Monday, June 25, 2012

The Pricing Debate

It seems like a lot of people who make things for a living have difficulty with pricing. I've had several things happen over the last week or so that has brought this to the front of my mind. There is so much more to setting a price for your items than just the supplies and your time. There is what's called a "perceived value" and I think that's what's confusing for a lot of people.

A ring was found recently that belonged to Jane Austin. It is being auctioned off for a great deal of money. It's just a simple gold band with a plain blue stone made in the style of that time. Someone was wondering why it would be worth so much when he had a piece of jewelry that had diamonds and rubies and fancy gold work that was worth a fraction of what they were asking for, for Jane Austin's ring. I replied that there is more to what a piece of jewelry is worth than just the materials made to use it. That ring is a piece of history, as a long time reader and fan of Jane Austin I would happily pay for it if I had the money. To me it is priceless.

I have a storage unit in Santa Maria that has some furniture I don't particularly care about and personal items. I didn't get the bill for it last month and I forgot to pay for it. So they decided they were going to auction off my things. I called the place and they were really quite rude. I hung up in tears and thought why fight it? I'm so tired of fighting for everything. Then I realized my parent's ashes, every picture I've ever taken of my son and more very personal items are in there. Not worth anything to anyone else but priceless to me. I was able to come up with the money to get caught up at the expense of possibly paying my rent this month.

I could go on with the examples but I think those two show what I'm getting at. You can look at something you made and say, it's not worth much because I made it. Someone else can look at it and think it's the most wonderful, unique thing they've seen and it could end up being priceless to them. It could make people happy, bring them joy, remind them of something wonderful, become a family heirloom. I'm not saying to gouge people or anything, but certainly, if you make something of quality with good materials that you put your all into it is worth more than materials and time.

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