Do you charge for time?

I almost had a full blown argument with a girl at my knitting group over this: Do you charge for the time you put into making an item?
I don't sell my items but I'm of the opinion that as long as you cover the price of your materials and some of your time thats fine. Items should be reasonably priced. The argument was that if you don't charge for ALL your time it undervalues the item.
I was wondering what people on here thought?

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22 replies since 23rd May 2012 • Last reply 23rd May 2012

I just saw your little booties you make! those are so cute! I know you don't sell, but you should! i would love a pair! Happy

But as far as the question, I think charging for a bit of your time is understandable, but if you were to charge for all of it, man that would be a lot!
I like to keep my items affordable, because I know what it is like to see something so cool but it is over priced and I didn't get it. So I like to make my items available to a wide variety of price ranges that people can afford, whether they are adults with good jobs, or teenagers on an allowance. Happy

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I think it depends on the difficulty of the project. Like if someone wants me to make a something like a pair or earrings for them, and I have all the supplies on hand. So I can just whip them up really quick, then I wouldn't charge for my time. But recently I did a custom order for someone, and I had to drive all over the place trying to find they specific color she wanted (she kept saying, no thats too dark/ no thats too light Argh) and then I had to special order other things online that she wanted... Anyway I charged here for 100% of my time. Because it took a lot of my time.

On a different note, I also charge for shipping supplies to me, since I'm on a island without a lot of consistency on what kind of supplies I have. So if they say they have to have a small link, sterling silver bracelet with a toggle clasp (something really specific) Then I find it online where I can buy it, and let them know the price it will cost them(cost + shipping)

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I'm with Pam... I think it depends on the situation if you charge for all the time you spent on the project or not. It's so different when you make something with the materials you already have or are easy to find, than when you have to specially go out to but the specific supplies you need.

I had a friend that made jewelry that always told me I should estimate a "price" for every hour I spent making whatever I was going to sell... and to that, add the cost of supplies... but the price of everything ended up being so high!! No one was going to buy anything from me at that price, so I decided it was a very bad idea...

so... I think you should consider the time spent making something on the final price, but you can't include ALL your time >.<

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When I make soaps, I typically don't really charge for time. I just charge per bar what I'd need to cover materials and then make a little bit of profit. Soapmaking is mostly waiting, and I don't think I should be charging for 24 hours of waiting!

When I make jewelry, though, I price stuff more according to time, especially if I made something using expensive or delicate materials. If something takes me two and a half hours to make, I'm going to charge a bit for the time. If something only takes a few minutes, I'll just charge twice what the materials cost. Like a small Chan Luu bracelet, I'll usually charge $25 since I use expensive beads and suede and it takes me an hour to make. For a stretch bracelet though, if the materials were 3 or 4 dollars, I'll charge 8-10.

For me it depends on 3 things: Skill needed, material cost, time put into it.

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Thanks everyone for replying. I think if I ever did decide to sell, I'd stay away from crochet items (unless its small corsages or bracelets) and stick to jewellry or smallish sewed items. The time that goes into crochet and knitting and the high price of wool, I think just makes it unaffordable to sell, unless you charge an arm and a leg for it.

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There are some very nice cotton yarns that are relatively inexpensive. I wish I could crochet well enough to make washcloths and soap savers!

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once you get some practice with crochet, it's really quick to make things!!

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I take time into consideration when pricing items. For example, a chainmaille necklace or bracelet is really cheap to make, but I can't sell it for as little as $0.60 (which is how much it would be with my regular mark-up without time in consideration), as it takes about 3 hours to make a chainmaille bracelet.

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@rawr.rawr How do you work out how much to charge for your time? It was suggested at knitting group that you would pay yourself minimum wage, which in the UK is about £3.80. Therefore, that would add £11.40. Do you think that is about right or too much?

@Monika Maybe we can swap sometime? I'll make you some crochet bits & bobs, you can send me some soap?

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It depends on what the average price of things similar to mine are. I still have very affordable prices. I try to keep them lower than shops because it's better quality for less.

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Yeah I try and pay myself 1/2 minimum wage per hour, just because I'm not really trying hard to make tons of money, I just want people to buy the stuff I create so I can buy more stash and supplies to keep creating, lol Happy

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Libby, it depends on your age for minimum wage - over 21 is £6.08.

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Its been a couple of years since I've been on minimum so I'm probably out of date on the going rate. But £6.08 makes it even higher. Whichever way you look at it, hand-crafted items are expensive, unless the seller lowers the price a little?

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yeah minumum wage is higher now Happy
I'd say if i was constantly working on an item like knitting i would charge for more then waiting stuff like soap, food. like pam said, if it can be whipped up in just minutes, no charge. however if its for my bracelets i dont charge time as i make them when im doing other stuff like watching tv, waiting for things.
if you are knitting as a business full time, charge for time, if a hobby, is it worth it?
however, think if you (or anyone who doesnt have pockets full of millions of money to spend on anything) would want to spend the final amount on it. for example, this "One-of-a-kind Crocheted Cotton Hexagon Blanket" http://www.etsy.com/listing/57094501/one-of-a-kind-crocheted-cotton-hexagon?ref=hp_tt_yt $2,985.00 / Approximately £1,958.15.
this knitted bra http://www.etsy.com/listing/87867484/virgin-wearable-art-bra-knitted-beaded?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_search_query=knitted&ga_order=price_desc&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_page=0&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmadeknitted $30,000.00 CAD Approximately £19,131.43
this hat, which to me doesnt seem like much considering the $10,000 price tag (£6,559.96) http://www.etsy.com/listing/64122780/brain-blanket-storm-cell-reserved-not?ref=sr_gallery_9&ga_search_query=knitted&ga_order=price_desc&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_page=0&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmadeknitted
yes i did do an etsy search for "knitted" and selected some of the highest prices, seriously ouch for some of them!
ps this one is awesome: http://www.etsy.com/listing/91053128/knit-motorcycle-cozy-sculpture-by?ref=sr_gallery_6&ga_search_query=knitted&ga_order=price_desc&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_page=0&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmadeknitted

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