For those of you that haven’t been with me through my many blogs, I am a crafts-person. I make jewelry, or will when I get another workshop, practice calligraphy, write, and dabble with drawing and paper crafts. I used to sell what I made before it was all stolen. (No, I didn’t have insurance. Painful lesson learned.)
One thing that makes my blood boil and tests my customer service expertise is when people haggle for my services or haggle on the price of one of my pieces. Another is when they flippantly utter, “I make it myself cheaper than you are selling it.”
So, have you practiced for years on lettering? New calligraphy techniques and illuminated script? Have you cut your own jump-rings for chainmaille jewelry? Spent years perfecting the wire-work you see on my table? Have you spent hours sketching new designs? Reading up and practicing new ways to twist wire?
Because, my dear consumer, that is what you’re paying for when you buy handmade. Can you get the materials cheaper than the price tag you see? Sure, but will you know what to do with those tools and materials to make what you see on display? What? You didn’t know you needed tools?
The same goes for art, digital and traditional. When you try to haggle for a piece from an artist, you are, figuratively speaking, slapping them in the face. You’re insulting years of practice, technique perfection, and style creation. When you tell an artist you can get it cheaper from someone else, you’re essentially saying their work isn’t worth the price, because all you see is the finished product and not the time that went into making the pieces you see.
So, the next time you want to tell one of us you can get it cheaper somewhere else or do it yourself, don’t be surprised if the smile slips and a hint of venom oozes out.
Until Next Time,
Anissa “Maddy” Walker