Recently, I received the following question from one of the Quilting Business community about pricing her hand quilted quilts:
Love your newsletters and also your e-course. My question is this: I live in a mid-west town of about 20,000. I make beautiful quilts, hand quilted (7-9 stitches per inch). I make baby quilts, throws, pieced, pre-made tops — you name it I do it. But no one seems to want to pay the price. I have done web research and feel like my prices are neither too high nor too low. Could it be the economy or ???????
Here's my response to this question…
I hear the same complaint from a lot of quilters, especially hand quilters who spend a lot of time and put a lot of effort into their quilts – they can't seem to charge enough for their quilts based on the time they put into them.
It could be that your local economy won't support high-end quilt pricing, and you may need to do one of a couple of different things:
1. Start using a sewing machine to piece your quilts so that you finish your quilts faster. This will allow you to charge less for your quilts since you have less time in them.
2. Expand your area for quilt selling. Is there a larger town or city nearby that you could visit and possibly sell your quilts in? If so, there may be some small craft shops or consignment stores that will carry your quilts. But be careful – you need to draw up and agreement, and retail stores and consignment shops take a big chunk of the selling price (sometimes 30% to 50%), so you will need to price accordingly.
3. Look for some large craft and quilt fairs in your area. At these events, there are people looking for high end items (as well as many looking for smaller, less expensive gifts). If you spend some time travelling the craft and quilt show circuit, you'll start to get a feel for what sells and be able to gear your work that way.
4. Start making smaller, less expensive items. If you do baby blankets or other items that are not quite as large, you may be able to get a good price for your items and charge less than for a full sized quilt.
5. Develop a niche market for your skills. Perhaps you could specialize in photo quilts or t-shirt quilts that will be customized for a particular person. People expect to pay more for work that is customized for them.
6. Finish other's quilts for them. Offer a service where you will quilt other people's tops and finishe them with batting and backing. Charge depending on the complexity of the stitching and how large the project.
7. Use marketing to differentiate your quilts. If you have something truly unique, let people know through marketing. Issue a press release to your local paper. Develop brochures that talk about the quality of your quilts and all the work that goes in. A good story goes a long way towards being able to charge a premium price.
Hope this helps,
If you have any questions about your quilting business – whether just starting out or looking for a boost with some solid marketing or business advice – feel free to send me an email at email@example.com.
Chuck Smith is the owner of QuiltingBusiness.com, the web's only site dedicated to helping you make money with your quilting. Visit QuiltingBusiness.com today to sign up for the FREE email mini-course: “7 Unique Ways to Make Money with Your Quilting.”
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