Saturday, August 1, 2009

Etsy is not Walmart

A neighbor of mine asked today how much a simple alligator clip would cost. Selling in person is so much more convenient to me - no fees, no packing, no risk that the customer does not like the colors she saw on the computer screen - therefore the price that I quote in such situations is lower than what I have the items listed for in my shop. One dollar each, I said. "Oh, - the reply came - I paid less than that at Walmart yesterday." What should one reply in such situations? I smiled and nodded at how cute - and poorly made - the clips in her baby's hair were.

I never use a timer when I make my clippies. I think using a timer would actually be distateful, something that someone watching the seconds until the shift is over would do. I couldn't tell how much time it takes to make this or that, but I do know that I am taking my time. I couldn't tell you how many bows I can get out of each yard of ribbon, but I do know that each bow has enough ribbon to look the cutest it can.

I also know that each clip, bow, or favor is unique and nowhere will there be another one exactly the same, since they are completely made by hand. I know that the clips have a nonslip surface, no glue leaks, heat treated ends, and no mass manufactured embellishments. I also know that the money received for these clips is used to buy locally grown blueberries and to pay taxes to the US and not to another county.

I think each retailer has it's role in a healthy economy. But I feel disappointed that people still compare handmade goods to mass produced items, solely by price. I see handmade items to be special treat, a luxury, if you will, that you won't find in a big-box store.

Mara ~ Pretty Hair Clippies


  1. I completely agree.
    It's so hard to try to price handmade goods when so many people are just looking for the least expensive price instead of the highest quality item or an item made with love from the hands of a stay-at-home mom instead of a teenager in China that only make 20 cents an hour that doesn't give a rip if an item falls apart or not.
    Good luck with everything and keep up your hard work!!
    -Shelby Roosdett

  2. Great post - this is how many of us feel! And your clippies are simply gorgeous.

    Am definitely going to follow your blog, now that I have found it.


  3. This is a great post. I feel the same way as you do about this very subject. Your neighbor seems quite petty regarding an item you're willing to sell her for one dollar.

    Your whole attitude is a healthy one and I love your reuse & recycle way of crafting.


  4. I agree - I think our values have shifted a lot as a society. When I was younger, even though we didn't have heaps of money, my mother always used to buy me pricier, but high-quality clothes... but those clothes would last me until I outgrew them. Now we just want the latest fad, so we can't afford a high quality pair of shoes if they're going to go out of style in a year anyway. Cheap prices often equal cheap quality. Hopefully our culture will stop valuing these disposable items!

  5. Yep, and given that I won't even buy my supplies from WalMart (as I'd rather support local small shops) this especially irks me.

    You tell 'em!

    Rather Crafty

  6. You make an excellent point. The whole point of Etsy, is for people to get quality handmade items from people who care.

    Wal-mart items have none of the characteristics listed above...that's why they're cheap.

    And that's all you'll ever have to say! LOL

  7. Very true, don't let them bring you down from it. Obviously, they're looking at price versus quality so you don't need clients like those.



  8. I'm with you 100%! Thank you, that hit home ;)

  9. Some people don't think before they speak, or they just don't get it. That was a great post!

  10. Great post, I fully agree....your clips are absolutely adorable- and appear to be incredibly well-made.

  11. well said, i agree;-)

    send her to walmart!!!
    if she can find something unique like your hair clips she should buy them there.
    Dont waste your time with her.

    Take care,
    i wish you luck and a running buisness here:-)

  12. Good post.I do not believe she could get one for a dollar even there.I wonder why she asked..sounds like some envy maybe?

  13. I agree. I would have told her straight out that yours cost more because they are high quality, hand made, and take a lot of time.

    Following you now. :)