Sometimes, in business, you need to make moves that you really hate doing but they are necessary if the business is to keep functioning.
Today, I went over my quarterly books and came to the conclusion that I really need to raise some prices or eliminate those products. As with so much in our lives today, costs of the clothing blanks and even my paints have risen considerably in the past year. I have not increased my prices in that time. On top of the material costs, the price of doing business has gone up in general. Craft shows cost more, consignment shops want a bigger chunk of the retail price, wholesalers want a better deal, promotional efforts cost more, etc. Even when gas hit $4 gallon, I did not raise my prices. My financial records prove I am not making the same profit margin I was on my merchandise. The hard fact is, those prices are not working for me anymore. If I want to keep my business alive, I need to bite the bullet and raqise prices.
Folks choose my products because they like the quality and the unique design concepts or because they can have just about anything personalized. For those advantages, they already have been paying "a little more." I am well aware they can go to Target, Babys R'Us, Sears or even Old Navy and find cute items for a lot less money. Many others do just that. I've spent this afternoon convincing myself that my dedicated customers and others who are truly looking for unique items that are well made will be willing to pay yet a little more. I have to believe that.
Today, I did go into my online shop and raised a few prices on some of my sets, particularly those that involve blue jeans. For some reason, denim items seem to have jumped disproportionately than other clothing items. I only altered about six prices at this time and tried to limit those price changes to betwen $2 and $5 per item. i believe doing just a few at a time will at least make it easier for me to accept the changes. I feel so guilty in doing this. I wonder if the Walton family members feel this way when Walmart needs to raise a price. Do you think Mr. Macy agonized over such decisions?
I did not raise the price of single onesies at this time but I will be hiking them by several dollars on July 1st. I will be letting my customers know that these items will be going up and give them the opportunity to stock up at the current price. These are my bread and butter items that folks buy for baby shower gifts - they may want to stock pile a few.
If you know anyone in the market for these items, please tell them now is the time to pick them up before the prices rise.
Here are just some of the onesies you can find in my shop, http://www.splashin.etsy.com/, at this time. At the moment, they are each just $15.