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Thread: Etsy - how do they do it?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Etsy - how do they do it?

    Sometimes I browse Etsy for fun. Today I was looking for a specific quilt just to see the pictures. I am unsure of my color choices, so I wanted to check. I did not find what I was looking for but what I did find is a whole lot of very underpriced quilts, such as a king size Bargello for $170. I mean the fabric itself would cost close to that amount when you add up all the supplies. How do they do it? Is there a fabric fairy i do not know about? Are we seriously undervaluing our work? There were a few really gorgeous quilts that caught my eye and were IMHO priced right (dear Jane civil war repro and one block wanders) . I do not sell quilts, but if I did I certainly would not part with my quilt for the price of fabric unless it is for a friend. There, I am stepping off my soap box now.
    Last edited by Tashana; 10-19-2012 at 02:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I agree, I agree,.....I agree, was asked just recently when I don't sell my quilts to supplement my income, I asked them if they were willing to pay for the several hundred dollars in materials let aloan my hours....they had no idea !!!!
    I would rather give my quilts to charity (Project Linus, Children's Hospital, Local Hospice) rather than argue with someone about there actual value.....
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  3. #3
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    I know what you mean about some of the quilt prices on etsy. It's hard to believe they can even cover the cost of materials, let alone earn anything at all for their time!
    Wendy

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I actually went back to Etsy and double checked. It is actually a king size so I edited my post from queen to king. Unbelievable!!!

  5. #5
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    The only way I know of to do that is buy all your fabric and batting at JoAnn's with a coupon and work for free. Working for free is seriously undervaluing your work and yourself.

  6. #6
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I have heard of quilters running into motherloads via craigslist -- coming home with a truckload of fabric for $100, that kind of thing. Sometimes it is a former quilt store owner who kept a large private stash, and family just wants to get rid of the stuff. Sometimes it's a hoarder (heard of one woman who had two detached trailers full of fabric!). That's the only thing I can think of for pricing a quilt so low.......

  7. #7
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    I have told this story before....but...I had a friend who wanted a DWR extra King in very specific colors and fabric types. When I told him I would be happy to do it for $1200.00...he very quickly changed his mind! Said "Maybe I'll get you to make one after tax season is over..."..I guess so he could afford me. This guy is also my accountant so he's very aware of how much they cost..."go figure"! And as far as selling a quilt as intricate as a Bargello for that little amount of money, I'd be tempted to just burn it first!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Finding quilts at a thrift store, yard sale, estate sales and reselling is a big money maker. It's not hard to find out when a quilter's family just wants to clear out the house and buy fabric and unfinished quilt tops cheap. When you see an ad for a sewing machine for sale, call and ask about a stash no longer needed.
    Got fabric?

  9. #9
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tashana View Post
    ........Are we seriously undervaluing our work? .......stepping off my soap box now.
    Move over, Tashana, I'm getting up there with ya.
    YES. We definitely undervalue our work. Even appraisers are saying that quilt evaluations are down, due to the economy. At some point we'll have to reassess, dig in our heels, and demand (and EXPECT) respect and value for our work.

    For the one person who may not have seen this when i posted before, here is the "real cost" of making a quilt.

    Jan in VA

    What It Really Costs To Make a Quilt



    QUEEN SIZED, MACHINE PIECED, HAND QUILTED

    MATERIALS:

    Fabric 12-16 yards @ $9per yd. $108 - $144
    Batting $25 - $40
    Thread $8 - $16

    Total $ invested $141 - $200


    LABOR HOURS:

    Piecing 20 to 60 hours
    “Setting” (designing your quilt) 10 to 20 hours
    Quilting 100 to 750 hours

    Total hours invested 130 to 810 hours


    TOTAL COST

    Paying $1 per hour (Would you do this type of work for $1 an hour?!)

    Materials $141 - $200
    Labor $130 - $810
    Total $271 - $1070


    Paying minimum wage $7.25 (by law in 6/2009)

    Materials $141 - $200
    Labor (130-810hrs) $942.50 - $5872.25
    Total $1083.50 - $6072.25


    Paying skilled labor wage $20 per hour (Don't you consider yourself trained and skilled in this craft?)

    Materials $141 - $200
    Labor (130-810hrs) $2600 - $16,200
    Total $2741 - 16,400




    (Found on the Internet 1995; unknown author)
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  10. #10
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I was asked if I would make quilts for a "craft show" by a relative. Ummmmm, NO. First, I don't believe my quilts are a craft, but are an art piece. And second, I would never sell one of my quilts for craft show prices. Nor would I want to hear, "How much????? I can buy one at WalMart for $29", all day long. I don't undervalue my work at all and I feel badly for those that do.

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