Handmade Businesses are NOT in Competition with Large Corporations

Being a handmade business can be hard. Especially when everyone has an opinion about your prices. One thing I hear a lot is “you have to price lower because why would someone pay that much when they could go to the store and buy it for less”. Or makers get frustrated because they go to Walmart or Target and see similar items for way cheaper. Well I am here to tell you that you are not in competition with those businesses and you can price your items at whatever you want to! 

Handmade businesses are in a completely different market because handmade items are unique. Handmade items take way more time to make than any item that you can find at Walmart or Target or any of these other big corporations. Handmade items require you to use  a skill that you have learned that not everybody may know how to do. I’m going to use beanies as an example, but this applies to anything handmade. The beanies you see at Walmart or Target are mass produced by a machine and most likely in a country over seas. And if they truly are “handmade” or “hand knit” like some of them claim and they are only charging around $10 for them, then the sad truth is that they are probably made in a sweat shop in a foreign country where their workers are not paid a fair wage (which is an huge ethical issue but we won’t get into that right now). Your items are made by you. You take the time to make these items, to make sure every detail looks good, to make sure every end is sewn in. You time is worth something and you deserve to be paid for your work. It’s simple economics. You can not create items as fast as a machine, so in order to be profitable you must charge a price that reflects that.

One way to combat these feelings of having to compete with these corporations is to know your target audience. Yes there are some people who buy the Walmart beanies. They might have multiple kids that need a new beanie and they can’t afford to pay very much for each beanie. They might be on a tight budget and can’t afford to pay more. And that is 100% fine. That just means that they are not your target audience. There are people out there who will pay more for a handmade item. There are people out there who will pay more to have a beanie that doesn’t look like every other basic C.C. beanie out there. There are people out there who want your product. As my friend Danielle over at The Merriweather Council (she is and amazing resource for handmade business owners do check her out!) says “There is a market for every product at every price point”. So do not feel like you need to lower your prices in order to compete. Find your target audience and market exclusively to them. 

At the end of the day, you need to think about why you are selling your products. Everybody has a different reason for selling. If you just selling as a hobby and have no intentions of making profits and earning a living and you just want to make enough money to buy a coffee and more supplies, it’s totally ok if you don’t want to charge much. But if you are in it to make this a business, make profits, and earn a living from this you will need to price accordingly and not worry about  what Walmart and Target charge for their items. Do you think Gucci cares about what Walmart charges? No, so you shouldn’t either. As a handmade business owner you are NOT in competition with Walmart, Target, or any of these other huge corporations so stop worrying about their prices or what they sell. 

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