Raising Your Prices = Scary?

Afraid to raise your prices? Yeah, well I have some thoughts on that too.

When it comes to fear, the only thing it is ever going to do for your business is hold you back from living your dreams. We must be stronger than our fears if we are going to make a living doing what we love.

argh by s h a r ithis is what I think of pricing (I’m just like you)

I’ll be totally honest. I am not immune to these fears. I have under-priced much of my work for a long time too. After a long hard look at my own true cost of materials, time and overhead, I raised my prices in one of my shops by almost 20% in one day. No announcement. No excuses. No explanation.

Was I scared? Yep. I was at first. I wondered if my sales would cease to exist. I wondered if I should have said something first. I worried that maybe I was just fooling myself into thinking that I knew what I was doing. Blah Blah Blah. Fear sucks and then you have to get over it by just DOING it. (sorry, but Nike has a point there.)

I got over it by counteracting my fear with a large dose of REALITY: I realized that if anyone was truly waiting to buy my work then they would just have to pay a little more for it. They could also choose to email me begging for a discount explaining that they were saving their pennies for two years just to buy one of my pieces – and I’d probably give it to them if they asked nicely enough. But you know what? I sold something two days later with no problem or mention of my prices at all.

That proved to me that any imagined problems that I thought I was going to cause by raising my prices were just that: Make Believe!

You see, what I have learned and now know for sure:
The true value of my work is not only based in the time and materials I use. I also offer very high-quality handmade products with really great customer service. I always make sure to offer lots of communication during the process to let them know how much care goes into every single order. I work hard for my customers and they reward me by ordering their stuff from me — even though similar products are easily found on the same site for 1/2 the price!

Still not convinced?
Consider this: Just WHO are the throngs of “customers” that you *think* you are sparing by keeping your prices too low? Are they really buying dozens of items every week because you are underpricing your work? Are they emailing you all the time telling you how thankful they are that they can afford your work and please don’t ever raise your prices? Where are they when you really need to make a sale? Do they come out of the woodwork when you need them to or are you still struggling to figure out how to *reach* them?

If you’re going to be afraid of raising your prices, then please do yourself a favor and do NOT blame your imaginary customers for holding you back. They are not the problem. Figure out what your true fears are and counteract them with the harsh reality of the situation: You need to make a living at this and you must do whatever what it takes to get yourself there. (The “whatever it takes” generally equals Confidence in your work, by the way)

Oh, and IF by some strange coincidence those “customers” are real, then look at it this way — You wouldn’t want them for customers anyway, right? I mean, seriously – who wants to sell to a bunch of selfish, greedy people who don’t value you or your work ?

Not me.

(note: Due to excessive spam on this post, I’ve disabled comments. Feel free to contact me if you have something to share 🙂


  1. “No announcement. No excuses. No explanation.”…you said it perfectly!

    If you don’t value your talent & time, no one else will.

    Comment by Cory — June 29, 2010 @ 12:28 am

  2. really – “No announcement. No excuses. No explanation.” ? What about for established wholesale accounts? Should they be warned, and if so do you offer the excuse why the 20% increase?

    Comment by Heidi — June 29, 2010 @ 6:35 am

  3. If you have to raise your prices to make a profit, then all you need to tell your wholesale accounts is that you will have new pricing as of __ date – No “excuses” necessary. That’s more of a courtesy than a requirement though. (Keep in mind that my 20% increase was for *retail* my wholesale only raised by 10%.) If you were drastically underpricing your work, then some accounts may be put off by the increase, but the bottom line is that you must be proftiable on order to make a living.

    Comment by admin — June 29, 2010 @ 11:36 am

  4. DO IT!

    Comment by Carrie — June 29, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  5. ok – stop making excuses, got it – focus on being profitable!

    Comment by Heidi — June 29, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  6. Ok, ok, I hear you. The big monster of fear is sitting right next to me on the couch grinding his teeth and sharpening his claws, but I’ll try the experiment. It’s really my cards that are underpriced on the web, so, here goes!

    (gulp) LEAP!

    Comment by Syd Palmer — July 1, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  7. last few days our class held a similar discussion about this topic and you point out something we haven’t covered yet, thanks.

    – Laura

    Comment by Web Forms — October 5, 2010 @ 5:14 am

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