Again and again, when I’m participating in events within the handmade business community, one question stands out in Q&A sessions. Crochet designers want to know, “How do I price crochet patterns?” You know that you invest time and hard work into your designs. But do you understand the true value of your designs and the cost to your business? If you’re not sure where to start, listen in to this episode, where I’ll be sharing my crochet pricing formula to sell patterns at a price that’s fair to your customers and profitable for you!
It’s really valuable information that will help you take your design business to a new level as you own your worth, charge what you’re worth, and pay close enough attention to the numbers to ensure you’re making a profit as a crochet designer.
Listen to this bite-sized podcast and then come back here for a more visual representation of what I’m sharing and get your downloadable Pattern Pricing Worksheet.
How to Figure Out What to Charge for Crochet Patterns
As a new pattern designer, figuring out a pattern pricing strategy can be a real struggle. Today, I’m going to try to demystify the process and help you come up with a crochet pricing formula to sell patterns that you can customize to the needs of your business and your target customer.
As we do this, we’ll take into account both quantifiable details like time, actual expenses, more abstract business expenses, and other details that factor into the final price you’ll decide to charge.
Ultimately, remember, you are the CEO of your crochet business and you can charge what you feel is fair…but it’s hard to know what’s fair if you don’t, first, look at the numbers.
So, let’s do that, shall we?
Elements of My Crochet Pricing Formula to Sell Patterns
Now, all of these details are spelled out on the downloadable Pattern Pricing Worksheet, available later in this post. And the worksheet will walk you through calculating all of these numbers.
But, just so you know what to expect, here are some of the numbers you’ll need to consider when tabulating the actual cost of a crochet pattern design (so you can know how much you need to make/charge in order to recoup these costs):
Quantifiable Time Expenditure
- Design time (making, frogging, making again)
- Pattern writing
- Editing photographs
- Working with testers and tech editor
- Finalizing the pattern PDF
- Graphic design for blog post and marketing
- Researching SEO for Google, Pinterest, and Etsy
- Writing blog post
- Uploading pattern to e-commerce platforms
- Recording video tutorial
- Editing video
- Uploading video to video hosting platform
- Pre-marketing social media posts
- Post-launch marketing
Actual, Known Expenses
- Tech editor
- Testers (if applicable)
- Shipping product to testers (if applicable)
- Photography services
- Modeling services
- Video production services
- Yarn costs
Other, Post-production Expenses
- Marketplace fees
- Credit card processing fees
- Income taxes
General Business Expenses
Calculating general business expenses is the most complex part of this process. For those who have been in business for some time, it’s a bit easier.
What I do is to go over my books from the previous year to ascertain all expenses not already accounted for, above. These might include:
- Office supplies
- Online subscriptions (Canva, Adobe, Tailwind, Recurpost)
- Website expenses
- Other business necessities
Once I’ve gathered all of these details, I enter the data into my worksheet to calculate the actual cost of creating a particular design. But that’s not the end of the process.
Setting a Baseline and Considering Added Value of Each Design
As you consider how you will price your design, you may wish to set a baseline. For me, the baseline price of a basic crochet pattern for a fashion accessory is $5. When I started, it was $4, but now that I’ve built up my brand and developed a strategy for quality designs, I’ve increased the baseline.
There are several characteristics of a pattern that might cause me to increase or decrease the price based on that baseline. These considerations are:
- The ease or difficulty of the pattern
- Whether or not the pattern has a chart or extensive photo tutorial
- The time it took to design the pattern
- Sizing/grading considerations (if the pattern is a garment, it takes much more work than a simple accessory)
- The uniqueness of a design
- Alternate styling options for the design
- Any increase in desirability of my brand
Each of these variables would be taken into consideration and help inform my decision to increase or decrease the price of the pattern from my $5 baseline.
Additionally, I’d want to take a look around at similar designs to see if they are being sold for considerably more or considerably less by other designers. I try to stay on the high-average side of available prices in order to ‘own’ my worth and increase the perceived value of my designs.
Free Worksheet for Pricing Crochet Patterns
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How Many Patterns Do I Need to Sell to Cover Expenses?
OK, here comes the fun part. Now that we know what the actual cost of designing our pattern is (based on the calculations in the downloadable worksheet) and we we have an idea of what we’ll charge, we can calculate just how many patterns we need to sell before we start making a profit.
Just a note…even though you’ll be paying yourself for your time, that is not an actual profit. That’s your wages…in order to have a viable business, you also need to make a profit both for your self and for reinvesting and growing your business.
So, our goal will be to first cover the cost of creating the design and then, drumroll please, make an awesome profit!
To figure out how many patterns you need to sell in order to start making a profit, take the total expense of designing and divide it by the price of one copy of the pattern.
Then, decide on your marketing strategy to help you crush that goal!
Further Listening and Reading
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Price Your Products Like the Pros
Includes: the exact formula I use to price my products for maximum sales and profit while attracting my ideal customer.