How to price your Quilt for Sale in a Craft Market
In this third chapter from our series, we are going to discuss how you set the price on your quilt you are selling. In this situation we are assuming that you are selling in an environment similar to a craft market or at a sales table at a quilt show.
I started out selling my quilts in a local craft market, every Saturday for about 2 years! It was an excellent learning experience, in running a small business and I also made some wonderful friends.
I will work this out on a cot quilt as an example. I found from experience that these quilts were the easiest to sell to the general public.
Note that all these figures are in NZ$ and the NZ minimum wage is $14.75 before tax.
Cost of Materials.
These will include the fabric, batting and an allowance for threads. Example: 2m of fabric @$27 pm, polyester batting $5, and a thread allowance of $1. Total approx. costs $60
The best way to do this in practice, is when you buy fabric, pin a note to the piece saying how much you paid for it. And also run a diary for each quilt you make, so you have a good record. This is even more useful if a quilt takes a few months.
Cost of Quilting.
If you pay someone to quilt for you, this is an easy figure to find.
If you quilt yourself, keep track of how long it took you to quilt it. Don’t try and hide the time here (that’s normal!), but you want a realistic figure. Lets assume 2 hours to do some simple quilting on your domestic machine, at minimum wage: 2 * $14.75 = $29.50. Remember you should include the pinning time, setting up your sewing machine etc. Make a note of when you start and finish.
Cost of your time.
Use the diary mentioned above, to keep track of your time. This time will include the piercing and finishing the quilt. If you are starting with a panel, then adding a border, this would only take 1 hour to pierce, then another hour to add the binding after quilting, then a couple of hours to hand stitch the binding. 4 * $14.75 = $59.
How realistic is this?
Your cot quilt is going to cost you $60+$29.50+$59 = $148.50 to make in real terms.
But in real life, if you sell in a Craft market situation, you would only be able to see a cot quilt like this for approx. $80! Remember that your customer is generally comparing your cot quilt to an imported one in a shop for $45 to $60.
So, you still want to continue with this idea?
You need to do several things to get your costs down to a maximum of $40.
The first is to reduce the cost of your materials. By following the sales, looking for ends of rolls etc, you should be able to reduce your costs to 1/3rd, i.e. down to $20.
The second is to reduce your hourly rate, and accept that you are doing this for fun, NOT to make a living! And don’t include your time for hand stitching the binding, do this in front of TV. We are now down to 4 hours @ $5 per hour!
Or you have two other options:
Give your quilts away and do this just for love (which is now where I am at)
Or – make absolutely beautiful, totally unique, quilts and sell them for what they are really worth! However, that’s in my next blog …….