Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Do you Sell Your Quilts?

Yesterday I observed a man selling a motorcycle that he had made.  It caused me to reflect on selling quilts.  And yes, the picture has nothing to do with the post, but it is proof that spring is here, and I like it!


So the man didn't really want to sell the bike.  He was doing it to help his family.  One buyer came and made him an offer that was just under half of what he was asking which was already a super low price.  The man explained how just one of the parts he put on the bike cost more than what she had offered.  He refused to sell it to her. 

Later that day, a young man was looking at the bike.  He had been eyeing it for a long time.  The man (bike seller) said he would give the young man the bike for whatever he had in his pockets.  Turns out it was $200.  A lady there helping the family was upset at the man.  Even more so when he said he wouldn't have done it differently in hindsight. 

I understood completely - and I agreed with him!  I feel the same way about my quilts.

I would rather give a quilt away than sell it for a price that offends me. 

I did sell a quilt last year.  It was hanging at a quilt show, and someone was there looking for a queen size quilt for a child getting married.  She gave me a fair price for it.  Not quite what I would have liked, but it was not fine.  It was a difficult process.  We talked for a while.  When she offered a lower price I explained that these were high quality materials.  It took me a lot of time to assemble the blocks and quilt it and bind it.  I explained that I loved the quilt.  I didn't want to sell the quilt to someone who liked it.  I needed them to love it too!  She ended up paying me $50 over what she had budgeted.  I hope they really did love it.

What do you think?  Do you sell your quilts? 

15 comments:

Mary Grace McNamara said...

Yes, but only at a price for which I am willing to part with it. I agree with you...the buyer has to LOVE it!

I also sell my tote bags, and I had one listed for $35, which is very reasonable given the quality of materials, time, original design, etc. Someone emailed me about it and the entire content of the email was "Will you take $15?" I was beyond-words incensed at that. After I cooled down a bit, I wrote back using the most professional and calm wording I could muster and explained that the amount she offered would not even cover the cost of the fabric that went into that bag, let alone the time, talent, thread, thought, care, and so on. And if she wanted to purchase a cheap bag, she could find one as close as her local Walmart store. What I had for sale was a high quality, American made, one of a kind piece of art at a very reasonable price. I didn't hear back from her. But that bag sold to someone shortly after that who gushed love for it in her paypal comment!

It's so hard when you have to convince people that you are not trying to fleece them, but that your quilt is not the mass-produced-by-slave-labor junk that Walmart and Target carry for $50 or less. I'm pretty certain none of those 'quilts' will become family heirlooms.

Can you tell this is a hot button for me? Thanks for letting me rant!

MGM

Mimi said...

I considered selling my quilts but felt that people would not pay the price for a work of love and art! So, the pieces that I make are given as gifts and I seriously don't think that you can put a price on love!

Chatty Kathy said...

I sell my quilts; in January a good friend bought three of them; I gave her a price of
$175 for the three; she gave me a check for $250 and said I had priced them too low. I accepted her check; they were lovely baby quilts, but I made them because I wanted to. She bought them because she like them, and told me I had them priced too low....if you were in Northern Virginia, these would be twice these much. But I'm not....I got a fair price, and she got some beautiful quilts that I would not have sold otherwise. I'm still a "work in progress".....

Gene Black said...

I do sell some quilts..but if I really love it, I don't sell it. If I like it a lot, I may sell it. If I didn't sell some I couldn't keep quilting.

thea said...

I haven't sold any yet but if someone were interested I probably would. I love giving them away though. I hope they are loved.

Karen said...

I can barely give them away. I'm very careful who I give my quilts to. Sounds selfish but I love my quilts and have memories attached to every one.

Jan said...

I give most of my quilts away. A few are destined to stay here, because we love them too much. Quilting is my hobby, so I make more than I can give or keep, so the rest go in my etsy shop. I price them fairly, not low, because I want to re-coop my investment, if not my time.

Kelly said...

I do sell mine, but I price them at what I feel comfortable selling them for. If they don't sell, that's ok! When celebratory occasions come up, I always have a gift ready! :)

MC said...

I make quilts to give away. I usually feel that if I really factored in the cost of the materials and the work that went into it the price would seem absurd so I would rather give them to people who I know will love them.

Anonymous said...

I haven't sold any quilts, but have given several away as gifts and donated a couple to charity. Right now, I feel my quilts are a part of me and would feel crushed if someone offered a low price for them.
cindy

CJ said...

I give most of my quilts away - baby quilts, newleywed quilts, surprise to friends quilts. I would rather do that than sell a quilt although I have done a few. I do not charge enough but I know the people are not going to be able to afford what my time is really worth. If I love the fabric and pattern I consider it payment just to get to play with that fabric and try a new pattern and I make a little bit over the materials. If I dislike the fabric/pattern no amount of money is going to matter and if I can help it I will never do that again (just once so far for very close friends). The thing is, my husband LOVES when I give the quilts away - go figure.

Trudi said...

I've sold several quilts, and mainly to people that love them, that they are bespoke, hand made and unique pieces of individuality. I have got fiar prices that have covered the cost of materials and my quilting time, though not my piecing time. They've gone to homes they are loved in, and that's the most important thing to me :)

sue said...

I also make quilts because I love the process as well as the end result. I have sold a quilt and was excited with that validation but a woman who makes quilts to sell told me I didn't sell it for enough. It was enough for me.

I am most happy to give my quilts away which surprisingly is hard to do because a lot of people want to pay something. If it is important to them, I will accept some money but I don't want to be "in business". For me, that would take the joy out of it.

Cathy said...

Yes, I have sold them. I have taken special orders for quilts as well. I make what I like and usually soo does everyone else. So when they ask to buy I say sure. Now the money, no wants to pay you what you are worth and I usually try to be reasonable which boils down to darn near free. I am rambling. I like to at least pay for my supplies and try to get at least a little in my pocket profit.

I do fabric crafts at Christmas too and sell them at school. Booze bags were my best seller especially among the guys. Charge $5.00 and you are good to go. Really easely to make.

Anyway in short the answer is yes I do sell my quilts.

Heather said...

So I haven't made enough quilts to sell yet, but this is a question I ponder a lot.

I recently gave my friend a baby quilt that I worked very hard on. She said everyone who saw it loved it and asked her where she got it and suggested I open an etsy shop because people would snap up my quilts.

But as other commenters have said, to fairly price the materials and sheer time that goes into one of these things, I think the price would be prohibitively expensive.

I would like to think that I will just continue to give quilts away to friends and family, because I don't really need more in my house. However, quilting is kind of expensive, so maybe I would sell just for the price to cover the materials. But on the other hand I wouldn't want to sell something that so much of my love went into to a stranger, and I wouldn't want to charge a friend!

So as you can see, I haven't decided how I feel about selling quilts yet. :)