You might think it's early, but there are several Christmas Craft Sales this weekend. Most of us are not thinking of Christmas yet - but some start their shopping early and so I guess these early sales are directed at catching a few of these shoppers.
Christmas Craft Sales have really changed over the years.
To begin with they used to be "Craft Sales". Meaning all the sellers actually made the items for sale! This is a real peeve of mine. I get all excited to attend a "Craft" sale - only to find, after I've paid my entrance, that it is 80% vendors and 20% crafters.
Are there any other crafters out there that feel this way?
Whatever happened to the days when a crafter had to have their product judged to even be able to even get into a sale? Yes, it was a pain - but the sales were fantastic. Customers returned year after year because they knew the merchandise was excellent. They came to see - they came to buy!
When I do a sale it represents months and months of work, time and effort I have put in to my product. Vendors are not "Crafters". Well maybe they are, or once were - but they have opted out for a new way of selling and making money without all the time, and labour...
To clarify - by vendors I mean - dealers selling commercial products such as Epicure, Mary Kay, Avon, Tupperware ... that sort of thing. How did it come about that they have been included in "Craft Sales"?
My other peeve about craft sales is some of the shoppers themselves... they want cheap. I understand the economy is not great, and believe me crafters do take that in to consideration when they make and price their items... but come on people... if you would rather pay ten dollars for a plastic mass-produced made in somewhere ornament - than a handmade one of a kind made by the person you are looking at ornament - then shop at Walmart!
I cannot tell you how many times someone has made me an "offer" on one of my bear ornaments - like I was selling in a Flea Market!
Aside from my specialty bears (Brides/grooms and custom made orders) my Bears are the same price they have been since 1988. How many things that you buy these days can you say that about?
When you exhibit in a Craft Sale or Show you are often asked to complete a survey after the sale is over. This is our opportunity to speak out... tell the promoters the truth if you don't like something - speak up. We have to get more vocal about our venues. We pay them to allow us to sell our items in our table rentals and our auction donations... we deserve to be able to sell our product!
The alternative - gone forever will be the the opportunity to purchase custom hand-crafted items and that, my friends, is a very sad thought!