I know, it seems counter-intuitive in a sluggish economy, especially if your sales are already down. But have you ever thought your sales are down (at least in part) because you've undervalued your work?
Lets talk for a minute about apples.
I'm in the grocery store and there are two signs for fuji apples, one says:
Fuji Apples: 99c
and the other says:
Organic Fuji Apples: $1.99
I may not know the exact definition of organic but I know it means good for me, good for the planet and that price difference must mean it's worth even more than I think. Maybe they support a local farmer, maybe they are just a bit sweeter and crisper or grown on old trees with old history. The use of the word organic combined with a higher dollar value gives the Fuji Apples for $1.99 a much higher perceived value and as a shopper, I feel good about making the choice to pay a little more for something with a lot more value.
Well guess what everyone(!), the term HANDMADE does exactly the same thing. People who support local and buy handmade are shopping with their conscience.
Yes, they may love and need the thing you make but you are also giving them a shopping option that comes with a feel good about yourself ending.
When your shoppers BUY HANDMADE, they get the bonus of feeling even better about their purchases because they know they are supporting a positive backstory.
Unless, you underprice your work.
Back to apples;
same story, different signs:
Fuji Apples $1.99
Organic Fuji Apples .99c (and they are not on sale).
First thought as a shopper; what is wrong with those apples? (aka, that artist must use very cheap materials, I bet it falls apart... or those can't be handmade...)
Okay, enough with the anecdotes :)
Proof is in the pudding.
Every time I've ever raised my prices and stopped apologizing to my customers because I don't think I am good enough and every time I've allowed myself to realize the value of my work, my backstory and the value my two hands creating what I sell and priced accordingly, my sales went UP. Yes up. G
Stop trying to compete with walmart pricing, you are in a completely different category. You are not only selling product, you are selling and ideal and that makes your work even more valuable than you think.