Whether you’re selling on Etsy or in craft fairs, this crafting calculator is perfect for you! This is more than just a handmade jewelry price calculator – it’s a table and formula designed to take the brainwork out of figuring out how to price handmade goods. See my whole series on selling crafts online selling crafts online for more Etsy seller tips. Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
When pricing handmade goods, I used a basic formula:
- I set an hourly rate for myself.
- I figured out roughly how much it cost me to make it (in bulk). I multiplied that amount by 2 (my markup rate). This is $$ amount #1.
- I timed a crafting session and figured out how long it took me to make that bulk amount. I also figured out the average time it took to manage this (make Etsy listings, fulfill each order, etc). I converted that into a dollar amount by multiplying the amount of time it took me to make it by my hourly rate. This is dollar amount #2.
- I added the two dollar amounts for my bulk price.
- I divided the bulk price by the quantity I produced in that time. That gave me my individual product cost.
- Now that was NOT my final rate for a simple reason: it doesn’t take into account market values. At this point, I looked at the number and I made up a price.
So I’m sure you have a question now. Why use a crafting calculator at all?
If I’m going to make up a price anyway, why go through the hassle of doing all that freaking math?!
The answer is simple: you have to have a handle on what it costs you, both time and supplies-wise to be able to make up your price. You also have to have a handle on market rates, what people pay, and what your bottom line will be.
When I first started selling stuff, I didn’t bother with a handmade jewelry price calculator.
Here’s what happened:
I figured I can make a cheap pair of earrings. It cost me roughly 50 cents in quantity supplies and took me an hour to make ten pairs.
So if I sold it for $5 I was cutting a good profit, right?
I nearly went nuts with this. I wasn’t taking into account the cost of trial and error, the fact that I was investing in supplies, not all of which gets used. This is why I now markup the cost and charge a bigger hourly rate.
I also didn’t calculate running time and costs:
- Packaging/shipping supplies
- Customer service
- Making Etsy listings
- Etsy’s take and listing costs
- Time it takes to package and ship
- Occasional sales and markdowns
You’re getting my drift.
And here’s the thing. There’s always going to be something that you’ll leave out of your crafting calculator.
Complaining customers. Remaking an order that got lost in transit. The price of craft show tables. Variables that you can’t predict.
So if you’re going to calculate a rate that’s going to pay off for your, you’ll have to double up: have an hourly rate and a supplies markup rate. You’re going to have to bump that rate up a few bucks to make up for unpredictable variables, especially on smaller items.
And here’s where the questions comes in: What if the crafting calculator prices just. don’t. add. up? What if it tells me to charge $150 for a pair of gloves?
Here are a few crafting calculator tips:
- If the time cost is what’s ruining you, bump up the quality of the materials for a more premium product. Make those gloves cashmere… Even if it means raising your prices even more. You can’t afford to make a budget product with that time cost.
- Take the opposite approach. Bump down the production of the product. Make what I’d call micro-products. For example, if you crochet wire jewelry, and make elaborate creations, try filling your shop out with more inexpensive chain crochet jewelry instead or as a more budget-friendly alternative.
- Focus on education. That’s what I personally started doing – selling my jewelry making book, selling crafting printables and coloring pages and most of all, focusing on this blog. It’s also a personal preference (even once I started seeing success, I didn’t enjoy selling jewelry. I’d rather teach people how to make jewelry.)
I elaborated more on how to choose a craft to sell online here.
Meanwhile, I created an extremely valuable resource for you. This crafting calculator has got two versions:
1. The Freebie: The Pricing Calculator Chart:
Every time I design a freebie I end up getting out of hand, and creating something so big I can’t possibly offer it for free. However, I haven’t forgotten your free download!
This simple formula is a list/table format so you can have it all at a glance. Use it according to the guidelines in this post.
It’s designed to use with bulk production, but you can do it for single products by skipping the quantity column.
- Column 1: list your products, indenting variations below the main product.
- Column 2: write the number you came up with as your “time cost” for that product (hourly rate x hours it took).
- Column 3: write the number you came up with as your “materials cost” for that product (actually supplies cost x markup rate).
- Column 4: add up column 2+3 for your bulk production cost.
- Column 5: write down the amount of product you created in that time – how much bulk you based your time and materials on.
- Column 6: divide column 4 by column 5 for the individual product cost.
- Column 7: jot down a price based on column 6, similar products in the market, and any other variables in place.
2. The Full Pricing Guide and Crafting Calculator:
This full bundle includes a more comprehensive workbook for creating your product line and pricing it. I created all this on a dot grid because I personally LOVE using dot grids for planning. They are much more open with how you can use them, but still neat enough for those who can’t just keep a straight line without guides.
Here’s how the crafting calculator works:
- Use the individual product pricing calculator to do invaluable research on what the cost is for you, research other niche products.
- Use the table to list the results and breakdown of your products so you have it ready at a glance. I offer this for free above, however it works so much better when you have the worksheet for the individual products as well, so that you can refer back to your research if needed.
- Use the brainstorming sheet to… brainstorm. I take you through the full process of figuring out how to choose products from the problem solving angle too, not just the pricing calculator.
- I also included a bonus notes sheet with a plain dot grid. I like this for more visual planning and jotting down anything that doesn’t’ fit on the other pages.
- I also included a 2-page use guide.
How to use the crafting calculator:
- Print out one page of the individual pricing calculator for each product (I recommend you aim for 100 listings to really establish a solid Etsy shop).
- Print 1 table for every ten products/every shop section, or however you want to organize it.
- Place them in a binder in or out of sheet protectors.
- Add a brainstorming page and a note page for each table page.
- Add dividers for each section/set of ten.
- Keep this binder handy. Check in on sales monthly, see how to adjust it, how to plan new seasonal goods.
I shared more tips for selling on Etsy, so definitely read through those too! I also shared a post on how to set up an Etsy shop for success, where I share more about listings, and more that’ll help you use this crafting caculator the best way possible.