23 October 2008

Busy, busy, busy!!!

I've finally managed to squeeze in a few minutes to add some Christmas tree earrings and brooches to my ebay site. It will be interesting to see if anybody bids on these items as I've 'told it straight'.

I'm sick of people under valuing handmade goods. They would rather pay double the price for things which come off a production line! I work out my prices to try and make a bit of money but even as I've priced them on Ebay and Etsy I'm not anywhere near working for a minimum wage. I know my time is my own and that I choose to do this and don't have to make a living from it but I always feel mildly insulted about how I de-value myself in order to sell. However if I put craftsman's rates on my goods I know full well that I'd never sell a sausage. I would welcome any comments that you have on my ebay listings as that's where I've had my little 'say'!!!!

There - I've had my little 'rant' so now I'll climb back into my cave along with shuttles, threads and beads!!!!


Linda S Davies said...

Absdolutely spot on, Jane!!! The everyday punter doesn't think twice about spending twice as much as that for a pair of earrings from Debenham, John Lewis, Accessorize etc., and yet here they are getting something that cannot be bought at any of these top shops! They are cheap at half the price and we designers and tatters should not sell ourselves short!

Gina D. said...

I understand your frustration about selling handmade items. You are lucky to get the amount back that you spend on materials, but you almost never recover the time value. I have tried selling before, and only became frustrated with the process. People love the look of your work, but don't understand how much time it takes to make. I even tried putting how many hours it took to make certain pieces, and still had not luck. I only make for myself, family and charity now. To "make" money, I shop sales, clip coupons and barter.

BJ said...

I'm not the most subjective person to answer first; as right off I admit to a bias that hand crafted work is an art. And art is valued by the creator of the piece and the person who wants the item.
Most people want a 'bargain'; they want something for nothing. Even at a chairty aution they miss the whole point, wanting to get something spectacular for nothing ~ forgetting it is for charity!
ANYWAY, in my book it is the same kind of mind set. Tatting is a time consuming art. One step up are the designers who design and then produce the work.
I would not insult any fiber artist by being 'cheap' about buying a piece. If I don't want it, or don't like it, I don't buy it. That's a choice!
I often custom order tatted items because they are unique and I have some bit of input on the result.
But I am not subjective because I have been an artist and have sold work; my granddaughter is a professional fine art photographer and I assist her in pricing her work.
The only way handmade items cam be undervalued is when they are under priced by the artist. If a buyer isn't willing to spend the cash, then they either lack taste or good sense!
Sometimes, among artsits, trades are beneficial. ie: Granddaughter traded one of her prize winning photographs for an Artist's painting that also was a prize winner. They admired and appreaciated each other's work, neither could spend the kind of money it'd take to buy each other's work; so they traded!
rule of thumb, charge what the market will bear. If it is a "one of" then, of course ~ it will be pricy. And that is ok, too.
Craftsperson's should never feel that they need to defend or explain their pricing. It is what it is~ they need to put their big girl panties on and suck it up! LOL Bev - Ridgetatter

Anonymous said...

Jane, I support your views 110%! IMHO handmade suggests that a great deal of thought, time, and work went into the item. I purchase handmade before any consideration to manufactured goods. I carry ths philosphy with me daily; I patronize locally owned craft, grocery and other stores before going to a chain store whenever possible. Please keep up the tradition of handmade as not everyone supports a commercial avenue! Cecilia

Sharon said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly. When people tell me they'll pay me for my tatting I just tell them they couldn't afford it. I'd rather gift it to deserving people than undervalue it and sell it for a pittance of what it's worth. We are artists making one of a kind creations and it's about time people recognized that.

Jane Eborall said...

Thanks, folks. I feel better for having said and done it!!!

yarnplayer said...

Hi Jane, I agree!
Here is an angle to consider:
People do tend to value items from an artist who has made a "name" for themselves - for sure, you've done that, Jane! In tatting circles, at least.
I think we need to promote ourselves outside of tatting circles - the tatters just want to know, "How did you do that?" whereas non-tatters are impressed with the item as unique jewelry, ornament, whatever.
I tend to charge what I think the market will bear - for now. I am working on making a "name" for myself - when more magazine articles, TV shows, etc. feature my things - the price will go up, you betcha!

Anonymous said...

I so get what you are saying. I just don't sell anything because of this and I sure could use the money. Please do stick your guns. Beautiful work by the way.

Amoonsinger said...

Well, I checked out your prices and I must say they are a bit low for hand made items. I think you are under selling yourself, expecially since you design them yourself.

Anonymous said...

Jane, I agree with you as well as with the others.
Today, I do not work (IMHO: too old, too many diploms) and Need to live on something. I'm making tatting to sell it, as well as lace and all that I can do.
Before, I did as the anonymous, did not sell anything, and even said as Sharon, prefer to offer this to an intested friend...
I have no choice now, and I'll make ebay prices and etsy prices too, higher than in my place. If I make prices too high, I will not sell anything!
To counter this aspect, I also sell card which I punch nicely, and sometimes add a little flower on them. It's pretty, does not demand much, I can make myself some kind of creator of the idea of putting it together... (do not laugh, I won't make a (c) on it...) and sell it to a very low price, because the longest time is the one I spent glueing the item.

I love what you do, I appreciate all the freebies you offer us (me) and I support high prices...

I would not dare to buy a crochet that I call "made by a chinese"!

I have not much time for internet (and tatting on internet) at the moment, because I am making all my "collection d'hiver"...

Lots of love to all tatters of my heart and lovely GREAT ladies who come and read Jane's (Bill's) litterature.

Marie de la Chaume, who cannot sign once again!!!

Anonymous said...

Jane, I agree with you completely. I gave up the battle long ago and do not sell my items unless someone specifically asks me to make something for them. I've also gotten stingy on who I GIVE things too, as I am giving of myself and my precious time, and only to those I know understand that.

I do donate some things to the church bazaar, knowing that buyers may or may not pay what they are worth. However, it makes me feel good to make a contribution, it is an outlet for my creative talent and an "excuse" to make something I otherwise have no use for, and I don't worry about the "details" after that.

Feel free to speak your mind - we have thousands of soldiers fighting and giving their life so that we have the right to do just that!


LadyShuttleMaker aka MadMadPotter said...

I too am more than mildy insulted by how you de-value your work. This is a passionate subject for me...(I'm pretty sure I've shared my views with you before.) BJ and Sharon are spot on with their replies so I won't re-hash that!
But I will say that we are all in this together and if one of us devalues are own tatting then that devalues tatting as a whole.
I for one would LOVE to see your prices reflect your time, originality and expertise. You may want to start adding facts like how many knots and beads as well as time goes into your work.
If you want to talk with me more I have lot's more to say on this subject!
Hugs to you Jane!

Gina said...

I too have felt you've underpriced your work.

I also have to add something else though...ebay has a name for being the bargain shopper's paradise, or at least used to. I think it is harder for anyone to sell fine quality artwork on there. Etsy is more known for handmade items - the maker is the one who sets the tone for the quality of their work but I do think people generally expect better quality on etsy and are more likely to pay more there than ebay. That may simply be my perception though.

At any rate, your work is exquisite (as the recipient of your work I can assure that!) and maybe you could try upping your prices gradually?

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