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Miss Crochet

Pattern Price Pain Threshold

Pattern Price Pain Threshold  

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  1. 1. Pattern Price Pain Threshold

    • 99c
      5
    • $1.99
      9
    • $2.99
      22
    • $3.99
      57
    • All your hooks and yarns (hehe. Just to make you smile)
      5


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I have a few simple designs on my website. At the moment I’m working on a pattern for an afghan that I think is quite nice (she says modestly.) Up until now, I’ve hosted my patterns on my website/offered them free, but this one will be a bit too complex for a website because I’d like to include step-by-step photos as well as a diagram, so I’d rather offer it as a PDF.

 

I’m also aware of the fact that it’s going to take me yonks and yonks to write it, photograph it, chart it and layout it, so I’d like to ask for a nominal charge. I know I’m not going to make a fortune selling patterns and, I’m not dependent on this source of income, thank goodness, so I would rather offer it at a token price to cover the hassle of creating (and possibly hosting or selling) the PDF, yet at a price that wouldn’t put people off buying it … because I want people to MAKE it. Yes, I do! (BTW the type of pattern is like the Babette Afghan, in other words an afghan made up of individual pieces. )

 

 

So here’s where you come in. Please click the MAXIMUM PRICE you are willing to pay for a single pattern PDF. Assume it’s a pattern you think is pretty, obviously ;-) It won’t cost more than $5 but I’m just curious.

 

 

P.S. Any other tips, comments and/or advice welcome!

Edited by Miss Crochet

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That's really going to vary depending on the pattern. I'm not going to pay more than $3 or $4 for say a dishcloth. I will pay like $7 for more complex patterns like afghans or something really unique.

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(Just IMO, you should have included higher options in your poll! :)

 

I pretty much agree with Nicole. It depends on what type of item the pattern is for, and how complex it is. I don't have a problem paying for good patterns, I know how much work goes into designing the pattern itself, and then also into creating a good quality pdf w/ photos or charts etc.

 

Just from my own personal experience, it seems that app. $5 seems to be what I usually end up spending on individual patterns, but I have bought a few at $7, $8 or more.

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Thanks for the opinions so far. I guess at the moment I'm going back and forth between:

a) charge $5-10 but don't expect to sell a lot (a designer on Ravelry recently reported that hundreds of her free PDFs had been downloaded but she hadn't sold a single pattern yet :( )

or

b) charge less ($1-$5) so the pattern is available to more people, or more people will buy it on impulse.

 

Longterm I wonder if it's a better investment of my time and energy to sell many copies for less, than few copies for more? :think

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I understand that there is a lot of work involved in writing a pattern, and what you are proposing to do, sounds very time and labor intensive. I believe the work you will put into your pattern will definitely make it worth more than I am willing to pay, since I probably wouldn't pay more than a few dollars for a single pattern, and I wouldn't buy a single dishcloth pattern, even at 99 cents. However, lots of people will, and I think they would pay even more than $5 if the pattern was special enough.

 

Here's why I wouldn't. Just today I bought a booklet with 18 Patricia Kristofferson doily patterns in it for $8.95, which was the suggested retail price. (If I'd thought ahead, I could've used a coupon and gotten it for less.) These are complex patterns, well written and beautifully photographed. If I had the time, talent and ambition, (and a use for that many doilies), I'd make at least 10 of them. I think these patterns by an established designer were a bargain at that price.

 

I can usually find pattern books costing in the $5 to $12 range that have at least 4 or 5 patterns in them that I would want to make, so the price for a single pattern ends up being quite low. I've never purchased a book for the sake of a single pattern.

Since I can get so much more for my money by buying a pattern booklet, I haven't ever bought a single pattern.

 

This doesn't mean that I wouldn't ever buy a single pattern. It just means that I haven't yet come across a pattern so spectacular that I absolutely have to have it.

 

Good luck to you with this pattern.

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Thanks, Gardener. I appreciate all perspectives.

 

I guess one aspect of the issue is that I am part of the international pattern-buying public. Outside of the US, the market for crochet patterns is rather limited. I know that the Japanese designers are making great strides in terms of fashionable and interesting designwork, but here in Germany most of the available patterns are for filet crochet ... and I'm just not that interested in making curtains or tablecloths. So I don't have the opportunity to buy many pattern magazines or books in paper form. Those I have got have been bought on import via Amazon (expensive!!) or given to me by English-speaking friends. As a result, I tend to buy individual patterns that I can download (likewise crochet magazines that I can buy in PDF form).

