If you saw this previous blog post you’ll know that I recently undertook my first venture into wholesale. There were a lot of things I learned during the processes and a few surprises too. The most significant of which was the realisation that I have effectively been selling masks in my Etsy store at wholesale prices for the last year.
I was surprised to find that Seed were going to sell my masks for $29.95 each. While I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to do this, it was a bit of a wake up call for me. I couldn’t help wondering why they were happy to charge that much when I felt like I couldn’t. If customers were happy to pay this price in Seed, surely they would be just as happy to pay the same amount, knowing that they were supporting a small handmade business rather than a large corporation?
Raising prices is actually something I have been considering for a while now, mainly because I would love to take the next step and begin to approach local toy shops to see whether they would like to stock my masks. I haven't done this yet because I can’t afford to lower my wholesale price, and I can’t ask retailers to sell my masks at a higher price while undercutting them in my own Etsy store.
All of this has left me feeling very conflicted. I need to raise my prices but I feel really bad about it, I feel like I’m cheating people by doing so. I’m worried that I’ll be out-priced by cheap versions of the same thing on Etsy, I’m wondering how I convince people that what I’m making is of better quality and that it’s worth what I’m asking for it. I feel rather like I’m saying that my time is worth more - that I’m worth more - than what I’m currently asking - and for me that’s an uncomfortable place to be. But at the same time I also want to make a success of my business and I can’t do that if I’m cheating myself.
While all of this has been difficult to work through, I am glad in a way to have had my hand forced. I am happy to have finally made a decision that I have been putting off for months and months. It feels like a gamble, and I’m afraid that it won’t work, I’m afraid that customers will say ‘No, I’m not paying that - it’s not worth that much’, not only because I don’t want to fail, but because it would leave me feeling foolish for having had the audacity to believe that I - and my products - were worth more.
So having babbled on and on for quite long enough now, here’s what I’ve decided to do:
I am going to review the prices of all of my felt dress up masks. They will be priced between AUD$19 and $24 depending on how detailed they are and how much work goes into them. The new prices will come into effect as of January 2nd. So, consider this fair warning - if you were thinking of buying, get in quick before the price rise!
As an added bonus, I will be running a sale between Boxing day and New Year where you can get an extra 20% off with the code SWEET - this discount code will work for patterns too! Please note that all orders placed during the sale will ship on January 2nd as we're going to spend New Year canoeing down a river, camping, reconnecting with nature and generally getting very grubby!
Finally I’d like to thank each and every one of you for all your support this year - whether it’s as a customer, a reader or a friend. I couldn’t do it without you and want to wish you a very happy, healthy and joyful New Year.