Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Necessary Evil

Back on April 17th I posted about how I'd realized that I need to do a price increase.

I finally drove myself to work on that this week. Yeah, "denial" is not just a river in Egypt.

Tuesday I brought the new pouches out to the living room to work on getting them into inventory, which meant I needed to figure out how much they cost to make, so I could set prices on them. That led to me finally starting to figure the new costs for other things. I considered putting it off another week, but there's likely to be a fair number of people at both SCA events this month, and it could lead to awkward questions if people noticed the price increases between this weekend and next.

I was originally thinking that I could figure new costs for some items and come up with a percent increase to apply to everything. My one previous price increase was a blanket 10% to everything.

Not so much. I ended up cloning my cost computation spreadsheet and plugging the new leather/lace/hardware costs in for almost everything (the exceptions are typically one-offs and retired things), then plugging the resulting new costs into another spreadsheet, along with the old price and various number-crunchings.

Some of the newer items, like the "hanging" pouches and steampunk-ish items, aren't going up at all, or very little. The same is mostly true for some of the more labor-intensive things, because I was already charging more than X times materials to account for the difficulty of making them, so the bump in material cost made less difference in their prices.

I've decided to leave most belts where they are for now. Belt sales have been low lately, and I'm kind of afraid of raising prices. I think we're better off getting more (hopefully) sales at a bit lower profit margin. Also, raising prices on belts is simpler than for pouches, since I don't tag belts - I just have to update the price list appropriately.

Pouches are going up anywhere from 10 to 30 percent, which sounds alarming but translates to $2.50-$7.50 for most belt pouches. My least expensive basic pouches will be going up from $17.50 to $20.

Where the numbers really get ugly are in bracers (armguards, fancy very wide cuffs), and some of the book covers - in some cases over 60%. I think in part I'd initially under-priced bracers, and now I'm correcting. We'd been waffling about making more bracers, this is probably going to make us waffle some more.

There's a couple pouch styles I've stopped making, so they'll go on "sale" by virtue of not having their prices increased. Trying to think how to present this other than pretend-raising prices in order to "lower" them back to the original prices.

So, once we get set up Saturday morning, Ron, Xap, and I will be busy making new tags and putting them on pouches and other merchandise. Shop early before prices officially (ie: new tag goes on) go up!

Oh carp. I just realized that this means I need to also go in and adjust almost all the prices on Etsy, ArtFire, and our website...

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