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Thread: I just don't get it!

  1. #1
    Senior Member quiltin-nannie's Avatar
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    I just don't get it!

    Just came back from looking at Etsy for the first time in about 5 years. How can some of these quilts be so inexpensive? I know how much I pay just for material for a quilt, and I am wondering how some of these can make any money. Then you go to Lancaster, or Berlin, and see these quilts that are $1200 or $1400 dollars. Am I missing something here??
    Julie
    Good friends are like stars; you don't always see them, but you know they're always there!

  2. #2
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    And then you have potential buyers who think that paying $125 for a quilt is too much money. I don't get it either, if that's any consolation.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  3. #3
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I'm guessing that the folks who have very low prices on their quilts are working from inherited or thrift store stash. That would make it possible to cut expenses drastically. Does however seem like they are not valuing their time very highly.
    As to the really high $ quilts I don't know anybody willing to spend that much, but then I don't comprehend multi thousand $ for a wedding either.

  4. #4
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I only make and give away my quilts for this reason..I spend more on materials than the asking price, and I feel my labor is worth something.

  5. #5
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    If I ever get to a point where I feel my quilts are 'sale worthy,' I don't expect that I'll ask much for them, simply because (one, I never give myself enough credit), but mostly because I just want to continue the hobby. My "free time" is just that; I spend it doing things I like to do, and am not expecting to be paid for things I do on my own time. Having said that, I would hope to get maybe $20-30 more than I spent on materials for what I might put up for sale.
    Of course, if I were doing it for a business and grocery money, that would be a different story.

    Right now, though, I haven't learned enough to put out what I consider a 'quality' product (at least not from a 'finishing' standpoint of what my binding and SITD looks like- UGH!), so for now my 'practice' quilts are giveaways.

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    A quilt is not something you have to buy, it's something you want to buy. I think most need the money so will discount the quilts down as low as possible. It's easy to tell they don't value their time at all. If they don't, I certainly don't.
    Got fabric?

  7. #7
    Super Member sharoney's Avatar
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    I have sold quilts and quilted items on Etsy, and I can tell you this- there is a certain kind of person that thinks if it isn't expensive it must not be very good. And they are the ones who buy high priced quilts.

  8. #8
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    When you can buy a whole quilt set for $29, its no wonder people think they are cheap to make.
    I remember buying a couple of these quilts and for the price they are not bad. The quilting is awful and sparce though. They even come with shams.
    Bought them before I started quilting.
    I call them slave labor quilts.

  9. #9
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have wondered the same thing, I would go broke if I sold quilts for less than what I put in to them!!!

  10. #10
    Power Poster gabeway's Avatar
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    We as a community just need to value our time more. I cross stitched Christmas stockings for my DIL and she had a friend see them and asked how much I 'd charge to do one. When I told her my costs plus $0.10 an hour labor would be $250.00 never heard from the friend again. And that was discounted labor. I have committed to never doing anything for cheap. I will charge for labor and do so at a fair rate.
    Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.

  11. #11
    Super Member Nanny's dollface's Avatar
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    Rose Marie makes a good point. a lot of people compare price points of store versus hand made quilts. Recently, someone asked my husband if I would make a baby quilt. I researched on etsy and saw that pricing was around $145 for a rag quilt. I sent my husband with the print out of the quilt and price and said I would make her one for $75. She has never brought up the subject with my husband. Next time, I will say $145! LOL

  12. #12
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    People will pay what they think it is worth. Some will spend thousands, some not! I don't get it either. These people that low ball hand crafted items cause a bit of ^&*^*&^ for others! peace EDIT: My boss paid 15, 500 for a quilt more than ten years ago. Yes she did! The proof is in an old QNM. peace
    Last edited by ube quilting; 03-14-2013 at 02:56 PM.
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  13. #13
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    IT is sad enough that some stores sell quilts for little to nothing because the creators of these quilts can't be making much in wages. I'd rather give mine away than sell my craft for cheap.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  14. #14
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    I don't understand selling them for less then the fabric and batting put into items unless they themself are getting the material free? Actually I do remember on one of the other forums years back sometime around 9/11 there was a lady (saying a church type group she belong to) asking for left over fabric, bating, extra blocks saying it was to make quilts for the needy but turns out was not making quilts for the needy. We even sent them with us paying the postage. Many of us me included sent yardage, blocks and large scraps of fabic.

  15. #15
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    I wouldn't charge for labor. Doing the work keeps me from being bored when the weather is nasty. Or it's for a friend.
    There's too many people who want stuff for free. Now I just toss scraps in the trash. I have quite a bit of fabric to go through, can't get help in sorting. A helper would get most of it. That's going in the trash, too. If I could, I'd burn it.

  16. #16
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Well, a lot of people AREN'T making any money! Here's the thing though. It will ALWAYS be that way. You don't know what they are spending on materials, what kind of time they are putting in, or the quality of the work. Price your things to what YOU need to make. I have always had moderately priced items on Etsy because it's what I need to make a profit and justify my time. (Remember not everyone is selling legally either...I have some overhead I need to balance out to make any money as I have a small business). Otherwise I would just be giving stuff away and I'd much rather give it to family if that's the goal. I am a stay at home Mommy so I do this for the extra income. There have always been people who sell for less, but most of my customers come to me for the consistency of quality. So I don't worry to much about what others are doing. Market your items and build a following and you will have business.
    Last edited by pumpkinpatchquilter; 03-15-2013 at 04:47 AM.
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
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  17. #17
    Super Member applique's Avatar
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    I make sure I get my quilts appraised first so I know exactly how much they are worth. Currently mine average $1100.00 definitely not cheap!
    Debbie
    Machine It

  18. #18
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    I guess I will never sell a quilt, because, with limited funds, years and lack of "expensive" equipment, the most I can get done in a year is maybe 3 or 4. All of mine are Qayg, and made for family or close friends.
    Pat
    pat design

  19. #19
    Senior Member quiltmau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Marie View Post
    When you can buy a whole quilt set for $29, its no wonder people think they are cheap to make.I remember buying a couple of these quilts and for the price they are not bad. The quilting is awful and sparce though. They even come with shams.Bought them before I started quilting.I call them slave labor quilts.
    when we first moved back to the US I bought a few of these quilts while waiting for our house hold goods to arrive. They make great fur baby rugs and I don't fuss about them on the floor. We have given a few to the local shelter and they use them for bedding for the animals.Not everyone can afford the nice quilts. I make mine and donate them. Even without the tax write off -I enjoy making and creating them.

  20. #20
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    go Gabe!! some people do think we are just waiting for an other project... I can't charge the price for anything that comes off my machine and make wages. I did make window coverings for a lady that wanted the expensive . she also had me make 4 layers of $50. a yrd fabric. I did make money on that job. so much for the other 10 years of work at considerably less wages.

  21. #21
    Member Sachis2112's Avatar
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    I'm a spinner and knitter as well. I had my own business for a while. People would actually pay me $60+ for ONE skein of sock yarn. That's right... it's a $60 pair of socks not to mention the time they will have to put into it to knit it. It's sort of like paying $20/yard for some local, hand-dyed batik or something. I think any one of us would pay for a yard of that and use it as a center panel. If it's worth it to the person purchasing, they'll pay the price. If they see no value in a personal touch, they won't. It's all about what the market will bear, right?

  22. #22
    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    funny this showed up today. My DH's physical therapist was here this morning and commented on my 20"x26" table mat I made yesterday using my new mini Twister tool -- fun to make. Anyway, she said "you should sell these" So I asked her what she'd pay for something like this. She thought about it so I asked if she'd pay $20? She said "I'd pay $10". Then I told her I had $10 in fabric. That really surprised her. Then she commented that $20 wouldn't even include a fair price for my labor involved. Then she understood.

    That's why I don't do craft shows anymore. Just not worth my time and effort.
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  23. #23
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    I don't have a lot of people to give quilts to because I come from a small family and there are quite a few quilters in my extended family. And then there are family members who are lukewarm and non-committal about getting a quilt when I ask what colors they would like. These people won't get a quilt from me. I have not sold any quilts yet, but I would like to. My price would be based on cost of materials and not time. The way I see it, I would quilt anyway, if I was selling the quilt or not. So if I can recoup my cost of materials, they hey, I can go shop for more. It's not that I don't value my time, I do. But I am not doing it to earn a living and I am ok with just recouping material costs so I can go get more.
    Luv Quilts and Cats
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  24. #24
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    BellaBoo, I've heard that in bad times you want to sell things that people want, not what they need to make money. Figure that one out?

  25. #25
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    I'd much rather give my quilts to people who need them. I do it because I love it. I may not make money quilting but it is cheaper than therapy.

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