5 Ways to Talk about Money & Payment for Bead Artisans
#1: Create a one-pager, link, or website that speaks to the beadwork prices that you can send to people at the beginning of a conversation.
Once you settle on a price, be consistent.
Stand confidently by your prices by providing evidence with listing pricing.
#2: Ensure you bring up pricing at the earliest point in the conversation. If you bring it up early it's less awkward and doesn't waste your time. Here are some scripts to adapt for your conversations. Be clear on prices, shipping, sizes, backing type (post/earring hook/lever backs), weight, and any other details that the customer may need to make an informed decision. I advocate for PayPal method with unknown customers, as it has seller/buyer protection at a 3% charge. Repeat customers or community members who are familiar with your work, you can take EMT/Cash payments. Always honour your orders and give time lines (*Example: "Earrings will take 2-3 weeks to complete, tracked shipping number will be sent to you once it has been shipped"), as that clear communication will help build your reputation in the long run.
#3: Practice coined phrases to help you when someone asks for it at no-cost. It makes it easier if you know exactly what you would say! Try to politely say "Sorry. I'm not doing that for free" or "Sorry, I cannot do what you asked" with some coined phrases. Here are some scripts to help you form your own coined phrases with some common requests.
#4: When discussing the clients wants, make sure you vocalize if their wants add to the price so they can decide if they have that in their price range. If you need to add $3 for lever backs post or $5 for fancy glass gems or $4 for 24kt gold seedbeads... be upfront and let the customer know.
We do this to avoid the dreaded... "That cost too much" conversation later once we completed the beaded earring and seeking payment. I advocate for pre-payment on earrings as I learnt the hard way that not every interested buyer is a willing paying customer at the end.
#5: Remember your worth. There are other people who can do it and they may be cheaper than what you quoted BUT... they are not going to do it like you!
The next time someone asks you why a pair of earrings or medallion is so expensive (which they always will), have a prepared answer.
Show them that you've been regularly selling your beadwork for that same amount (facebook posts of prices/instagram/esty/tiktok). Customers will want to tell you how to run your business for you, with asking for lowered prices as a natural instinct, cause we all want that IKEA commercial feeling of "START THE CAR 🚙 🏃🏽♀️" prices!
Talk about or print out a price list, that shows the similar sales you have made in the past. But Mariah... Why have your prices out in the open 😬? Well for one, if you hate talking about money, it helps you avoid a lot of potentially uncomfortable conversations. Putting that information up front puts all the heavy lifting decision making on the buyer. They know as soon as they set eyes on your pretty beadwork, the cost, the value, and it is on them to decide their budget prior to contacting you.
People want to be able to justify their purchase with cold, hard evidence. They want to know they are spending their money wisely and that the price is "worth it". Remember beadwork is not just wearable art, but a connection to cultural/identity and will be a conversation piece for the customer, sell them on why this piece is valuable rather than shrinking at the awkwardness of money talk. Higher the value of your beadwork, the more the customer will value it too. Also it may lead them to treat that beaded earring more kindly and wear it more proudly instead of ending up in the bottom of a purse or glovebox like my precious beaded earrings do sometimes.
Did you find any value in our blog topic this month, of Money Matters? I hope the opportunity to help you grow your beadwork business with the following helpful scripts that you can copy and save when the time comes to talk money with your customers.
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