I have been spinning up a storm her, mostly Merino top. I have a little Merino/silk I spun and some Rambo but mostly Merino right now. 2 ply some soild colors some I used a hackle and color blended two colors. My skeins run from 2-300 yds and about 4-5ozs. I have looked online, E-bay, Etsy, but still not sure if I'm pricing it correctly. I go to fairs and shows and like to sell the yarn there. Is there a standard by which to go by or just the market where I live? I like in Larimore, ND. Any advisors out there??
Jo-Anne, This is a tough question. You need to cover costs, time and energy, yet remain competitive until you create a market for yourself.
A marketing rule I've learned from others is to take the cost of the raw material and roughly double it. This doesn't account for your time. You can keep track of how long it takes you to spin 1 oz. of material and calculate out per pound. Do the same for processing (if you do this). What do you want your profit margin to be? Do you want to simply replace your material or do you want to make a living? Most retail is doubled (net not gross). When I worked retail jewelry in a store, there was a 200% mark up. My jaw hit the floor when I saw the invoice.
Don't underestimate your work. We create an art form that can't be bought at Wal-Mart. Create colors, create finished products that people want to buy. For a while, don't quit your day job. If you have, live on faith. It will turn out.
I hope this helps.
I'm not sure one can make a living at selling handspun yarn, but I
agree with Denise that we shouldn't shortchange ourselves, as our
product is an art form and is a special purchase people can't get with
mill-spun yarns. I raise my own flock of Jacobs, and I'm just trying to
make enough to afford to keep them. After researching online what
others were charging (farms, Etsy, etc.) and taking into consideration
what other crafters are charging in my geographical area, I came up with
a formula that works for me. I notice most people charge by weight, but
I think length of the skein is the ultimate consideration of most
knitters & weavers, so I charge by length, adding a little if it's a
heavier yarn, more than 2-ply, or if I've dyed it. I charge $1 per 10
yards. I add sales tax and any extras and round off to the nearest
dollar, to make it easier for the customer and for me in making change.
Since I do the whole process from shearing to spinning, I don't think
this begins to pay for my time, but I'm spinning for the joy of it and
I'm beginning to be able to pay for my shepherding costs, after 4 years
of involvement with farmer's markets and craft fairs. I think another
factor in getting the price you want is education of the public as to
the uniqueness of your product, and it takes time to build a reputation.
I find that bringing a wheel to the market or fair draws people in and
helps promote my yarn. Selling and/or displaying handknit items from
your yarn lets customers also see what is possible and unique with
Oh, no, I'm not going to quit my job, but that's a goal. Your thoughts I have heard before and was just as shoked as you were. I have thought of the same thing. I do have a few other things going through my mind but I will just see how the market goes and see how the Lord Leads. Thanks for your advise and time.
Yes, my thoughts exactly. I thought of more of the yardage (length) rather than weight. You know what would really be nice is to invest in some Alpacas. I'll have my won renewable resource right there hehe. I so appreciate you helping me. It's encouraging to get advise from spinners who know the ropes so to speak. I'm taking advise from all you spinners and see what happens. Yes, I have done some research on line but like I mentioned to Denise, I'll see how the Lord leads.
I charge by the yard. 10 or .15 cents. Depends on the material. Guess you can add a little for your time as well.