|My Pop Up shop on a Christmas market last year.|
I received this comment today (see below), on my last post, where I encourage us crafters to charge for our handmade goods instead of giving it away. This is a delicate subject, I know, and to be honest we can never charge for the amount of hours or the loving attention put into every stitch, but we can charge more than we think we can do.
My point is that by dropping the price to reach more sales we don't make the handmade industry a favor. And if we want to continue to be unique and fabulous we will have to be a more expensive alternative to the multi-produced things found in department stores. But right now I see many lovely crafters making beautiful things but their pricing does hardly cover the material cost. Why is it that we feel we have to sell our creations cheap?
If we don't feel comfortable with the price for an item we have made - low or high - we should really ask ourselves why we make it and why we want to sell it. It is a thrill for your ego to sell something but if you want to go bigger and make money on handmade creations you have to charge more for your things.
I sold my creations last year and it was very exciting and fun. I sold everything I made but to be honest... The hard work was not paid for in the end so this year I haven't made anything to sell. I just have not had the time and I feel that I don't want to sell myself on the low end anymore. Do you want to buy a pillow for 15 dollars? Go to IKEA. Do you want a beautifully handmade and unique pillow made by me - you will have to pay triple or quadruple that at least. And that is still a bit cheap, don't you think?
So, if you are interested, why don't we discuss this below in the comment field. Lets use the reply fields and talk about this dear crafty friends. And lets keep it nice and polite shall we? I find this topic very interesting and I would love to hear what you all think.
"But if people charged what they really cost to make, no one would buy them! Those mitts would have taken hours to make and are sold at no more than 3 hours at minimum wage and that is very fine yarn too. They would take a lot longer than 3 hours and that doesn't include the cost of the yarn itself. A pair of socks takes 20 hours or so to knit (with sock yarn) and no one would pay it. I spent days making a small bag - 4 and no one would pay more than £15 for it, despite all the embroidery and hand stitching. People will not pay true costs. Even those who want to, as they simply can't be afforded.
Even at the prices I do charge in my shop, I couldn't afford to buy my own goods, and although I have gone for higher end prices, most of my labour is free. People don't have the money, it is why we don't manufacturer here but buy cheap goods abroad. It is how it is and you can not blame people for it. I can't afford even the cheapest shops sometimes and my goods from those shops do have to last - they are not throw away. People have not got the money and don't see that much added value, that makes it worth it to them. Often high-street prices are the same as handmade. I work 8-9 hours a day at a stretch making something with no break, sewing by hand. It is a sweat shop as it is very hard work . The more 'handmade' the more the exploitation. I work only by hand, no machines. When people buy at low prices, that isn't supporting hand made, it takes advantage of it. When people sell at low prices, it keeps the prices low. Your mitts are worth much more than you paid - you paid no more than for many manufactured ones. People like my things but I can't charge 8 hours of labour costs for a tiny 10 cm cushion, no matter how pretty and how embroidered and hand stitched. I can't make a bigger one as that would be ridiculous (I would never sell it), I wish that I could!
There are no easy answers and no one really is to blame, it is just the economic climate we live in and the way industrialisation has made things. "