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  • Hobbyists

    Hi all,
    Im new here so forgive me if i sound like im having a rant. Last night i casually added someone on facebook after they sent me a request, i didnt check their details, wish i had of done or i wouldnt have added them. It basically turns out to be another "professional pen turner" of 5 years. He then proceeds to message me about how i make my pens and techniques used etc. Some of these i have developed myself. How do you deal with people that are selling work similar to yours for practically half the cost, inferior workmanship and wanting you to tell them basically how to compete with you. i once had to politely decline an invite to go to a turning group to show them how i did things. Unfortunately in my chosen craft there are a few "hobbyists" that sell for little over cost price. Rant over
    kind rgrds

    Rich

  • #2
    Common problem I'm afraid in all disciplines of crafting. Unfriend him ?

    Mo.XX
    Mo. Bodrighy Wood.
    Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage..Lao Tzu.
    www.bodrighy.co.uk
    https://twitter.com/#!/AuntieMornie

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd politely tell him you don't give away trade secrets and if he persists, unfriend him - its not as if you know him!
      Wid

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      • #4
        Yes a common problem and see lots of claims of copying on Facebook
        Pat Murphy


        http://www.gladturnings.co.uk
        https://www.facebook.com/GladTurnings.Woodturning

        Comment


        • #5
          I get a similar thing in my main job. We produce kitchen worktops for the trade, and often get customers asking if they can buy some edging and glue from us to save cost, and then start asking how it's applied, what tools we use, how we trim it and finish it etc? Sometimes I refuse to tell them; sometimes I give them a vague explanation, but point out that without the experience or the right tools, they'll just make a mess of it, and end up buying a new set of tops which will end up being more expensive than simply paying us to do it properly in the first place! Although since we bought our new machine, I'm quite happy to explain it exactly - "We use a £250,000 CNC edgebander". There's not many of them want to give that option a try.
          As for the hobbyists undercutting your prices, you have my sympathy. I must admit that's something I'm quite conscious of as I'm making stuff in my spare time, and not for a living. When I finally get round to selling at a fair, I'm determined to price things as if my main income depended on it.
          My time is still precious even if I've just wrongly described it as "spare"!
          paul

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          • #6
            Unfriend him and ignore. Unfortunately you do have to be so careful with 'help' to others as they will steal your ideas and dump you right in it. Suggest he does what you did and learn building your knowledge through experience.

            Another way to look at it is feel sorry for him that he has no ideas to use for himself, which means deep down he is not creative just trying to be carried along on someone else's coat tails
            Last edited by Caroleecrafts; 23-01-2013, 07:17 AM.

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            • #7
              Hi, jumping in here.
              Can these people who filch ideas survive in the long run?
              Are they able to be innovative and produce cutting edge designs to keep their work fresh?
              Are they actually able to interpret your verbal response into a design or technique?

              I think NOT!! If they were that good they'd be leading the craft already.

              However, bringing on a beginner and encouraging healthy competition raises general awareness of the our skills, artistic ability and creativeness and in the long run promotes interest in our wares.

              In a world of 7000,000,000 people can we have truly unique thoughts.


              James
              www.facebook.com/CraftyCath

              Comment


              • #8
                Can't be awake yet as I am confused or does someone lead a double life? Crafty Cath or James , totally agree about the view on originality in such big world, and I have made the point a number of times on Facebook that if I think I have come up with something original then I need to do a bit more research as no doubt its been done by someone somewhere in the world at some point in history. So yes there are things that can be and should be readily shared with learners to help them develop but there are some bits you keep to yourself when it comes to selling stuff. Whilst there are some people who will think that spending more on an item shows that it is better quality the majority want to get the best item for the lowest cost and are not particularly bothered about the circumstances of the seller! A final thought whilst up here on my soap box is that there is no such thing as hobby selling in the eyes of HMRC, all income should be declared!
                Pat Murphy


                http://www.gladturnings.co.uk
                https://www.facebook.com/GladTurnings.Woodturning

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's not a lot different to starters who immediately ask for a list of your sources of supply. Those good suppliers, found after years of a business are a part of the business,
                  Perhaps that's how you begin to tell the difference between someone who does something for a hobby and someone who does it for a business. A hobbyist might well share all this information, a business probably wont.

