Shopping Small

Shopping small and buying local have gotten a lot of press this year. Which is a good thing.  People are becoming aware that there are beautiful high quality goods to be had without getting into a stampede or having to drive like Evil Knievel to get a good parking space.

But still, there’s something missing.  The general public seems unaware that there’s a price to pay for quality.  For one of a kind items.  And the price seems to be offputting to them.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people be completely in love with an item until they check the price.

If you watch the slick commercials on the tube, or check out the magazine ads or the avalanche of newspaper ads, you will see one common denominator.  PRICE.
ON SALE.   That’s how it works.  That’s how the big boxes have become, well, Big Boxes.  They sell so much of their goods so cheap they have convinced the general public that you will never EVER be able to find that thing (that you must have) anywhere else at a better price.  Some of us are a competitive lot, and we like to know we are getting the best deal possible.  (Perhaps sneakily coded into our DNA when we weren’t looking?  Conspiracy theories abound!)

What can we do to convince the world that our unique, original works are worth the price?  Our society is so Big Box conditioned that it’s hard for the general public to realize that something lovingly crafted and sold by the maker is a better value than some piece of plastic-craptastic that everyone else has?

WE know quality is worth money.  WE know what goes into it, but how do you get other people, who don’t make anything  understand?  The Buy Local-Shop Small-Buy Handmade movement won’t go anywhere until the masses ‘get it’.

Discuss amongst yourselves and feel free to comment.

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One response to “Shopping Small

  1. I think you have to educate the public about yourself, your experience, and a particular piece. Tell a story and take the buyer to a place he will never find himself in a big box store. You probably won’t get the sale this time, but next time the buyer sees you, he will stop to talk again and eventually, he wants to be part of the story and take his experience home to enjoy forever. Last spring, I sold a piece to a buyer who I knew from the many times she’d stopped to talk with me and she was so excited that she’d saved enough to purchase a pendant. I invested a few minutes in her over the course of time, and she rewarded me by choosing a piece of my work to make part of her own story.

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