13 Mar 2011

Regretsy.com

Now I know a lot of crafters who sell their work hate Regretsy, so don't all fall out with me at once...

I only recently discovered this site, and was fascinated. I know it can be nasty and mean, but it's also honest. (And dangerously funny, I have laughed so much I have almost injured myself on many occasions over the last few nights)

Helen Killer is the Simon Cowell of the handmade world. Everyone says there's no need to be that catty, but she is only saying what everyone is quietly thinking.
And she often offers very constructive useful criticism.
Like shift all the horrid rubbish from behind your item before you photograph it...
Or make sure there isn't a big hair on the cake you are selling...

There are people on etsy and folksy that make some of the most beautiful creations my eyes have ever feasted upon.
You can clearly see the love and effort and imagination that has gone into their items.
And there are also people on etsy and folksy who make things that are not my taste at all,
but I can still appreciate their talent and skill.

I try really hard to buy all the gifts for my family from handmade sites like these, not the high street, and I shop at craft fairs to support local artisans as well.
You occasionally see two bits of rubbish glued together and called steampunk, or a framed teaspoon for 40 quid, and have a bit of a snigger to yourself.
Money for old rope and all that. I guess that's how Regretsy started. If someone had put time and love into something, no matter how misguided, then you can't really knock them for having a go.
Some people probably think what I make is ugly, or rubbish etc. But if someone is just taking the proverbial pee, then that's different.

What shocked me more than anything (even more than the giant genitalia birthday cake for $250) was the huge section on resellers.
These are people who buy cheap imports and pass them off as their own work.
I must be so naive, as I had no idea people did this on these sites (ebay maybe).
I just believed that if people say they made it themselves, then they did.
There was one flower ring that was being sold as unique and handmade by at least 8 different sellers!
Regretsy showed screenshots of all their listings,
followed by a screenshot of the website in Malaysia where they obviously all got them from - 100 flowers for $20.

People like us who are spending 2, 3, 4 or more hours making one item clearly cannot compete with this.
It has made me think really hard about whether to bother trying to sell anything I make, or just give them as gifts to friends.
I feel so disillusioned. There was even a shop selling fake designer handbags in the vintage section.

Do I just need to grow up and get on with it?

7 comments:

  1. Basically yes! Though I understand how you feel. There are cheats and frauds wherever you go and you shouldn't let them stop you from doing what you love and being part of the genuine handmade movement. It makes me mad how many resellers get away with selling on sites like Etsy and Artfire but policing them is difficult and expensive for the websites. Discerning buyers will be able to tell the difference between genuine artistry and mass produced rubbish most of the time so really all we can do is persevere!

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  2. Bravo.

    I've been to a few craft shows, and these re-sellers also pop up. It's just not fair on us who actually make the damn things!

    One that stood out a bit was a "make your own fake pandora bracelet" stall. I know what price the knock off Pandora beads cost, and what he was charging was extortionate (almost as bad as the real thing. I have serious issues with Pandora...).

    I did get a laugh though when he was packing up he managed to knock over one of the trays and his cheap beads went rolling all over the hall.

    Sarah xx

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  3. Carry on what you're doing and ignore them.
    Most people can see the difference between mass produced tat and genuine handcrafted things.
    And if they can't, their loss!

    I love regretsy by the way, glad you admitted you like it, I'm kind of scared to! lol

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  4. When it comes to customers, thy can tell when they buy that yours is the real deal. That is how we get repeat custom because we are true craftspeople. Don`t let it get you down. We`ll all kep promoting for real craftsmanship. Linda

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  5. This post really made me laugh - thank you!

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  6. Do agree with you regarding Regretsy - yes it can be harsh/mean at times, but there is very often a ring of truth. 'Unique' items which use the same components we've all seen on every handmade site going...to the downright weird, Regretsy does often make a good point - it says what many of us would like to say, but don't, for fear of looking like a bitchy, bitter meany.

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  7. I'm glad it's not just me who feels that way!
    thanks all for your encouragement.
    I've had a lovely day handstitching, and managed to make 1 and a half brooches in about 4 hours...and if nobody wants to buy them I will keep them all, and wear them myself.
    All at once.
    On a massive long waistcoat
    :)

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