Pricing Embroidery Work
If you are just starting out in an embroidery craft business, one of the hardest parts is pricing your embroidery work and designs. There are many questions to might begin to ask yourself when it comes to what you will charge your customers.
- If I charge too low I won’t make any money.
- When I charge too high, I won’t have any business at all.
- And, if I charge too high, my competitor will take all my business.
When it comes to pricing there is the fear or not making a profit, and worry. I totally it, its hard and awkward when you first set out to ask someone for money, for work you did. Especially if you aren’t used to running a business. Asking someone to pay a price for something that maybe started out as a hobby is strange.
There are two ways I approaching pricing when it comes to pricing the embroidery work that I do for others.
Cost per Stitches: If you are just starting out and are not sure of what to charge, the easiest way is to use the Cost per Stitches method. Basically, charging $1 per 1,000 stitches in an embroidery design or artwork. Most people are satisfied with this approach because they make a little extra money to take to the craft store and continue their craft habits.
This is all fine and dandy, especially if something has on average around 15,000 stitches, you would make $15.
But what if something has only 3,000 stitches? Certainly charging $3 is a great price for the customer, but at that price, this barely covers the cost of stabilizer in the hoop, the thread used, and wear and tear on the machine. Plus how long did that 3,000 stitches take you to create start to finish?
When you think of all of these factors, $3 is hardly worth it.
The Cost per Stitches method is great to use if you are not in business, or once the customer meets a threshold, you then use the cost by stitches to determine the additional amount above the threshold to charge.
The second method is a Cost Analysis method. This method is a little more in dept. It factors your time, your machine use, along with electricity and internet usage.
There are several pricing embroidery work cost calculators on the web. You can run a google search to help you determine this cost analysis method to make your embroidery business more profitable.
You may discover your cost per 1,000 stitches is more along $1.25 per 1,000. This all depends on the time you spend and overall hours per week working on your business.
Set Pricing Embroidery Work
You may decide to not use the cost per stitches method or cost analysis method. I understand that one seems almost too low and the other almost too difficult to calculate.
You may find this is the case and you may want to do set pricing. This would be a set price for a certain type of work you do on any one customer item.
For instance, for all names (up to 8-10 characters) you may charge $10. And you may also set the design to be no larger than a certain set of inches.
If you put a name on a bag that is only 7 letters long, and the entire name only takes up about 5 inches wide and 2 inches high, you are sure to be less than 10,000 stitches overall.
Stay with me here… If you take the cost per stitch method into consideration that that name may on be at around only 3,000 stitches.
At the cost per stitch that is $3, but your set price of $10 makes stitching that name worth it. And that could be easier done at around 20 minutes of time, (depending on your skill).
So if you do three names on three bags in an hour, that puts you at making around $30 per house before you subtract expenses. Not too bad.
If you get faster, your rate of pay goes up by the hour.
Now all of sudden you are profitable and set up to run a sustainable embroidery business.
For applique items or shirt designs that require more time to stitch, more stitches, and thread changes you could set a base price for those specific items, then add on set pricing fees for additional thread change, hooping, custom name addition, etc.
Pricing to Competition
Choosing to set the pricing and evaluate along with the cost per 1,000 I think you will find that you are in range with your competitors and those in the market.
However, it is possible to how a competitor who is really competitive in your error and every time you set price, they notice and drop their pricing by $1 to $2. My advice on this is to just ignore it.
Focus on your business, and not theirs. If you are $1-$2 more than them, so what. Your customer service, delivery time, or overall business practices may outweigh theirs and justify your cost.
And, if they are always watching your business and what you do, chances are they aren’t really paying attention to their own, and they are likely to pay for that in one way or another.
When it comes to pricing embroidery work, the best advice I can give is to make sure it is profitable from the start. And if you aren’t, get there. Start a new pricing embroidery work system for the next month or year to roll on the new pricing with customers effective a certain date.
Always always always have great customer service. My favorite thing is to UNDER promise and OVER deliver.
Meaning, never promise something faster than you think you can do it, and in fact, give yourself extra time for mistakes or delays (UNDER promise) and always surprise or excite your customer (OVER deliver).
If you deliver something earlier than you said you would, this gets them excited. They appreciate your work even more, and will more than likely return to your business, and in the end, your customer service and product quality will always be worth any price.
Do you have any tips or methods for pricing embroidery work in your business?