Cheap and Handmade are not snuggle buddies

IMG_3120a“I’d pay $10 bucks for that.” she said.

Oh really? How fucking kind of you.

I don’t say it out loud, instead I tell her the price I’d sell the hat for. It’s higher and she isn’t interested in being nice to me any longer or hearing about handmade hats.

And she really did think she was being kind with her $10 offer. Most people do, because they have no clue what goes into handmade things. They can buy a hat for $10 bucks at Wal-Mart, so $10 is all any hat is worth.

She has no idea that the yarn cost me more than $10. It’s a wonderful hand dyed wool. She has no idea how long it took to make, which was forever because I’m a slow ass knitter.

Handmade things have a very different level of quality and value than mass produced things.I could’ve taken her money and in the process devalued my work and the of every other Maker, but I’m not interested in selling to people who don’t value handmade.

“My stuffs not selling! I must lower my price.” says the Maker.

“I can get that cheaper at the store.” says the Buyer.

Around and around they go.

Most of the time the Maker has priced their stuff so low that even if it does sell, they are losing money and the Buyer never learns to see handmade as anything other than disposable crap you can get for less at the store.

This isn’t really helpful to anyone.

Makers need to own the value of their work.

Buyers need to stop being cheap ass wankers. Even me. Remember, you get what you pay for.

How can we accomplish that?

I think that it starts with us Makers. We need to price our work appropriately. That means covering our costs and paying ourselves. This can be hard, because we don’t always see the value of what we make.  We sometimes get desperate and chase after the quick cash.

But if we learn to value our work, our time, and ourselves we can shift the Buyers perception of handmade too.

There will be people who don’t give a fuck about handmade or what goes into making things. They are not our customers. We can’t try and cater to them. It is a waste of time chasing them as potential customers.

There are people who are interested in bringing quality things into their lives. They are interested in handmade. They understand that things of quality and value aren’t cheap. These are the people we need to be focusing on. These are the customers that will love what we’ve made just as much as we do.

Makers, for the love of The Doctor’s scarf, value your work, price it properly, let the love of your craft be a light saber to heart of cheap shit.

Buyers, for the love of shiny pirate gold, quit filling your life with cheap meaningless shit, support a family and buy the fucking $30 hat. It’s worth it.

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