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A Craftperson's coat of Arrogance

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  • A Craftperson's coat of Arrogance

    Dixie of Handmade Lives has written another excellent post about Craft Fairs and her comment about prices is so true:

    http://handmadelives.wordpress.com/2...-of-arrogance/

    After the craft fair on Saturday this is so true. A lady spending 2 days to knit and dress and teddy bear selling for £7.00? another crafter and I said she was far too low in her prices and could not even make the money back for the wool, she agreed but you guessed it "It is only a hobby'!! not again and another one had made dinky fabric bags for girls selling for £2.75! The visitors to this event loved handmade and appreciated the work that each item took plus they even commented that the prices were too low and a couple insisted on paying decent amounts.

    Yet again selling cheap just not on and so unfair on those of us trying to earn a living, when will they get it into there heads that they are belittling the whole handmade market place, letting themselves down and the rest of us, so buck up your ideas crafters and price realistically. Must admit if I ever organised an event again would check out prices this time round and those underpriced would not get in. Some of the juried events ask for prices from and to.

    Rant over.... but for how long?

  • #2
    I couldn't agree more. I often see other turners selling their work for less than the cost of the wood with no regard whatsoever for the fact that some of us are trying to earn a living. Quite honestly I think it is time that fair organisers began to make sure that those having stalls are selling at a decent price. People coming to 'craft fairs' often seem to have the attitude that it is a boot sale where they can pick up a bargain. Yesterday at a market the number of people who seemed surprised to see quality, handmade work for sale was amazing, they seemed to expect imported work and asked frequently "did you make all this yourself?" Craft fairs should be held with a 'gallery' atmosphere IMHO not a rummage sale. The same applies to those people who are selling cheap, shoddy, badly made work. Hobby crafters often produce excellent quality work, I have no problem with them, selling at less than their value and selling tatty goods is bnot going to help the public see that hand made means quality though.

    Rant not over.......probably never will be LOL

    pete
    "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci
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    • #3
      Oooooooh!!! I get angry too.

      Perhaps we should make new price tags?

      Something like:
      "This picture used £20 of materials and took me 25 hours to make and the price tag is £195.
      If you think the price is too high and you want to haggle with me - first ask yourself if you would be prepared to work for less than £7 per hour."

      Lyn
      Annie and Lyn
      www.rosiepink.typepad.co.uk

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rosiepinkStudio View Post
        Oooooooh!!! I get angry too.

        Perhaps we should make new price tags?

        Something like:
        "This picture used £20 of materials and took me 25 hours to make and the price tag is £195.
        If you think the price is too high and you want to haggle with me - first ask yourself if you would be prepared to work for less than £7 per hour."

        Lyn
        LOL. Like it. I don't even bother taking anything that costs more than about £100 as it would never sell. Maybe I ought to start making cup cakes and pickles, they seem to sell more than anything else at the fairs and markets I go to. Having said that we did a market at Marlborough yesterday and Mo did really well, usually it is me who does well at that one but not this time LOL.

        Pete
        "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci
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        • #5
          Could not agree with you both more and to top it all the knitter just dumped everything on the table, no display, set up in 10 minutes, all piled high like a jumble sale, cloth did not reach the floor and wonder if she had p&pli. So bad and I had her next to me as well!

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          • #6
            But on to advantage side it must have made your stall look out of this world.
            Carol
            God helps them that help themselves.

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            • #7
              Yes it did Carol gut the organisers moaned about the height of my stand and it blocking the fire escape, did point out that as on the table not the floor it covered the same footprint in the position they put my table.

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              • #8
                Just recently I was next to someone who had lovely things but who again said, "Oh it's just a hobby." Someone asked her how long it took to paint a particular item and she said, "Gosh, about 4 hours each, and then I fire them so that they're wash-proof." She was selling the item for less than £10.

                And don't even get me started about people who buy a load of stuff in, leave the "Made in China" labels on and then sell them. Grrrrr.
                Custom tribal belly dance costumes & accessories

                Unique jewellery for those who love to turn heads

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                • #9
                  I agree with all these posts but the problem is finding customers who will pay what the goods are worth. My main business is selling garden plants and I have knitted scarves (among other things) to give me something to sell in the winter. The first one I knitted was very much admired but no one was prepared to pay the price. It was made with 100% Merino Wool and cost around £16 in wool. I priced it at £28.50 which nowhere near covered my time but I didn't think I would get any more than that. It didn't sell and my son now has it (he didn't pay but he does love it!). When customers can go to High St fashion stores and buy lovely, bright scarves for as little as £5 I don't think crafters stand a chance. Many people will value hand-crafted items but I think the majority want "cheap and cheerful". How do you all counteract this?

                  Marion

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                  • #10
                    Partly it is a cse of being selective where you sell and partly don't just have more expensive things for sale. Several of the fairs I do are purely as a promotional exercise and I make the cost of the table up with things like tops, keyrings, light pulls, wizard wands etc all under a tenner. If you pay £10 for a table in a loccl village or church hall don't expect to sell tghings that cost more. The last thing you should ever do IMHO is sell things at a price that doesn't take into account cost of labour materials etc. If you do you are undermining the value of your work and setting a precedent that we are all obviously against. Your work is (hopefully) skilfully made, top quality using quality materials and the price should reflect that. I also try and make things that are different to the norm. That may not be so easy for some crafts I know but at the end of the day if what we are making isn't standing out from the crowd and noticeably different to the high street imported stuff then we are failing IMHO. Selling yourself short is no worse than trying to sell shoddy goods that aren't finished properly, designed well and reeking of quality.

                    Pete

                    Pete
                    "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci
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                    • #11
                      Thanks for your thoughts, Pete. I think maybe knitting is a special case. I can make a profit quite easily on other goods, especially plants but I've often heard knitters say it just isn't worth it. I am now making scarves with cheaper and more expensive wool, making some a little thinner/shorter, where style allows to give me a variety of prices. I'm hoping at my next sale in December that this will encourage people to look more widely. We'll see!

                      Marion

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                      • #12
                        At least it seems we are all singing off the same hymn sheet.

                        "It's just a hobby" is like a red rag to me. I say "Gosh, but you are of course registered with the Inland revenue aren't you because the fines are really scarey!
                        they usually go pale and say "errrrrrrr yes?"
                        full time mum and very very part time crafter.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by beadsbydesign View Post
                          At least it seems we are all singing off the same hymn sheet.

                          "It's just a hobby" is like a red rag to me. I say "Gosh, but you are of course registered with the Inland revenue aren't you because the fines are really scarey!
                          they usually go pale and say "errrrrrrr yes?"
                          Snork!!!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MarionT View Post
                            I agree with all these posts but the problem is finding customers who will pay what the goods are worth. My main business is selling garden plants and I have knitted scarves (among other things) to give me something to sell in the winter. The first one I knitted was very much admired but no one was prepared to pay the price. It was made with 100% Merino Wool and cost around £16 in wool. I priced it at £28.50 which nowhere near covered my time but I didn't think I would get any more than that. It didn't sell and my son now has it (he didn't pay but he does love it!). When customers can go to High St fashion stores and buy lovely, bright scarves for as little as £5 I don't think crafters stand a chance. Many people will value hand-crafted items but I think the majority want "cheap and cheerful". How do you all counteract this?

                            Marion
                            Check out Dixie's other blog on the juicy customer, there are those that value hhandmade and will pay for it

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                            • #15
                              Thanks - I will do.

                              Marion

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