“You should sell that”

Ever heard this before? If your experience is anything like mine you hear it a lot. From friends, family, even strangers. People find out you make things and their first suggestion is, “You could make money doing that.” This bothers a lot of crafters. It bothers me, too, depending on who it comes from. If a close friend or a family member suggests selling my work I am likely to explain to them that I don’t want to and that if I did want to sell things I wouldn’t make even minimum wage. People aren’t willing to pay you for your time.

But if a stranger comments, I usually let it go with a simple “Thank you.” I think what they are trying to say is, “If you sold that I would buy it.” And I do appreciate that sentiment.

Published by

Dramatic Lyric

I am a musician, a teacher, and a life-long crafter. I love to read and write, and my favourite book is Jane Eyre.

7 thoughts on ““You should sell that””

  1. Heard it a lot, and I often reply with a “Thank you. How much would you be willing to pay? Seriously, if you were to buy this, how much would you pay?” and 99.9% of the time the figure they offer is too low. When I tell them that their suggested amount only covers materials and not tool wear or a decent hourly pay they are shocked. Sometimes I think people think all artisans are so happy doing what they do that they don’t need to be paid for their work. Or that they live in a Far East economy bubble in the middle of a high cost country. And of course, people undercharging wildly because “it’s just a hobby” don’t help with the issue at all.

  2. It’s kind of wierd isn’t it, like it’s good, therefore you must make money from it in order to validate it. I always tell people that no-one would be prepared to pay what it’s worth when they can get something for so cheaply from (insert local cheap shop of your choice). I generally find that when actually buying things people think that something “handmade” should cost less than something in a large shop. Anyway, I like your idea of seeing the compliment within the statement and appreciating the sentiment.

  3. I do sell things, and try to keep my prices high enough not to undercut the person trying to make a living at it( for me, it’s just yarn money) and boy do people raise their eyebrows! But I don’t make them buy anything. They can walk away. Enough people “get it” to make me happy.

  4. I’m making a blanket for a soon to be mum at work as a present and took it in to show her. One of our male colleagues goes you’d have to charge $4000 for that – wasn’t expecting that, but goes to show some folk do realise.

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