 

As a result, I would like to create a PDF at a price that reflects its value to its user (= $2? $3?) as opposed to its value to me (= $1,000,000) :lol

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You know, I hadn't thought of that aspect of pattern buying, the fact that it isn't easy for everyone to go and shop for them. I am fortunate to live near a large city, so I have plenty of places to buy patterns.

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I think you'll make more over the long run selling it at a lower price. I also think that a complex pattern with a picture tutorial is worth more.

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I have purchased a few patterns -- more than a few, actually -- and would agree that, while you don't want to price the pattern too high that you don't sell many, you don't want to underprice it either, thus not really getting much of a return for hosting the PDF and whatever else goes into making the pattern and tutorials. I think that something in the range of $5 at the low end and even up to $8 would be reasonable. Personally, if I love an item, I will pay for the pattern rather than buying a book with patterns I won't use. In fact, if anyone wants to buy your pattern and has your permission to sell the finished product, then in reality the buyer will end up making a profit pretty soon. That's my two cents' worth. I hope to see your pattern soon so I can buy it :)

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I will spend more on a pattern that is beautiful and unusual and I do love PDF files then you have the pattern right away. Some vintage patterns and ones extremely rare I purchase at a higher price I weight my options if this really what I want. I also consider mailing price and price of pattern as one price too sometimes pattern is cheap but mailing sometimes is unreal than I say no to the pattern.

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I live outside the US, too, but my pattern-buying philosophy is similar to Cindy's. About $4 for an individual pattern is my threshold. I have paid more--about $7--for a special pattern, but I resent paying that much for a single pattern, when a whole magazine of patterns costs about that much, and I could get a book with 15 or so patterns for twice the price. Individually priced patterns tend to be overpriced, IMO, although if the designer includes extra photos and will answer questions about the pattern if you have a problem (I'm going to name Kim Guzman here as a designer I'd pay $7 for a pattern, and I have), it's a better value. However, up to about $4, I don't usually have second thoughts--I'd just buy the pattern.

 

I think you will make more in the long run if you price the pattern in the lower range. Even though you are investing a lot of time in effort in your pattern/tutorial right now, you could still be making a little pocket money from it in 10 years' time, when the work is long behind you. (You might even be able to increase the price in that time, if the economic situation alters.)

 

I don't think there is a pattern on the planet I would pay $10 for--$7 really is my upper limit. OTOH, I once paid $20 for a book just to get a single pattern--but I planned to resell the book when I was finished, and you can't do that with a PDF pattern.

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A single pattern would have to be truly special for me to pay more than $5 -- maybe $6. It has to be something I'm really obsessing over.

 

As to step-by-step photo instructions, I may be in the minority, but I find them annoying and often take the time to reformat pattern instructions so they don't include the photos. (I dislike wasting copy paper on stuff I don't need, and if a pattern is fairly straightforward, I don't want the pix.) However, if a pattern is especially tricky, it is nice to have pictures showing the tricky part. And it's good to have a photo of a closeup of the stitch pattern as well as the entire item -- I think this is often a failing of the "big" pattern publishers. If I were selling a photo instruction sheet, I'd probably include a text-only version as well. But that's just me.

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I might buy a crochet pattern for under $5. Maybe. And I agree with Afghaniac that really good pictures are crucial. Also (you may hate me for this) may I suggest both written instructions and a chart of the stitch pattern or design pattern? I prefer charts but like to have it written out, too, to double check anything which is unclear. However, there are plenty of crocheters who dislike charts and won't use them. Having both would be a definite advantage in my eyes.

 

Now I'll go run and hide...

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Okay as a designer who sells her patterns I will put my 2 cents worth in. I have tried selling cheap patterns. when I first started selling my designs I tried selling them for $1.25 thinking I would make up in volume. Wrong. I sold no more no less. By the time I worked out my expenses of getting that pattern to them I made 45 cents. Wasn't worth my time and effort. I bumped them up to $3.75 and sold about the same amount. I finally raised my prices to my current rate of $4.75 for an individual with the exception of my more complicated designs Which I price around $5.95. I group my doilies in booklets of 3 and sell that for 6.95. It gives people a better value with out raising my expenses too much. I also have a few books with more designs that are priced a little higher. But my point is if people want a design they will pay for it unless they are the type of people that want everything for nothing. Then I don't care how you price it they won't buy. I have nice steady sales on my items and they are priced where I make my expenses and a little bit more. I will never get rich doing this. I don't expect to.

It is a lot of work creating a good pattern. You deserve something for your efforts and I firmly believe if you pay for something you value it more. If you get it for free then people are likely to put the value of what they paid for it on it. Which is nada........

What I ask for my pattern is not much more than a Latte and people will pay for them. So I have no guilt over what I charge. We spend good money on our yarn and thread. A good pattern is just another material you need to make a item you can be proud of. So what's the difference of paying money for your yarn or your pattern. You need them both. Besides great yarn is nothing without a great pattern.