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                  • #10
                    In woodturning we all 'emulate' one another to some extent but there is a thin line between that and plagiarism. My main bugbear isn't people copying my work so much as those who sell for cost of materials or less. You're safe with me Rich, I don't do pens and use hardly any resin or acrylic LOL. If I did want to copy some idea from you I would have the courtesy to ask if it is OK with you anyway. My advice is to ignore him though helping others who want to improve is not always a bad thing.

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

                    Website

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                    • #11
                      Direct him here and tell him all the info he needs is on the site!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pearlescence View Post
                        good suppliers, found after years of a business are a part of the business ... A hobbyist might well share all this information, a business probably wont.
                        Not so sure about that, TBH. I'll happily share my fabric sources - the purchase of the same raw materials doesn't mean that someone can produce the same, or even a similar, finished object!

                        In fact, sharing sources works to my advantage as I often get given the raw materials after a few weeks or months, with only a bit of them used or marked, after the uneven struggle to produce what is thought to be 'so easy' is finally given up!

                        Being a sewer, I'm constantly hearing 'Oh I think I'll get my machine out and make one of those ...' when someone sees something I've made using a range of heirloom techniques.

                        I just smile, while thinking 'It doesn't work quite like that, buster ...'


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rg pens View Post
                          Hi all,
                          Im new here so forgive me if i sound like im having a rant. Last night i casually added someone on facebook after they sent me a request, i didnt check their details, wish i had of done or i wouldnt have added them. It basically turns out to be another "professional pen turner" of 5 years. He then proceeds to message me about how i make my pens and techniques used etc. Some of these i have developed myself. How do you deal with people that are selling work similar to yours for practically half the cost, inferior workmanship and wanting you to tell them basically how to compete with you. i once had to politely decline an invite to go to a turning group to show them how i did things. Unfortunately in my chosen craft there are a few "hobbyists" that sell for little over cost price. Rant over
                          kind rgrds

                          Rich
                          I would suggest it doesn't matter whether he's a hobbyist or not, it's the fact he's asking you for info that maybe puts him in competition with you (assuming that is the case and you sell to the same market). If he was just starting out you could maybe help and show encouragement, but he says he's a professional with 5 yrs. So with that in mind thank him for his interest but it's a trade secret. Or maybe you could consider charging him (and anyone else that asks) for that kind of information?
                          Liz aka bigbirdlittlebird

                          http://www.facebook.com/BigLittleBird
                          https://twitter.com/little_bigbird
                          http://www.bigbirdlittlebird.co.uk

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I do occasionally have hobbyists asking me questions. I tell them I have a £2000 electric potter's wheel and two kilns worth about £450 each. Sometimes I get asked how I make my popular cat soap dishes. I tell them this: I roll out a piece of clay and cut away anything that doesn't look like a cat. That usually does the trick.
                            Daesul

                            http://www.clairemanwani.com
                            http://www.folksy.com/shops/clairemanwani
                            http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ClaireManwaniPottery

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We do exist you know. I am a hobyist. I do not sell anything but because I am fairly good at what I do I also consider myself a crafter. I give away to family and friends, charities, anywhere and everywhere but never for a cash exchange these days. In the past I have done the odd fair, no more than you can count on one hand and over a period of several years but I was self employed at the time and had an accountant so it all came under the same umbrella.
                              Do 'hobyists' sells below the accepted crafter level of pricing because they consider themselves beginners and feel their goods are not up to the recognised standard? Would it be possible to set up some sort of central counsel who could offer advice to these crafters as to what they should charge for individual items, a sort of regulatory body? It costs nothing to send a pic and written description via email.
                              Carol
                              God helps them that help themselves.

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