How to Price Your Antiques and Handmade Items on Etsy: A Seller’s Guide

I’ve opened my shop on Etsy, and I’m ready to go! But wait… how do I put a dollar figure on my items to ensure I don’t price myself out of the market? Is there a pricing strategy I can use that works for my shop?

Learning to price your Etsy shop items in critical to your online success. Whether you use one of our recommended top 5 online pricing apps or using various pricing tactics available to sellers, we cover it all here for you. Read on to calculate your pricing for maximum Etsy sales. READ ON….

We’re doing it. We’re talking pricing! It can be a sore subject for many Etsy sellers, but I guarantee that after our chat here, you’ll conquer this formidable dilemma and turn a healthy profit.

Your time is precious, so I won’t waste it! Let’s jump right into the best apps that decrease your workload by automatically pricing your antique or handmade goods.

Decrease Your Workload: The Top 5 Antique and Handmade Pricing Apps for Etsy Sellers

#1 WorthPoint

WorthPoint is the leading app for pricing antiques to sell and buy. The database has over 300 million sales records from eBay, auction houses, Etsy, and other marketplaces for you to peruse and find the perfect pricing guideline.

I’ve been using it to price my shop items every single day. In just a few taps, I can find the item I’m looking to sell and a bunch of sold prices. Then, all I have to do is decide where I want to fit my item in that price range. And that’s it!

My favorite part of this is app is it allows you to see the TRUE sold records of your searched item. No more price guessing. With just a few quick clicks, WorthPoint will show you sold prices of your item going back several years. Wait… you can get the actual market value of your item in real time? YES! Sign me up!

#2 Marmalead

Marmalead is the only SEO sidekick you and your Etsy shop will ever need — but it’s also excellent at working out prices for your handmade crafts. So if you’re searching for an app that takes the guesswork out of pricing, you’ve found it.

There are two primary ways to do this:

  • Price Breakpoints — With this feature, you can quickly judge whether your listing will be deemed a “bargain,” “average,” or “premium” price based on a keyword.
  • See Sold — By searching previously sold items on Etsy, you can see their price at the time of the sale. Looking at products similar to yours will help you gauge your price point.

#3 eRank

This app was made specifically for Etsy sellers, and it’s one of the most popular SEO tools for the site to date. 

My favorite feature of eRank is the side-by-side comparison of your shop against others in the same category. With just a few glances, you can see how your shop measures up against your competition. Thus, tracking the effectiveness of your prices.

#4 Craft Pricing Calculator

I absolutely adore the first three apps. But I completely understand they might be too much for some of you.

So, if you don’t fancy having access to the in-depth analytics, try the Craft Pricing Calculator. It does what it says on the tin — and I love it for it!

Using it is amazingly simple. You just need to enter:

  • The material cost
  • How many items you made
  • How long it took you to make them

After that, the app will show you how much each product cost to make and the price you need to charge to make a profit.

The best part is that it allows you to manipulate the hourly rate to your liking. Not to mention it supports multiple currencies!

#5 Kovels

Here’s another one for my fellow antique sellers. Kovels is a web-based collection of antique pricing. It has been open since 1958 and has over 1,000,000 actual prices.

Oh, and it doesn’t specialize. That’s right! It lists antiques in seemingly limitless categories, and I just can’t get enough of it.

If you’re new to the antique selling game, I recommend checking out the chat board. You can discuss your items and ask questions with reputable dealers, gaining valuable insight as you go.

The DIY Approach: How to Price Antiques for Etsy Sellers

The DIY approach to pricing antiques is for those of you who want to stick to the old-school method. However, I recommend using an app and my tips below to benefit from the best of both worlds.

#1 Don’t Over-Research

When it comes to antique dealing, the age-old supply and demand pricing method (i.e., high supply + weak demand = low prices and low supply + high demand = high prices) just doesn’t work.

This formula oversimplifies the entire pricing theology, psychology, ecology, and everything in between. Moreover, it disregards all (pretty much) originality and the many factors involved in a purchase decision.

So, my advice to you would be to not over research your prices. Antiques in the same category vary in worth depending on their condition, rarity, age, and more. Don’t place too much regard on how other dealers price similar items. Your prices need to reflect your brand, not the entire antique marketplace as a whole.

#2 Sell the Value

You might be thinking, “isn’t value the same as price?” And to that, I would usually agree. But not this time.

In this case, price is the amount of money you want to get for a piece. Value, on the other hand, is intangible. It’s the significance somebody (preferably a customer willing to pay!) places on the item. Put simply, how much the customer thinks it’s worth to them.

To sell the value, you should consider how much your best customer would pay. Once you know that figure, you know what to charge.

#3 Understand Your Market Place

Most Etsy sellers forget how much location matters (myself included at times). Truthfully, this likely applies to all online selling environments. When you’re not face-to-face with your customer, it’s harder to consider their attitude toward your store.

