As a member of the Artisan Craft community here at DeviantART, I looove to browse around the AC galleries and see what other deviants are up to, what things are trending, and look for up and coming artists to feature in the future. But sadly there's one trend I've been noticing that is very, very bad. Undercharging your work!
Let's start off with the most important thing. Now I know some cheap buyers love these low prices, but let's be honest cheap buyers-- you're not long term supporters. People who want your work for super cheap are people who will haggle or snag a deal and run. There is nothing wrong with having sales, getting rid of old charms for cheap, or even doing discounts for special occasions but you can't cater to the cheapskates! xD You want people who appreciate handmade items for what they are. And that's a unique, quality piece.
If someone wants to buy all your hard work for just $5, perhaps you could redirect them to Forever21 to get some mass produced jewelry if they can't appreciate handmade.
Pricing your work can be incredibly hard, so I completely understand the hesitation in raising prices. But there's things you need to consider when making prices:
►How long did this take you to make? (only count time spent actively working. if you take a break, that doesn't count. xD )
►Are you including labor costs in your price? (don't work for free! your time is worth money!)
►Are you including material costs in your price?
►Are you including the cost of potential fees (paypal fees, etsy fees, etc) in your price?
►Are you including the cost of the time it took to arrange photos, edit them, upload them, etc? This is part of the process too! A small one, but it is still time consuming.
If you spent four hours on something and charge only $3 for it, you're crazy! Even if you're just a hobbyist, your time is worth money. Try considering paying yourself "minimum wage" for by the hour work. Say minimum wage is $8 per hour. If something takes you 30 minutes to make, charge $4 for labor. If something takes you 15 minutes, $2 labor. Think like that!
It really breaks my heart to see quality work by artisans go for mere pennies. I know the costs of polymer clay and jewelry supplies, and I have a general idea about how long it would take to make most items and underpricing is running rampant here and all over Etsy.
It's also worth mentioning, if you think "low prices will entice buyers!" then I hate to break it to you, but that thought is largely incorrect.
People equate cheap prices with cheap quality quite often. Now this doesn't mean overpricing to look "the most elite" is okay, but if it comes down to buying an item for $3 VS $13, you're going to assume the one worth $13 is much better quality. The last thing you want is people thinking your cheap prices reflect cheap workmanship.
You should take constant feedback for your prices, ask people often how they think your prices are. You may need to even adjust your prices throughout the year by small amounts. Be flexible with your prices, but don't be trampoline bouncy!
Also be careful with the discounts you give. I would say never go over 15% discount unless offering some sort of extra special promotion. This discount comes out of your labor cost you added in, leaving you plenty of room to pay for supplies! I say 10% is a good standard coupon amount. I offer 10% promotional coupons online, and my business cards (for repeat buyers) all come with a 15% off coupon. I've seen people promote 40-60% off coupons on Etsy-- which is just crazy talk! You might as well just give everything out for free at that rate. xD
So in general, just remember to have confidence in your items and price them properly with many elements considered! Super cheap sales are nice, but they don't pay the bills.