My time cost money too....

United States
April 17, 2007 3:31pm CST
Like many of you mylot crafters I have a few crafting skills...making jewelry, and Kniting being at the forefront. In fact, I have a side business of selling my work. However, it seems that once you have a skill there is always someone out there...who wants to exploit it. For example, yhe other day I had an aquaintance (not a friend) ask me to knit him something. Dreading what would be coming next, I asked what he was intersted in. Of course...and I should have known, he says..."A Dr.Who scarf!" Now anyone familiar with Dr.Who will know that this is a super long (144 inches) multi-colored scarf. It's a VERY time consuming project. I told him it would cost around $80, which is a deal as on Ebay they are going for upwards of $100. He offered to pay for material....but not to compensate me for my time. Needless to say I won't be doing this. I often get requests like this. Will you make me *insert some really complicated project here*, I'll pay for the yarn. But people don't get it. Paying for the yarn is not enough. I have a skill and when you don't pay me for my time you are exploiting me. Rather than do these projects I have often offereed to teach people to knit, or to help them make the item they seek. But no, they just want me to do it...that's not going to hapen though. Have any of you had this happen? How do you turn away well-meaning but insluting offers?
5 people like this
10 responses
• United States
21 Apr 07
People would never dream of working their jobs for free; why do they think that you should? That is crazy but it is something often faced by crafters. Whether it is someone they know or someone at a craft sale trying to bring down the price! I almost never work for free doing my crafts. The only time I have is if it is for someone I am close to that I know we compensate me some other way - take me out to lunch, help me with something, whatever; just some way to compensate me that isn't money OR if they are going through a rough time and I want to do something nice for them. I applaud you for not caving to these people.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Apr 07
Thanks! It's true. People don't realize that for me, this is a second job!
• Singapore
18 Apr 07
I do agree that your time costs money too. I have had friends who wanted me to edit their work... and they sometimes ask me to practically rewrite it for them. I have to turn them away. My time costs money too, besides, how can you pass off my things as your own. :P
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Apr 07
yeah, you should not have to totally rewrite someone's paper!
@addysmum (1225)
• Canada
20 Apr 07
I know how you feel. I will make something for family for the cost of material. My mother and I trade sometimes, she is a stained glass artist I do general crafts (polymer clay, knitting, jewelry, etc.). Others have to pay for my time even if it is a discounted rated for friends. I do gift a lot of my stuff, I gave a pen set to the dog sitter as a thank you and she made my a ton of orders from friends and family.
1 person likes this
• Canada
20 Apr 07
If it's a good friend or family I will make them something for a gift or give them a really good discount. None of my really close friends or family have tried to take advantage of me that way it's usually the ones who you just barely know but because they want something you all of a sudden are their best friend. It's really irritating I will usually offer a small discount and because I started doing home parties I was offering they could have a party to help pay for their wants, but these type of people are never happy with that kind of thing.
@venshida (4837)
• United States
17 Apr 07
I usually choose the style so I don't get bog down with time consuming projects. If it is a close friend, and they are insisting on a time consuming project I tell them they need to pay me for my time. I usually tell them the going rate and tell them they are getting discounted rate. Most of the time, they decide not to continue with the project.
• United States
17 Apr 07
I'm happy to knit for my friends - but that means I choose the project, I buy the yarn, and I work on it whenever I feel like it. I am finishing a gorgeous baby blanket for a friend who just had a baby girl, and I make hats for birthday presents - but these are gifts. If people ask me to knit them something, I do the same as you - offer to help them learn to knit and help them make the thing they want, or just say "Ok, you pay for materials, and labor is $10 an hour..." and see if they still want that Dr. Who scarf!
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Apr 07
I don't knit but I still experience things that are similar. My favorite is if I buy all the paper and envelopes will do up some invites for my get together. Like the fact that I am a trained designer and a stay at home mom means I have nothing better to do then design things up for them. I had one friend that wanted 25 baby announcements (not for her but a co-worker of hers) that are cut in the shape of a baby doll dress. That is a lot of hand work and time. She thought I could just do it as a favor to her. I wish no crafters could have a little respect for how hard it is to do things.
• United States
18 Apr 07
Exactly! People don't realize that while we may love crafting, it's still hard work. A labor of Love if you will :-)
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Apr 07
Here is the ultimate response for you the next time this happens: Make up one flyer with all sorts of items and their prices. Fold in and put in your purse. Next time this happens, pull it out, tell them "No problem! 15% discount get back to me with specifics of your order." That's what a Business person would say yes? You must treat yourself that way and then that persona will be projected to others and you will get the proper respect for your time. Put a little more into your selfworth and don't let other's deny you of it. Good luck!
• United States
17 Apr 07
Thank you...That is exactly how I feel, and try to conduct myself. I feel totally devalued when people do that to me. It's weird, it's only people who know me personally who do that to me. I sell my crafts online and at fairs and people buy them, and even comment on how reasonable my prices are!
@hezoid (2148)
27 Apr 07
I think it's really unfair of them to ask you in the first place and not expect you to charge for you time! It's actually rather rude and cheeky, and i'd flat refuse it too! In fact good on you for standing your ground.
• United States
22 Apr 07
So far I haven't had too much of a problem with people trying to get me to make them stuff for free. I make mostly jewelry -- some of it is pretty easy to make, and some of it takes a bit of time. If one of my friends or family members wants something, I usually give them a discount. I also give a lot of stuff to friends and family as gifts, usually with a few business cards for them to hand out to other people that they know. This has actually helped a bit in getting some business. But yeah, I really don't think that non-crafters understand how time-consuming it can be to make something... They tend to go by the prices they see in the stores. "Oh, Walmart has it for $8" "Yeah, well walmart made it and 5,000 other's just like it on a machine that no human probably touched"