think she does apologize for her prices. Her tactic in selling, isn't to demonstrate to the customer how much value the item has to them, but instead, how problematic it is for her to make. She says she needs to "educate" her customers on how much time and effort she puts into it. Customers in this manner walk away a bit brainwashed, rather than impressed. It's a bit like how Apple sells stuff sometimes. People come away from the purchase repeating what the salesman said about why it was supposed to be good, rather than why *they* actually like it. Not that it means the product isn't good, it's just a backwards way of selling things.

I'd be a bit ashamed of selling that way myself. How hard it is for you to make is your problem, not the customer's, and something to be minimized, not proud of. If Ford wants to tell me they're losing $5000 on a car they're selling me, I don't care. The car provides the same value to me regardless of the rigamarole involved in building it. If they're losing $5000 on a car they're selling me because of all the features they threw in, then the selling point is the features, not them losing $5000 per car. As soon as you try to establish utility based on fabrication, you *are* making apologies and excuses for your prices, and selling somewhat on guilt.

On her site, she even says in one of the descriptions of how many hours it takes to make the bracelet. As a customer, I don't care. Would the same bracelet produced in half the time be half as valuable to me? No, it's the same bracelet. The fact that it took a long time to make should be demonstrated in the beauty, originality, complexity or rarity of item and sold on *those* merits. Sadly though, her products aren't especially original or rare, so, I can see how there's not much to talk about there. (Also, not soldered/brazed by what I can tell, just butted, though, don't hold me to that, I might be wrong).

As to the expenses of a "studio" and metals and all that... really? Give me a 1' x 2' breadboard, with a couple containers, and that's about all "studio" you need to spew out byzantine, box chain, and spiral bracelets. You can lay in bed or on a couch and weave them (and a lot of us do!). It's not like she has to rent office space for this elaborate facility in order to make bracelets. And metals? On a $325 bracelet, how many percent does a tripling in silver prices affect her costs? Again, one of the wonderful things about making maille, it's easy, and cheap.

...

But, despite all that, and that criticism I have of her, I wouldn't dare suggest she has overpriced anything. Indeed, by pointing out how many hours an item took to make, she's offering complete disclosure to her customers. They can see right there. 9 hours of labor. $325 price tag. Subtract a little for the cost of the metal, and you're still looking at well over $30/hour. For this price, they get her creativity and vision (though she's turning out identical items), and her ability to use a pair of pliers in each hand.

If someone stops and says "Gee, you know what, $30/hour to twist rings is outrageous, I wonder if there's someone out there who can make, or does make this bracelet for 1/3 the price?" then they go elsewhere. No one forces their hand.

Medieval Times, if successful like Christina says it is, is a great success story that you should all be envious of, and should seek to imitate. Even if she has more talent or creativity than you, she's certainly not using it in the items she has for sale... so ALL OF YOU can do what she does. All of you can make the simple items she's selling, and you can all make $30/hr. Or, you can push your boundaries and offer truly unique items, custom items, and items from your own style as an artist, and maybe be even more successful than her.

I've said before, being successful with selling maille, and establishing high prices, is more a result of good marketing, good salesmanship, and finding the right people to sell to, than anything else. If you want to sell at renn faires and in the cafeteria and craft shows, if you want to sell galvy bracelets or aluminum toys and not invest in precious metals, that's probably where you'll stay.

Christina's a good example of someone who's doing a lot of things right. And, even then, I see a lot of room for improvement.

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I've said before, being successful with selling maille, and establishing high prices, is more a result of good marketing, good salesmanship, and finding the right people to sell to, than anything else. If you want to sell at renn faires and in the cafeteria and craft shows, if you want to sell galvy bracelets or aluminum toys and not invest in precious metals, that's probably where you'll stay.

Christina's a good example of someone who's doing a lot of things right. And, even then, I see a lot of room for improvement.

Although I don't agree with everything you've said, I do agree with this quote above. I am starting to make a living at this and I've done so through investing in good materials and tools, finding the right market, pushing myself and believing in myself.

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I have tried not to get into the pricing thing, just stood back. This time, however, I think I will just jump in with my two cents worth.

My opinion is you have to BELIEVE you are worthwhile enough to charge your prices. Especially if you are using precious metals. I know my double silver plated pieces are just over one third of the argentium prices.

If people gulp at the argentium price, then I know they are more than likely going to be happy with the plated price. And they usually are.

My favourite piece on pricing is from Aislyn at Urbanmaille. It changed how I priced my pieces. Once I did that, and believed what I was charging was right for me, I began to sell.

I believe what I charge for an hourly rate for my time is fine. I cut my own rings, I tumble them. I include utilities. I include blade prices. I have a wholesale price and a retail price.

Read the piece, then have your say.

DJ

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Could you post a link please. I can find Urbanmaille but not the piece you are talking about (also can't find a search field on their site.

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My goodness that site is difficult to get into. I finally got to register in the right section but now I don't have time to read it. I'll get back to that later.

OK it was worth it. That's a great article and confirms a lot of what I've been thinking lately, thanks for posting.

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