Monday, February 11, 2008

Please tell me, craft lovers...

I am, by no means, a money maven. I don't know the retail business inside and out, but I do feel that, over the past few years, I've been able to acclimate myself to the world of craft pricing. Many people are very fair with their prices, taking into consideration time, quality of materials, merchandising, shipping, etc. And there is the other side of the spectrum where people quantify sentimental value or "hard work", comparison pricing, or just general ego into actual dollars. That is absolutely unreasonable. Crafts are supposed to be homegrown, handmade and reasonably priced!

I saw this capelet today, on Etsy, and I was floored.


You know what...just because I can't make it doesn't mean I don't know how much it cost to make. And you can be damn sure that this article of NON-FUNCTIONAL clothing is not worth the $74 the seller is suggesting. Not even close.

Let's consider the yarn. It's identified as a "wool blend" which would have one believe that it's either a blend of wool OR a blend of yarn fibers including wool. Given that I have knitted something with this yarn (in this precise color) I can tell you it's an acrylic/wool blend and it's available for less than $6/skein at your local craft store. It's Lion Brand's WoolEase Thick & Quick yarn in lemongrass. The white flower is, or could be, scrap yarn from a project with remnants. I won't even get into the fact that I think that this was made with a loom, therefore increasing it's ease of creation.

Ugh, it's frustrating, people!

When you market something, as a crafter or anyone interested in selling goods, you should be explicitly honest about what you are selling and you should also be honest about it's value. To raise the roof on prices, like this seller has done, on handcrafted goods is to do your fellow crafter a grave disservice. There are people on Etsy who craft with the same beads and wire that I craft with yet their prices are sometimes 200% higher. Why? There are few people on Etsy who can sustain themselves on the sale of jewelry, so why would you bother screwing the rest of us over? Your supplies plus time plus creativity does not equal an unattainable amount.

It also does a great disservice to the history and tradition of crafts. This is not high art people. We are not fine artists, wielding paint brushes and digging into the depths of our souls for creativity. We are making things accessible to and for the masses, and we should respect their intelligence in the process.

2 comments:

  1. Hey Meaghan! Long time no talk to.
    Anyway, I totally get what you are saying, this clearly cost a few bucks to make. Even considering the time factor it is a bit pricey. But you know I really look at it a bit differently. If some people over price that makes you look all the more affordable!

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