How to Charge for Quilts

Charge for finished quilts or quilt services.
Charge for finished quilts or quilt services. (Image: Steve Baccon/Photodisc/Getty Images)

You can turn your quilting hobby into a full-time business or earn extra money to supplement other income. You can charge for quilts by finished size to simplify pricing. Assess your skills and interests to decide what types and sizes of quilts to sell. Decide whether to make traditional or contemporary pieced quilts, whether to quilt by machine or by hand, and what size or sizes to offer. Be realistic about your available space and in which areas you can provide quality workmanship with professional results.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Calculator

Research the retail sales price of similar quilts. Call competitors on the phone, search the Internet, or ask your local quilt shop or guild what handmade quilts sell for in your area to determine current pricing for the types and sizes of quilts you intend to sell. Write down this information to help you determine what the market will bear.

Estimate the cost of raw materials you will need to buy to complete each size and type of quilt, such as fabric and thread. Include supplies that need periodic replacement, such as needles and pins, as well.

Estimate the time involved to complete each size and type of quilt. Make sample quilts and time yourself, if necessary. Multiply your minimum dollar per hour rate by the amount of time estimated to complete each size and type of quilt to get your labor cost for each.

Add the cost of materials and supplies to the labor cost. Then factor in a reasonable percentage for overhead and incidental expenses such as electricity and office supplies, income and self-employment taxes, and a cushion for unforeseen expenses such as machine repairs. Add another 15% for profit to determine the retail price for each quilt size and type.

Compare your pricing with that charged by others. Focus your production and marketing efforts on the types and sizes of quilts where your prices are competitive or where your quilts are superior to those of your competitors.

Tips & Warnings

  • A simple pricing shortcut that works well in many cases is to double the cost of materials for the wholesale price and triple the materials cost for the retail price.
  • Offer quilting services, such as machine quilting or hand binding rather than completed quilts to diversify your business.
  • You will be responsible for paying self-employment and income taxes either quarterly or at the end of the year.

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