As I took a break from some of the seemingly never ending Admin work I have been doing lately, I stumbled upon a Instagram story talked about something that is a hot button for me and other’s, why are your prices so expensive? Across the realm of those who make handmade goods and crafts this is something that is often run into. Those who knit and crochet really seem to get it HARD (oh, I know I have) but it really is something in the entire community. My few weeks being a full participant of the slime world (I have made it for myself and girl scout groups ect for YEARS ah, I remember Gak) have shown me this is a community that gets it a great deal as well.
In this case the comment usually reads something such as, “Why are your prices so high its literally just glue and borax”.
I have gone to bat for several of the slimers I follow on my personal account about this comment and issue more than once. After listening to the Instagram story of Glitter.Slimes I decided it is time to make a comment about it on the business end of things as this is a big issue for me. I know it is something that is a big issues for others as well, first of all I agree with EVERYTHING that Glitter.Slimes said it was truly BANG ON. So now here comes my two cents worth.
First and foremost, you should know that I myself and all other crafters love and respect those who buy from us. With that said just because we love you and we love what we do doesn’t mean that we do not deserve a fair price for what we do. If you go to a ” regular” job, do you not expect to be paid for the work you do? Even if it is something you enjoy and find it a passion? Of course you do! Items made by hand should be no different and frankly, they are not any different. When you work you deserve to be paid for that work, when you offer a product you deserve to be paid fairly for that product. As a customer if you feel that the product is too highly priced you have a choice, you can not buy. You can choose to shop around and I am sure you will find something cheaper it might even be the same quality, but sometimes the saying you get what you pay for is very true.
Secondly, if it is “only borax and glue” or “only yarn and you like to do it anyway” (ugh, I get that one all the time), then go ahead and buy the tools and ingredients and make it yourself. I have always wondered if those who comment about what a craft only is, or if it is something you enjoy doing, why do you need so much money do this in regular shopping as well. I wonder if they just walk into Brick and Mortar shop and say well it’s only fruit that comes off a tree or well, it’s only some plastic, or it’s only fabric and thread and demand a lower price. Something tells me that in the majority of cases this is not the case, I suspect they pay for their item and go on about their day. So why do this to online small business owners as well?
The bottom line is that you are not only paying for what goes into the slime or the Afghan or anything else that you are buying. I myself (and I know most others) work very hard to price fairly for customers. I know for a fact some of my items are actually a little under priced, but sometimes you find yourself having to do it. I often think of these items as introductory priced items, something that is newer and needs a demand started up about it first ect. I also know that there are some I think have overpriced an item, but I would never complain about it because if that is the price they feel is fair who am I to judge? I don’t know how they came to that price and perhaps they have a harder time getting the items that go into making it than I do. Pricing handmade items is a hard enough think to do with all the variables, there doesn’t need to be judgement on top.
Alas, it seems I have strayed a little from the point of this post. I am sorry for that, I did say it was a passionate topic for me.
When you purchase from a small business, especially a handmade one no matter WHAT they make you are paying for a lot of things. Just a few things you are paying for:
Testing (ensuring product quality and safety!)
Other random overhead
Employee’s (whether it is a one person operation or one with a team)
Every single one of these things (and MORE) has to be taken into account when an item in a shop is listed for sale. Business owners have to make a profit, if they don’t soon enough you won’t be able to buy anything from them at all because they won’t be able to operate. Yes, perhaps someone doing the creating is doing it as a hobby or a young person living at home who doesn’t have as much to worry about so they may have lower prices. Not everyone is like that for MANY it really is THEIR WORK, their source of income to eat, pay rent, support a family all of those FUN things.
Moreover, someone who is focused on quality ingredients in what they are making (high quality fragrance, sterling silver vs plate, higher quality yarn ect) has to have higher prices because they are spending more to give you a top quality product. This is one reason I myself have “graduated” ingredients on some of the things I create such as crochet items. I will use everything from very expensive cashmere to regular ole acrylic and items are priced to reflect that. I still need to be paid for my time though.
The truth is that most craft people (myself often included), don’t ask nearly enough for what they are making. They aren’t getting paid the true worth of the item and all that goes into it. However, if the crafter is able to make a living profit and is happy with it and the market will take it then that will just be how it is.
In short, please think about what you are saying before you comment on a crafters choice in price. There are so many things that go into those items. One important thing with handmade and small business, you are getting a more personal touch. Customer service is generally better and there is a true amount of love and passion that goes into each and every item that is made. That kind of care and love is priceless.
This is a bit more than two cents worth, but it needed to be said. Please remember behind every shop large and small there is a person. That person has feelings and skills and ideas they bring to the table. Then ask yourself if you were the one making these things, how would it make you feel to be told essentially that you and your product aren’t worth the price you’re asking. You likely wouldn’t appreciate the feeling very much. So please be kind.