Pricing your items/animals is a tricky thing. The problem is, when customers see no price, they often assume the price is high. Many will walk past you, afraid to ask for fear of having to then tell you, no thanks. If you are busy with another customer, a shopper may not want to take the time to wait to ask for a price. Shy shoppers may not even bother asking. Sometimes the Barter events get a little hectic too, and having to answer the question “how much do you want for this?” over and over again can get irritating. Clear pricing on your various treasures is an absolute must, and it doesn’t take a lot of time or money – a marker and a pack of circular stickers from the dollar store can make quick work of labeling.
Here are some tips on pricing your items/animals:
Price everything ahead of time. Do some research online, see what others are selling similar items for.
Start with the one-third rule for used items. When you dust off that old stuff that hasn’t been seen or used in years, you might feel like it has value when someone shows an interest in it. So while you do want to get rid of your old things, you want to be compensated fairly for them. The general rule of thumb when you start pricing used items is to go for one-third of their full price. That means that if you paid $100 for something, price it around $30. While this rule might not work for absolutely everything you hope to sell, it’s a good starting point.
Assume that shoppers will haggle, so consider pricing slightly high. If you have an exact figure in mind for an item, you might be disappointed when a savvy shopper offers you well below what you’d hoped to get. It’s a good idea to always price an item a couple of dollars higher than what you really want for it. That way, if a shopper makes a low offer, you can come down to your desired price point and make a deal. If you are firm on a price and unwilling to haggle, write that on the price tag/sign.
Don’t skip pricing individual items separately- price each item/animal individually unless you have like items that can be priced the same. You can group like items together and make a sign that says the price for these items (ie, Laying Hens, $20 Each).
Use a fine-point marker to mark prices, it’s easier to read than ballpoint.
Use brightly colored stickers to write prices on (except for paper items that might be damaged by adhesive). If you can find low-tack stickers, those are best since they are easily removed.
Don't pause before giving a price when a shopper asks. When you hesitate before answering, the shopper may assume you're sizing him up for his ability to pay.
Don’t decide your price on what you paid for an item. Remember that if you are selling used items, you aren’t going to get 'new' prices for them.
Keep your prices simple- if you make things too complicated, customers may skip over trying to figure it out, or you may spend most of your day answering questions about your pricing. Make it easy for people to buy/swap for your stuff.
Don’t price your goods based on sentiment. Unfortunately, your memories don’t hold value to most customers.
If you are going to bring a bigger-ticket item/animal, post in the sales group or the event post ahead of time, so if people are interested, they will know to bring enough cash.
Offer bulk buy deals. If, for example, you have 6 hens to sell at $20 each, offer them for $100 if someone takes all six at once. The shopper feels like they got a deal, and you were able to sell/swap your hens and you just saved a lot of time not trying to market all six hens individually. This type of offer can really entice customers into making a purchase. People love feeling like they’re getting a good deal and a little more for their dollar.
Big item, big price sign. If you’re selling a big item, then don’t expect shoppers to search all over it to find a tiny price sticker. Instead, create a big sign. You can use poster board or even just a big sheet of paper and put the price in big lettering – you can even list a few of the item’s selling points. You want to make it as easy as possible for your potential customers to find the price of each item – don’t make them work for it. Suggestion- poster board is often available at your local dollar store!
If you are looking to calculate prices for handmade items, that can get a little trickier. Here are a couple of resources for that: