What Should I Charge?

How many people have loved the gifts you made for a friend or your child’s teacher? How many people have asked if you would make them some as well?  If you are like most people who post pictures online of your Cricut or Cameo vinyl creations, you’ve no doubt, been bombarded with people asking you to make some for them.

Inevitably, the first question they ask is, “How much would you charge me”?

If you’ve considered making a business out of your hobby or decided just to do things for friends at low cost, before you tell anyone what you would charge, answer these questions…

  1. Do I just want to cover the cost of just the material, or do I want to cover the cost of material and my time?
  2. If I want to cover the cost of my time, how much is my time worth? $10/hour? $20/hour?
  3. How much time did that design take, from start to finish? (Include editing time, cutting time, weeding time, application time, and whatever else you did to make the design successful.)
  4. Once you decide how much you used in material plus how much time you spent, add it up. Would someone pay that amount for the finished product?

Most likely, the answer to #4 would be yes. You might think “no”, but you are the hobbyist Do-it-yourself-er. You personally would never pay someone to make you a simple craft project that you can do yourself. But, so many other people would, and they are willing to pay for it.

You might charge your friends and family less than what you would charge a stranger, but keep in mind; you will get many customers from word of mouth. If your friend tells all her friends you made a cool water bottle design and only charged her $6 for materials, all her friends are going to expect to pay the same price.

If you are planning to make a business out of your hobby, the first thing you should do is decide your rates and write them down. It’s easy to rattle off pricing to someone if it’s on paper. It’s also less likely a customer would try to whittle the price down if you have “published” pricing.

There are as many ways to “price” your work. How you decide to price is a personal decision. The questions posed above are simply questions to get you thinking. For more food for thought, consider these additional ways:

  1. Per Inch or Per Square Foot Pricing– Some people charge a flat rate of $x.xx/per inch or foot. Some people are happy with this arrangement and it is easy to calculate based on the size of the design. However, it doesn’t take into account the intricacy of the design in terms of cutting and weeding time. Weeding time can make or break you when it comes to actually making some money. Remember, the smaller the design or text, the harder it is to weed, especially if the font is very thin.
  2. Price per Letter – For wall quotes and other items where the design is lettering, many people charge by the letter as well as by the height of the letter. This works out well for any basic wall quote where the letter height is around 2-4 inches. Smaller lettering usually takes longer than larger lettering in terms of weeding time, but takes less material, and vice versa, for larger lettering. The only drawback to this form of calculation is adjusting for quantity. When someone orders a larger quote with many letters, the cost goes higher than it should and some sort of large order discount will need to be calculated in.
  3. Time Plus Materials – For designs (not wall quotes) I tend to use the above questions to calculate a basic cost). When trying to calculate in my head a design described by someone, I always over price it. It’s really easy to tell someone the price is cheaper than the original quote because it took less time to create. But, it’s really hard to expect someone to pay more than your original quote.
  4. Quantity-Based – The price to make one water bottle is set. But when someone wants 50 of them, suddenly your costs will go down. Sometimes you can get a deal on the water bottles; you get a discount on the 5 yd roll of vinyl instead of buying just a few sheets. Cutting time is lowered if you can set it to cut the same design six times on the sheet instead of just one. Weeding time is also reduced because you get more efficient at weeding that particular design. Pass the savings onto your customer. In fact, use it as an incentive to get them to purchase more. If they want eight of them, tell them they get a discount starting at a quantity of ten. This will increase the size of your orders and bring in a little more money.
  5. Comparative Pricing – What do my competitors charge? Google your product and see what others are charging for the same or similar item? If you can’t get in the ballpark, then you need to rethink your costs. Are your competitors buying in bulk and getting a larger discount? Where do they buy from? Am I getting the best possible deal? However, just because others are underselling doesn’t mean you can’t sell at your proposed price.

Finally, give your customer valued-added services like free shipping and great customer service. Many people are happy to pay a little extra if they know the shipping charges are absorbed into the price of the item. If you’ve been recommended from a friend, they are more likely to buy from you again and again, especially if you have great customer service.

ANNOUNCING….new Printed/Patterned Matte & Glossy Vinyl

We are so excited to introduce our new line of matte and glossy vinyl! We’ve been working for almost a year to get printed/patterned vinyl available to you.

GroupPatterns include: Chevrons, Damask, Houndstooth, Stripes, Gingham, Quatrefoil, Polka Dots, and Zebra.

We offer each pattern in both the matte and glossy and in both 12″ x 12″ and 12″ x 24″ sheets.

Use these patterns by themselves or as an accent with their coordinating solid colors.

