Product Pricing: 5 Steps to Set Prices For Store-owners

 In pricing strategies, Retail, Retail Tips & Trends

When launching a new product in your retail store, the thought of setting a price might feel daunting. How do you set a price high enough to make a profit that isn’t so high that it scares your customers away?

There are a number of techniques used in determining a product’s price, margin, markup, markdown, profitability, and sales history. While there are dozens of formulae to comb through, there are only a few you need to know when pricing products for direct-to-consumer sales and wholesale.


Step 1: Research Your Market

Before you set a price for any retail product, determine which segment of the market you’re trying to capture and where you fit in. For example, are you a discount brand, a contemporary brand, or a designer brand?

If a lower price point is your competitive advantage, keep that in mind while doing your research. If your target customers are more budget-conscious or looking for a high-quality, high-end product, these are also factors to keep in mind when conducting market research.


Step 2: Calculate Your Cost of Goods Manufactured

Cost of goods manufactured (COGM) is the total cost of making or purchasing a product, including materials, labour, and any additional costs necessary to get the goods into inventory and ready to sell, such as shipping and handling.

A product’s COGM can be determined with the following calculation:

Total Material Cost + Total Labor Cost + Additional Costs and Overhead = Cost of Goods Manufactured


Step 3: Set Your Wholesale Price

A good place to start when setting your wholesale price is to multiply your cost of goods by 2. This will ensure your wholesale profit margin is at least 50%.


  • What is Profit Margin?

Profit margin is the gross profit a retailer earns when an item is sold.

In the apparel segment of retail, brands typically aim for a 30-50% wholesale profit margin, while direct-to-consumer retailers aim for a profit margin of 55-65%. (A margin is sometimes also referred to as “markup percentage.”)

Retail margin percentage can be determined with the following formula:

Retail Price – Cost / Retail Price = Retail Margin %


Step 4: Set Your Suggested Retail Price (SRP)

A suggested retail price (SRP) is the price a brand or manufacturer recommends retailers set for their product. It’s important to make sure retailers follow your SRP so they’re not undercutting you or your other retail partners.

Retail price is calculated with the following formula:

Wholesale Price / (1 – Markup Percentage) = Retail Price

Research your market to see how other comparable brands or retailers set their prices. Then you can work backward to see if your target retail price is feasible, based on the costs you incur to produce your products.


  1. Set Two Price Points

If you wholesale your products to retail partners and sell direct-to-consumer through your website or pop-up shop, it’s smart to create a dual pricing strategy to ensure you’ll still profit, regardless of whether you’re selling your products at wholesale or retail.

That means you’d create an external retail price for your products listed on your website that your direct customers see and a separate wholesale price you share with wholesale or potential wholesale accounts in the form of a line sheet.

When you sell wholesale, you’re likely selling a higher quantity in each order, which allows you to sell the products at a lower price.

You can do the math to determine your margins and set wholesale and suggested retail prices (SRP) for your products.

Now that you have a better understanding of the formulas used to calculate product pricing, it’s time to implement them. You can create a spreadsheet that lists your products by style number and name and includes columns for the cost of goods, wholesale price, wholesale margin, retail price, and retail margin.

Use these formulas above to create a costing chart that you can plug numbers into each time you need to define pricing for a new product.

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