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Necklace by Kelli Pope who can be reached by email
Dear Beads-of-Clay and Followers,

I've recently started using artisan beads in my jewelry pieces.  I am not sure how to go about pricing them.  I don't want to sell my jewelry just to get back the money that I put into it since I realize that some people actually make a living from this business.  Could you please help?


Rhonda from Rochester

Dear Rhonda,

Custom jewelry by
Kelli Pope
I'm not sure that I am the best person to help you with this advice since I really don't make too much jewelry anymore.  When I did, however,  I had the same concern.  I was told by the owner of a local bead shop that it is standard practice to double the retail prices of my materials in a basic necklace (one where I simply string the beads on bead wire).  So that's pretty simple, but you need to keep track of the prices of each piece that you purchase (including tax).  She also told me that if I put more work into it such as the pieces that you see listed here, that the formula is not that simple.  This is where I am stumped as well.  I will ask our readers/jewelry designers to help answer your question.

Dear Followers,

How do you price the jewelry pieces that you design?  Rhonda would LOVE to hear from you!  Thank-you in advance for your comments :O)

More of Kelli's Design's found at ArtisanBeadsPlus


  1. I bought the Jewelry Designer Manager software years ago. It is pretty slick in that if you have all your components in the database it will calculate the cost per piece and the overall price, wholesale vs. retail. I don't actually use the software bc it was just too cumbersome to manage without an assistant who would keep it up to date daily, but it taught me a formula that I still use.

    Retail = Cost of materials x 5 + labor
    Wholesale = Cost of materials x 2 + labor

    If you use that formula, it doesn't mean that you can't discount, or have a special 'friends and family' price point. But this covers you for a wide range of options.

    You do need to value your artistry and ask for what you are worth. That goes for jewelry designers or artisan bead makers. I am fully aware that art beads cost more. But the fact that they add a special handmade touch to my jewelry is an important part of the story.

    That is just what I use. I would be interested to hear what others do. Thanks for sharing!
    Enjoy the day!

  2. I struggle with this a lot. I double the cost of my components and round up to the next $5 or $10 mark for simple strung pieces. The customers in my small town barely tolerate this. Add in an art bead and the cost skyrockets. I know not to try and sell these art pieces to the locals. But even those attending gallery shows don't seem to have the money to pay for these, even though they appreciate the value and work put into the piece. They stand there and talk about how lovely the piece, and how unique--but once they look at the price they lay it back down. I can't imagine what they would say to a price that is more than double....

    I'd love to be able to sell to an audience that can appreciate a 3x, 4x or even 5x the cost, and I'm interested to hear what others say.

  3. I'd also love to hear what others say. Jewelry Designers...please take a couple of minutes to share in this conversation. I think it is helpful to everyone selling!

    Thanks, MaryAnn (a.k.a. "Rhonda")

  4. WOW!!! 5x cost. I had no idea!! I tend to do 3x cost + labor. Which of course means that wholesalers do NOT get keystone from me. What got me started making one of a kind pieces was the fact that I couldn't afford to buy the beautiful jewelry I loved. I promised myself I'd try to keep things affordable. However..... I do still have my "day job".

  5. This is so hard to do, I am trying to price at my worth but still want to be afforadble, sigh.


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