Originally Posted by indydebi
If YOU dont' believe in the value of your work, then how are you going to convey that value to your customer?
(I'll get off of my Mom-Soapbox now!
Indydebi is exactly right. I have done craft shows for a number of years, and for awhile I was worried about selling my stuff for almost twice what other folks were selling. I thought about lowering my prices, but I stood firm in the end, realizing that a) I was using different materials than the others, b) I was using my own design, and not something everyone else was doing, nor was it something that you could get off a website anywhere... it was mine, and it was unique, and c) I calculated my time, materials, expenses, etc, and there wasn't much left over for 'because I deserve it' in the profit. Bottom line, I sold out the first year, even over the other folks who were making similar items, because I was proud of my work and my price reflected that I thought it was worth it.
When my market and items changed, so did my prices, of course, but I still stand by what I charge. I do still get the occasional "I could get that at Walmart and paint it myself!' outraged comment, but I challenge them to find ANY hand-painted, personalized christmas ornament for $5 at walmart! You can barely get screen printed individual ornaments for that.
My cakes and other baked goods are the same, when I sell them... I charge what I need to charge, both to recoup my expenses and time, and to allow for the creativity that goes into them, when someone asks for something special. (example: plain lemon tarts have one price... the ones I made to look like drops of blood for a special occasion -really, don't ask!- were at least double, because i had to hand-shape the tarts into what looked like teardrops, instead of using a pan and tart shaper, and I had to color 250 tarts' worth of dough and lemon curd a bright, bloody red. That took a lot more than the simple lemon tarts I usually make, so I charged accordingly. The customer complained about the price, right up until they saw them! LOL The tarts were so perfect for what they were being used to celebrate, that I was paid, and gladly, with an additional tip from friends of the customer who appreciated the extra time and effort that went into it all.)
Remember also, that at the end of the day, while YOU might have no problem making beautiful cakes and desserts, there are a lot of people out there who either won't, can't, or don't have the time to do it themselves. You're not selling to other bakers... you're selling to people who really appreciate your time and energy, and your prices should reflect the respect they have for your work, whether you believe it's worth that much, or not.
Say it with me, folks:
I'm an artist, not just a baker, and my work is worth something wonderful.
Doni in NC
(who's apparently joining indydebi on her soapbox!)