cover 11This is a continuation of our 10 Proven Pricing Principles articles. If you missed the first principle, (You Need A Pricing Strategy), read about it here.

Pricing Principle #2 – There Are No Winners In A Price War!

[ This post has been truncated so that the full collection of pricing principles can be placed on the Kindle platform as Craft Pricing Power. For the spring of 2014 you can download it for free on the last Friday of every month. Get it here. ]

31 Comments on Pricing Principle #2 – There Are No Winners In A Price War

  1. Very interesting…I can’t wait to read chapter 3! As an etsy seller I’ve found it very difficult to sell my items (home goods mostly) at a fair market price where I am actually making a living wage. I’m very curious to sell my doll clothes there, as that product seems to do better and I’ve been developing my brand with its presence on Pixie Faire.

    This penetration pricing has never worked for me before. With my bridal business, I was actually able to price my goods at premium, but it took a few years if hard work to gain the reputation for quality and to make my “brand” known.

    • Good points. Etsy is very challenging.

  2. Wow! God has answered my prayer again! I went to the LA fabric district today with my daughter and we were talking about buying fabrics and hopefully not wasting money in what we purchased? I have all kinds of ideas for doll couture clothing. I think I have an eye for design and fabrics ( although I’m no designer pattern maker). I bought a couple of very cute fabrics in two different colors for $1.99 a yard. I should be able to make several outfits from it. But trying to figure out what type pricing and how to price is a learning curve for me. And I hope buying fabrics and notions is another hurdle ( am I buying the right materials ) and what about pricing materials? I hope Jason goes over this also- bravo and thank you Jason for sharing this very important information with me. Thanks again, Diana M Cook

  3. I am currently reading your book Craft business power (or I guess technically Cinnamon’s book) …anyway it is great. Over the years of dabbling in an out of the crafts market I have found your writing to be right on the mark. I was a vendor at show this year that I hadn’t done in years, a vendor near me sold beautiful felted bags well worth the three digits she was charging( she sold 4 at that price ..she told me this at the end of the show) …I also make handbags, but with very unique home décor fabric…I also charge a premium price …close to $100 (I sold 3)…I also make other items ..three booths away from us was a vendor with handmade bags from typical quilt type fabric…her price $20…ouch for all that work. I did not count her sales as I try not to worry about other vendor sales, but I did hear customers make comments about the felted bags and my bags being priced too high even though many stated …”Your bags are lovely.” I do want to make money on my products and the one thing that has definitely been missing for me is the marketing…I plan on reading and carrying out many of the wonderful pieces of advice you are offering. I do have an Etsy page and since it is a snow day here East…I am going to relist my bags and I may even opt for an Ebay auction. Thanks for the fabulous writing

    • Hi Cori,

      I’m glad you’re liking the craft book – I wrote it 🙂 but it’s “ours” … Interesting story – sounds like a bummer. It is very hard to compete in that type of environment. I wonder if you held a raffle at your booth and gave one of your bags away every two hours – if that would have engaged customers more. That might be worth the cost of doing the experiement (the cost of a few bags being given away)… One of the secrets of selling is getting people to “envision owning your stuff” … I know that sounds metaphysical, but it’s really not. It’s simply about creating desire…

      Regarding auctions – there are lots of articles on this blog about auction strategy – we love it – we are huge fans of using auctions to establish premium prices…more on that in an upcoming post in this series 🙂


      • Will definitely read the blog and also consider the giveaway…I usually only participate in craft shows when it is a true craft show (handmade only), also mostly fall/Christmas shows as that seems when people are buying …I do know many people who could see themselves owning one of my bags. I usually gift many bags over the course of year…the receivers are usually thrilled and carry the bag out of season. On a side note I am a storyteller as well…when I have listed my bags on Etsy there is usually a story to go along with it so when I started to make few AG doll clothes for several friends daughters and happened upon your site/patterns what I loved was the story. I am definitely sticking to the story concept, but perhaps with fewer words…as you can tell by this reply I am a bit wordy…thanks for the advice. Cori

