How Much Can I Charge for My Homemade Hypertufa Garden Art Items?
I get asked this question on a pretty regular basis. and just the other day I received another private email asking me about this, so I thought I’d put the question and my reply here for everyone to learn from.
I received a really nice email from Steve, an enthusiastic hypertufa newbie:
Hi Claudia: My wife and I just this evening began a hypertufa project that we saw in a local newspaper a few months ago. It was fun working together to make a small trough! I started to browse the Internet looking for more hypertufa info, and found your website. What a goldmine of information!!!
I went ahead and purchased your Hypertufa How-To Manual eBook, and can’t wait to start reading it.
We are pretty enthused about the hollow spheres we saw on your site. Every May, our city has a city-wide garage sale. For a few years, we have been selling assorted glass products, and have many customers who return to us each year. We think we’d like to add some hypertufa items, like the hollow spheres, to what we sell. How much do you think we can sell them for?
We look forward to your reply, and learning the many tips and ideas from your eBook to make this fun and successful (wait – that is redundant!). Thanks for setting up your website, and for offering the benefit of your experience through the book!!! Steve.
Wow … what a nice way to start my day … thank you so much for taking the time to email me with your kind compliments. I do try awfully hard to provide thorough, clearly explained information on my websites and in the eBook. I needed a pat on my back this morning.
Your idea to sell ‘tufa spheres most probably will be a big hit, as long as you have lots of gardeners who visit the garage sale (of course). Just remember that you need to give any hypertufa or concrete object at least 30-days cure time before you can sell it in good conscience … not only do you want it to be good and “dry” (cured) but the issue of it being safe to plant flowers or other plants in is also an issue. You will find more info on this in the eBook. Also, if you live in a cold climate, the cure times might take longer, depending upon the time of year you make the items.
As I just told another crafter the other day about making some extra income via selling hypertufa garden art items you’ll need to keep in mind you need a dedicated work area (I would NOT advise you setting up a large scale project like this in your kitchen or basement, for instance) AND you need a spot to let the items cure for at least 30 days. Plus, being able to hose them off versus having to dip them in water baths is also a consideration if you start to get into larger items. In your case, I don’t know how large you want to make your spheres!
Even simple troughs/planters (rectangular or even round) would probably sell well for you, too. I have a friend who paid $35 for a very rough, unspectacular looking round hypertufa planter! (I was surprised she forked over that much $$ for it, to be honest, as she is one of the most frugal people I know! lol) It wasn’t very large and I know the cost of materials and time it took for the crafter to make it weren’t that much. (Note: I am sure you realize that larger spheres are going to be somewhat labor intensive.)
As far as price points, I guess it’s the old adage of “what will the market bear”? Obviously size, simplicity or ornateness of an object and consumer demand for that particular item all comes into play. I’d say shop around at garden centers; see what kind of pots and containers they sell and the prices for those, then try and calculate your material costs, time involved and mark-up desired and see if it is a reasonable price. Then try and sell it! If people grab up your pieces left and right … perhaps a slight price increase will pose no problem for you.
And as it always is with selling something, you’ve got to educate the person who might not otherwise have a clue about the advantages of having a hypertufa planter. If you’re at a street fair or farmers market setting, you’ll be able to give sales pitches to people as they are walking by. Grab their attention! Be friendly and work the crowd.
I wish you and your wife lots of fun and the best of luck in pursuing this project!