Universal Pricing

Sounds like an odd title for an article but I have in my mind a short piece on wisdom for pricing your handcrafted products and art. Last FALL i finished a marathon 5 days of shows which were lovely. I met a lot of very talented artists and creative people who are working hard to bring beauty to their own life and to the lives of others. So, it was a blessing.

But I heard one vendor say to another that she was reducing her prices of her merchandise because she is selling the items herself, rather than a gallery doing the sales. She explained that she is reducing the price of her items by the 30% that would have been the share for the gallery when they sold her items. My hackles were up. Why should i feel upset with this decision? It didn;t involve me, or my business practices directly. But it has an economic ripple to my business even if she does not realize. I would have also bristled at a vendor mentioning they raise prices in certain markets because the market will bear it. Economic ripples!!! Here is the economic theory behind my thoughts:

Price should be the price whereever you buy the product. We sell soap at $5 a bar. Yes, that is the price when you visit us in our tent at a festival, or step up to our table at a show, or walk into one of the galleries where our items are. You, the consumer, know that my price is my price wherever my merchandise is found, and you can bank on that price being consistent. Now the profit we receive is different depending on where you buy our products, but that is a seamless business function on our end of the business. The opportunity is available to survey the clientel and adjust the price dependent upon the situation – but that is wrong. It is taking advantage of people. It takes advantage of those who have more to spend.

When we have thought through our business plan a mentor explained the virtue of universal pricing, and how this adds integrity to the business.

The practice of keeping the price as the price can sometimes seem like it is a bad decision, but in the long run we are rewarded with reliable, repeat customers, and we retain a healthy and clear conscience.

Universal pricing …it is a best practice.