You need to price your work to cover your expenses and time, so that you end up ideally with a profit.People that under price hurt others!

I hate being at a festival with $30 mugs and people acting like I asked for their first born son.

Particularly at shows, a lot of people will be part time/hobby potters.

And particularly with hobbyists, the amount of time involved often does not factor into the sale cost as heavily as it should. They are working for fun, and are selling to recoup costs to continue that. Profit is a happy side effect where it occurs. If you are pricing to live off of your profits (and everyone – whether they need to or not – should do so) then it is next to impossible to compete with that attitude on price.

And, unfortunately, in a lot of general sales price will matter far more than quality.

I have taken advantage of that on occasion with really low effort shapes. Plain coffee mugs are great for it, though I can’t quite get down to $10 and still make money on them. I endeavor never to sell an item for less than it is worth, including the cost of my time. If you want to compete with people who do underprice their wares, you can only do it by cutting cost somewhere.

Cutting your prices to compete without altering the amount of effort/time/material you input will only drive you broke.

It sounds cynical, but the sorts of people who go to a general sale with a load of different potters tend not to buy anything of worth. They want something handmade, unique, beautiful, and the same price as that mass-produced teapot they saw at Pier 1 last week. They are willing to compromise on all of those things, except the price.

It’s hard to push a $80 mug, even if it did take me hours to make whereas I can sell 50 $15 mugs at a busy farmers market no problem. Save the nice expensive things for gallery shows. If you want to compete in that market, make cheap tat that takes you 5 minutes to throw and 15 in total. I paid for a couple of cars like that.

Soul crushing after a while and I wouldn’t want to go back to it, but it works.


I ask what the piece is worth. I know you can get pieces cheaper at walmart, but it is an art form that I put a lot of time into and it should be valued for that. If you don’t like my work or don’t have the money that is fine, but don’t tell me that I price too high. I price to make money and make it worth my time.

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