16 Aug 2011

Angry Rant

I have returned at last from my long time away from the blog. The horse show did not pan out as planned, there was a massive footfall and the selection of hand crafts that were for sale at the stall were second to none but people were just not putting their hands in their pockets.
I understand that the country (and the world) is in a state of financial shock, but it was disappointing to say the least to see people spending their money on made in China trash rather than support Irish hand crafts. Thankfully there are still some people out there who understand the difference, or else I would be out of business. But I still find it shocking when people expect handmade items to be the same price as Pennys, and especially when they get rude and irate when I try to explain the difference.
There is so much talk in the media warning the consumer against getting ripped off that I think people are set into defensive mode when they go shopping. I met so many people who have a false idea that Irish handcrafts are a rip off. Please trust me when I say that all of the crafters that I know are working to the bottom line and are trying to make their items as affordable as possible, a lot of the time under pricing their items so that they can stay competitive.
I know this is a bit of a rant but I' getting really jaded with people querying my prices, trying to haggle me down, and being darn right rude when I'm not will to sell my items for half nothing. When did this shift if attitude become acceptable? Can they see themselves through my eyes at all?I had everything from scoffing, eye rolling, gasps of shock, 'you're kidding', 'I'm not paying that!', and even had one of my items thrown at me! This all from grown women, who if they saw their own children behave this way they would be appalled. My average prices are from €3-€10, I know I'm not being crazy when I think that's pretty reasonable.  I try to be polite and explain that items are handmade and that they take time to make, but I suspect I'm going to lose the plot one of these days and go a little psycho at some unsuspecting haggler!

(Ps: it's totally ok to politely ask if there is a chance of getting a deal if you buy a few items)


  1. goodness, so sorry to hear about this, Ruth. Your work is completely affordable, I am shocked that anybody would even attempt to get a further discount.
    This 'rant' of yours is totally acceptable. :)

  2. People haven't a clue what goes into hand made items: lots oliving and soon blood sweat and tears as well. I think your prices are so reasonable and there is always a multi-purchase deal to be had at your stall. Don't mind them, let them off to penneys to pay €1.50 for sth made in a sweat factory, it's on their conscience.

  3. I understand where you're coming from completely! Some people don't appreciate (or care) that things from chain stores are cheap for a reason: they are mass-produced by people in sweat shops who are paid very badly.

    If we replaced all the tat we buy from China with a few well-chosen handmade Irish items we'd all be better off and maybe wouldn't be in such a dire financial state.

  4. Rach-thanks, some people are just really cheeky, I'd like to teach them some manners!

    Marian-thanks!! yeah I've heard people compare my prices to Penny's to which I answered 'yes but it's made by children in sweat shops'....only when I'm really annoyed though, as I can't scare people away from my stall too much!

    Kee-I don't get why people can't make this small leap in their minds by buying cheap imports they are continuing to support an unstable market. We don't need tonnes of junk in our wardrobes anyhow!!

    It's nice to know I'm not alone, thanks for your comments ladies!!

  5. Sorry to hear about that Ruth - I think the problem Irish people have is that they equate value for money with cheapness, rather than with quality.
    We know that just because it's cheap, doesnt mean it's any good, but tell a generation that are used to buying dresses for a euro and they'll look at you as if you have 2 heads. This is tied in with a disposable culture where people don't keep things for any longer than a season anyway, so you're facing an uphill battle to change hearts and minds. A depressing thought in some ways, but having an awareness of them means you don't waste your energy on these people, cause they'll never change anyway. You can't please all of the people all of the time, so you might as well continue to make the best quality crafts you can and offer good value to people who appreciate them. Keep up the good work.

  6. You are spot on with this Ruth,I noticed it with the pop up shop too. Its so disappointing when you put so much work into something to have it overlooked! Penney's is a massive problem in that sense - people just aren't used to paying more than a fiver for anything.

    PS - Obviously when Willow is old enough I will be forcing her to sew things for me so I can sell them cheaper...

  7. Don't sweat it, Ruth. People can be cheeky so and so's, but most of the people who stop to look at handmade Irish crafts do know they're looking at handmade Irish crafts and are willing to pay appropriately for it.

    But don't feel you have to hesitate in putting someone in her place if she is terribly rude (she THREW your work at you?!). Give her a butter-freezing smile, tell her that your work wasn't made for sheeple like her anyway and point her in the direction of the nearest multi-national selling thousands of identical plastic or polyester items made by exploited brown children.

  8. People just aren't buying I found that out at the craft fairs I didn't sign up to any this summer because was working out too dear. Your prices are very reasonable....

    Last summer at a craft fair my very first one I had a lady approach my table and go through every single card of mine whilst she beamed a big smile at me, and then before walking away said 'Don't get excited I'm not buying any, I just want to rip them off and see how many ideas I can copy!'

    I think I would rather people been cheeky re the prices then that! ^^^^^ some people just have no manners! Some people also are just jealous you have a talent and are trying to knock it on you...

    Chin up, we all love your work, I'd buy some but to be honest since returning back to college I seriously have no income and when I do get some it goes on the house or supplies but every now and again I sneak around shopping on etsy and e-bay :P (just don't tell the other half that lol !)

  9. Amg- Oh that's a huge rant for another day, I get that all the time, it drives my fucking demented!!! 'Oh don't mind me I'm just getting inspiration, you have lovely ideas' 'Sorry love, I'm not buying, I'm researching, I'm gonna make these when I get home', 'Oh that's great, I can see how you made that, fab ideas here, I love this kind of thing'....I could go on and on....definitely I'm marking this down to go on another blog rant next week!!

    Mollie- I feel like the people who actually understand are turning into the minority rather than the majority...or maybe the crazies are just let off the bus outside the market..I dunno?!

    Jess-that's what children are for, their little fingers are so handy!!

    Lisa-That's so true, people no longer buy things thinking I'll keep that for years and wear it dozens of times. If something costs a tenner and you wear it 50 times (and will last that long unlike something made in China) the cost per wear makes perfect sense.

    I'm so happy that this rant has struck a chord with other people, but sad too that you all have met the increasing population of the 'rude brigade'

  10. Hmm unfortunately I have to say I know exactly how you feel! I have been there, however I have experienced the opposite too...its all down to the crowd. There's no excuse for rudeness and throwing items back at you thats just plain bad manners. Hope the next time proves more fruitful and polite! :)

  11. There's absolutely NO point in explaining (defending) what you are charing for your work. The best thing to do is say "I'm afraid the prices are not negociable" and should the person go on further insulting the value of your work I would add "May I suggest the following shops (penneys, pound shop, discount store etc) that would be more suitable for your budget?"

  12. I think your wares are beautiful and worth every penny and more, I wear a few pieces of your button jewellary and they are my favourite pieces because it's easy to see how much care and attention has gone into every one! Feck the begrudgers, just smile and keep de faith( and up the good work!)


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