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A Craftperson's coat of Arrogance

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  • #31
    Hi I have only just caught up with this thread. I am going to write a post specificly on pricing which will hit the world around the 20th November ( I will come back and say in this thread when its live)
    So all your comments are gist to my mill so thank you.
    If any of you are on Facebook there is a day to day bit of Handmade Lives there where you can get a personal response to making a living issues and its always free as I just can't take your money to help you earn a living as it would be a bit of a home goal wouldn't it?
    Helping UK craftspeople make a living relaxing reads, quizzes, mentoring, profiles


    • #32

      I have just read through the thread and found it intersting and also it has helped me firm my resolve that what we do and charge is right.
      I got into the craft as a hobby that hopefully i could use to keep me busy and bring in a few quid if/when i ever reach retirement age, most of what i do is on a cnc machine so the skill factor is less than say someone turning the wood by hand on a lathe.
      It still involved a large sum of money and a lot more patience, i have no where near made back what i invested so i am lucky i have a full time job in the print trade.
      A perfect example of underselling is Mirri Board products, i work for a company that manufatures this, we got approached by a very well known large craft supplier from a home shopping channel and suppplied them a lot of this at a lower price as it was reject stock but perfect for the craft community, after running a bill up in the thousands the company went bust, 2 days later they were retrading under a different name and had the nerve to ask us if we wouldl supply them, forget the money they took us for.

      Another instance was i paid a lot of money for 3 metres of table space at the Motorcycle museum craft fair, people wanted the stuff for such a low price i just kept refusing, i went home after making 2 sales for a grand total of about £10, the table had cost me £130.

      Ebay has afected a lot of trade, cheap copies imported or people just selling at a loss.

      Until recently i contemplated knocking it on the head, but i have started carving brass purley for my own items, since then i have had a few people from a local canal boat group enquire, the prices when i gave them were not even blinked at, bearing in mind brass is an expensive metal to buy, i also made a clock, no batteries just gears and weights, someone offered me £50 after seeing it in my house, the counterweight has 4kilo of brass that cost more than £50 so i was more than offended, it also took 8 weeks of fine tuning.

      I now feel i have found a better way it is hard but the more i did the better it got, friends and family.

      Every item we sold or did as a gift got shown to 10 people, if one ordered they then show it to another ten so on and so on, this is when you go from selling a few here and there to a not stop flow, we are not at a non stop flow thank god, but we are getting more and more orders via word of mouth.
      Refferals are fantastic.

      All i can say is we know exactly what each item costs us in raw materials, then add in the time factor and a little profit stickk to what you are doing in the knowledge your prices are fair.
      Here is a pic of our stand at motorcycle museum huge footfal very low sales.
      It was soul destroying and has put me off a lot of fairs, but i do keep at it and as xmas is approaching things are picking up.
      Just my experience voiced.

      show pic.jpg
      Our Website:
      Facebook (more pics)!/KustomCut


      • #33
        Thanks Kustom cut, I have visited your website and put in a friend request on your facebook page. I will be back ordering some presents your items are lovely.


        • #34

          I've been making and selling jewellery for about 6 months or so now, and I do my best to price it fairly, if I spend several hours sewing beads into place, I try to reflect that in my price, but my "in-laws" are always complaining my prices are too high, and that I should lower them for craft fairs "cos people wont spend that much money on jewellery". I never do, I have written out my labels, and if it sells, great, but I'm not selling my work for less than it's worth. However... Recently, my partner's sister has decided to make similar jewellery to mine, and sell it cheaper than me, which wound me up to no end... But NOW she has also started buying shamballa bracelets in bulk from China, costing her about £40 for 20, or £20 for 40 or something, and selling them for £3.00. I feel this is completely unethical, not only cos it's totally undercutting my business, but she's profitting from other people's work! She has also posted pictures of them on her facebook page, with her business card in the background which says "handmade jewellery" on it. I think it's disgusting, and it looks like she is advertising the China-bulk bracelets as her own making. Does anyone have any idea on whether this is either legal, or just unethical?

          Another ranting crafter! lol



          • #35
            If you want to buy something that is of good quality then you wouldn't go to one of the cut price shops would you? Same should apply to craft fairs. To sell things that are imported or not made by you yourself is, IMHO unethical if the fair is promoted as a handmade craft fair. Again choose your selling venues carefully. We have been selling in local fairs for a while and will be seriously considering which are worth doing in 2013 as some are not rally hand crafted fairs at all. If people want to import and sell items then I don't have a problem with that, whether it is like Annie with her fair trade work or cheap Chinese imports but keep them out of 'craft fairs.' I am seriously considering having some kind of sign saying that all items on my stall are designed and crafted by me. My experience is that people see my prices and can't always afford them, that is fine but I refuse to sll where I am compared to cheap imports or hobbyists who seem to think that it is OK to sell at less than cost or even prices that just cover cost of materials. If you were selling your craft through a regular shop ask yourself what type of shop it would be? If you expect to sell it through a nick nack type shop then you will never sell.

            "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci



            • #36
              She is being entrepreneurial, but differently to you. The bracelets are handmade, just not her hands, but she does nto claim that. And lots of people profit from other people's work. Ill defend her right to sell what she wants to whoever wants to buy it - but at the same time will never defend her claiming it is her work etc
              Do you buy your materials from China?
              Ignore the in-laws. Unless they run their own business successfully what do they know.


              • #37
                Selling Chinese bracelets is fine on the level that trading is an age old way of making a living, you could argue it's sharing the world's wealth out more fairly, the Chinese maker's lives are better than they were (a bit of arguing can go on here) but implying they are made by her is dishonest. Implying isn't illegal but stating is but in a way that's irrelavent because I don't think anything would be done about it.
                Under pricing is silly and she won't be able to keep it you might already be seeing by her realising you might be able to make more money by selling other people's stuff. (Wait until the bracelets go out of fashion and she has a couple of boxes full languishing in her garage and tots up her bank balance..... trading isn't as easy as it seems to begin with.)
                So I'd say grit your teeth and take the moral high ground and stick with what you are doing as long as it makes sense, first financially, then for the other reasons you do it.