Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Notecards … and a business quandary

Today I received the notecards I had made of my four orchid pieces. I am very pleased with them. Overnight Prints did them; they are each 4-1/4 x 5-1/2" – nice heavy card stock, with a glossy coating on the front and the back, with plain paper inside. My information (the name of the piece, my name, materials used, and my website) are on the back. I ordered them on Jan. 26, last Tuesday, and they arrived in exactly one week (five business days).

I am going to be packaging these in sets to sell through the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden and on my website. I ordered 30 of each, and the cost was $120.09, including shipping and envelopes. Okay, even I can do this one without a calculator: One buck per card.

Now I need to decide how to price them. Retail establishments usually mark up their goods by 2 or 2-1/2 times wholesale. So if I price them at $1 each, a set of four for $4, stores would sell them for $8 or $10, and I’d make nothing.

If I price them at $2 each, a set of four for $8, stores would sell them for $16 or $20, and I’d make $4. Would you buy a pack of four notecards for $20? I wouldn’t.

So... I am thinking about this in a different way. These cards will go out into the world with my name on them. Maybe someone will see one and think, “I absolutely MUST have that artist’s work!” and they’ll call me and I’ll get a sale or a commission. In that case, it is worth the time I spent to have these printed and get them into shops, even if I make practically nothing on the cards themselves.

Okay, my head hurts. This business stuff is not my strong suit.

NOTE (added later in the day I posted this): The notecards are now available through my website, here: http://www.bluemoonriver.com/OrchidCards.html. I priced them at $12 for a set of four, plus $1 shipping (U.S. and Canada) and $2 (international).


  1. Susan, these cards are beautiful!

    I must say if an artist was selling her cards and I liked her work but couldn't afford to buy a piece just yet, I would get the cards instead (at the $20 price) and frame them. Just a thought.

  2. Susan, the cards are beautiful!

    I'm with you on pricing stuff - it's horrible. I think I'd compromise on $1.50 per card/$6 per set. That gives you a small profit for your time and then the store could easily sell them for $12 a set making them $3 per card. Reasonable for anyone.

  3. These are simply gorgeous, Susan.

  4. I own a fine craft gallery and sell these types of cards all the time. We sell "handmade" cards from $2.00 up to $18.00 per card. I sell lots of cards. You should charge at least $2.00 for your cards wholesale. Could you sell them separately instead of in sets? People don't balk at a $4.00 card - you pay that much for most greeting cards these days. Then you could have packs at the $16.00 retail cost for people who wanted a set. You have to think of these as mini pieces of art that people will take home and frame. A piece of beautiful art is a steal at $4.00.

  5. Thanks so much for your perspective as a gallery owner, Ruth! It is helping me a lot to have all these different voices telling me their thoughts.

  6. Hey Susan,

    I really think these are beautiful. Thanks for posting about this and where you got them made.

    Personally, I agree - these are little mini works of art. Mark em' up and don't you dare feel bad about it!

    Make sure to bring some to the Gardens this weekend. I'm going to try to come and see the exhibit!



  7. Ellen Guerrant sells cards of her work individually and while I was helping in her booth I can't at all remember the price she set. You need to call her to discuss it. I do know they were individually packaged in plastic bags. I agree have some individual cards for sale and then make up sets as well. I'd easily buy them! I'd probably also frame them and hang in groups!

  8. Would you sell them on your website, too? I know some people who would love them!

  9. I like Ruth's idea as well. I wouldn't think twice about buying them as a set for $16.00 and I will buy them! I have, in the past, contacted an artist using their information on the back of a card and I purchased several pieces of art from her. I'm sure you will get commissions.

  10. Thanks, everyone!

    They'll be at DSBG giftshop, but I'm not sure if they'll be ready by this Saturday. I'm taking them on Thursday, and they have to check them in to inventory first.

    I will be offering them on my website, once I figure out the pricing (and find some clear sleeves to hold them). And create the webpage.

  11. I'm with Ruth on this. People will pay that amount for good quality work, as yours definitley is. I amanxious to see them on your web site!

  12. That is a hard call, but as a gift item, a higher price would work or in stores that sell high end art items.


  13. See? You knew what to do all along. ;)

  14. Susan - Your notecards are absolutely beautiful! I look forward to having one or two in my collection. My quilt photo cards to which Deborah referred sold very well at $3. each.
    See you all tomorrow!

  15. I just ordered a pack of your gorgeous notecards. After wrestling with similar pricing issues, I've decided to buy from the artist whenever possible. And I agree they'd made great frameable art!


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