When it comes to pricing handcrafted crochet items, there are several schools of thought as well as a really cool app that can help you out when it comes to pricing. In this post I’ll discuss 3 of the most common manual pricing methods, talk about the Crafts Calculator, and at the very end of this post I’ll also explain how I price my crochet gift items.

calculatorOne of the hardest things any crafter has to do is determine how much they will charge for a handcrafted item that they make and intend to sell; I’m no different!

Let me start by saying that making handcrafted crochet items IS a business and like any business the person making the items has legitimate business expenses.  For example, here are just a a few of the expenses that I incur, even if I don’t sell anything:

  • Monthly web hosting fees to keep this site up and running
  • An Annual Report Fee to the State of Vermont
  • Subscriptions to Crochet magazines
  • The retail price of the materials that I purchase that make up the final item
  • Cost of individual patterns
  • Boxes and packing materials
  • PayPal fees when I do sell an item

And then of course, there is my time.  The time I spend actually making the item, researching/finding patterns, ordering yarn, as well as the time that I spend creating a website.

Making any handcrafted item is a manufacturing process – you have a plan, design or pattern, you purchase raw materials – the yarn, and then you manufacture (create or make) the item.  Unlike commercial manufacturer’s who have costly machines that effectively mimic the look of a handmade item; as a crocheter my machines or tools if you will, consist solely of a a hook and my own two hands!

Here are three different schools of thought on pricing handcrafted items:

Method 1:

Time + Materials = Cost

Cost times 2 = Wholesale price

Wholesale price times 2 = Retail price

Method 2:

Method 2 is more complicated and involves setting a dollar value based on each yard of yarn used in the project in addition to the actual cost of the yarn itself.  Here’s an example:

Simple project = time is based on $.10 per yard of material used.

Complex project = time is based on $.20 per yard of material used.

So, for example – you’ve completed a scarf.  The cost of the yarn was $23.00 PLUS total yards used (380 yds. @ $.10) 38.00 = $61.00 sales price

Method 3:

Cost of materials times 3 (materials, time, profit) = sales price

There’s an App that can help you determine your pricing:

There is also a very handy little app, called the Crafts Calculator – available for both Android and iPad/iPhone.  With the Crafts calculator you enter the cost of your materials, the number of hours that you spend making the finished item, choose your skill level and select a profit margin and it does all the math and suggests a sale price.  It will also calculate fees  if you sell your items via Etsy or Handmake Me.

How I price my handcrafted crochet items:

Let’s just say that at this point, I really don’t have a firm handle for pricing my final items and for right now I’m just sort of winging it.  Let’s take a look at the Road Trip Scarf as an example, and I’ll look at each of the pricing methods as well as the suggested price using the Crafts Calculator:

Here’s the details:

  • each skein of yarn retails for $6.99
  • each skein contains 279 yards
  • I used 1 1/2 skeins ($10.485/ 418.5 yards)
  • Time to make = 10 hours

Prices:

  • Method 1 – I didn’t even bother using this method because I haven’t been able to put a dollar value per hour on my time
  • Method 2 – $10.48 + (418.5 x $.10) 41.85 = $52.33
  • Method 3 – $31.455
  • The Crafts Calculator provided a sale price of $66.00

So now I have 3 different prices; a high, a low, and a middle of the road.  Here is how I calculated my sale price of $49.00:

  • $66.00 (high price) MINUS $32.00 (low price round up) = $34.00
  • $34.00 divided by 2 = $17.00
  • $32.00 PLUS $17.00 = $49.00

Now let’s convert that to an hourly value for my time:

  • $49.00 PLUS $10.00 (shipping) = $59.00 MINUS $15.48 (cost of materials) MINUS $2.01 (PayPal fees) = $41.41 DIVIDED by 10 = $4.14 per hour.

Needless to say at $4.14 per hour I’ll never get rich LOL, but I certainly will enjoy myself!

Nancy Smyth

Hi, I'm Nancy I'm a yarn addict, number cruncher/bookkeeper, and software developer. Strange combination right? I get the same feeling of joy when working with high quality yarns that I do when a column of numbers are all neatly aligned and add up properly.

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3 Comments

    1. fanciful.crochet says:

      Thanks Patrice 🙂 Pricing is SO hard and so many people don’t understand all of what goes into creating a handcrafted item. After you’ve had a chance to play around with my calculations I’d be interested to hear what you think and how you made out.

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