Thursday, October 30, 2008

Double Standards?

There have been a few subjects that have come up in the Etsy forum lately that have gotten me thinking. These are not new subjects, they come up all the time, but in the past few days for some reason they have made me want to ask some of the respondents to the topics a few questions. Of course, being the forum chicken that I sometimes am, I've refrained from doing so there. So I'll just put them out here:

Is it possible that there are double standards with regards to shopping on Etsy, or for hand-crafted items in general, as opposed for shopping for just about everything else? I'm not talking about the whole "handmade" vs "mass produced", or the made in my country as opposed to some obscure, unknown, place. Rather, I'm referring specifically to a couple of subjects......prices, and shop variety.

On the subject of prices - I've seen some folks state that they will *never* buy from someone who's prices are too "low". Of course, there usually isn't a definition of what constitutes too low that follows these statements, so that imaginary threshold is likely very subjective. My question to those folks would be: Do you not shop for bargains in anything else that you purchase? Do you always pay full retail prices at the most exclusive boutiques you can find for your clothes? What about groceries? In almost every town there is usually more than one place to buy food. I would bet just about anything that every exact same item, or similar ones...different brands, are the exact same price in all locations where it was sold. Is that Skippy peanut butter a higher quality at Price Chopper than it is at Hannaford? Must be because it is 15% higher priced. Don't believe me...pick an item, any item, then go into each different store and notice the price. What about gas for your car? Do you always go to the station that has the highest price....because it must be better quality gas, right, because they are charging more for it than anyone else. Why is it that hand-crafted items are subjected to a different set of criteria?

Then, with regards to variety....this one bothers me even more than the pricing arguments.....which I guess I can kind of, sort of, maybe understand a tiny bit. But, not wanting to shop from a person who has variety in their store is just beyond my comprehension. These are the folks that I want to answer in the forum in big, bold, capital letters (yes, YELLING). I would love to know where it is that they shop for everything else that they ever purchase, and do they refuse to shop somewhere because the store has too many different things? My guess is that the drug stores in their town only sell drugs/medical related candy, no make-up, no magazines, no toys, etc. And they probably don't shop at any of the big-box retail stores either....and probably not grocery stores either. Actually, I can't think of many stores at all, even on-line ones, that don't have some sort of cross-product variety in them. That's on purpose! It's one of the basic retail and marketing principles.....have stuff for sale that will make someone want to shop at your establishment - different things appeal to different people. Just because someone came into your auto parts store because they wanted that nifty tire changer thing that only you have, who's to say that they might not also decide that they really need that package of beef jerkey and the set of singing bumblebees that you have there too? Maybe it was really the bees that brought them in....and then they decided that your nifty tire changer thing is something that they can't live without either. Since you don't know, you can't say for sure why they purchased from you. But of course, this scenario wouldn't really apply to you, since you don't believe in variety you wouldn't have tire changers, beef jerkey and singing bumblebees in your store, nor would you ever visit/shop at an establishment that did.

Oh, and if you haven't noticed....I have what most would term as "too low" prices on the "variety" of items in my shop....guess that's why these subjects/responses irk me.


  1. Great post!!
    I love variety......variety in things and price.

  2. i try to stay with all my heart, out of forum discussions

  3. The Etsy forums can be a brutal place sometimes. Have a great weekend!

  4. I used to participate in the forums, but it got way too agressive there for me. There are forum stalkers who just blast everything for the sake of starting a bullies.

    Just so you know, only a very small percentage of Etsians actually participate in the forums.

    Please take everything you read there with a grain of salt as it is just the opinion of a few & certainly does not properly represent the majority of Etsians opinions.

    Now, I basically just read the posts about "new blog entries" and sometimes the "MiniMakers" posts as I'm a member.

    The name of your blog made me laugh, as I'm 45 but I never think of myself as middle I have the peterpan complex. I'll never grow up.

    about upstate NY, I used to live in Warwick, NY.

    I'm glad I found your blog. I'll be sure to follow you.

    Have a great day,