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Happy-in-Red

Just a little annoyance...

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Someone contacted me if I wanted to crochet her a rippe stitch blanket for a King Size bed. Could I give her a quote.

 

It had to be crocheted in Merino yarn.

 

75% of what I quoted her was the expense of the yarn, not even the work I would have to put in (crocheting a King Size blanket will take about 6 weeks or so).

 

She was outragious, as it was way too expensive etc etc.

 

But seriously, what did she expect? That she could get a handmade, 100% Merino King Size blanket for €25?

 

No point in this thread, just venting to some people who'll probably understand ;-)

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The average person doesn't have a clue about the cost of yarn and certainly not about the amount of work that goes into a large project!!

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I know, right?

 

She literally couldn't grasp that a King Size blanket in 100% Merino would cost over €150 in materials alone! I suggested more economic yarn, but that was no good apperently. Well, that doesn't give me any options. Right?

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I would suggest, she get and pay for the yarn herself,if she is not willing to do that, then suggest she find someone else

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Most people truly don't understand the cost that goes into making things, not just with knitting/crochet but everything that can possibly be made and sold. Cost of supplies alone is usually more than people are willing to pay for something to be hand made for them, it is rare for them to understand in addition to that exactly how much time goes into something. Especially something so large as a king size blanket!

 

 

I would suggest, she get and pay for the yarn herself,if she is not willing to do that, then suggest she find someone else


This is an excellent suggestion. She will of course need to know/understand about different weights of yarn, different dye lots, how much to buy etc. That would be something that you'd have to talk out with her. But suggest she pay for the necessary supplies, and then pay you whatever your charges for your time and effort are. If nothing else it might make her more aware of the cost and why you quoted her what you did as she will see that yarn is not cheap. Even when making these arrangements sometimes people still don't get why you charge as much as you do, as they still utterly fail to understand how much time goes into it. But usually it helps them at least understand the supply costs just a bit.

 

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Most people don't have a clue about the costs involved with hand made items unless they make them.  It is why it is so hard to earn anything off the products you make.  If you use quality materials, you still have to account for your time and make a profit.  Finding a market that understands that and is willing to pay the price is challenging.

 

In the future I'd ask someone if they knew what the cost per skein was for X yarn they wanted to use right at the start.  You may not have a definite idea of how many skeins you will need, but it is an education for people who have no idea of how expensive yarn is even at the lower end when making large projects. 

 

This person obviously doesn't want to face reality.  She wants what she wants regardless of the reality of cost.  Somehow someone is supposed to make it work for her.  That you just can't change. 

 

However, other people I think are just clueless about the costs involved.  In my experience some had family members who would make things and they never appreciated that the yarn didn't just magically appear from the yarn fairy.  The family member just never educated the rest of the family about the financial cost involved with making the items given. 

Edited by Bailey4

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Thanx all, I knew I came to the right place for people to understand.

 

I literally did a calculation for her, telling her: with X size you need Y weight of yarn, so that means XX balls of the yarn you've requested, this means the cost for the yarn alone would be XYZ and given that it will take ABC weeks to make this is the price.

 

I must say, especially after reading your comments, that I am already over it. I've been lucky to also encounter people who understand the costs of handmade and ordered some things with me. People like this, I can really do without!

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Sometimes, to get people to face reality, ask what they are paid for 6 weeks of work!

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Many people have no experiencing with purchasing yarn. If they do they usually are making their own afghans. The other factor might be the person's age. I was talking with any older relative recently.

She told when she knit sweaters  she paid .25 a skein for good yarn purchased from local farms.

When I explained what a sweater would cost today she was overwhelmed.

 

When I contract to create any item for a person other than family. They purchase the yarn and my fee

at minimum is 3x the cost of the yarn or more. We have a written contract and they pay 50% up front

and the remainder when they receive the item.

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If she had sticker shock just from your time and materials, imagine how badly she would faint if you counted in your overhead of electricity to power the lights while your worked, your phone or internet bill for communication, and then the shipping costs if you delivered it in person or shipped it in a box if she didn't come fetch it herself. =P

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It would take me a year to make at least  lol   She for sure wouldn't be able to afford me.   Maybe she would like to learn crochet and make her own.   A satisfying and rewarding hobby most of the time. 

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She was my age, so I guess she didn't have a lot of experience with buying handmade stuff.

 

I was talking to my husband yesterday and he said: oh, well... like you needed more projects ;-) (Too right!!)

 

I'm just a little interested in how much she expected to pay for a 220 x 200 cm handmade 100% Merino blanket? I mean, had she done her homework, she knew it wasn't going to be a bargain. I checked my quoted price with similar items on Etsy and I still think I estimated a modest price.

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What makes me wonder is that people do not want to pay for beautiful handmade pieces, no matter what it is, yet they will shell out $$$$$ for machine made (not crochet though, can't be done on a machine, thank goodness) things, often made in another country where the workers are paid very little. 

 

LI Roe

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Totally understand your point! Which is why I have never even tried to set up a business. I crochet for pleasure, and if I want to make a wonderful gift for someone special, so be it!

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It's sad to see people react badly when you give them a price. Someone asked my sister to do a baby blanket, and when she gave this woman the price, the woman went around to me and others asking for lower prices! (I ended up telling her that I wouldn't do it for under $100 since it needed a LOT of yarn and a LOT of time). Unless people actually see you working, they'll never understand how much time goes into a project. 