 

So don't undervalue yourself. No matter what you do if you sell them you will have expenses. Pay pal doesn't handle your money for nothing. Host sites such as Ravelry will charge you a fee. Etsy charges you a fee. It all adds up. I pay for my website hosting since I want the added protection and security. But that is my choice. You can get free sites that is your choice. But you can't sell anything with out a middle man of some sort and that will cost you.

Well I didn't mean to write a book here. But you asked for information and I thought you should get both sides of the coin.

Just Remember you shouldn't base your prices on what people want to pay, but base them on what you need to get to make it worth the time and effort of offering your creation.

 

I wish you the best of luck on your endeavor.

Edited by Katchkan

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I have tons of pattern books and pamphlets that I have purchased over the years, but I can't recall purchasing just one pattern. As I believe someone else mentioned, the cost per pattern is minimal when buying a book or magazine full. Also most of the new books,etc that I did buy for full price..were exhibiting a new technique or stitch/method I had never tried before. So for me I was purchasing a crochet lesson.

I know the work that goes into writing up a pattern, and other than scribbling down notes for my own reference I have only done it once.

I wish you all the luck and success you deserve for entering into a project like you mentioned. Many people are very successful in their pattern designing and writing, and perhaps you will be the next one...

If you are going to do it, do it positively...

Kathy has some very good advice...

Edited by HappyOldCro
Added item

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]

But my point is if people want a design they will pay for it unless they are the type of people that want everything for nothing. Then I don't care how you price it they won't buy.

........

 

I totally agree w/ Kathy --- there are those people who will pay & those who won't. Kathy also confirmed my feelings that 'underpriced for volume selling' isn't going to work all that well with a 'non-essential' item like crochet patterns. If you were selling necessities like milk & butter, underpricing might work wonders, :D but I think if someone really wants your pattern, they'll pay a reasonable price. And would you really feel good about selling your hard work at a dollar or two a pop?

 

If you do feel you have set your price too high, it's much easier to drop your price at a later date (or have sales or specials), if you change your mind, than to regret under-pricing it & try to raise the price.

 

So don't undervalue yourself. No matter what you do if you sell them you will have expenses. Pay pal doesn't handle your money for nothing. Host sites such as Ravelry will charge you a fee. Etsy charges you a fee. It all adds up.

 

One thing you may not know about Paypal -- if you are going to be primarily selling patterns & other items priced under $20, you might want to switch your account over to the "micropayment" plan. For lower-priced items, this can make a bit of difference on your fees. If you are also selling other higher-priced items (over $20), then it probably won't help - but it can make a nice cut in the amount you pay to Paypal if you're just selling lower-priced items. Before you make a final decision on your prices, go through & carefully add up all the various little fees you're paying - hosting, etsy, ravelry, paypal, whatever may apply -- as Kathy said, it DOES all add up to be more than you may initially think!

 

It's been interesting to read this discussion. My personal feelings about acquiring patterns are a bit different than some folks. I very rarely buy books of patterns or even magazines anymore. I'd end up with a small handful of patterns I really loved, a pile that I *thought* I might do someday (and never did) and tons of stuff I didn't have any use for at all. I used to have an entire large 6-shelf bookcase stuffed full of books & magazines. And when I wanted a specific pattern, I had to dig around to find it, even though I *tried* to keep things indexed & cataloged as best I could. Other than maybe 15 or so favorites, I dumped it all, prior to our last move. Plus, since I got my Nook, I don't want to drag books around with me - I just load up my PDF's on my Nook. (e-reader, similar to Kindle)

 

Just for my own tastes, I've found patterns I LOVED online, much more so than what I find in most books these days. When/if I do buy a book, it's usually for learning a new technique, or a stitch dictionary, etc. I can't really recall the last time I ever bought a book, just for the patterns.

 

One factor that plays a significant part in my decision to buy almost entirely single patterns online, directly from the designers, is the compensation to the designer themselves. With a printed book, the bulk of the profit is going to the publisher, from what I understand. The designer(s) only end up with a rather small cut. But, if I buy a pattern directly from a designer online, *she/he* is getting most of the money, not some big publishing company. Independent designers deserve our support. If given the choice between spending $10 on 2 individual PDF patterns that I love --- or spending $10 on a book that contains maybe 2 or 3 patterns I like -- I'll go with the indie designer every time. And probably end up with some really cool patterns that are much more unique than the ones in the book.

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As I believe someone else mentioned, the cost per pattern is minimal when buying a book or magazine full.

