Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Question and answer

Second-generation koeksisters, photo just because I really like the tea towel!

A question for international sellers (and buyers): do you price your products in your local currency and then convert to dollars? Or do you try to price in dollars? Are your prices for local buyers different from your Etsy prices?

I've been pricing in SA Rands and then converting to US dollars (and adjusting the prices if there are large fluctuations in the exchange rate). It seemed to be the simplest and most honest way to do things, but it appears that I'm undercutting people who price in dollars... What would be fair to everybody, to customers and to other sellers?

I suppose what I'm really asking is: should I have the same prices for local and international buyers?

An answer to the koeksister queries: last week's koeksister photo was a bit misleading. They looked good, but didn't taste so wonderful. Dry and bready on the inside. We tried again, and got it right! Here's how: it helps to have all or most of the dough rolled, cut and plaited before you start frying. Waiting for the next batch can let the oil get too hot. They should fry quite slowly - you should have to turn them in the oil a few times to get them golden brown all over. Only do a few at a time, so that the cooked ones can sit in the syrup for a good long while. Immerse them in the syrup, and keep them under. "Drown them like a witch" explains it best.

12 comments:

Carina said...

I think you should price it according to what you think it is worth (materials, time, 'originality' etc). However, if you find that your prices are 'significantly' lower than other sellers, I think you should raise your price a little bit. But not to a level where you feel like people don't want to pay for it or you feel uncomfortable about the price (if that makes sense).

All this pricing stuff is the thing that makes my head spin the most...

Yardwork said...

Your prices are extremely reasonable - I'll put it that way! I think about 96% of the prices on etsy are too low by USA standards. My prices are "high" and yet, if anyone actually bought anything, I would still not have my time, materials or creativity covered in relation to price-of-living. But I guess that is my problem - things are expensive where I live. My feeling is that handmade should be MORE expensive than machine made - but I'm not sure other people are seeing it that way.

Colleen said...

I think your tea towel is lovely too!
I also battle with the pricing but it seems to me that if people really want the products they are willing to pay. I find the shipping price more of a problem

painted fish studio said...

you must price your items to receive what you think they are worth! frankly, your prices in dollars seem a little low to me. :)

Heather Moore said...

I try to absorb shipping costs into the item price as much as possible, so that both the item price and the shipping costs are on a par with other things in the same market. This means I don't undercut other sellers doing the same thing as me, and customers aren't frightened off by intercontinental shipping costs. Hope that makes some sense.

mizu designs said...

A good friend (who grew up with parents who sold pottery at markets) once told me that only you can truly know what price to put on your work and it HAS to be one you're happy with. It is hard with the US dollar being so much stronger than other currencies (like our poor Aus $). I offer to give local customers a special price (ie. non US$) if they contact me.

Sherrin said...

Jesse, I'd say that your prices are too low as well. I mean, your badges are $4 (?), and yet they are hand embroidered!! I'd be putting a lot more on them. I'd say at least double what you are asking. Your zip pouches are super cheap, too. I'd double the price on those as well. You could ask local buyers to convo you for a price in local currency?

Pricing is sooooo hard!! the worst bit! But please don't undersell yourself! Your stuff rocks!! :o)

xo

Jesse said...

Thanks for all these comments! I'm really trying to avoid offering 2 different prices for local and international buyers (and after spending a bit of time on Etsy forums last night, I gathered that that kind of thing can make you really unpopular there...) A good suggestion someone came up with was to offer free shipping for local buyers - I think that will work for me. The equivalent of the local shipping could be built into the item price, raising it to a similar price as US-made items.

(Yardwork: I don't think your prices are "high". The amount of work in your pieces is incredible, and you explain that clearly.)

firstfallen said...

The second batch was definitely better, but still soggy the next day. Solution: eat them all at once!

I've copyrighted "drown them like a witch", btw. You have to pay me royalties every time you use it. I take payment in cat-feeding, parma ham and dog-fondling (if he'll let me) :).

Next time: hertzoggies!!

Anairam said...

Interesting question! As a local fan of yours, I would be sad to have to pay a dollar price as the exchange rate is so bad, and as it is I find too many Etsy items beautiful to look at but completely out of my reach. I am probably not a good average customer to go by though - I am living on my savings and some freelance work, so counting the pennies is unfortunately something I have to do. I do not think you can be accused of undercutting other sellers, I think that the whole handmade/etsy scene works on a different basis, i.e., one doesn't go trawling for the cheapest tea towel or bag, but you buy what you are really drawn to, what you really find beautiful. So even though your tea towels, for example, may be cheaper than some other sellers', that would not really influence a buyer, unless he loves your tea towel and somebody else's absolutely equally. One doesn't want to go to the other extreme, which is that sellers agree together on some 'standard' price for an item, which could be seen by customers as a kind of price fixing. Well, it is certainly a difficult issue - I hope you find some middle way that keeps everybody happy, but above all, you must feel happy!

Sarah said...

Hi Jesse, a though one I'd say. From a South African's point of view, I agree with Anairam, I don't think many South Africans would be comfortable paying dollar prices. And if you post your goods through the post office this cost is so low that it doesn't really seem to be a benefit to receive free shipping.

I don't see how what you charge fellow South Africans, with a poor exchange rate, affects other sellers?

jules said...

I agree that in dollars, your prices are on the low side. I feel for you with the exchange rates, not an easy situation. I also have to agree with Yardwork about general pricing on etsy, it seems that most people are selling things at a wholesale instead of retail prices.