My main focus is on helping you to create. I don’t really enjoy the whole financial side of things and rely heavily on my husband to help me through . Some weavers enjoy the art purely as a hobby, while others are inclined to sell their pieces. Either option is fine - it just depends on what brings you joy from your work!
This question is often asked in my Facebook Group: how do I price my tapestries? My purpose with this blog post is to give some insight into my method and some other successful methods I’ve seen people use when pricing their weaves. Also, I have some final thoughts at the end that I think are the most important ideas to take away.
Here are 3 different methods to price out your weavings.
Method 1: (Material Cost + Time x Hourly Rate) x 2.5 = Retail.
You’ll want to keep material costs simple. Only include the cost of the materials you are going to use in the finished product. Time needs to be counted in hours. The hourly rate is going to be set dependent on what you want to pay yourself per hour.
Once you have these inputs, you simply multiply your Time by your Hourly Rate and add it to your Material Cost. This number is then multiplied by 2.5 to bring it up to retail value. Here’s some numbers for an example.
Material Cost = $20
Time = 8 hrs
Hourly Rate = $15/hr
Retail = ($20 + (8 x 15)) x 2.5 = $350
This method typically results in high prices which are appealing, however, it is important to remember the idea of supply and demand. At higher prices, your sales volumes will most likely be lower. This doesn’t mean this method won’t work for you. If you put out small volumes of weaves, and are able to offer high quality, this may be the method for you!
Method 2: Fixed Bucket Pricing
This method requires the seller to determine size buckets that their weaves will fall into, then charge a fixed price for each weave inside that bucket. Each bucket will have a size range. For example, if a weave is between 6-10 inches in width it can be considered a small; if a weave is 10-15 inches wide it can be considered a medium; and if a weave is larger than 15 inches across it is a large.
This example is purposefully simplified as it doesn’t include length, however, the seller would need to create adequate buckets for all of their potential sizes, then set pricing accordingly. Pricing for each bucket can be determined through a number of different ways including the method from Method 1 above. Another option would be to average competitor’s pricing for similarly shaped weaves.
This method would be ideal for a high volume weaver who likes to repeat weaves or consistently weaves the same size weaves with little variation. This method helps seller’s be consistent and it is easy to use – all you need to do is measure the finished weave and put it in its bucket. This method helps the seller be consistent which is very valuable in attracting potential customers.
Method 3: Cost Per Inch
This method is very simple. It works by measuring the width of the weave in inches then multiplying by a constant cost per inch. As an example, your set cost per inch is $12/inch and you have a weave that is 20 inches across. The retail price is determined as follows:
Retail = 20 inches x $12/inch = $240
A good range for price per inch is between $10-$15 per inch.
This is the method that I use. I like that it is simple and easy to explain to a potential client. I have my set cost per inch so that when someone asks me for a custom weave I’m able to tell them how much it would be. It also works well for weaves that aren’t commissioned because I don’t have to think too hard to figure out a price.
Some final thoughts
As I mentioned at the start of this post, this isn’t my favorite part of being an artist, however, it is necessary to make some money so that you can continue your passion. I’ve learned that no matter what method you use, the most important thing is to be consistent with your future clients and customers. Have a method you feel comfortable using so that when people ask you for a price you can tell them quickly and then move away from price and sell them on your weave. Help them see the value you bring to the table so they want your piece no matter the price.
Having a simple consistent method for pricing will allow you to give them that information quickly and not dwell on it so that you can focus on helping them see the value that buying your weave will bring into their life.