I recognize that this is not a technical subject of carving, but I wanted to share my thoughts on this given that many of you are starting to contemplate selling your work this holiday season. If you want to hear more of my thoughts, I have talked this over several times on my podcast Emmet Audio, which you can find wherever you listen to podcasts.
The most common situation I see of people selling is them overcharging. This is because we are naturally attached to our work, or we are basing our price on the time it took us, or we are basing our price on what we see our peers charging. All three of these are the wrong way to go about it.
Your price needs to be calibrated on the perceived value of your CUSTOMERS. They don't know what someone else is charging in the scene. They don't know or care how long it took you, nor how valuable you think it is. They DO have a gut sense of what such an object is worth to them. And unless your price lines up with that, they won't buy.
If you have more demand than you can handle, that is fine. But if you have more spoons than demand, then one way you can sell more is to lower your price. This has a lot of strategic advantages, namely being that it pushes you to carve more, and thus you get better, and the perceived value of your work increases, and then you can charge more. But you can't put the cart before the horse, or the whole thing just sits there.
I understand that if you have already done an event or two with higher prices and you then show up and sell for less, it can feel like giving up or like you shafted the few customers who bought at the higher price. Get over it. Price MUST be fluid, because it is how you learn.
There is more to say here than I have time to write, but if you are still balking, ask yourself this: which would you rather have, all your spoons sold at the end of the season and $500 or almost none and $150? I know what I'd take, every time.
Work for it.
My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.