PDA

View Full Version : BEEN THERE, DONE THAT???


ArtLady1981
04-13-2009, 06:33 PM
A couple years ago some of the members were discussing the selling of their knits, etc...and people who ask you to knit something for them...and they'll 'pay you'. :doh:

So here is an example of how this 'conversation' usually rolls:

"Oh that is such a beautiful sweater! Where did you find it?"
"Thanks! I knit it myself!"
"Oh no, you didn't! Would you knit this sweater for me, too??
I'd be happy to pay you!"

Sound familiar? Don't you feel complimented? I would!
So the conversation continues:

"Well, I guess I could. I don't have a lot of time to knit, but I guess I could make time."
"How much do you charge?"
"Well, I don't know...how much do you want to pay?"
"Oh no, you tell me how much you charge. I mean, I'd even pay you $50 for it!"

Don't ya just hate this phase of the 'wheeling and dealing'?
You and I both know that it took us weeks and weeks of faithful knitting time, the cost of the pattern or book, and the yarn cost $80 by itself!

So you gulp, and say
"Well ma'am, the yarn for this sweater is $80 alone."
"EIGHTY DOLLARS??!!" she gasps. "Well, thanks for your offer to knit it for me, but I could get this at Walmart for $20."

Now don't ya just want to strangle her, or hang yourself? :teehee:

I have a better solution for this conversation!

So let's start the conversation over, much shorter this time:

"Oh that is such a beautiful sweater! Where did you find it?"
"Thanks! I knit it myself!"
"Oh no, you didn't! Would you knit this sweater for me, too?
I'd be happy to pay you!"
"Why thanks! Here is my card with a rundown of my prices!
Give me a call in a few days and we'll discuss your sweater!"

What card? you ask. :??

The 3x5 card (in your purse) with your name and tel number on the front, and with your prices on the reverse side.

EXAMPLE of the reverse side:

Woman's Sizes 34-48 at the prices below:
Woman's Cardigan: $200 plus cost of yarn & buttons.
Woman's Pullover: $185 plus cost of yarn.
Woman's 3/4 Coat: $300 plus cost of yarn & buttons.
Woman's Tank Top or Shell: $100 plus cost of yarn.
Woman's Scarf: $85 plus cost of yarn.
Woman's Hat: $75 plus cost of yarn.

Some specialty knitted items: $50 per hour plus cost of all materials.
All hand knits must be pre-paid, with yarn in hand before measurements are taken and knitting begins. Specialty items at the hourly rate will require a non-refundable deposit of $500 for labor, with add'l draws when that's exhausted. Written estimates will be supplied prior to deposits.

No more dickering. No more hurt feelings. You can now say "YES! I'll knit it for you!"...and feel good about it, whether you get the job, or whether you never hear from her again! It's a win-win! :teehee:

PS: the prices for labor that I gave (as an example) are a bargain considering the hours you will knit! raise those prices if you want! you can never go up in price, but you can lower prices! if you get a string of customers who pass you around to knit for them, it would be hard to start raising prices, cuz they compare notes!

Debbie
04-13-2009, 06:45 PM
I LOVE IT !!

mwhite
04-13-2009, 06:51 PM
ME TWO!!!

Plantgoddess+
04-13-2009, 07:27 PM
What a great idea. I've been there with a woman wearing a mink coat asking for a handknit sweater and not wanting to pay over $50. Go buy it at Walmart then. We both ended up annoyed, this would save aggravation at least on the knitters side.

mwhite
04-13-2009, 07:57 PM
Kinda like the fella that walked into the shop last week and complained about the price of spark plugs for his $40,000 pontoon! Oh yeah and he lives, with his wife in a 5,000 sq.ft. house that'll cost ya over $500,000!

lelvsdgs
04-13-2009, 11:02 PM
This is brilliant! For me it would be great because people would say, well, I'll have to think about it and I'd never hear from them again!

TEMA
04-13-2009, 11:20 PM
:roflhard:
I can't say I've ever had this problem but I will keep your advise in mind just in case.... :teehee:
TEMA:thumbsup:

Mike
04-14-2009, 12:28 AM
My sister just laughs and tells people they couldn't afford to pay for the time. But if they'd like to buy the yarn she'll gladly allow someone to enable her addiction and get to making their item eventually.

I've found I don't like doing things for others, too much pressure. So I can simply say, "No, but I'll teach you how."
I can only make something I have no use for and figure out who gets it afterwards.

