Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What is your time worth?

I make my own product and it was literally years before I actually figured out how much it cost in time and money to make each piece. I have now priced things appropriately, asking much less then a heart surgeon and a little more than a retired geezer who goes to work at Home Depot (love those guys by the way as they still know how to work) So when a person walks in, picks up a hand made, hand painted jewellery box that is priced at 20 bucks and says with disdain, 20 bucks! I could make that for 5 bucks, I sidle on up and and agree with them, say it does seem like a lot and confirm once again what they said: so you can make this item for 5 bucks. Their guard is down as I have been a friendly and agreeable fellow and they say sure, I can make that for five bucks. So I order 100. I'll pay cash! When can you deliver? The smart ones, and they are few, get the point right away and sometimes are apologetic; we all say things we don't really mean once in a while so I cut them some slack and we can still be friends. The dumb ones can be strung along for quite sometime as they slowly become even more ridiculous, actually making excuses as to why they couldn't make them right now. I have gone so far as to offer them, and their children. an application for employment in a sweatshop in India where I'm sure it would cost even less than 5 bucks to produce a cheap knockoff. Everyone values their time but often not the time of others. We should all be paying more for our consumer goods (shoot me now) Luckily more and more people support their local economy to the benefit of their community. They understand that 20 bucks spent at home stays at home and really represents more than that as that same 20 gets spent all day. I'll use it for food and my local grocer might then use it for repairs and so on. How you spend your money is a political statement. Do you want your decedents working in sweatshops to provide consumer goods for the Chinese middle class because we forgot how to make anything. Of course no one actually needs a hand painted jewellery box so perhaps I'll shut up but if you can make them for 5 bucks let me know.


  1. At last.......whoever first said the customer is always right is wrong.Everyone in retail knows that.Even in other jobs, one's time is their retail and those that are late, or conversely cause others to be late are wrong. It is just good manners to be on time and it is good manners not to say stupid things to people who make things and know the time and effort a little article of home made art takes.So I hope your latest blog really gets around Birdman, and at least makes some people think before they speak.And teaches some retailers to talk back. that can be done in a polite way just as you did.Carry on. Surreybird

  2. I am just loving your posts and I've only just started reading!!!

    I also have a shop where I sell my handcrafted items and those of local artisans. I had a couple of old dolls come into the store just shortly after I opened. They were looking around and one of them kept picking up thing and harumphing and boo hooing the work, everything from hand painted items to wood works to baby quilts. I let it go for a while until she finally said, "Well it certainly doesn't look like these people know how to make this stuff". Well I had had enough. I said to her "My mother taught me that if you can't say something good about something, you shouldn't say anything at all" Well, her friend was mortified... but her, nope didn't get it at all. To those kind of people I say you just can't get through now matter what. They wouldn't be happy if they weren't miserable.

    Now after being in business for over 5 years I've found that generally (not all mind you) the older generation are the rudest... and they have sticky fingers too.

    So next time, think before you speak, and remember what your Mama taught you.

  3. Thanks for the reply. I think you are right. People get into the rut of being miserable. I think they would be shocked if they knew how they appeared to others.

  4. I have a personal committment to end each transaction with a if its really a grimace who can tell? retail rita

  5. It may have been Biff who added the secularism of rodents in general (maybe gerbils), and the decadence of chocolate specifically, to the ressurection of his buddy, Christ. Please refer to the Neo Testament as written by the 14th, and chronologically removed, apostle Moore.