Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nosy Nose

Every single time I have had a bit of "fame" on etsy, like an item on the front page or Mondays Finds email, I get extra convos from relative strangers. Most of them are simple congratulations or 'hey did you know" kind of messages, but along with those, that I wholeheartedly appreciate, there are the weird ones. Okay, maybe weird is the wrong word, let's say unsolicited advice veiled as a compliment. The advice is almost always regarding pricing and usually comes from someone with a blank profile.

I really don't get why people feel the need to tell me that I need to charge more for my work. It seems anti productive if they are really customers to ask for a higher price, so I'm left assuming that the advice comes from someone who feels like I'm devaluing their work or simply a nosy nose with nothing better to do. I suppose they could just be looking out for my best interest, but I somehow doubt that. There of course is the chance that I could get more for my work, but that's not really the point, the point is, they are my prices that I picked and if I want them higher or lower it will be up to me.

Look, pricing is a tough subject and I've talked about it before, You Want How Much For That and more recently, Perception Of Value. These posts represent my opinion on the subject, but to address the most recent comment I received, I must talk about speed. I recently read another tatter detail the amount of time she spent making the most beautiful hankie border. After listing how many hours it took, she pointed out how much she would have to charge to make a hourly wage for her effort which was much more than the average person would think about paying. This got me thinking less about price and more about speed. I concluded that I must be a fairly fast tatter. I am certain that I am not the fastest by a long shot, but none of my pieces take nearly as long as most people think they do.

At the risk of removing the mystique from my tatting, most of my pieces are done in just a few hours, with the more elaborate ones like my hat taking the longest at a few hours a day, even it was done in a week. It's still time consuming and it still takes a degree of skill, but it does not take me 40 hours to make anything I sell. I do still have small children and a house to take care of, so it might be a week before I finish a piece, but that's not actual work time. With this new information, perhaps my prices won't seem so low to people. I've always thought that I will increase my prices as my skills improve, but never just because I think I might be able to get that much for it.

I do want to get paid for my time, but I also want to make something that is affordable. I make a lot of pendants that take much less than an hour to make and I use fairly large thread that is not only easier for me to work with, but works up fast and makes a more durable piece. There are so many factors that go into creating my pieces that no one but me knows. Sure there are those that can make an educated guess and be pretty close, but they are most certainly in the minority. So, in conclusion, those of you who feel like sharing your unsolicited advice, please stop being such a nosy nose...oh, not you, your opinions I care about.


Unknown said...

Good post! It is absolutely no one's business but yours how much you charge for your creations. I've never understood why some people feel the need to tell you how to run your business. Unasked for advice is rarely, if ever, welcome.

Waterrose said...

Seems when you solicit the advice you can't get it, but when you don't want it you do. Good job on the Etys Finds!

Unknown said...

so very well said.

FetishGhost said...

Yeah! Poke'm with the bigger stick! Heh heh...Ow!
That was a really top notch post!