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There are lots of time I appreciate the quality of the work, but can't justify the cost in my budget.  I'll look at the item, appreciate the quality and walk away without buying.  I looked at some hand made wood stuff at a craft fair last year and it was beautiful.  I asked about the prices because I knew it would be expensive, but as someone who doesn't work with wood I wanted to talk to some vendors to get a price range.  I thought I had estimated high enough, but I was off.

 

I do think for crocheting/knitted items it does come back to people being used to getting stuff for free from family members or buying it fairly cheaply at the Church fair or similar venues.  So many times I've heard people say either I can make that or my Mom/Grandma can make that for free.  What is sad is the last time I worked a Church fair because all the items were donated the prices didn't cover the cost of the yarn.  Therefore, people get accustomed to paying next to nothing for baby blankets, afghans, sweaters, and other items.  That being said not all items sold there are well made.  Some are priced do to the quality.  However even when well made, people are accustomed to paying so little, that in my experience people will buy the cheaper item over the one that is better made but more expensive. 

 

You really have to find a market that understands quality costs money and is willing to pay for it. I do think we can all help by educating our friends and family gently about the idea of the costs behind the materials so when they do go out in the world and see what it costs to get someone else to make something it isn't such a shock to the system.  I shopped a great deal with my Mom and so while I didn't knit I had an idea of what the yarn and the patterns cost so before I crocheted, I tried to help keep her in patterns and yarn when I'd ask her to make stuff.  Other family members think Mom has a magic yarn tree that keeps her supplied.

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When making an afghan (any size) I never use expensive yarn. I buy 7 oz. skeins, RHSS or store brands I won't pay more than $3.99 each. A baby afghan (36" square) takes about 3 skeins ($12). I set my price double that and round up, easy/basic patterns, 2 weeks or less $25 - $30. Harder patterns, 4 - 6 weeks $35 - $40. For multi colored ones I don't use all the yarn, so I count how many skeins it would take in 1 color and go from there. If someone wants a certain yarn I tell them to buy it so they can get the exact fiber/colors they want. Example: $30 worth of yarn = $65 - $75 afghan. They buy the yarn I'll charge $35 - $45. My rates apply to family/friends only, I don't make things for total strangers. If they are sent by a friend I might add $5 :lol.

Ellie 13

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It's sad to see people react badly when you give them a price.

 

 

Oh, please.  I've had people react badly when I told them they had to purchase the yarn for their project that I was going to crochet for free.  That still blows my mind.

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My sis bought 6 skeins pastel rainbow colors and asked me to  :crocheting a baby afghan for a co-worker. Any pattern at least 36" up to 40" square. She wanted to give it as a shower gift. I knew that brand of :yarn cost $4.99/skein (15 +/- yrs ago), so I told her how I priced my afghans. It would be $65 but I would take $35 because she bought the yarn . She asked "Would it cost less if you keep the leftover yarn ?" (I think she expected the extra yarn back!) I made something with 5" (7 X 7) squares with a shell edging (about 36"). I used 1/2 the :yarn  and it only took about 2 weeks. I charged her $20. I think word got out because nobody asks me to make them afghans. Even my own family doesn't get it. I made a 2nd afghan and sold it for $50 :lol .

Ellie 13

Edited by Ellie 13

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RoseRed - That is probably even worse!

 

Luckily, in the meantime, I've also had some costumers that didn't blink at the cost and completely understand the value of handmade items.

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I actually had a lady ask me the price of a shawl I had displayed in our booth at a Crafts Show.  I quoted her $25.  She exclaimed: $25!!!"  (I was SURE I knew what was coming...) What she said was: "You shouldn't sell that for less than $50!!!"  Then she bought it--for $50!  You could have scraped me off the floor!!!  I felt like asking her if she had some friends who felt the same way!!

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I think part of the problem is that people can get cheap junk at Wal-Mart or some other store like that, so they don't understand that anything of quality is going to cost more.

 

I've had the concept of a person buying the yarn for me to HORRIBLY backfire. One of my friends went out and bought this vile Boucle yarn that was almost impossible to work with! It was so bad, I actually offered to get the yarn myself and not charge her, just so I didn't have to use the Boucle. Unfortunately, come to find out, her mother had her heart set on a scarf using the yarn!

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Lol, with a reaction like that, you're probably better off that she said no!  Can you imagine doing it for her and maybe needing an extra ball of yarn and have her accuse you of something!?  

 

Also, nice to see you here!!  I've followed your blog for a while now and actually just ordered one of your little London themed bags a few days ago!

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i havr had the same type of issue. I made a blanket with my aunts name on it with angels around it, name and angels were puff stitch. i made it for her as she was sick with cancer, i worked as fast as u could because i knew her time was short. i managed to finish ot and give it to her 3 days before she passed away. One of her daughters asked what it would cost to make a blanket similar for her to give as a gift. i ask what yarn, figured the amount of yarn and the price for the yarn, plus 2 times the amount of the yarn for my time......she literally laughed in my face and said i can buy 2 or 3 blankets for that price and i dont jave to wait a month to get them..... i told her that would probably be her best option. because i wouldnt make it for free, she said " well you made moms for free didnt you" REALLY!!!!! I made a gift for her dying mother now she expected me to make one at my expense, for her to give away

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