Why I Don’t Sell Many Ready Made Items

Short answer is; you just can’t make a living wage at it.

How much would you pay for an angel?
Angel WM 3

She is just over three inches tall, would you pay £5? £10? £15?

She uses about £1 worth of materials, acrylic yarn, stuffing, polly beads. She takes two hours to make, national MINIMUM wage is £7.50 so to earn minimum wage selling amigurumi angels I would need to charge £16, if, that is, we don’t take in to account anything as fancy as a studio or utilities, or if we don’t consider crocheting a skill so as to pay a skilled hourly rate.

Now consider the skater dress 

92827-skaterdresscover

 

I was once asked to make a skater dress as a custom order, I explained that the yarn alone would cost £25 the reply to which as “That’s OK I’ll pay that”, I went on to explain that I would then need to charge for my time and the dress would take about 40 hours to make, I didn’t get a reply to this. This dress (in a medium size) would need to cost £325 for me to get a living wage never mind the fact that I spent three months designing it, and have a skill that is not too common in being able to crochet at all.

When I make a crochet item to sell I can not charge a livable hourly rate. A Riot Bear

Peacock 1.jpg

for example sells at £30 (including postage) and costs roughly £3.50 in materials, usually about £4 postage, that leaves me with £22.50, “wow that quite a bit of profit” not really, a bear takes about 8 hours to make so I get £2.81 an hour, when I was 18 (1995) and had no skills and worked behind the bar in a pub I got £4 an hour, plus tips, plus entertainment. I would love to charge a living wage but since I got an email complaining about the price of a bear someone bought (really long story and the bear ended up in a raffle) I don’t think that will happen any time soon.

All that being said I do so love the idea of people (baby people especially) owning something made by me so I will soon (in the next week or so) be adding custom slots to my estore, this will mean that you will be able to buy a bear or amigurumi or what have you and I will make it JUST FOR YOU rather than me making it and hoping the colours are what a person wants.

There is a trend going on that people think hand made is cheaper than machine made, a machine knitted hat would take about 5 min to make, a hand knitted/crochet hat in the same weight yarn would take an hour or two yet the hand made hat is expected to cost less.

TTFN
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12 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Sell Many Ready Made Items

  1. i’ve only made things to sell for charity when it’s something I enjoy making. I thought of setting up an Etsy shop but as you say if I charged properly for my time the items wouldn’t sell. I almost by chance decided to sell my patterns and that feels much more satisfactory even though some patterns make much more than others.

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  2. Yes! Exactly this! Fortunately, when I sell stuff I’m usually just trying to get back my supplies and a little extra. I have a vendor fair that I’m doing in December, and I’m already concerned about how much to charge for things. Too much and no one will pay, too little and then they expect those prices all the time!

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    • I have a sign when I do fairs for the riot bears stating how much yarn there is, the fiber fill, 4 safety joints, two safety eyes, and ten hours crocheting. But nothing is as good as finding YOUR customers, but there just aren’t enough of them.

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    • If every one charged a livable fee then it would be easier to make a living off crafts. If a shop was selling beans for cost why would you buy your beans off someone trying to make a living charging more.

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