#AskJanesBrain: Should I Lower My Prices if My Costs Are Coming in Too High?

my fashion line is priced too high for the market

Today’s video answers a questions from a NYC emerging designer, we’ll call her M.B., about costing and pricing her luxury womenswear line.

Q: “Dear Jane,

I find all your information so helpful! Thank you for creating this well of knowledge, it is truly indispensable. I am a new designer in New York, launching a womenswear label for Spring. I am working with a great sampling factory in NYC and an embroidery mill in India. I’ll be putting together linesheets soon.

My biggest problem is my prices. The sewing and embroidery costs put some of the prices through the roof. I’d like to sit with brands in the “advanced contemporary” price range, but my costs are too high, putting me at the “designer” pricepoint. (Taking into account production pricing, but with my current partners, not cheaper alternatives.) I’ve been advised in the past not to tell buyers a price that is unsustainable.

However, I do think there needs to be a match between price and quality and I just need to resolve it. I plan to look into cheaper production options in coming weeks, whether that is full package in India or a cheaper NYC factory. This is another chicken-egg question, since I would need to know the # of units to negotiate with the factories.

My question to you is: Do I lower the prices on my linesheet to what I want them to be… and then hustle to get them there? Or is that too risky?” Best, M.B.

A: Watch the video for the answer to M.B.’s costing question…

Whaddayathink about my advice for M.B.? Do you agree? Disagree? Have you struggled with the same costing & Pricing issues?

I want to hear from you!! Stop lurking and leave me a comment below – show me you’re alive!! Thanks for watching!


P.S. If you want my “formula” for pricing your fashion line for profit, I have a course for that. You can grab it here.



9 Responses

    1. My pleasure! It was great to see you in New York. If you have a question for me, just post it up on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #JanesBrain. I’ll be picking a question from a designer every week and answer it with a video,

  1. I agree she should wait to launch. I’ve often put lower prices on things thinking I would somehow get the price down but the reality is I usually come back to needing the price to be where I originally put it. And when I HAVE gotten orders for an item at the lower price, I resent it and wish I hadn’t ever listed it for sale anyway! (I sell online mostly.)

    1. Hi Haley! You are SO RIGHT about feeling resentful when you get a sale that’s not really profitable. I completely relate to that feeling even though I know if I price something incorrectly, I only have myself to blame! BTW, I took a peek at your lovely website and I love the RUSSIAN BIRDCAGE VEIL. It’s charming.
      Thanks for commenting,

    1. So true, Lisa. And it took me a LOOOOOOOONG time to really believe it. When I had my line I definitely sold plenty of “pet products” that weren’t super profitable but I liked them. Took me years to realize that was a waste of time!
      Thanks or commenting,

  2. I’ve been wrestling with the very same question, with a twist. I’m designing intimate apparel. I’ve received quotes at 1 US factory and 1 in China. The US price gets cut in half if I manufacture in China and the volume would go from 100 pieces (in US) to 500 min. in China (this is with one factory that’s willing to start that small, and not easy to find). At much higher volumes (5000 and 10000), the price goes down even more significantly. If I sell direct and don’t go wholesale, then my made in the US price is still OK. So it’s a question of strategy for me and direct-to-consumer for my concept feels like it makes a lot of sense. My distribution channel initially may be direct and then as I grow I could scale overseas and turn to wholesale accounts as a viable channel. Would love your thoughts. thanks!

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