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Topic: How to answer various {put down} replies to prices  (Read 868 times)
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« on: July 23, 2018 12:20:11 AM »

DISCLAIMER: this post is primarily a vent. I’ve tried to be kind, but I get frustrated.

I sew hats and bags.
People often approach with admiration, then ask, “How much?”
I used to say just cost of fabric, which gained hostile replies:
“I can get it at _____ for $**.”
“I could make my own for less!”
“It’s not THAT attractive!”
“Oh. How much for ME?”
“I don’t know why you’d ask THAT much. You’re at home with nothing better to do anyway.”
“It’s just a hobby for you: you shouldn’t charge so much.”

(I usually shrug, and tell them go to _____ and get one, then. Or agree they could make their own, but will they? Or, I just agree, and wish them a pleasant day.)

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It used to really gnaw at me. Then, I started saying the cost of Fabric, time spent [charging minimum wage], and rounding up to the next 10. (For example, Fabric,$43; Time, 5 Hours* (X$10) = 93. Round up to $100)
I went this route because they’re not actually wanting to pay even Fabric cost, never mind time invested, so, ask outrageous price. Who knows, maybe you’ll get it.
*5 hours is First cut to last stitch, including pressing, and interfacing time. I think many people who sew charge time spent at sewing machine. Which is where you hear, “I can make a bag in an hour and a half.”

Several problems are at work in pricing.
1. Wal Mart/Target is where many people shop to go easy on their wallet. (Understandable, but generally, items bought there won’t last beyond the current season.)
2. People’s perception of “Handmade” is that it’s LESS sturdy than store-bought!
3. People really haven’t any clue about Fabric Prices, or actual time spent on “Hand Made”
4. People who work on products “At Home” are really thought to be just as a hobby/time-filler.
5. Farmer’s Markets & Craft Sales usually underprice remarkably! Partly due to fabric/product choices, partly for sales, partly to undercut *****, a couple booths over. If you choose cheaper fabric, the product won’t be as nice looking as carefully chosen fabric. If you price to sell lots, you’re not getting much [if any] profit. Pricing to undercut another seller at the market, just petty and vicious. (And, yes, there are some that do that)

I don’t sell many. I generally make for myself, love the admiration, and charge what I charge. If you don’t want to pay that, okay.
I make bags as gifts for chosen friends and family. I choose the fabrics based on what I’ve observed their interests are, or which gender they are. All my gifts have been appreciated.

If you’ve read the entire post, thank you for your attention.
If you’ve run into such answers, or had people try to wheedle you [or bully you] into lowering your prices, how have you handled it?

A.T. Morel
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018 03:55:32 AM »

I read it and I agree. So many people under price themselves! Or sell things from China as their own... So they can ask less and still get a profit. I bought a handmade wool hat which was also glow in the dark from a lady for just 10€, 12$. Which is just too low Sad

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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018 04:36:31 AM »

The few things I've sold is sold over the internet, so if anyone aren't pleased with my prices I won't know, as if I would care what they think.

If I did get comments like that I would do like you do and tell them to do whatever their opinion is. Sure, make your own, go buy it in a store, etc, my prices is final. If I am in a good mood I'd probably encourage them, then ask if they would let me know how making it themselves went because I'm interested in seeing other's crafts.

I as well do give stuff out of free, to family and close friends. My problem is more with family members who think they can simply request stuff from me not even offering to pay for me spending my time making them something (which I think suck the most when I know they plan to gift it to someone else). I would say this is as rude as the "but how much for ME", as if they are entitled. I've simply stopped promising, telling them "I've got a lot of interests and never know what I'll be interested making, but I'll add it to my list"

Good luck with the shitty comments, sadly you're not the only one with comments like that, but luckily there are some people in the world who do appreciate handmade items.

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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2018 10:51:13 PM »

Thank you Riechan and The Artsy Raven.
I appreciate your replies.
As my warning was, it was primarily a vent; but I appreciate learning that I’m not the only one who gets wheedled down for a friend or family member.

I sometimes get asked if I could do a quilt, or jacket, or ____. I just say no. I’m not a quilter, and haven’t the patience for clothing, especially that requires fitting.
But, perhaps I’ll begin a list; that sounds like a good idea.

A.T. Morel
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