Unit VII Material Culture: The Stuff
Lesson 6 Louisiana Crafts and Decorative Arts
After completing the Blank Pricing Your Craft Worksheet, read about the two topics below and answer the questions as best you can. Then use all of the information from the two worksheets to write a short essay that explains
why you are making this craft,
what factors influenced your decision for choosing the costs you would use,
what your final price will be.
1. Prices need to please both the buyer and the seller.
Even if you have accurately figured the Wholesale Cost of your craft item, the price may not be appealing to you or it may appear to be too high to attract buyers. These are some of the things you need to consider:
Do you want to work for minimum wage? If not, you can change your hourly wage.
Even with minimum wage, has your price for one item priced you out of the market?
Is it too expensive? Will people pay that price for the item?
If it is too expensive, can you change your materials or methods so that your cost is lower?
Does changing your materials or methods lower the quality? People often will pay more for a handcrafted item of high quality than a manufactured item of mediocre quality.
Have you gained a reputation for producing your craft? If so, you may be able to ask higher prices.
Consider the example provided. The quality of duck decoys can range widely. Duck decoys can be "toy" quality and cost a few dollars. The price of more serious carvings can range from $50 to $10,000. Methods, quality, and the reputation of the carver are some of the factors in determining the price. Other types of crafts do not command such high prices and are not as appreciated by the general public, so it is unrealistic for the craftsperson to expect the public to pay the price determined by the formula.
2. Is money the only motive for producing craft items?
Some craftspeople are hobbyists rather than professional craftspeople and do not rely on their craft work to make a living. They are not so focused on the money as enjoying creating the work. This can be true of traditional, revivalist, or contemporary craftspeople. They may not need to follow this formula so carefully, but they do need to decide whether they want to be paid adequately for their work. These are some of the things you need to consider:
Do you work on your craft item as a hobby rather than to make money?
If you should sell your craft items, do you want to make a profit or merely cover your wholesale costs?
Would you consider the costs you incur for making this item as recreational expenses, similar to expenses for going to a movie or dinner, or going to a concert?
Would you consider it enough of a reward if you gained a reputation as being one of the best in your field?
WRITE YOUR ESSAY!
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