Thursday, June 11, 2009

Taking a new step into wholesaling

Thank you to everyone for giving me your advice and suggestions on wholesale costs and orders - I really, truly appreciate it!

I have stopped quaking in my boots now and am focusing on working out what my approach will be. I value everything you said, especially the bits about making sure I don't underprice and that the deal is good for both me and the order-er.

I find pricing to be the hardest thing about what I do. Does anyone else feel the same? I think it's because I'm a hobby crafter rather than a professional, so I tend to underquote in order to make a sale, rather than setting a firm price and sticking to it.

If I was doing this for a living I'm sure it could be quite a different story, because I'd see the prices in terms of necessities they could pay for (like food, mortgage, expenses etc) ... rather than as a bit of "play money" on the side, which is the situation at the moment.

See these shoes? These lovely orange and grey ankle strap heels from Camper? My One True Love bought them for me on our recent holidays, and even though they were expensive (even by my standards!) I thought: that's okay - I have play money I can use as a backup if we need it.

But I'm not sure I'd have let him purchase them if I'd had to use the play money for Real Things. Like keeping us alive, and fed, and sheltered, say.

Oh okay - I would have let him purchase them. They are beautiful orange shoes, after all. How could I not have let him purchase them? Are you crazy?!? Perhaps using shoes as an illustrative example was not the best idea for this situation I'm trying to describe. Aren't they lovely though? And isn't HE lovely, for buying them? Oh and that reminds me, I will tell you about the purple wedges he also bought for me, on a different day ....

Ahem. What I mean to say though, is that having a bit of play money on the side means I can buy the odd thing without worrying too much about it. If I were making a living out of the play money I'd be much more stingy with it. I'd keep those purse strings tied up tight.

But one day I'd love to give up the day job and focus on my crafting full-time. Wouldn't we all?

I dream of a time when I don't have to go to work and struggle through another politically-charged day just to make a living, gritting my teeth at the impossibly frustrating situations I often find myself in.

I'd be able to work in my pajamas, and the furry babies would be as happy and content as little furry apple pies, all warm and snuggly in the house with me - they love it when I work from home. Sometimes Podae will even sit on my lap when I'm at the sewing machine, which is a VERY rare occurrence.

And wouldn't it be nice to only have to worry about dealing with your suppliers and the mailman, instead of a long and painful list of internal stakeholders? Yes, it would! It would be nice!

So hopefully, one day these Hoots will truly take off (ha! ha! see the joke there?) and I'll be able to make the dream a reality. Until then though, it's back to the grindstone ......


m.e (Cathie) said...

I definitely know what you mean about setting prices! It's different I guess for me with food as people will only really pay what the market calls for, I can't really charge a gingerbread man for $5 or else no one will buy it :) with craft it's a little more individual and you have to factor in your materials and time. I don't factor in my time as I'm doing it for me & I don't mind as it helps me be a stay at home mum and not have to worry I guess.
sorry, long comment but just wanted to let you know that it is difficult but you need to be able to consider it worth doing on the $ aswell.
LOVE the shoes aswell :)

bubbachenille said...

I see your point but just because its "spending money" and you are a "hobbyist" please dont under price yourself, your work is worth heaps !

Finki (jay) said...

Oh I know the pain of pricing all to well. Lovely crafters often say I under price, but customers say I over price, Then Etsy sellers with similar stuff seem to have prices even lower than me, so you try and stay competitive, then you resent how long it takes to make something for such a little return, then...someone wants you to cut back 30% so they can buy it wholesale and sell it for double!!
Oh boy, I can definitely relate to the pricing woes. P.s cute, cute shoes.

Vanessa said...

Difficult to work out what to charge for services no matter what you do or sell.
But your time and energy is definitely worth something, even a little something.
I think I am going to miss having that little bit of extra "play money" when I go on maternity leave - tis the one thing that is freakin me out a bit for the time to come. That money, whether play or other, is definitely important, as it allows you to do the stuff you WANT to do, as opposed to the things you NEED to do.
Gorgeous shoes, but how ever do you wear them that high?????
Ness xx

Sandra @ Pepperberry and Co. said...

Interesting for this topic to come up again in blogland- i've seen in twice in recent weeks. I'm thinking of doing a post soon about pricing, so it's great to read all your thoughts and the comments. I'm with everyone- DON'T UNDERPRICE! You are worth 1000% more than you think and it also sucks for those making a living out of these things to be undercut by hobbyists. People who love your stuff will buy it, and recognise the amazing skill, talent, time and thought that's in every item. xx