How Much Do Crocheters Charge for Projects?
How much do you charge for a crochet project is one of the most asked questions. Is there a formula for figuring it out?
Many people have different opinions and they can be wildly different from each other:
- We have crocheters, like me, who are happy to crochet and give away projects at no charge.
- Those in craft show that gladly crochet and use the day at the show to be social and it’s really not about the money. So their pricing may be reflective if a good time out eating the BBQ Hot Dog Stand and not worried about making money to eat at the fancy sit down meal restaurant.
- Some crocheters gladly give stuff away but at times will put a price tag on an item if it’s requested.
- Some crocheters only crochet with the mindset to sell.
None of the above are wrong but with crochet, being hobby-based, it can give the illusion that crochet is cheap and should be done for free. Technically, that’s wrong in every way. It’s hard to compete when so many essential items are imported into North America. It’s hard to compete against the chain retailers who can sell at the hat for $5 and you need at least $20 – $30 for a handmade hat.
Factors to Consider
Some crocheters only charge for the yarn itself. Many crocheters will charge the following:
- Just the yarn costs, no extra play money and will donate the time.
- Double or Triple the yarn costs which covers the expenses and throws a bit more extra so you can have some play money.
- A cost per hour which may or may not include the cost of yarn.
Cost of Yarn Consideration
If a ball is $4.99. The yarn cost really isn’t $4.99. Don’t forget to include the following:
- The tax.
- Any additional items like pom poms.
- If you gift wrapped it or bought something special to give it to the person at the end.
- Mailing costs.
- Chances are, you drove, had someone drive or even took the bus to the store to get the yarn. Factor approximately 45 cents per mile. Use Google Maps to figure out the mileage. If you are going out for other reasons or whatever, you may not want to consider that.
- If you get it on sale, don’t use that price as it’s not always on sale. If you have to make it again or buy more yarn, use the real price. If you get it on sale, that’s more money in your pocket. Don’t tell anyone, it’s none of their business.
- If someone wanted something specific for yarn and a particular colour. Something you may never finish using elsewhere, factor in the price of the complete ball even if you use just a portion of it.
Take the price and add your mark up. For those just charging for the yarn. It’s either 2 x or 3 x the costs. If you feel it’s not right… you know the basic costs for you. This will determine if your time is worth it for this.
The hourly charge isn’t set in stone. You have to factor in some things.
- How much do you really think you are worth per hour.
- Your crochet is a skill set that you have developed in time. Through practice, you have built up your skills.
- Nova Scotia Minimum Wage is $12.55 CAD. That’s $9.00 hour USD.
How important is it to you that you are paid like it’s a regular job versus working on the project just for the fun of it. For example, if I do a simple adult hat that will take less than 1 hour and I factor in the cost of the yarn. $20 CAD seems reasonable.
However, in a larger project like an afghan could be 20 hours to make plus at least 7 balls of yarn at $40. That would be approximately $300 CDN or 215 USD to charge. The true question, is someone willing to pay for that price?
The larger projects are where the costs get skewed and when the donation of time comes into play.
So you have to factor in getting your expenses back plus add in extra for your time, even if not by the hour.
The True Sales Price
The real price is whatever someone is willing to pay for your creativity.
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What is A Customer
I’ve done the show circuit and been around long enough to know what a customer isn’t a customer. When a person is attempting to discount a person’s creativity for their own selfish reasons. Sorry, I’m not sugar coating tonight! It is exactly what it is! WRONG!
There are so many stories and I encourage you to share some of your stories in the blog comments below on your experiences.
- ‘So-called’ customers don’t honour their commitment or follow through with the items they requested. In the end, not wanting the item, leave you stuck with materials and a finished project you probably don’t need and cannot resell. If they are friends and they do this game, they really aren’t your friends, consider unfriending on Facebook. If they are family and do that, time to get that last rights will out and cross them off the list!
- Where the customer decided to give themselves a discount by not willing to pay the agreed amount. Next Christmas, give them a big fat lump of coal in their stocking! They deserve it! Better yet, run the stocking over with your car! That will make you feel better and they can kiss your tread!
- The customer received the goods and never followed through with the payment. I’m sure you know what to do. Social media is good at trashing people. Do your magic, they deserve it! Prepare for feedback though… I recommend googling big words and smart come backs for people who screw you over big time!
At craft shows, there is obvious behaviour in play:
- Those who are kicking tires and wasting their own time because they are bored and thought a craft show would fill in time. Possibly licking ice cream cones and you secretly wish they would get brain freeze.
- Other crafters who come in and are looking for ideas to go home and do it themselves. Basically, idea wannabes using others for inspiration so they can knock off the crafter. That’s just mean girl stuff… You know this type of customer when you see it. Either kill them with kindness or let yourself off the hook, it’s not you…. ITS THEM! ALL THEM!
- A person who likes what they see and determines the price isn’t right and pulls a cheapskate mode to start negotiations when there is nothing to negotiate. That’s my price… Like it or hit the road jack. Don’t come back no more no more no more… hit the road jack!
I’ve heard time and time again, “My prices were too high for my hats and I was losing customers!” You didn’t lose anything, the people who passed on by weren’t willing to compensate for your creativity. You are better to hold onto the item than to sell off the item cheap and be cranky about selling it cheap when re-sharing the stories. You made the decision.
So It’s Up To You:
I have found through Creativ Festival, charge a rate that makes sense for your time and materials. Come up with a sheet for your crochet journal that makes sense.
Sometimes you will win and other times you can claim you got your money back. Whatever you do, don’t sell it for less than you are willing to let it go for. If you do, just get some cheese to go with that wine!
Be true to yourself and stick to your guns… because you are worth it and so is your acquired skills and creativity!