  4. I totally agree with your opinion on sales. I’ve been sewing and selling doll clothes online since 2004. I started with Barbie clothes and while my prices may have been higher than a lot of other sellers, I stuck to my prices and the business came. I was told by customers that my items were much higher quality and nicer than others they had purchased. Now that Barbie sales have pretty much stopped plus the fact that I prefer sewing for AG dolls, I plan to do the same thing with these doll clothes. I see all kinds of cheap and cheaply handmade items all the time but I’m not going to cave and lower my prices, nor will I run a sale. I never ran a sale with the Barbie clothes so I highly doubt I’d resort to that with the AG clothes. I also don’t offer % off since I too believe that people come to expect it. Heck, as a shopper myself I’ve gotten used to that mindset when it comes to things like buying sewing supplies. I am always on the lookout for a coupon code. But with handmade it’s different. I don’t expect that if I buy handmade, only from those big box stores that truly can afford % off or sales. Great articles so far, I am looking forward to the rest of this e-book!

    • Thanks Tari,

      I think you’re right – when people stress the hand-made nature of the work – it generally helps in the selling proces – if done wisely.

  5. Interesting, and great information! I always wondered how some sellers could price things so low and still make profit!

  6. Your information has been great! So far I have not really had to reduced my prices when a customer has ask for a reduction I have stated why my prices are where they at and why. However I’ve only had a few craft shows. So far I’ve at no luck selling on Etsy but I believe that’s because there so many selling AG clothes. I like your idea on a give away though. Thanks

  7. Jason, thanks for the chapters so far and I really look forward to more. You have definitely put a lot of thought and study into this and we are so lucky you are willing to share your expertise.

  8. Once again you are right on Jason. I don’t wish to start any wars. Only I know the time it takes to buy the supplies, construct the items, price them, and photograph them all before I even list them. I also take the time to really look at the quality of my competitors and have learned the value of well thought out designs and beautiful pics to sell my product.
    So far I have read all you marketing books and the info you have given us is so Valuable to build a business. Thank you and I look forward to the next Chapter.

  9. I sell at a senior-craft shop. I didn’t know HOW the other seniors could sell at such low prices (even though they rarely made more than the initial 3 or so items)… I think I know. Thank you..very helpful.

  10. I have used sale items to draw people into my booth at craft fairs. For the most part it has worked to increase my sales. I make sure that there is still a profit built in that item.

  11. I am new to selling online and thought Etsy would be ideal. But as someone stated earlier, there are ALOT of sellers in the AG doll clothing category. Getting noticed is a hurdle for me. I try to price based on quality of fabric, the complexity of the design, etc.; packaging and shipping, plus the fees taken by Etsy and PayPal are also factors. Your chapters have been very thought provoking – thank you for sharing it with us.

  12. I’m loving your book , can’t wait to read the next few chapters!! I totally believe in quality over quantity when it comes to selling what you sew.I also find that getting to know your customers on a first name basis really helps . People will pay for quality , they want to be proud when they pass out those gifts !!!

  13. This is so helpful, put in a straightforward way!
    Promotions sound like a better idea!
    Maybe you’ll answer this later, but in the business where I work we offer a 5 – 10% cash discount to our loyal customers. These are items that sell for R250 – R500+ (I’m in South Africa…LOL…) We do have a pricing structure for dealers and general public on some of these items, so there is some room built in for additional discount for customers. Can one do this? In a way it is a bulk discount, but only applicable in certain cases. Hope it make sense.
    I can now see the danger in this if one does it without control, but in a way we have created 3 tiers of customers.

    • Loyalty programs are tricky. If you give a discount to your most faithful customers (who were going to buy from you with or without the discount) then you’ve taken away a lot of your profit. Loyalty programs that get unloyal people to be loyal (or infrequent buyers to be more frequent) are obviously the goal. It really is worth taking the time to think about the specific program details to ensure you’re making the unloyal loyal, (if that’s possible) rather than giving away profits…

      I hope that helps,


  14. Great information and advice. It definitely makes me feel more comfortable about pricing according to the amount of work plus materials. I guess it’s all about having the faith in what you do and how you do it.
    Thanks…looking forward to the next installment

    • Thanks Marly,

      I think you’re right – a lot of this is about your inner confidence and courage to believe in the value of your work…then translating that into the images, words, and branding that convey that confidence.


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