Sunday, October 14, 2007


Chutzpah is Yiddish for nerve. As in you got some... Last night when I read my email, one note prompted me to yell out, "Ayzeh Chutzpah." (Ayzeh meaning 'what' in Hebrew). A buyer on Etsy emailed asking if I would be willing to sell an item listed at $65 for $35. Honestly, at first I was so flabbergasted that I posted to the forums section and asked if this was a common occurrence. After being reassured that this kind of haggling was rare and not appropriate for Etsy, I started to think about how I would reply to this request.

Dearest Buyer,
Having just received your request to purchase one of my handcrafted items at practically half the listed price I feel compelled to clarify some facts and pose a few questions.
1. Each and every one of my products is unique, made exclusively by me and requires hours of work. I alone dye, design, sew, quilt, and photograph my work . If I were to honestly pay myself an hourly wage based on the time
put into each creation, this item would cost substantially more.
2. Making art or artisan pieces is a risk. An artist puts him or herself out there and sometimes what they create illicits compliments and other times not so much. That is as it should be. However, when someone expresses an interest in my art and then follows up that interest by trying to get a "good deal" at my expense, I can only read that as an insult.
3. Out of curiosity, would you go into Target and haggle with the sales clerk about the price of an item? I'm not a multi-million dollar corporation. I'm one artist making work that I love with love.
4. If the situation was reversed, could I get the good or service you make your living from at half price?


Tara said...

Good grief, what a ballsy/cheap move. She should just move along, Etsy is definitely not for her.

gwensmom said...

OMG that is really tacky. My sister is self employed and says "I am not on sale".

Hey, but just in case, I've got $19.93 left over from the grocery budget and would really love to have Lines 5 ;)

Malka Dubrawsky said...

Sarah-That's too funny. I like your sister's attitude. More power to her!

MimiK said...

I had this kind of thing happen recently- not on Etsy though. I wrote back- "actually, I am thinking I should raise the price ;-)" The person did not ask again!

Robin Ferrier said...

You go girl! Stick with your price and don't budge. People like this couldn't understand the true value of a handmade item like yours if they tried. Fortunately bargain hunters on Etsy are a rarity, so don't be discouraged. I appreciate what you do!

Malka Dubrawsky said...

Thanks Robin.

hrsj said...

uughh, what a flabbergasting situation. maybe that person doesn't know any better?
i just recently went to a business of art seminar in which the presenter gave an illustration of how to turn what seems like an insult from a potential client into a sale. that client gives you the opportunity to sell to them (at YOUR price), when they ask you a question.
anyway, i had something similar happen to me once, and it took me aback.
your work IS fabulous! :)

Badecca said...

Yuck. This is one of the reasons I haven't taken the plunge yet to sell on Etsy. Your work is clearly so fantastic and time consuming that I'm sure at your original price it's already a bargain!