When you start selling wreaths, there are so many questions that you just cannot figure out the answers to no matter how you plan, and think ahead.
In this section, I am going to start talking about these questions. I’ll pick one at a time, and discuss the solutions I have come to during my years of experience, but I’ll be up front and honest with you… I am still experimenting and will always do that as long as I am in business.
One of the very first questions everyone want to ask is: “How do I figure out what to charge for my wreath?” My answer is usually: “Whatever your market will bear”.
I’m really not trying to be “flip” with my answer, but this is really the truth. “How do you know what your market will bear?” The only way that I know of is to experiment.
In order to survive as many years as I have with the market going up and down, and with sales going up and down with it, I have to be ready at a moment’s notice to change and adjust pricing
In my early years, I had a sell whenever bills were due and there was no money to pay them! This is where I advise… “Don’t do what I do, or did, but what I say!” lol
First of all, I earned a reputation very quickly that if my customers waited me out, they would get a really good deal! And, you’ll just have to take my word for this… they can wait much longer than you can!!”
Once a mistake like this has been made, it literally takes years to recover, and for customers to really understand that the price they see is the price they will have to pay!
Now, this principal is just a little bit different when you sell online, but it still applies to Internet sales. When you are making a wreath, it is imperative that you add up your costs. This is not always easy…believe me, I know. When you buy a bush that has 10 stems on it, and you spread that bush out between 8 wreaths, you are either going to have to remember how much that bush cost you, or, you need to put a hang-tag on it with your cost per stem.
For example, if it is…say a $15.99 bush from Hobby Lobby, and you got it for half price and it has 10 stems on it, then you paid .80 per stem! If there are 6 large blooms in the bush, then I figure it just a little differently. I count that as 6 stems instead of 10 meaning that each big blossom cost you $1.33 each. You will end up with some greens and probably some smaller insignificant filler left over. Always save every single stem! Then when you need filler in another wreath, use some of this there.
You are going to have to guess just a little when it comes to greens and filler stems. Now, I can look at a wreath and guess pretty closely how much the greens and fillers are and put one number down for that.
After your wreath is finished, add up your materials, and, at first try doubling your cost. You will be able to see right away if “your market” will pay this.
If your wreath sells very quickly, you’ll know that you probably could have charged a little more — adding some in for your time.
If your wreath sits for a while with no purchasers interested, then you’ll know that you need to lower your prices a little just until you build up a reputation, and your customers know and trust you and your work.
Have sales only at the end of a season! You don’t want to try to carry over or store wreaths from one season to the next unless you have ample storage.
Until next time…. Nancy