I have a horrible bad habit of quickly abandoning projects and starting something new. I’m so anxious to get to the final results. This is why I have so many small business adventures wrapped up under Fall For Design LLC. Like my cell phone cases for example. Yesterday I sat down with my husband and spilled my thoughts about the profit of this specific niche. I’m thankful for my husband for using an imaginary frying pan to bonk me upside the head and tell me that I need to stop my business adventures and focus on one product and create millions of designs for it. But, I’m also going to take a different approach to my cell phone case store.
I started designing cell phone cases as a way to help keep the roof over our heads. I was anxious to get started. Heck, I’m anxious every week since I don’t know if I’ll get a paycheck or not. When business is slow I keep designing and trying to push out new products. But yesterday, I sat down and did a little math with my phone cases.
The prices I had prior were prices to stay competitive with other American & Canadian Etsy Sellers. Most of these sellers make the cell phone cases in their home studio, while I, do not. I don’t have an extra 10 square feet of space to spare for equipment where my children won’t burn their little fingers off. So I hire a small army of professionals to manufacture my designed cell phone cases.
Since I was keeping my prices competitive, I was only averaging $1.75 profit per case. Most cell phone case designers average $12 to $15 a case if they manufacture it themselves. My hourly profit on the time I spend customizing a case, setting it up to print and filling out forms ended up being less than minimum wage. Frankly, I wouldn’t touch any design work if I was only getting paid $1.75 for my efforts to create one image. Would you?! Nope, I didn’t think so. I’m not going to spend 15 minutes on something that only pays for half a box of cereal. The whole point of opening a business from home was to make more than the average hourly wage of $8 to $9 an hour. I didn’t create the cell phone case shop to sink myself. If that was the case, I’d move to China and work in one of their factories.
With that said, I raised the prices of my cell phone cases to make it worthwhile. I know this may push me out of the market, but there are other American cell phone designers that are selling wrap-around cases for $44 to $56 and they’re doing just fine. For my cases, I didn’t raise the prices that high. But you can head on over to the shop and see the changes yourself.
My rule of thumb is this… Get paid what you think your worth is. And if you don’t get paid for work you’ve done, well, it’s not worth your efforts, is it?