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Charging for your time?

(4 Posts)
tyler80 Mon 17-Oct-11 10:51:09

In the run up to Christmas I make a few things and sell them online, just for a bit of extra cash. I've heard it said elsewhere that it's unfair to undercharge for your time as you are undercutting those who are trying to make a living.

Although I value my time, I love making things so the selling is secondary rather than the aim and I also multi task so watch TV for example whilst crafting so it doesn't feel like I'm eating into important spare time. I do factor time in when pricing items but the rate per hour I use is fairly low.

Do others think it's wrong to undervalue time like this? Does it devalue hand made stuff?

PopcornMouse Mon 17-Oct-11 11:56:37

I work in the craft industry so I'm a bit biased, but yes, imho it does devalue handmade stuff. Not so much in that you undercut others work (if you want to work for free, and have the financial security to do so, then that's up to you) more in that it creates a general conception of hand-crafted items as being cheap and inferior, rather than "artisan".

tyler80 Mon 17-Oct-11 12:30:07

I still charge for my time, so things works out more expensive than mass produced stuff so not sure that the inferior tag would apply, but I can see that it may distort the real value of handmade items.

I'm currently charging £4 - 5 pound per hour for my time, so below minimum wage but a value I'm happy with bearing in mind it's a hobby and it's something I can do whilst watching tv in an evening.

plipplops Tue 18-Oct-11 10:37:42

I agree with PopcornMouse. I make jewellery and think if I didn't charge for my time I'm wasting my time (and might as well get a proper job!), and I'd feel like a mug selling things to people without earning something decent for it. People are happy to pay what I think my items are worth, and I'd rather sell fewer pieces but feel my time and effort have been valued than work like a dog to sell lots of pieces too cheaply. You're a skilled craftsman, and if people don't understand that and want to pay for your time I sort of think they're taking the mickey? But mainly it's about how you feel, and if you feel it's time that would be wasted otherwise I suppose it's a slightly different situation...

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