One of the hardest things to come up with once you’re at the point of listing your items on Etsy is the price. Of course you always want to make money, but you worry about scaring away customers. You don’t want it to be to cheap either, that would make you lose out.
Being my products are all vintage, I do have a few different factors than handmade items. Instead of the cost of supplies, I’m looking at what I paid for the item. And instead of time spend making, I need to factor in the time spent finding items by searching bins at thrift shops, scanning for garage sales, and researching estate sales. It’s easy to overlook your time invested, but if you want to make an actual profit, then that’s a step you can’t forget.
Check out the Competition
One of the first places I go to figure out an item’s list price is to the Etsy search page. I research other items as similar to mine as possible. Trying to put yourself in the mind of the buyer, searching for what they search for will help you see how your item and price stands up to the competition. Usually I try to search for the exact item, but also a more general search so that I can see what someone who’s not zoned in is looking at.
Even if I have an item that I paid really little for, I can see the competitors have way higher prices than I may have thought possible. I can bring my price up to their level to compete evenly, or I can make mine sell quick and undercharge.
For an example, I have an item in my shop, a pineapple gold sconce that I love. When I was setting up this listing, I searched for ‘pineapple gold sconce’, and found a bunch of similar or same items at about $25, so I used that as a marker to help me price. I also though searched for ‘gold pineapple decor’, and got back wall prints, standing pineapples, door knockers, a big mix. In this search, it looked like my price of $20 that I was planning was right in the middle, so that’s where we landed.
This is obviously one of the most important factors, but there’s a lot of hidden costs that get missed as you start to get excited about actually listing your item. These little hidden factors may seem tiny, but they’ll slowly eat up your profits like they’re me on a diet with some Halo Top ice-cream. Here’s a few that I look at regularly to keep in check and accounted for.
Cost of item – K super obvious, but I keep an excel file of all my inventory and the price that I paid, just in case I don’t post something right away.
Cost to repair – For the most part I try to buy things already ready to post, but if there’s any time/money spent in repairing the item that needs to be accounted for. Cleaning counts too!
Packaging Costs – especially for breakables, think about the cost of boxes, bubble wrap, sanity as you ship glass across the country.
Time spent – researching sales, finding inventory, driving, taking listing photos, setting up listings, organizing, packaging items, all things to be considered (less any Netflix procrastination of course).
The all important Etsy fees are something that you never want to forget when listing. Currently, etsy fee are currently $.20 per listing (if it’s a multiple quantity listing $.20 is owed per each additional quantity sold), and then a 3.5% transaction fee on the sale. This also doesn’t include sales tax, which can be a potential factor.
To take all of this in without making your brain go all fuzzy because math is hard, I set up a little excel file that I use every time I’m listing a new item. All I have to do is enter my cost, time, packaging considerations, and the price I want. Then the calculator will fill in the rest and get me what my total cost is, including fees. It’ll also tell me my profit and profit margin, so I can make sure I’m still making money.
After it all, you need to go with your gut, and the best part is, nothing is permanent. If you aren’t seeing an item sell, you can always just update it and change.
If you want a copy of my calculator, fill out the form below and download your own, it seriously saves me so much time and effort on the daily!