The other day, I replied to someone’s question regarding how to price bisque for resale. I received a return email wondering how I could charge that much unless I lived in a big city. I pondered this concern and decided this would be a great topic for CMEZ as we all want fair compensation for our efforts.
It does not matter if you are in the field as a hobby or as a professional. It does not matter if you have a home studio or a commercial outlet. It is imperative that you give competitive pricing but not at the risk of losing money or giving away your product, time or talent. The basic formula for pricing is just that, a basic formula. There is always room for some modification to meet particular situations. You do have to agree on one thing however; unless you are a philanthropist or extremely benevolent, you are selling your wares for a profit.
One thing worth mentioning, it is always easier to lower your prices to make a sale than to raise the prices when you see you are losing money, but to do that, you need a basic price, or beginning point. Customers love discounts and sales, but really hate price increases.
It does not matter if you live in a small town or a big city. When pricing your wares, it is important that you consider all costs and overhead into your pricing structure. Many amateurs and even some professionals forget about recovering their expenses. In pricing you should consider the following costs: Cost of mold and replacements, cost for shipping, cost for slip, cost for tools and casting equipment and their replacement or repair, cost for chemicals, cost for kiln and kiln maintenance and repair or replacement, cost for electricity, cost for storage/rent, cost for waste removal, cost for utilities (heat, water, etc), cost for loss and errors, cost for other consumable supplies such as paints and brushes, costs for advertising, cost for loss, cost for help, and most importantly value of your time.
The following is a basic formula to figure your resale pricing (there are exceptions)
Greenware = 10-12% of mold costs
Firing = 50% of greenware price
Cleaning greenware = 50% of greenware price (and up)
Simple glazing= 150% of greenware (50% for paint, 50% for 2nd fire, 50% for time-be sure to include first firing and greenware costs)
Finished Items = 4-10 times cost of greenware (and up- depending upon time and supply costs)
For further information about pricing your ceramics, click here