 

That's true -- and *IF* they are mostly all patterns that you genuinely love & will actually use, then it's a good deal. Just in my own personal experience though, I would get a book with 50 patterns in it - but I really only *loved* a few of them. Maybe I thought I liked some of the rest - but over the years, I realized that the percentage of patterns I actually *used* was only a small portion of the book/magazine. It makes me think of the cable TV packaging --- "get 899 channels for $X.xx!!!" Sounds really good - but if 879 of those channels are stuff you'll never watch........:D

 

I'm all with you though - on buying a book for techniques! (and it just happening to have some patterns in it, to boot.) I bought the book for the *lesson*, not for the patterns - the patterns are just a little bonus, IMO.

Edited by ferretlady
grammar, added a sentence

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A huge big 'thank you' to everyone who took the time to write such interesting replies. :hug :hug This thread has been really useful to me and hopefully to other people thinking of selling their patterns as well. I really appreciate it.

 

At the moment I'm still crocheting the sample blankets and the fact that I'm enjoying it makes me hopeful that the pattern might be fun for someone else as well. When that's done, I have to write it up and then come a-beggin' on Crochetville for testers :D

 

Katchkan: it's interesting to hear your thoughts about price/volume sales. Your (extensive) experience is very valuable, thank you for being so kind as to share.

 

And thanks to Ferretlady about the PayPal tip. I'm actually useless with money, the world's worst businesswoman, so I'm really certain that I'm not going to make megabucks from this :lol but I'm enjoying the learning process - I have no experience with Etsy or PayPal, so it's been very interesting so far.

 

Afghaniac and HomekeepingGran: I agree with you on the pictures. Actually, I thought I should make a PDF that has a step-by-step picture tutorial for first-timers, but also a single page that summarises the pattern, row by row, in written form. I also find it annoying to have to take a sheaf of papers with me whenever I'm out and about with a WIP, I wish more designers would offer the option of a one-page printout at the end of the pattern - something you can put in a plastic pocket and throw into your project bag.

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I do have to add one note to this, about pricing, there are many patterns that are for sale on the net that I would love to own, but sometimes budgeting does enter into the picture, and when it comes to a choice between a meal or paying a household bill, the pattern has no priority. The economy is rough and a lot of folks have lost, jobs, homes and more. So tread lightly on the thought that some people want something for nothing.

Alot of them are just trying to survive and still have some beauty in their lives...

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I very rarely buy single patterns. Books with 12 + patterns go for $20 to $25. Pamphlets with 3 to 5 patterns go for $4 to $6. I mostly look through books for ideas.

Ellie 13

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I've purchased books, magazines and individual patterns and just have to share this one experience. Found a shawl pattern with a very intriguing picture - paid $3.50 and received the pattern. The pattern instructions were: Chain 30, single crochet in each stitch. Repeat to desired length. Now, I was HOT! I was mad. I thought I was getting a real pattern. It was described as an "easy" pattern, but I fell for it and the seller got my money. Did I receive a pattern? yes, so I couldn't really cry foul, but did I get my moneys worth? No, not by a long shot. They caught me with a good picture of a piece made with custom or high end yarns.

 

I think you say something about the pattern by the amount you charge for it. If you have a unique pattern, I wouldn't charge less than $4 for a pattern with good descrption, pictures, AND charts!!!

 

Good Luck!

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That - I would've complained about. That's not even a pattern.

 

The micro-pricing from PayPal is a wonderful thing.

 

I try to organize my patterns so that you can print the pattern itself on the least amount of pages and the pics are in the back and can be printed if you want to. My Dell printer is an ink hog and I don't want to have to print tutorial pics if I don't need them so I try to organize the patterns I write the same way.

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I agree with $5-7 being reasonable, especially if you are going to have pictures and full step-by-step descriptions!! (you took the time to do it, so you might as well make it worth your while!!) Personally, I would much rather purchase a pattern that is more descriptive (like yours) as opposed to a pattern with minimal instructions :)

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I much prefer to buy a single pattern I am very interested in, rather than a book or pamphlet that probably doesn't have more than one or two designs I'm interested in. The only books I have are technique books.

 

Maybe I only have access to a low grade of pamphlet, but most of the ones I see are sort of "all the same" -- a zillion variations on a granny square or ripple afgan -- which frankly I could get equally good patterns of that type for free. No way will I pay $10 for that sort of thing! But I will pay up to $5 for a single pattern with good directions to make an item which is uniquely beautiful, interesting, or cute, that has the "mark" or style of the particular designer and is not generic. Before buying it, though, I will check Ravelry to see what kind of success people are having with the pattern (mostly good results = well written. Highly variable results = poorly written).

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