Infographics- Pattern Sales and Pricing: Looking at Popular Patterns on Ravelry

A few infographics to look at the popular patterns on Ravelry- both overall and by month

(Full Sized available here: Popular Pattern Prices)
Ok. Pattern pricing is a hugely debated topic on all sides- from customers complaining about $$ patterns, to people worrying about if they would be charging too little or too much for a pattern. I don't really want to jump headfirst in to that debate (I think my position is probably pretty clear), but I did want to know how popular patterns are priced.  Plus I wanted to know if shawls were actually as popular as I suspected- and yep, they are.

(full sized version: Top 10 Patterns)

Why it Matters
Designers: Don't let this discourage you from selling patterns that are not the most popular categories- there is something to be said for niche patterns. Likewise, don't be afraid to price higher than the average (my bestselling patterns are $8) but please really consider if it is worth your time to sell patterns for less than $4! However- if you are trying to diversify the type of patterns you sell (assuming you don’t sell only in one niche, like baby patterns), take note of the popular pattern categories.

Yarn Stores: Gives you an idea of what popular projects are online.  How you use it will vary with your customer base of course, but if you don’t already  have lace classes (or lace yarn), now might be the time to start! Checking out the popular patterns on Ravelry should also be something you do frequently- even if your customers don’t use Ravelry (since you can order many of the patterns or magazines for your shop).  

Yarnies: These give you an idea of what is really popular that people are making. For example, shawls are super popular- do you have a great yarn (or two) in awesome colors that work well for lace? Do you make yarn in dyelots large enough for people to make the popular sweaters?  It also never hurts to knit up a sample of a popular pattern in your yarn (especially for smaller projects) - people will flip through finished projects and see your yarn.

And you should know- these are just for fun, a way of distilling info on average prices. Unless otherwise noted, it does not include free patterns. Everything was converted to $US. And so on. Also please realize that I take this with a (big!) grain of salt- I charge more for many of my patterns ($6-8) and have no plans of changing it- I would have to sell double the patterns if I only charged $4 per pattern for example (actually more, since credit card or paypal fees are a bigger % at lower cost).

(link to fullsize: Top New Patterns)

Why/What I Wanted to Know
a.) What popular prices were. There is a lot of discussion about pricing on Ravelry, and how low/high people should price. with people complaining about "high" prices. I wanted to show myself that charging .99, 2, $4, etc was NOT average for popular patterns.
b.) A table of popular pattern prices exists (from this thread), but that just shows how people price their patterns- not what sells. There are quite a few patterns in the $2-4 range. But very few in that $ range in the popular patterns- in fact 85% of popular patterns are priced $4-6.50 while only 60% of all patterns are priced $4-6.50. 85%! Over 50% of the popular patterns on Ravelry are priced at $5 or $6 compared to 30% overall. To beat it over the head a bit more- 38% of popular patterns were priced $6 compared to 11% overall, and 22% were priced at $5 compared to 19% overall.
(Full sized link: Top 10 June)

What You Should Change
If your patterns aren't already priced in the popular pattern range, please really consider raising your prices.Think about why you don't raise prices. Is it because you wouldn't pay more? Keep in mind that you probably have more knitting skills and can figure out the techniques in your pattern for yourself. Other people can't or don't want to. I would make a strong argument that most people are not nearly as price sensitive (within a few dollars) as you think- the difference between a $4 and $6 pattern for a sweater isn't going to be that much them if they are already spending $100 on yarn to make the sweater.

What do you think? Are your patterns priced more or less than average? Any plans on changing? Does looking at what is popular make you want to design more of those patterns or go more niche (where there is less competition)?

No comments: