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Thread: Need to rant...

  1. #1
    Senior Member mrsj82's Avatar
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    So I'm at the craft fair. And for the second time in a row I'm selling nothing. I've sold two potholders. I'm very discouraged about this. Everyone else around me is selling stuff, except me! What is it that people won't buy anything? I've not priced things too high, and I'm almost right next to the door. There's no one else here that is selling quilts...so why aren't people buying from me????

    GRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Okay...rant over....

  2. #2
    live2teach's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, I know how discouraging that is. If I was there, I'd buy something! :) Maybe people are being tight with their money on certain things..and unfortuneatly maybe it's the things your selling. It's so hard to tell with people. When people walk in, make eye contact say hello and draw them in...I'm sure you probably already are. I hope you start selling more! Let us know how it turns out!

  3. #3
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    I am so sorry. I'm glad we can be here for you. Rant away. I know it will make you feel better.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mrsj82's Avatar
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    Thanks for the support. Maybe it'll pick up after everyone starts getting off work. You would think that quilting stuff would be a hot seller especially with Christmas coming up...weird weird people.

    On the upside I found an outlet for my laptop so now I can come play on here with y'all while I'm waiting for this thing to end...

    And maybe someone will buy something tomorrow...

  5. #5
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    Sorry you did not sell any thing yet. May be latter.

  6. #6
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    Well hopefully, you'll sell more things as the fair goes on. How long is it? What are the people buying?

  7. #7
    Senior Member mrsj82's Avatar
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    I think part of the problem is that there's hardly anyone coming out. Maybe after people get off work there'll be more people here...and then tomorrow we're here until noon from 7am.

    However I just did make a huge sale. The lady that set up the event and I've been in contact with bought a quilt, two sets of coasters, a travel pillow and pot holder. $81 richer...

    so hopefully when people get off work they'll come out and clean me out.

  8. #8
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    Here's a story for you about why people don't buy quilts...

    A friend of mine quilts - she does beautiful work, she has a great relationship with a longarm quilter and between the two of them they turn out some fabulous stuff... impressive even...

    ok, a woman at work kept asking Margie to make her two quilts for her twins - Margie kept telling her, 'no', that she did not want to get into the making of quilts for other people.. the woman kept insisting and getting downright belligerant about it. so Margie finally told her, 'ok, let me figure up a price so we both know what we're talking about....

    So Margie figured up a price using good materials, batting, TIME, the long arm quilter, the backing, etc planning on doing a really good job and making 'heirloom' quilts for this woman's kids....

    When she told the woman, "I came up with at least $500 for each quilt" the woman went ballistic and said - are you ready?? :-o

    "But I can get a quilt at Walmart for $30!".... and Margie said, "Well, then, do that"

    We stopped at Hardy Arkansas on our way home from Missouri a couple weeks ago - we've stopped in that neat little town several times and this last time quite a few shops had "handmade Ozark quilts" for sale.... but.. here's the strange part, these quilts all looked exactly alike - in each store and the "quilting" was nothing more than basting.... and these quilts were all under $150 all the way up to king size.... I didn't look for the "made in China by 6-year-olds" labels but I'm sure they were there somewhere...

    We also stopped in Cracker Barrel where they had some really NICE quilts done on I'm sure computerized long arm machines - they were too 'perfect' to be otherwise... these were selling for around SEVENTY DOLLARS....

    You can't buy the materials to make a GOOD quilt for that....

    People who actually do the craft - no matter what it is - generally will say things like, "wow, great prices," or "fantastic work" or whatever but they won't buy because they also do the craft/sewing/ etc... people who don't know squat about sewing/quilting/crafting or whatever are only interested in the $$$$ they look at a thousand dollar quilt and it doesn't mean any more to them than the thirty dollar piece of junk from China made with material that will fade and fall apart because people aren't really interested in heirloom stuff anymore - they are the people who replace their bath towels by the season so they 'match', or decorate every year, or toss out the table ware and buy new because 'it's such a good deal at walmart'....
    and that's what's got the whole world in a huge mess right now because we are a disposable society - toss it out and buy a new one - no need to make it last or keep it because it means something...

    whew... boy did I get on my soapbox :mrgreen:

    But I have a friend that keeps telling me I should try to sell my quilts on ebay - no, not gonna go there.....
    If nobody else does - at least I know that *I* appreciate my quilts and I know what goes into them... :roll: :wink:

  9. #9
    live2teach's Avatar
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    Yay! You made a sale! Maybe you'll be busier this evening and tomorrow.

    Janeen, you are exactly right, it seems we hear the same thing from people about our prices and such. I can say with confidence that all of us here on this board definitely appreciate anything handmade and all of the hardwork that goes into it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mrsj82's Avatar
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    Wow, that gives me some perspective! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who appreciates good quilts. Its really annoying that people look at the price tag on a really good quilt and balk. If they really knew the effort it took to make one...

    Anyway, hopefully things will pick up later. I want to sell my quilts on EBAY too but I have no idea if they'll sell and I'll be damned if I put them up and pay ebay for them not to sell!

    (Ebay is my soapbox...)

  11. #11
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    Wise Janeen!!!! I hate to say it but I was one of those people. Years ago on a trip to Arkansas I bought 2 king quilts each with 2 shams. I spent around $225 for all of it. Now that I quilt, I can see now how one has basting as quilting and the other is falling apart. Now, I know that you get what you pay for!

  12. #12
    quiltmaker101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janeen
    Here's a story for you about why people don't buy quilts...

    A friend of mine quilts - she does beautiful work, she has a great relationship with a longarm quilter and between the two of them they turn out some fabulous stuff... impressive even...

    ok, a woman at work kept asking Margie to make her two quilts for her twins - Margie kept telling her, 'no', that she did not want to get into the making of quilts for other people.. the woman kept insisting and getting downright belligerant about it. so Margie finally told her, 'ok, let me figure up a price so we both know what we're talking about....

    So Margie figured up a price using good materials, batting, TIME, the long arm quilter, the backing, etc planning on doing a really good job and making 'heirloom' quilts for this woman's kids....

    When she told the woman, "I came up with at least $500 for each quilt" the woman went ballistic and said - are you ready?? :-o

    "But I can get a quilt at Walmart for $30!".... and Margie said, "Well, then, do that"

    We stopped at Hardy Arkansas on our way home from Missouri a couple weeks ago - we've stopped in that neat little town several times and this last time quite a few shops had "handmade Ozark quilts" for sale.... but.. here's the strange part, these quilts all looked exactly alike - in each store and the "quilting" was nothing more than basting.... and these quilts were all under $150 all the way up to king size.... I didn't look for the "made in China by 6-year-olds" labels but I'm sure they were there somewhere...

    We also stopped in Cracker Barrel where they had some really NICE quilts done on I'm sure computerized long arm machines - they were too 'perfect' to be otherwise... these were selling for around SEVENTY DOLLARS....

    You can't buy the materials to make a GOOD quilt for that....

    People who actually do the craft - no matter what it is - generally will say things like, "wow, great prices," or "fantastic work" or whatever but they won't buy because they also do the craft/sewing/ etc... people who don't know squat about sewing/quilting/crafting or whatever are only interested in the $$$$ they look at a thousand dollar quilt and it doesn't mean any more to them than the thirty dollar piece of junk from China made with material that will fade and fall apart because people aren't really interested in heirloom stuff anymore - they are the people who replace their bath towels by the season so they 'match', or decorate every year, or toss out the table ware and buy new because 'it's such a good deal at walmart'....
    and that's what's got the whole world in a huge mess right now because we are a disposable society - toss it out and buy a new one - no need to make it last or keep it because it means something...

    whew... boy did I get on my soapbox :mrgreen:

    But I have a friend that keeps telling me I should try to sell my quilts on ebay - no, not gonna go there.....
    If nobody else does - at least I know that *I* appreciate my quilts and I know what goes into them... :roll: :wink:
    I'm right there with you, Janeen. People ask me to make quilts, and when I tell them my bed quilt (king size) cost $350 to make and was appraised at $850 a few yrs ago, they turn white and go buy a $60 quilt somewhere. I made quite a few for my boss' wife, not charging for my time at all. When I charged a more equitable price for the last two, guess what? No more orders! It all comes down to $$$!

  13. #13
    Senior Member mrsj82's Avatar
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    Of course people don't want to pay you for your time! They just want a cheap pretty quilt. what they don't realize is that it iwll fal apart sooner than later. It's annoyihng...

  14. #14
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    What I have discovered at craft shows is that the junk that is bought and glued together sells for a ton of $$ while the beautiful stuff that actually took some work doesn't sell. I haven't figured people out.

    I'm really happy to hear you made a good sale.

  15. #15
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Oh, glad you did make that sale, maybe that will start the ball rolling.

    As for the whole "selling handmade items for what they are really worth"...its impossible ...no one will ever pay what they are really worth. You just must get a reasonable amount of enjoyment out of making it. And that has to be worth something to you.

  16. #16
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Sweatshops overseas turn out tops by the dozens. As long as they are assembled here, they can be labled as Made in the US. I have a feeling that some I've seen just had the overseas tags ripped off.

    You can't buy the thread for a big quilt for what some of the falsies are going for.

    I'm glad you made some money. I'm scared to try the craft shows here - you need a tax # and entrance fees are pretty high, even at the flea markets.

  17. #17
    Senior Member QuiltinLee's Avatar
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    Here's another thought - it may just be your location. I know you're next to the door and people see your items as soon as they walk in and that's great. HOWEVER, a lot of people (me included) will say to themselves "Well, I'll hit that stand on the way out since I don't want to spend all my money right away" and then spend their money further down the line.

    I'm glad you made a least one sale and hopefully tomorrow will bring more $$! :D :D

  18. #18
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    I know just how you feel! I didn't sell one thing for an hour and sure was regretting the HOURS I spent on making stuff over the summer and after school. But no one was buying anything. And I ended up selling more photos and books than quilted items. Sigh...

    Hope your pockets are full soon. :D

  19. #19
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I'm glad you sold something and yes....it's a 2-fold thing....coming down to money and people not knowing what they are actually getting with what we make.

    On another note.....my Heart Quilt that I made for auction....well, it went in the auction....$100. I was sick! I actually had to walk out of the room! They started the bidding at $75, which is what I set, but it stopped at $100. I couldn't believe it!! There was an elderly lady there that was visiting her granddaughter. She had walked up to it before the auction and I walked over and started chatting with her. She had such good things to say about it even to the extent that it would bring in a TON of money. I knew that neither her nor her GD would bid on it only because the GD looked to be 20-25 and there isn't much money in their family, especially military family. (she did win a scrapbooking basket for $10) Once the auction was over, the lady walked up to me and told me how sad she was but that the people wouldn't know good craftsmanship if it bit them in the nose. lol She told me to not make one for next year because I would only be wasting my talent. I agreed with her. Not making one. I did have a lady ask me if I was making another for next year. I laughed in her face and told her that wasn't going to happen!

    But, I digress.........
    I hope you do better the rest of the time you are there.
    Good luck!!

  20. #20
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    It's nearly impossible to sell anything custom made for enough to truly pay for it. I'm not sure what people look for when they go to craft fairs. Mostly I think it's a case of wanting to support our local artisans.

    Tomorrow I will spend all day at our local craft fair, thankfully not trying to sell my own goods. I couldn't stand it. But, as I walk around and look at what is there, I will think of you.

    Terri, what a devastating experience to have all your hard work become a bargain for someone. I sure hope they appreciate what they have bought! If I were there I would have bid that quilt up for sure. I can say this because I just attended a fund raiser and walked out with nearly $500 worth of auctioned items paying far more than I should have but wanting to donate. Fund raisers are NOT the place to go bargain hunting :evil:

  21. #21
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Terri, that group should be ashamed of themselves. Not for buying your quilt for such a cheap price...that is just sad. The real crime here is that the group was too cheap to donate to a good cause and that is the really sad part. Unfortunately things are tight everywhere and it shows up first in donations to good causes. :cry:

  22. #22
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Well, the people who got it, I KNOW they appreciate it. The woman saw it a few days before the auction and had asked me about making one for her. When I told her that it was going in the auction, her eyes lit up! I'm glad she and her husband are the ones that have it. She really appreciates it. I am going to make a bag for them to store it in when necessary, but I doubt it will ever be stored away, unless they are packing out and moving.

    But like it was stated before,,,people will pay $50 for one that is cheaply made at Walmart or some other place, but aren't willing to spend the money for something that has "blood, sweat and tears" put into it.

  23. #23

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    I am really glad you have brought this up:))I think it would be great if other vendors could step up and give some possiblities of ideas for this. I know we are not dealing w/normal economy, and has hit many really hard. Which could be why the pot holder sellers. Which is a great idea! I believe in the diversity of prices in booths so all could walk away w/something. I use to drool over homemade quilts....I can not tell you how bad I always wanted one. I so loved homemade. My prob. was I tried and couldn't...and, I absol. couldn't afford one. It would have been the difference of paying for my rent. (well, a few months at the time)I know there are others walking around appreciating your work and many do know the difference between the china/usa made ones. Terri is right-you do get what you pay for.
    Hold your head up high...smile and treat them all like they are your 100th customer. Have someone sit in for you and go browse yourself to see everything from -how busy, -how are other booths set up-lighting-etc. Is there anything for you to learn from here? There could be! Keep us posted and don't take this personally. It is just a hard time for most of us to ride out at the moment. Skeat....who has rambled waaay too much:))

  24. #24
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janeen
    Here's a story for you about why people don't buy quilts...

    A friend of mine quilts - she does beautiful work, she has a great relationship with a longarm quilter and between the two of them they turn out some fabulous stuff... impressive even...

    ok, a woman at work kept asking Margie to make her two quilts for her twins - Margie kept telling her, 'no', that she did not want to get into the making of quilts for other people.. the woman kept insisting and getting downright belligerant about it. so Margie finally told her, 'ok, let me figure up a price so we both know what we're talking about....

    So Margie figured up a price using good materials, batting, TIME, the long arm quilter, the backing, etc planning on doing a really good job and making 'heirloom' quilts for this woman's kids....

    When she told the woman, "I came up with at least $500 for each quilt" the woman went ballistic and said - are you ready?? :-o

    "But I can get a quilt at Walmart for $30!".... and Margie said, "Well, then, do that"

    We stopped at Hardy Arkansas on our way home from Missouri a couple weeks ago - we've stopped in that neat little town several times and this last time quite a few shops had "handmade Ozark quilts" for sale.... but.. here's the strange part, these quilts all looked exactly alike - in each store and the "quilting" was nothing more than basting.... and these quilts were all under $150 all the way up to king size.... I didn't look for the "made in China by 6-year-olds" labels but I'm sure they were there somewhere...

    We also stopped in Cracker Barrel where they had some really NICE quilts done on I'm sure computerized long arm machines - they were too 'perfect' to be otherwise... these were selling for around SEVENTY DOLLARS....

    You can't buy the materials to make a GOOD quilt for that....

    People who actually do the craft - no matter what it is - generally will say things like, "wow, great prices," or "fantastic work" or whatever but they won't buy because they also do the craft/sewing/ etc... people who don't know squat about sewing/quilting/crafting or whatever are only interested in the $$$$ they look at a thousand dollar quilt and it doesn't mean any more to them than the thirty dollar piece of junk from China made with material that will fade and fall apart because people aren't really interested in heirloom stuff anymore - they are the people who replace their bath towels by the season so they 'match', or decorate every year, or toss out the table ware and buy new because 'it's such a good deal at walmart'....
    and that's what's got the whole world in a huge mess right now because we are a disposable society - toss it out and buy a new one - no need to make it last or keep it because it means something...

    whew... boy did I get on my soapbox :mrgreen:

    But I have a friend that keeps telling me I should try to sell my quilts on ebay - no, not gonna go there.....
    If nobody else does - at least I know that *I* appreciate my quilts and I know what goes into them... :roll: :wink:

  25. #25
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
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    [b]

    well, AMEN TO THAT!!! it cost me $218.00 to get this one quilted by a long armer pro. other people (friends) have asked me to make them one for free and i say yeah right - like i'm just gonna hand you a $1,000.00 bill (if there is such a thing). I've got $500 in this quilt not counting my time and I'de have to be starving to death before I would even sell it.

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