A subject on the lips of many artisans is the big box mentality that has gripped many buyers. Often a prospective buyer will pick up an item and say “but it’s so expensive”. These words are like fingernails on a chalkboard to handmade sellers. In many cases they aren’t charging enough. Is the item REALLY expensive or are you comparing it to something you would buy at a big box store?
Why do prices vary so much and what am I paying for? There is SO much more to handmade selling then what many realize. First and foremost you are paying for the supply of the item, then the artists rate for the time they spent making the item, as well as the quality of the item. More successful sellers can afford to buy in bulk wholesale but this takes hundreds of dollars, on occasion a seller will come across items for a good price at an estate sale, flea market or other sellers destashing items they no longer want. This is more the exception than the rule. For the most part supplies are NOT at deeply discounted prices. Sterling silver for one is at an all time high and many sellers have had to drastically raise prices to account for it.
|Smoky Quartz and Swarovksi Necklace by Bellina Creations|
Some sellers are hobbyists or new to selling and if they were to sit down and actually figure out how much they are making they would find that they are actually paying buyers to buy their items. Sellers have fees they must pay both to the site they sell on but also to Paypal, Google etc. There are advertising fees, photography, models. business cards, brochures, websites, blogs, gas, tutorials, classes, show fees and so on.
More successful shops may have many sales in a single day, but many shops may have only a handful or sometimes no sales at all in an entire month! When you sell handmade you get paid for your item and then have to deduct the cost of your supply, the cost of shipping, your sellers fees, your packaging, sales tax and income tax. What is left over is your income. Many shops put much more then 40 hours into making their craft successful but there is no check at the end of the week for all the hours worked.
|Gwynnda’s Gems Australian Jasper Earrings|
Big box shops have warped the mentality of many buyers. All they see is the dollar amount. Big box shops are run by corporations that use the cheapest supply possible and hire the cheapest workers. Many items are made by machine or assembly line. While these workers need these jobs to survive the conditions are deplorable at best. Your money is essentially going into the pockets of the already filthy rich. Then the product doesn’t last. It simply falls apart sometimes in a matter of weeks. Mass production is polluting our planet. Huge corporate entities like this continue to ignore our environment causing the continuous deterioration of our air, land and water. Is it really worth what you saved?
|Hempkitty’s Beaded Blue Picture Frame|
When you buy true handmade you are supporting a person. Read about them in their bios. Find out who they are. What went into making that item? It was made with their own two hands and if you are buying a quality item it should last. You might even consider handing it down to a friend or family member. Really look at the intricacies in the work. You may not realize the amount of time that goes into making your item. Buy handmade, it’s good for the soul!
Check out Bellina at:
Check out Gwynnda at:
Check out Hempkitty at:
Guest post by: Bellina Creations