Monday, October 3, 2011

Handmade, and why getting the bottom price deal is really rude.

This is a subject that has been weighing on my mind for a while now.
The audacity some people have when it comes to asking for a better deal.
If someone is making you something, by hand, putting their heart and soul into it and charging a fair price.
I don't know how else to put it, IT IS REALLY RUDE.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate your business.  I love that you love what I am putting out there.
But at some point don't you think you are kinda asking me to make you something for free?

To me, it's like saying to you, hey- you have time on your hands right? How about I pay for the detergent and you do all my laundry?

photo via pinterest From
Let me explain how  A LOT of handmade businesses work.
1}they are small. Like about as close to a lemonade stand as you can get.

2} because they are small, they buy supplies at the same rate you do. They do not yet, or may never have the buying power that a big corporation has.  So they are paying for those quality supplies they are using.

3} A LOT of them are moms. Moms who are trying to make a little extra so that their kids can take the extras like dance class, or book fairs, or maybe even clothes.
What this means is they are using ANY free time they have to make these handmade items for you.
In my case, this also means I am giving up sleep.

4} by the time you add up the cost of supplies + the time it took to design a product + the time it took to make the actual product, they are really not making that much on your product.
This is because they are usually charging more than a fair price for that product, because they know that in a lot of cases you are in the same boat as they are.

5} if you are paying a LITTLE more than say Target or Walmart, you should.
this is because the product you are getting is like no other.
This is because you are getting something that someone made with care just for you.
This is because you are supporting HANDMADE.

yes we all have deals...
But there is usually a method to the madness.
1} because the shop is making items in bulk. This is more productive and because of that a deal can be given.
2} because the shop puts an item or two on sale. In my experience these items are items that are already made and have been sitting on the shelf for too long, or a better version of the item may be coming soon.
3} because the shop is trying to promote one particular item because they got a deal on the supplies for that item.
4} because the shop is working in collaboration with someone and has budgeted this as a advertising expense.
5} because it is RUDE.

So, I just have to say it.
If you ask me to make you a custom item and then you ask me for a better deal.
It really is insulting.
Maybe you have not even thought about it really, and never realized what you were asking for.
Maybe I smiled politely and made it happen for you because I'd like my shop to have a happy reputation.
I wish I could make it for less.
But If I am, then I am giving up the little time I have for you, just because you asked me to.
And I felt jipped the entire time I made it.
And I bet that's not what you intended.
SO I am just telling you the truth so you understand.
Because maybe you had no idea what you were asking for.
At least I hope not.


  1. Wonderfully written! Handmade just can't be compared to department store prices and some people just don't understand that.

  2. I love you. You are spot on, Sister!!

  3. I hear that!
    I have to say, when I really sit down and consider what I am paying to make a necklace vs what I am charging....I'm making like $5 for my time. I think that people think we get this stuff at cost but that's not the case.
    I but my stuff, it takes me an hour to make something, I look at it and think, " Now I have to charge $60 to make a profit " but
    I don't...because I want to sell it. If we were in this for the money we would all be charging a heck of a lot more. That's why it's so frustrating to be asked for free shipping ( now I have to pay another $4 considering I am only making $5? Thanks for the buck. ) or if I can sell it half price. At first I always said yes because some business is better than no business but that can't last.

  4. Aubrey, you are dead on...and reading through the comments, so is Lesley! It is so frustrating. A friend of mine is exceptionally talented in wood work. Carving, building, etc., and he uses no power is literally all done one whittle at a time...he helped me once break down costs for my items. By the time I charge for the time I spend getting supplies, creating the item, going to ship, shipping supplies and costs, and oh yeah--paying myself--I'd be chicken to put that price on my work. So I don't. It scares the hell outta me (just keepin' it real). Glad to know I am not alone.

  5. Amen sister! I was selling dresses in my etsy shop last year for around $30, and a friend of mine made a comment that they where way too expensive that I should sell them for $15...okay seriously? I had paid that for the fabric! and she was like well that's what I pay for them at craft shows...I told her to buy it at a craft show! I would rather not sell anything than give my time away! I wish people would realize that if I am charging more than WalMart it's because I am selling you a quality item that will last! not some piece of junk, made in China (probably by under paid children) clothing that you can pass down for generations...not something that's going to have holes in it in the first 2 weeks or shrink up to half it's original size the first time you wash it!...sorry guess this ticks me off more than I realized... great post!

  6. And this post is precisely why I don't take pictures for "clients" anymore. I'm just not willing to give up time with my precious babies for the few nickles it would net me. So I do it for fun and the occasional preschool (which actually funds my habit).


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