It’s “Cheap” for A Reason

August 7, 2010

As artists, there is one phrase that will drive us to drink. We hear it at fairs, get emails from buyers at EBay, even private sales.

“How much?? I can get earrings(bracelets, necklaces)at the discount store.”

Yes, there is that one customer who claims they can either make or buy jewelry cheaper than what we offer. First off, they may say that, but will the “customer” go through with it an find the time to sit down  and choose colors, select proper materials, learn the stitches/wire method, then actually pull it together?

That answer would  be a “heck no”.

My goal is to enlighten folks about what I do, and why I do it. Why do I spend time traveling to spend extra money on materials? Why take classes in color theory and wire wrapping? Because the alternative is to spend money on jewelry that looks like this:

Would you want this near your skin?

How long do you think this bracelet will last?

Hold up, wait a minute…it gets better:

Silver my butt

Even the spacer is chincy

Wait for it, there’s more:

No charm in this bracelet

I purchased these at a local street fair. There were at least 6 stalls selling $2-$3 earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. And folks were snatching them up. People, I understand the economy is bad. We all want something to cheer us up without busting a budget. But PLEASE, spending $3 for a bracelet that is poorly made, is like throwing $3 down the drain. Don’t do it! Spend $10 and get a well made, possibly one of a kind piece that will last.

Now that I have these sad things, what to do next? The beads I can use will be recycled into other work. The “silver” crap is going straight to the garbage.

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3 Responses to “It’s “Cheap” for A Reason”


  1. So true- our job as handcrafters is to show people how and why are stuff is better and that’s why it costs a little more.


  2. Go to Geranium jewelry if you want to see a horror story of cheap goods from China. X10 is the catalog code..3 strand necklaces for $7.50 and earrings for $2-
    really pretty pieces. The workers must get about 5 cents to put things together. They ran an ad on Craigslist for designers..large scam as far as I’m concerned. So glad you are addressing this issue Rosalind. The reason to buy from a handcrafter is that you are getting a piece of that persons vision and their energy. What price can you put on that?

  3. rosalindsstudio Says:

    Thanks for your comments! “An Educated Consumer is the best customer” is so true!


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