A few prospective buyers have asked me how much it cost me to make a piece that they were interested in. How should I answer that question?
Explain to the prospective customer that in addition to your cost of materials, shipping, overhead and other related expenses, your time and talent are valuable and need to be calculated into the cost of the finished products. Be careful to not base too much of the cost on the amount of time it takes you to complete a project unless the extra time adds considerably to the desirability of the design. Don't forget to add in the amount of time you spent on the design concept.
Another aspect to consider is the salient features related to a design. Are your beads handmade? Did you mine or cut the stones yourself? What is the history behind the design and or materials? The answers to these questions can add actual or perceived value to a design. Working from the old adage that you get what you pay for, setting a low value on items will not only lower the perceived value of the piece, it also lowers the value of your work and that of your fellow jewelry designers. Many designers price their items lower as beginners and then increase the pricing with experience, skill level and demand. The end goal is to set pricing that is profitable to you and fair to the customer. You can reference this basic formula and tweak it as necessary: cost of materials and related expenses + an hourly rate equals cost to you. Multiply this by two for a wholesale price. Multiply by 3 for retail pricing. For more information, see sales related books and articles listed below.