There are plenty of antique sales channels — retail stores, auctions, estate sales, thrift stores, Etsy shops — but you can’t expect the same monetary results from each of them. All my examples attract a different group of people with varying quality and price ideals.

To do well selling antiques on Etsy, you need to match your pricing model to your consumer’s expectations. 

#4 Keep Profit in Mind

Until now, you’ve probably been using a keystone approach (i.e., 2 x cost or 3 x cost). Or perhaps you’ve just been pricing away with no rhyme or reason (I’ve been there, don’t worry).

Either way, you’re not allowing for changes in costs or expenses. You might turn a staggering profit one year using the 3 x cost formula. But as soon as your overheads rise the next, you may experience a 50% profit decrease.

Consistently consider whether your prices allow for boosted expenses while keeping a healthy profit.

#5 Use Pricing Tactics But Don’t Stick to One

Great news: you don’t have to use the same pricing formula for everything! Bad news: there isn’t a formula for mixing it up. It’s a case of trial and error.

We’ve talked about a couple of formulas already (keystone and psychological). But here are a few more for you to experiment with:

  • Loss-Leader — Selling a few items for less than they cost you. This happens a lot in grocery stores. Lower-priced items bring people through the door, and the higher-priced items sell more frequently because of it.
  • Markdown — Place a few categories or individual pieces on sale.
  • Benchmark — Price in line with your competitors.
  • Charm Pricing — End your price in the number 7, 8, or 9. Research proves these figures are effective.

#6 Know What Sells

Which items fly your (digital) shelves? Which don’t? Answering these two simple questions allows you to experiment with some price ranges for certain products to see how it goes.

Keep in mind that trends constantly change — yes, even in the antique world! Sometimes, people just aren’t looking for beaded Japanese purses. But they might be looking for grandfather clocks.

You might not be able to adapt the trend; you can adjust your prices

#7 Find Your Specialism

As an antique seller, it can be tempting to sell anything and everything. Honestly, I still feel this way most of the time! But I encourage you (for what it’s worth) to specialize in a few categories, if only for efficiency.

Start with a product type you already know a lot about — and start learning more. Once you’re proficient in this area, begin expanding. As time goes on, you’ll find pricing a breeze since you’ll get to know the brands, dates, and rarity.

The DIY Approach: How to Price Handmade Items for Etsy Sellers (and Make a Profit!)

Okay, now let’s go through my tips and tricks for pricing handmade items so you can finally turn the profit you deserve.

#1 Calculate Your Materials, Overheads, and Time

Before going any further, it’s time to put your math head on. Yep, I’m not the biggest fan of it either, but accuracy is essential here.

When adding up your materials, don’t forget all the small things like buttons, knitting needles, paper, glue, and anything else you use. 

As for overheads, include all the Etsy fees and even running costs for things like kilns or microwaves if you use them to create your products.

For time, decide your ideal hourly rate. Try to be realistic and base it on your skill level. Then, time yourself making the product. Multiply the number of hours you worked by your ideal hourly rate, and you have your time cost.

#2 Choose Your Pricing Formula

Etsy’s suggested formula for pricing handmade goods is as follows:

materials + time + expenses + profit = wholesale

wholesale x 2 = retail

I would love to say that this formula works for everyone. But it doesn’t. The above would cause small items to cost far too much. Instead, I recommend this formula:

(materials x 2) + time + expenses = retail

It’s your decision of course! Price your items how you see fit. But for crafts like crochet and papercraft, the second formula is almost always the best.

#3 Never, Ever,Lowball

Setting low prices does not mean more sales. In fact, lowballing devalues your beautiful product in an instant — as well as other peoples’ makes by comparison.

If you’re not making sales, try upping your prices. It may seem contradictory, but increasing the price by $10 or so has proven to sell more items. 

#4 Be Willing to Get It Wrong

Once you have found a price you like, be prepared to push it up or bring it down a few dollars (or cents). Why? Because people are funny. Our brains tell us we can “treat ourselves” to something priced at $29.50 but not $30. 

You might not get your pricing quite right the first, second, or third time. But after a bit of trial and error, you’ll get there, I can assure you.

#5 Make a Spreadsheet

Granted, this point is a tad moot if you decide to use one of the apps we discussed earlier. But if you’ve come this far without a dedicated tracking tool, it’s a good time to make one. 

Plenty of Excel templates are available that make it easy to track your prices and their subsequent effects. Or you can create your own. Whatever you do, recording your progress is essential for knowing what works and what doesn’t. 

The Bottom Line

I’m glad I’ve been able to help you overcome the pricing battle. Do your pricing research to get top dollar for your items is easier than you think. If you’re in need of any more Etsy tips and tricks, stick around! We have so much more to share. We are here to help in your selling journey.

Written by Lisa

Lisa Lividoti Blogger and Owner of Homebyliv Etsy Shop

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