Make Your Prices Work for YOU

With so many commenters asking about pricing, I thought I'd chime in too! Inis is right in that you should NEVER apologize for your prices. If you've done your research, they will be about right. And, by "right" I mean for your business model, your geographic area, your mall or shop, and your budget.

For me, selling in an antique mall has always been more about indulging my "expensive hobby." I don't need to subsist on my profits, but do want to make money. Think through what you need to make it worth your while, and factor that into your pricing.

The fallacy of double-your-money can't always hold true, I've found. In many, many, many instances, on smalls I'll make 10X or more what I paid for an item. Smalls also move a lot more quickly, so you'll be making your money more quickly.

For larger items (mainly furniture), I'd love to always double my money. But if it's a great piece (and we all need pieces sometimes), it's enough for me to make $50+ on an item, even if it isn't double what I paid—particularly if it's a booth-ready item! Holding on to the expensive pieces eats up valuable booth space, so I don't always want to sit on a larger piece.

Double-the-money is a good starting point for beginning vendors, but don't make it a hard-and-fast rule. Be flexible. Know that on some items you'll make a lot more, and on others, it may be worth it to just set a dollar profit amount that will make you happy.

NEVER forget to factor in any commission (my mall doesn't have one), the now-ubiquitous 10% off for anyone who asks (ugh), and potential credit-card fees. All will eat into that profit margin you'd relied on.

Finally, bear in mind that in this still-tough economy, you may not realize the prices you've seen on items in the past. Just because a mission-style desk might've gone for $350 a few years ago, it's unlikely it will now.

Remember, you can always LOWER your prices, so aim high when you're starting. Customers love sales, and your items may turn over more quickly.

XOX Sue (Vintage Rescue Squad)


Anonymous said...

I agree....I usually start my prices high so I can come down with sale.

Callef said...

Wow - I never heard of the "10% off for anyone who asks"! I hope my mall doesn't get wind of this :)

" SHABBY JUNK" said...

Thanks that really is a big help. The place I am at takes 10% and others ask for the 10 %. It's hard to make money that way. I don't want to be too high or no one will buy. judy