Let’s face it… you are in business
to make money. Pricing your product or
job properly is key. It is finding the
right balance where the customer will buy and you will make money. We get many calls from people who are
starting various businesses or expanding existing businesses that want to
incorporate rhinestones, jewels, nailheads and trim. Of course, Swarovski or Preciosa rhinestones
are first on their mind... but does it make business sense? Well, it depends on the answer to the
question: can you make money using a particular stone?
If you are in one-of-a-kind,
custom, made-to-order business, use whatever rhinestones and jewels you or your
customer want. Work with your customer’s
budget. Look at the price you need to
charge them so you can make money and work from there. If they want Swarovski crystals, but their
budget does not allow for you make money on-the-job, you need to find ways to
reduce the price. You can do it by
either less elaborate work and or fewer stones or explain to them that you can
create a fantastic sparkle with less expensive stones and achieve great
If you are in a general “mass”
production business your pricing is a bit trickier. Regardless, you need to price your product (s)
correctly so you can make money.
So here we go…
A REBA™ rhinestone loaded shirt at
a department store costs somewhere around $60 - $80. The shirts' design has hundreds of small
rhinestones or nailheads. The design is
created with hotfix stones or hotfix nailheads that are inexpensive. To have the same design with a Swarovski or
Preciosa crystals will bring price of the shirts to the high hundreds and not
many would buy them. But the shirts are
selling and selling well.
Why are they selling? They are selling because the design is attractive and the shirts sparkle. The company created an elaborate design at a
price that leaves them with profits. You
can do the same by using, for example, RG Premium crystals. These rhinestones' grade is way above the
department store ones. Using them will
elevate your design giving it a high-end look and will allow you to make
money. If you glue, our Bright Choice
rhinestones will get you super sparkly.
When you mass-produce, you need to
answer the question: Are they buying my
product because it sparkles or because it is Swarovski? Most people buy everyday items because they
sparkle. Many WANT Swarovski because
they know the name, BUT, they are NOT willing to pay the price.
You need to consider the buyer, the
venue, purpose or use of the item. An
Example: A jeans jacket will be kept for
a longtime. So the jacket would tolerate
a higher price and higher priced stones.
A person will keep the jacket longer than an everyday T-shirt.
Research is your key to success. You need to evaluate:
At what prices will your product sell well?
What people are willing to spend on that
particular item? If you have a shop on Rodeo Drive, California, the customers
will expect to pay a whole lot more than the folks at your local fair, or on
What are your competitors charging for similar
And, if at this magic price, will your business
make any money.
How to arrive at a price
This is not an estimate it needs to be as precise as possible. You need to know what does it costs you to make the item and how long it would take you to make it. We will explain through an example. Please note: This is an illustration only and none of the costs / prices are real.
Our Business: Embellished Bandannas.
How much the fabric for each bandana costs? If you make them yourself, silk screen them
or tie-dye them yourself - what does that cost to make one? If you buy them already made, how much is
your landed cost? For our example, we
assume you buy the pre-made kind and decorate them.
Landed cost is the price you pay for the goods
plus the shipping. If you bought 100
bandannas for $80 and paid $20 for shipping.
The landed cost is $100 divided by 100, or $1.00 each.
How many stones will you put on one bandanna, and
what it the landed cost?
If you are going to put 50 stones on each, and
each stone landed cost is $0.10 your cost for those crystals is $5.00. ($0.10 x
Packaging cost of the finished item, as an
example, a cellophane bag with a business card.
We will assume the packaging is $.50.
Even if you are the only person making the bandannas, you need to consider if you had to pay someone to do this, what would it be for each bandanna? You, or your employee, need a paycheck. You are not working for free. You need to consider the time it takes to make the bandanna and your pay rate. Simplified: If you make 5 bandannas an hour and your hourly rate is $20/hour, each bandanna will have a $4.00 labor cost.
So far we have the cost to make our bandana:
· Materials: $6.00 in materials (bandanna and
· Labor: $4.00 in labor ;
· Packaging $0.50;
· Overhead and marketing expense (web fees, advertising
…) need to be calculated and added on a per item basis. For discussion purposes let say those are $1.00
We started this project with 50 stones costing $5.00 a bandanna. If you change the stones to rhinestones that cost only $0.50 per 50 stones, you just saved $4.50 and now the bandanna's cost is: $1.50 in materials, $4.00 in labor, packaging $0.50 plus overhead $1.00. Your bandanna costs: $7.00, you can now compete better. A $10.00 sales price gives you around 40% profit.
Example: 100 Hot Fix stones, SS16 crystal, current cost:
· Swarovski $4.30;
· Preciosa $2.50; &
· RG Premium $1.70.
You can reduce cost of materials by investing in inventory. Buy in bulk so the cost for each piece will go down. Buying 10 bandannas may cost $2.50 each; where buying 50 bandannas may cost $1.20 each.
The same would apply to crystals. You can reduce the cost per stone by stocking. The price difference between buying rhinestones in small quantities instead in volume (bulk) starts at 15 to 20%. It is more substantial when you buy in large quantities.
Added benefit, besides the better price for each item, you have stock to meet immediate demands.
Remember to have fun, and Sparkle Up with Style