If you are a handmade business owner, you know that one of the biggest challenges you’ll encounter is facing customers that are not usually used to paying for products that have a living wage built into the price.
So how do you deal with difficult customers especially during craft shows? It’s easy to charge $5 for a necklace when it was made in a sweatshop.
For a handmade artisan trying to keep the lights on, though, that price point is not sustainable.
How much does this cost? What is this made from? Why does this cost more than something from Wal-mart?
It’s frustrating, isn’t it? People gravitate toward handmade because they want no-sweat, high quality, unique goods, but they don’t always put together that this means paying more for handmade products.
Here are the things to remember and should be explained to your customers:
1. All Hand-Made. No Mass Production Machinery Involved
By definition, handmade products are literally just that, made by the “hands” of the artisan or maker.
The pieces are soldered, sawed, carved and shaped without the use of mass produced manufacturing machinery.
A machine can crank out hundreds of units per hour while an individual can only make a finite quantity or fraction of the number of pieces in the same amount of time.
2. The Time Spent
As previously mentioned, since there are no machines involved, handmade jewelry takes an incredible amount of time to produce just a single piece.
Sometimes, there’s only one involved person in bulk orders. The time to make the piece often can take weeks.
3. The Maker’s Process
The maker has a very intimate relationship with each piece or design they create. The design process is key to the value that is inherent in each piece.
Emilie Shapiro talks about her process and says, “While creating jewelry, there is a very intimate relationship with my work. I know every curve and line (is) put there with intention. As a maker your energy goes into the piece.”
4. Materials Used
In almost every case, the value of the materials involved in a handmade piece are of stellar quality.
It’s difficult to regulate or even know exactly what alloys are used in mass produced factories where dirty metals are blended together to create costume pieces.
Handmade materials are generally sourced from highly reputable suppliers.
5. Product Quality
Smaller scale production is almost always higher quality because the ability to track and control the process from start to finish is inherent in the making process.
Makers and artisans are extremely proud of the work they produce. They aren’t going to let something of inferior quality leave their studio with their name on it.
6. Locally Made with Love
There is a lot of buzz with “buying local” these days. Reducing your carbon footprint and supporting local artisans is good for the environment and good for everyone.
Artisans and makers infuse love and energy into each piece of work. There is huge value in supporting local from a sustainability and energetic standpoint.
Along with the extra value inherent in handmade jewelry you are also buying a truly one-of-a-kind product.
Even if the handmade piece is part of an edition – no maker creates two pieces that are exactly identical. You are the only person with that specific piece of jewelry which says a lot.
That’s it. Tell your customers if they question your pricing. Shoppers won’t always contact you via your website with questions or even ask questions at markets until they’re ready to buy.
In both of these situations, good knowledge anticipates questions they might have.
Want to learn more about how to price your handcrafts correctly and easily?
Check out this video here for more information.