ArtLady1981
04-14-2009, 01:22 AM
pressure. So I can simply say, "No, but I'll teach you how."


Yes, Mike, I've said that many a time, too!

You know what the responses are:
a) "Oh, I haven't got the time to knit"
b) "Oh, I haven't got the patience to knit."

The real answer is: "Oh, I don't have the desire to knit, just the desire to own fine knits at a Walmart price!" :roflhard:

ritaw
04-14-2009, 03:15 AM
What a great idea ! Hubby will find it very amusing that i have a business card lol :)

mathwizard
04-14-2009, 07:38 AM
I love the card and the prices are good! People don't realize all the time and work that goes into making a handmade item. My family does and I bet yours do also and appreciate all you make for them. Walmart doesn't have the specialty yarns or better yarns we use!

GinnyG
04-14-2009, 07:44 AM
What a great idea!!

I really get frustrated with people asking me to knit things for them. I wish I had the time because I love knitting and giving but most who ask really have no idea what time, effort and yes MONEY goes into a hand knitted item. I usually just laugh and say my knitting que is so long now I would be a very old woman before I got around to it. Which is true, last night I was looking at my binder of MUST KNIT patterns and realized I MUST STOP looking at patterns.

cindycactus
04-14-2009, 09:25 AM
Great idea. Gonna make my card today. Thanks for the help. :knitting:

swcheng15
04-14-2009, 05:25 PM
That's too funny. A related story, I have a coworker whose 90 yr old mother had been collecting yarn throughout her younger years. Apparently, bags and bags full in the garage. She found out that I knit, and I asked that since we (a couple of my coworkers and I) knit for donation, would her mom be willing to donate some of the yarn. She responds, "oh, that'd be great. But my mom would absolutely LOVE it if you made my dad a sweater." At that time, one of the knitters was standing there during the conversation. We looked at each other and said, "uh..." and kind of stopped. Needless to say, we haven't received any yarn, nor have we asked again. It's very difficult for those who don't knit to understand how much time it takes to actually make something. In many ways, unless you give a hand knitted gift to someone who knits themselves, the recipient won't truly understand the significance of the gift itself.

ArtLady1981
04-14-2009, 05:40 PM
In many ways, unless you give a hand knitted gift to someone who knits themselves, the recipient won't truly understand the significance of the gift itself.

SO TRUE!

I don't knit for money, nor do I really want to, but IF a very well-heeled person wanted to hire me, I'd try it. But not for chump change.

The only problem I could foresee with knitting for money is picky, OCD, needy customers. My brother is a contractor, mostly home remodels, and I get an EARFUL from him about customer relations...enough to fill an encyclopedia with the do's and don'ts! I don't wanna be one of the dummies on Judge Judy! :teehee:

I knit out of love, :heart: and give it away for free!

My recipients don't have a clue about the money and the time that goes into my handknits, but all my recipients APPRECIATE my knits so much, it is better than any amount of money! :happydance:

GirlChris
04-14-2009, 10:34 PM
So True, so True!

My little pumkpin hats are usually a real hit and whoever I have given them to they always say I should sell them due to all the compliments their little pumpkin gets wearing it. It is very flattering ad makes me feels good to hear that. Well I worked it out one time and I'm not the fastest knitter alive (especially with one husband and 3 kids distracting me LOL) so it takes me a good 10 hours a hat. Even at minimum wage that's $70. Or how about "babysitting" wage that's $50. That is not including yarn. But let's say I used very simple inexpensive polyester yarn, anybody want to shell out $50 for a polyester baby hat? LOL
In the LYS the other day a customer was complaing about how she would have to charge $40 for her pair of socks if she bought the yarn the lady was recommending. She went on and on "who's gonna buy them?" I felt so sorry for the worker, she asked her the best yarn for socks and she was just telling her.

ArtLady1981
04-15-2009, 02:20 AM
Yes, I do agree with you! Babysitting would be more profitable than knitting!

I've always told my friends who say I should sell my knitting:
"I knit for love, I sell ART for a paycheck!"

And believe me, I sometimes think the ART CONSULTANT (that's me) makes more money per piece of art than the most talented artist does. That is another vocation that is entirely underpaid as a whole!

Not many make it to the big time in their lifetime!

