Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The price of LOVE!

Lino Deco Jewellery
Who makes and sells hand crafted items? Lots and lots of you.
And who hasn't been tormented to some degree by finding a fair price for said hand crafted items?.........not many of you I'll bet.
When Megan Auman's Cozy/cuff bracelets (pictured below)were featured on the Etsy Facebook page, little did she know it would spark such a HUGE debate around the issue of under/over pricing your work, and the devaluing of the hand made due to the cheap Walmart( Kmart here ) culture.If your a little bit interested in all the twists and turns this debate took, and the clear justification the designer had to make regarding her (fair in my opinion) prices, go and have a read.
At least there are good lessons to be learned from this debate, but as I've always said, most of us will grow old and grey waiting for etsy to make us a decent living.
I think honest hard working crafts people with good ideas and clever design who also juggle every thing else involved in running their business should not be burdened with the torment of getting the price right so it is both competitive and profitable.
Generally, sellers will ask what they think is a fair price with Everything factored in........ including their blood(ouch) sweat (phew) and yes, a few shed tears........ and did I mention minimum wage?


  1. I was just contemplating that same thing today while I was beavering away in my little sweat shop. I constantly have that little conversation to myself in my head - from a crafters point of view, I need to make an income, but if I was buying, would I pay the prices that I charge for my own work?

  2. Well, I certainly do it for the love.... I barely make pocket money from my fledgling business!

  3. There's been a huge debate about this in the knitting world recently too. Some people are grousing about individual patterns costing $6 (US) and the designers are saying that if I'm spending 40+ hours on a design, why the hell should I give it away for free?

    Anyway, always interesting to look at these thigns. Especially since I have finally dived into the designing world this year. :)

  4. Some people don't understand and never will! I agree with curlypops that is different from the buying and selling perspectives but once you reaslise what it does take to make things and actually have some kind of business (with business associated costs) then you are prepared to pay a bit more. I am completely in awe of anyone who actually makes money out of handmade!

  5. Well when i started sewing professionally more than 10 years ago with 2 science degrees for credentials, ha, & a baby under my sewing machine playing with the pedals . . . well i aimed pretty high with the cost for materials (back then retail price) plus labour & the 'designer' handmade touch. In 10 years my prices haven't changed much, guess i was aiming for what i wanted to continue with . . . so it comes down to efficiency. Make best use of your time, production line, buying materials wholesale but all these factors increase your profit. A brilliant outlet is markets, seriously, stand there, sweat it out, listen to your customers, you'll be told "wow, this is amazing" quickly followed by "did you make this yourself" & trust me, they come back if they don't purchase immediately. Handmade isn't usually a whim or impluse buy, it's a thoughtful purchase like the effort & love we put into it. Basically, if you can't pull teeth - you don't say to a dentist "gee, pretty sure i could have pulled that tooth out at home for $10" nor should a non crafty type say "i could make that at home". Take pride, be professional, have your niche & the sky is the limit!! Build slowly, i didn't go pro until i had 3 years of experience under my belt sewing serioulsy as a hobby with a view to doing it full time - throw in a few more babies, it all worked out. Be patient, it will come. Love Posie

  6. Yes, I'd say the three magic words for running a crafty business...(take)Pride, (be)Professional and(be)Patient.

  7. interesting, people always feel they should voice their opinion when something is too pricey.... I would never comment on someone's pricing unless they asked me! The average jo has no idea what costing is involved to get that price. So how can they comment. It's fair to say "I wish I had more spare cash so I could afford it" but not...that's too rude. I'd rather pay more for handmade any day over mass produced, Long live a handmade nation (:

  8. wow, this subject can go on & will go on for a long time yet.
    it is hard to make a profit & often we do make the things we make for the love of it and when someone does mention that it's too expensive as Jay said, it is just plain rude.
    they have absolutely NO idea of the time & hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
    I don't mean to jump on board as many wouldn't think food comes into the same category but it is all handmade, with love & passion and I would definitely choose homemade over supermarket any day.


Hi! It's very nice to receive your comment. I'll go and visit you too.