I hope you enjoy my new blog, with fluffy love and quacks, Mother Duck xxxx

Friday, 23 March 2012

Sporting & Royal events Summer 2012 ~ will you be breaking the law?

Unless you have been slumbering for a while then you are probably aware that there are two major events happening in the UK over the summer; we are celebrating a Royal Jubilee and the Olympics. So how many of you are thinking of having a party to celebrate or perhaps as a crafter you are planning to make a collection of items related to both events that you could sell.

As a crafter are you aware of the high number of restrictions on the use of images AND words that are attached to these events? Were you planning to make cakes/cupcakes or maybe bunting/banners to advertise items you have made to help celebrate, or some cute cushions or jewellery items - you could be breaking the law!

Mother Duck has been astounded in the past few days at the number of restrictions ... I had expected it on images such as the rings or the logo etc BUT the words I was surprised at; likewise with the Royal Celebrations, I expected the Queen's image to be restricted but there are other restrictions too.

On my Face book page I always tell people that ignorance is no defence; just because you don't know about the restrictions doesn't mean they won't take you to court or force you to destroy your work for breaching their copyright or trademarks. It doesn't matter if you just sell a few things to family and friends or a few more through Facebook or a website or one of the Marketplace sites likes Etsy or Folksy (to name just a couple). It doesn't matter what you sell or where you sell it! If you are using the words or images that carry restrictions you could be in trouble.

The restrictions are lengthy and I would advise anyone planning to make items relating to these events to check out what you can and cannot use. I am including a couple of links that might help BUT these are just a hint of some of the restrictions. Remember that ignorance is not a defence and I do wholeheartedly encourage you to do some research BEFORE you make.



These events are such a huge opportunity for crafters ... my imagination is was running wild with ideas many of which I will not be able to do because of the restrictions. At least I have found out now and not after I had spent money on materials etc.

Please enjoy the events and the parties etc that I hope we will all be part of  but don't risk your business by using the images and words that are restricted.

Here is a link to a great Blog that probably explains all of this a bit better than Mother Duck has

Friday, 16 March 2012

How Much!?! Sorry it's too expensive for me!

I have been trying to write a Blog on pricing goods, I have deleted it and re-written it so many times. So hopefully today is the day and someone other than me is reading this.

So you had an idea; you put it down on paper and eventually it became something you are ready to sell. How do you decide what to charge? Well, you could pluck a figure out of thin air write it on a tag and hope it sells BUT is it a fair price? Have you covered the material costs, your time, the cost of utilities used etc? Are you making a profit?

There are lots of books, Blogs and videos out in the world that will give you many different equations on how to price your goods but there are so many variables that I feel it should be up to the individual how they make up the cost of an item.

Do we cost the research time for an item, the planning stages, the proforma stages or do we only count the time spent on the final item? If we are making items for say a craft market or to make stock for an on line store we probably only count the time spent making the specific item. If we are working on a bespoke item then the design time for a specific customer may to be taken into account.

Clearly there are so many variables to be added into any calculations used for pricing. Let us try and look at some of them individually and see if we can make our own equation.

  1. Material costs ... you need to work out how much the materials cost you, don't forget to take into account the postage you paid or the cost of travel to collect materials. Did you pay VAT?
  2. Your time ... so many of us under charge when we calculate this one! At the very least you should be charging at minimum wage BUT realistically as an artisan, a skilled worker you should be charging more than minimum wage. Your time is valuable and you should be charging properly for it.
  3. Utilities ... when you are creating your hand crafted item the odds are you are using one or more of the following, power for tools, lighting, heating and running water.
    Who pays the bill? You do. So surely you should consider passing some of the costs to the customer.  
  4. Profit ... that is quite a scary word to some people, often people feel embarrassed to talk about their profit on an item  BUT you are in business and as such you want/need to make a profit. How much profit margin you add to your items has to be up to you; some people add as little as 2.5% whilst others add 50% or more.
  5. Wholesale or retail price ... these are different. Wholesale is usually when you are making a quantity of something for the same customer that they are going to sell on to their own customers. You need to charge a reasonable figure for wholesale but you also have to price it so that your customer will be able to make a profit when they sell it on. You will need to know your Retail price to calculate a RRP to tell a wholesaler (RRP = recommended retail price) If you are selling the items direct to the customer you are charging the RRP ... the difference between wholesale and retail is a % profit. BUT when you are selling wholesale you still need to make a profit.
    So basically you need to calculate two prices for your items the wholesale price and the retail price.
  6. Are you charging VAT? If you are then you will of course have to add this into the calculations
    Please note that VAT in the UK at the time of writing this is 20%
So here goes at an attempt to make an equation ...

materials + time + utilities + profit = wholesale price

wholesale price + profit = retail price
Don't forget that you may also be adding VAT to the above equations

What we haven't taken into account here things like photography to display your items on line, stand fees and travel to craft events to sell your items, your time at craft events, website costs, postal costs, paypal or bank charges involved in taking payments, costs of other on-line stores. Only you can decide which of these you pass on to your customers. 

I can already hear people saying "if I charged minimum wage for my work plus all the other stuff being suggested people wouldn't buy my items." I ask you ... are you not worth minimum wage?

I am only making suggestions here, this is not set in stone, I am not telling you this is what you have to do, these are purely suggestions. You have to decide for yourself what you are going to charge but I hope this has given you something to think about, somewhere to start. You know your target market and the price range that they would be willing to pay. Believe it or not people will pay more for good quality hand crafted goods.

I am sure this is a topic we shall revisit as I am sure there will be much feedback from our readers, some agreeing with what I have written and others wholeheartedly disagreeing. 

fluffy love & hugs
Mother Duck