Mike
04-15-2009, 04:16 AM
In the LYS the other day a customer was complaing about how she would have to charge $40 for her pair of socks if she bought the yarn the lady was recommending. She went on and on "who's gonna buy them?" I felt so sorry for the worker, she asked her the best yarn for socks and she was just telling her.
If she would have to charge LESS than $40 per sock not including yarn she must not value her time at all.

wezyus
04-15-2009, 05:35 AM
What's a brilliant idea, Artlady, thnsk for sharing it

chj
04-15-2009, 08:11 AM
I knit out of love, :heart: and give it away for free!

My recipients don't have a clue about the money and the time that goes into my handknits, but all my recipients APPRECIATE my knits so much, it is better than any amount of money! :happydance:


I totally agree with you!! I don't think I could do anything for hire, I'd worry too much about it being "just right".

A funny story, though - many years ago (mid 1980's) a friend asked me to knit a sweater for her from a pattern she saw and liked. I told her I would. She bought the yarn which was VERY expensive, and I ended up needing even more, and I think it ended up being over $100 back then. I remember knitting the thing, and being really unhappy with the way it turned out, and thinking that if I were her I would never wear it. I only see her now every couple of years or so, and when I saw her a few months ago, she reminded me of that sweater, and told me she was still wearing it!! Good grief! Turns out she thought it was wonderful, and she loved it! I don't even remember her saying much to me at the time. I guess I was feeling too guilty because I didn't think I had done such a good job. I guess you just never know!

Woodi
04-15-2009, 08:21 AM
Great post, artlady! Thank you for sharing the biz card idea. I no longer craft to anyone else's specs, cuz as you say, it's hopelessly under-appreciated (unless given to a fellow crafter).

My DH makes fine furniture as a hobby, and people ask him to make things for them at bargain-basement prices. He always says he has no time (nor interest, but he won't hurt peoples' feelings).

I have begun to realize that 'handmade' should be for lovely gift-giving only.

That said though: I still sell my handmade soaps, but not cheaply. A bar retail sells for $6.95 plus tax, or if you come to my house and pay cash, and buy 10 or more, you get them for $5 each. Dove sells for.....what? 2 for $1.99? (Cdn)

but commercial soaps dry our skin out, cuz they remove the glycerin to sell to lotion companies (for much more profit)...and you'll need the lotion after using their skin-sucking soap.

<sorry for the rant>

ArtLady1981
04-15-2009, 12:25 PM
What a wonderful success story, CHJ! How kind of you to do it for her! I gather from your words that you knit it 'as a favor' and 'labor of love'! She truly did appreciate it!

I felt the same anxiety with the first wedding dress I made, for my daughter's best friend. I made the wedding dress in trade for some housesitting she did for me. I was so nervous about that dress. I read a boatload of 'sewing a wedding dress' books, educating myself regarding the do's and dont's and pitfalls and tips on sewing wedding dresses! I "punched in" at exactly 8 am each morning, took 2-10 minute breaks and 1-half hour lunch, and "punched out" each day at 6pm...everyday for a week.

It turned out beautifully and she was a beautiful bride!

But I'll never forget the 'worry' I felt about such an important dress, and the possibility of ruining her expensive satin and lace! Back in those days (maybe 20 years ago) her materials cost $500. That was spendy then.

globaltraveler
04-15-2009, 02:55 PM
I remember the first time I had to cut into the lace for a wedding gown that cost over $200 a yard ($214 a yard, to be exact). I literally stood at my cutting table, shears open and ready to take the first bite, praying outloud, "Oh please God, please don't let me screw this up, because I can't afford to buy more of this lace if I spoil it!"

Abbily
04-15-2009, 03:29 PM
What a great idea!

I have knit for friends, when *I* offered to do it, and I always make them buy the yarn. And I pick the pattern, with their input. That way I get to knit something I want to knit, for someone I love. Other than that, "just say no". :)

YarnKitten
04-15-2009, 11:13 PM
Oh my. A girl in my class found out I knit and begged me for a week straight to make her socks (her grandmother used to and I guess she must've passed on?). I told her I couldn't make socks yet. Then she offered to "buy the yarn and pay [me] five dollars". Um ... yeah. How many hours does it take you SPEEDY knitters to do a pair of plain socks?

We talk about friends asking us to do body work on their cars in my class, too. We're all autobody repair and paint students and there's no way I'm throwing a bunch of my spare time into doing something for someone. I mean frig ... even a little ding is how long to pull out the dent, how long to grind, how long to body fill, how long to, how long to, etc.