Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hobby or Business, Part 1


Hobby or Business? I see that question on my forum groups a lot and crafters bandy that phrase about. What does it mean to you? (this is Part 1 of my post on this subject).

I feel that there is no such thing as a Hobby Business. Sell one thing or trillions and you are in business. 

I have seen it come up in reference from sellers who are worried and concerned that vendors are producing items similar to what they make for far less than they themselves are selling it for. Somehow they can't grasp the concept of freedom to make and sell what you want for the price you want. So what if someone makes similar and their price is lower.. get over it.. quality will win out. They call these Shop Owners-- Hobbiests and they "can't be in business for profit".. they are not charging enough to be in business. (and I wonder- what exactly is enough to charge?).

I am not sure that some understand that some of us purchase wholesale for everything and pass that savings onto our customers. These other vendors don't understand that some vendors are happy with minimum wage paid to themselves and don't feel the need to pay themselves an exorbitant wage to survive in the crafting world. There is so much backstabbing on some on line forums. So many vendors not happy with their own sales that they feel the need to attack others for selling and can't understand that maybe the reason that their items are not selling is..

1) Priced to high for the market. I get told by other vendors-"you should charge more" or "your prices are too low" (but too low for who?). My items are only worth what someone is willing to pay me for them. I have sales- do you?
 People-- mind your own shop and not mine. Believe me when I tell you I am making money. I pay myself more than minimum wage for my time to make the items. I purchase wholesale and less. I do pass on my cost and my discounts to my customers. I also get a lot of sales and a lot of repeat customers. I don't dawdle when crafting/sewing. I get right to it and finish fast. What may take you 10 hrs to complete. I probably can make in 1-2 hrs. My prices reflect that.
**Just because your family bought things from you at the huge prices you are charging-- pity sales don't count in the real world. Maybe your prices are just too high.

2)Could be what you are making is not something that other people want. And just because someone else is making similar and selling like hotcakes.. well we can all make the same thing 20 different ways. Quality will win. 

Did you ever notice that the sellers who are the most concerned about other vendors-- have the least sales and are the ones with the most to say and other people are following them!! Insane.. I had someone recently on one of the sites offer to help me "improve" my business online.. Really? Because I have almost 500 Etsy sales and you have what-- 35 of them? I don't think I need your help.. thank-you very much.  

I am not in competition with you. I could care less if you are making the same general thing and selling it for 5x as much as me. Good for you. I would so much rather make something and sell it at a reasonable price than have it sit on a shelf and gather dust.  So, what if I have to make 10 items to your 1? That is not why I am selling the things that I make. Please don't let it bother you. (I don't think twice about your sales). 

I would just like everyone to support each other and stop the negativity and play nice with the others. Maybe that is just too much to ask. 

ttfn, The Homespun Loft

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