How are they made? We’ve printed on Oracal 631 and 651 white vinyl to create these patterns. This means the high quality Oracal vinyl you have grown to love is the same vinyl we’ve printed these patterns on.

The matte patterns can be found here: http://cricketvinylsupplies.com/matte-patterned-vinyl/

The glossy patterns can be found here: http://cricketvinylsupplies.com/oracal-651-patterned-vinyl/

 

 

Happy Spring!

I just want to let you, our customers know we truly appreciate you allowing us to serve you. We try our very best to keep all our products in stock, orders filled quickly and accurately, return messages timely, and everything else we need to do to make your experience with us a pleasant and happy one.

Spring is in the air…for some of us we’ve had spring for several months. For others, the winter was a deep and a trying time. We hope this post finds you in good spirits and ready for a fabulous holiday this weekend and a wonderful spring season.

Spring is also the perfect time for cleaning out the closets; getting rid of the old and making room for the new. If you’ve been searching for something new and haven’t found it yet, let us know. We have access to many different types of vinyl and supplies not on our website. Shoot us an email and we will see if we can get it for you.

Enjoy your weekend!

Fully Using Our Website Conveniences

We love our customers!!!

We want to point out some things about our website you might not be aware of, and also point out some things that might save you some money. We want to make sure you are using the website conveniences to their full advantage:

  1. Sales – Each month we try to have a sale. When we do, we will place a banner on the front page with the sale items as well as the expiration date and the coupon code (if required). We also post the sale on Facebook, Twitter, and through our exclusive email newsletter.
  2. Email Newsletter – We also have occasional exclusive sales for our newsletter subscribers. If you don’t subscribe to our email yet, go ahead and take advantage. We send out only 1 email per month. It includes any sales we are having, as well as new products we’ve added to the website.
  3. We have a Rewards Program in place for our continuing customers. For each dollar you spent, you receive points good for coupons for free product, free shipping, etc. For more information about this program, check out this page: http://cricketvinylsupplies.com/cricket-rewards-info/
  4. Checking out with PayPal Express – Many of our loyal customers checkout using PayPal Express. PayPal Express is very convenient, however, you are not required to log into your account on our website. Therefore, you don’t receive the Reward Points, can’t get order updates, can’t see previous orders, and can’t track your package. If you would like to use these features, please log in and use the normal checkout process, then choose “PayPal” as your method of payment. It will take you the PayPal website where you can still checkout with them. It only takes an extra 30 seconds, but the benefits far outweigh the extra time it takes to check out.
  5. Checking out as a Guest – Many of our loyal and frequent customers are still checkout out as a “Guest”. Some of these orders have to do with using PayPal Express as explained above. But, here are some challenges we see with customers who checkout out as a “Guest”:
    1. It takes 2 minutes longer to check out. When checking out as a guest, you must type in your pertinent information each time you order. This takes so much more time than logging into your account and having all your pertinent information pop up. It also leads to typos…read on.
    2. Every day we receive notifications that our customers do not receive their confirmation emails because they’ve typed in an incorrect email. Sometimes we can look back at your previous orders and find your correct email address and update it, but not always. Sometimes we receive returned packages that can’t be delivered because of an incorrect shipping address.  By creating an account on our website, you can add your email address, billing address, and shipping address (as many as you like). It saves this pertinent and important information correctly, so each and every email order confirmation and shipping confirmation will be sent to you in a timely manner. And every package will have a correct address. Please note: Creating an account does not save your credit card information. This information you must type in each time.
    3. You may not receive your confirmation emails. So many times the order confirmation emails and shipment confirmation emails go to the spam folder when people checkout as a “Guest”. And when you don’t receive this vital piece of information you don’t know that your order has been shipped and you can’t track it. Read on…
    4. A “Guest” cannot see order updates or track their order. The only notification you receive that an order has been shipped is an email. By checking out as a “Guest”, you have no way to even see your order or track it unless you are receiving those emails.
    5. A “Guest” can’t see previous orders. Each order placed as a “Guest” is considered a one-time order. It is not linked to any account and cannot be called up later. Any orders placed as a “Guest” CANNOT be merged into your actual account…ever.
    6. A “Guest” cannot receive “Reward Points” for their order. The Reward Points program is integrated into our website using each customer’s account. When an order is marked as “shipped” in the customer’s account, they are given those reward points. Reward points can’t be granted to “Guest” orders.

We have so many wonderful customers who are loyal and committed to us. We are committed to you and want to make our website as user-friendly as possible. Please give us any feedback if you have ideas or suggestions that would improve our website.

Thank you!

Your friends at CricketVinylSupplies.com