So I opened a new shop on Etsy 5 months ago and had such high hopes. I wanted to offer popular designs in knitted and crocheted items, as well as introduce my own designs for the whole world to see. As I tried to settle into the Etsy community, I was very overwhelmed when I visited the forums for the first time. There were people talking about leaving Etsy, and many unheard complaints to the Etsy Administration about the favoritism towards certain Etsy shops and their constant reoccuring appearances on the front page of Etsy. I also noticed the constant question asked by newbies, "am I charging too much?" or "do my prices seem fair?" and even also found myself asking the same question in the forums.
There's so much talk about the economy and how much consumers are "pinching pennies" and how everyone is looking for a bargain. Many consumers are being conditioned to think that they "must" sacrifice quality in order to make ends meet while the lesser quality mass produced items that they purchase fall apart or don't last as long as a better quality item would.
The handmade movement is taking the world by storm, but the handcrafters and artists MUST TAKE A STAND! Don't devalue your work...think about it: if it takes you 8 hours to knit a pair of gloves, why sell them for $10? Those are sweatshop prices! I fell into this trap "thinking" I was charging too much and did that. $10 for 8 hours of work? Heck, you pay more than that to your son to cut your lawn! Never again will I make that mistake! I was told by people in the Etsy forums that my prices were a little high. These same people would not DARE go in Sak's or Tiffany's and tell them to lower their prices...heck, not even Walmart! When you buy something handmade it's much more personal. You can ask questions about the products directly to the artist/crafter and at the time of your purchase, you have confidence in knowing what you purchased was made with great care. So the next time you are looking for something special for yourself, that special gift or an original work of art, look into purchasing something handmade directly from the artist. You will be supporting entrepeneuralship, your next-door neighbor crafter and helping the average business owner survive in the so-called "economic crunch".