How can I price my embroidery to make a profit? This is a question that I am asked on a regular basis. How can I price my embroidery to make a profit especially when other embroiderers are practically giving their work away? Some embroiderers say to charge $1 per 1,000 stitches; others recommend flat-rate pricing.  I'm not sure which way to go. Some of the embroiderers in my area are undercutting me. Which kind of pricing will help me stay competitive and make a profit?”

One dollar per thousand may not be enough and yet maybe it will work for you, but this does not always work. Staying competitive is not the answer.  You must find a way to make yourself stand out from the other embroiderers, not just be competitive. What is it that you can do better or more efficiently than the other embroiderers in your area? What do you do that is a little different?  Do you offer a service that the other embroiderers are not offering?

You must create your own pricing structure. You cannot price according to the competition or what anyone else tells you to charge. You have to charge according to what your expenses are and then add on for a profit. Stop and think about this for a minute.

  • Why did you get into business, to begin with?
  • Didn't you think you could make some money offering your embroidery?
  • Didn't it cost you quite a bit of money to start this business?
  • Where did that money come from?  Did you borrow it from the bank? Did you take it from your savings or your retirement plan?
  • Now how are you going to get that money back unless you make a profit?

This is a process that takes time but you need to know exactly what ALL of your expenses are to begin this process. If you are a home embroiderer, you must also plug in a salary and home office expenses into this equation. If your machine is paid for, add a machine payment into those figures for future planning. After that figure is established, figure out how many hours a day you run your machine. You can only count the number of hours your machine is actually running if you are pricing by the stitch count! Your machine only makes money when it is actually running!

There are many factors that go into pricing besides just how long your machine is running. You also have to figure in how long it takes to prepare your garments for production, how long for finishing up the order etc? What about preparing the design?  Are you setting it up for sending it out to be digitized?  You need to charge for that time and the cost of having the design digitized. Did you have to create the artwork before you sent it out?  These are all costs that you are incurring during the production process that need to be charged to the customer, not absorbed by you. Many embroiderers include this in their pricing.  I have a pricing program available that will guide you through how to figure out your pricing.

Do not listen to what anyone else is telling you to charge. If you are not making a profit with your pricing, do not do the job. The embroiderers that are practically giving away their work will be out of business long before the embroiderer that is pricing to make a profit! This embroiderer will also be more respected!

Joyce Jagger
The Embroidery Coach