business, selling online, wholesale

People asking for wholesale and final prices on handmade artist work.

Farmhouse Cottage Chic from Painted Furniture Collection
Painted Wood Tray from Painted Furniture Collection

If you sell handmade items online you have definitely come across people asking for wholesale prices. I have dealt with this off and on for years. Set up a guideline, what pieces you are doing, the bottom line charged on those pieces, add any restriction to the pieces such as color variety size… and minimum order amount. Adhere to these guidelines for yourself so there is no confusion with the buyer. Recently I did a wholesale order and forgot my set of guidelines, I may end up regretting this decision.

There are also the people asking for your final asking price. These people are pet peeves of mine. There is nothing wrong with asking this question when dealing with certain items such as vintage. It follows the trend a throw over from antique shows to see if a dealer can give you a better price. Simply put you have your cost, your profit and your price. Want to sell at a lower profit fine.

Asking an artist this question is wrong. Back when crafts were made up of people selling at country craft fairs and everything was country we all know the stuffed goose in calico print or the cut out hearts. Again people felt they had to ask to dicker for a better price. The shows were inexpensive to enter and you could afford to lower a price. Today is a very different market, it is competitive and the product is as diverse as the people are who create. It is a machine run by young, middle-aged, and older artist who because of the economic cloud are being forced to diversify. I am one who thinks this is a good thing. Gone are the days of mind numbing country. From around the world there is a new breed of artist being born. They are skilled, educated, business minded, and proficient in their craft and art. Most of the people I have come across are serious business owners, working full-time producing their work. If it can be made by hand there is an artist somewhere creating something beautiful special and uniquely one of a kind. There is a price to pay for this kind of work. They have spent years studying fine arts, taking workshops to improve their skills, and always diligent in the quality they offer to the public.

So why ask any artist can you do better on the price? Would you ask your accountant? or doctor? or realtor? If you think of the time and education needed to create what the masses can not should you not be ashamed you haven’t paid more? If you want something cheap China who is more than happy to oblige. With technology controlling every need people have this same ever-growing society is losing the basic skills that have been mastered for centuries. Ah, but the artist who has worked keeping the tradition alive and creating with their hands and minds may be the greatest societal commodity. If we lose our networks that run our machines who will build the houses, make the dishes, furniture, windows or even the soap to bath with, the artist. The artist you are not willing to pay. You will then but knowing the creative soul as I do it will be fairly.


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