Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Am I Crazy???......or...."There's a Sucker Born Every Minute".....

Caution:   This is a Rant!!

So...I belong to a few fiber groups on FB.  This morning I get a notice from one that someone posted something.  Hmmm....I haven't read anything from that group in a long time....think I'll check it out.

Whoaaaa.....Nellie!!!  I just about fell off the chair.  And here's why:

This happens to be a page where you can advertise your fibers, yarns and knitted items for sale.  Well....this person is advertising 5# of Cormo roving for.....wait for it........$83.00 a # !!  WHAT????  Am I crazy or has the whole world (read: fiber community)  gone NUTS?????  $83.00 a #  for Cormo???? didn't matter if you bought a few ounces or the 5#s....the price was the same, roughly $5.50 and ounce.  AN OUNCE, people.

Cormo is a very common sheep, right there with Corriedale , BFL and others.   This was not dyed....not blended with silk or cashmere.  Yeah, it was roving; yeah, it was commercially processed; yeah, she said it was free of vm and very soft (21 microns).....but.....COME ON !

Now there happened to be about 40 comments.  One responded...."what, is it... gold??"  But surprisingly, most of them were very interested in the fiber and thought it was a great was "market" price, and not out of line in any way, so they commented.

Ladies and gentlemen, I purchase my fiber from wool festivals, 1 or 2 small dealers, but mostly from a wholesale provider in Washington state.  In recent months, I have bought 15#s total of beautiful white Corriedale and Cheviot top.  It spins like butter and takes dye fantastically.  I bought it on sale....$14.00 per #.  The more you buy, the cheaper the price. One pound started at $18.00.  I've been a customer for many years and purchased many different wools, including Merino top....never paid $5.50 an ounce.

See, this happened years ago when I started canning our home grown veggies and fruits out of necessity to feed our family.  We moved from the suburbs of an Eastern state to a very rural area in mid-country. 

Nobody canned since 1950, except maybe those who lived on farms with 8 - 10 children.  But not surburban-raised homemakers.  Within a few years, the price of canning jars, canners, and all the paraphernalia  went through the roof!!  Why?   Because there was a big movement going on, "Back to basics" and all those nouveau riche, upandcoming, drinking the "Kool-Aid" urbanites, who thought it would be a kick, got into canning.  It blew my mind, as well as my budget.

The same thing happened when I started quilting.  Fabric, thread, patterns, and all were very affordable.  Then the quilting craze started know who....and BAM....prices hit the ceiling again.  $8.00 for a yard of fabric??  $3.00 for a spool of thread??  $30.00 for a cutting mat or rotary cutter or rulers or patterns???

When I started spinning some 18 years ago, my first wheel cost $175.00.  It was an Ashford.  I just about choked, but knew it was a good investment.  You can't hardly touch a wheel for under $400.00 these days...and that's  a cheap one.   Why??  Spinning fiber and making yarn is all the rage now.  People boast about their $700 - $800 - $1,000 wheels. I now own 3 wheels, purchased over these many years.  And all on sale.  The total for all 3 would be about $1,000.  I use them constantly.  I cherish each one.  I keep them in fine working order.  I know their value and I value them.

What is going on today?  Is everyone on the "Greed Train" or are people becoming totally brainwashed as to the increasing price of things; how much they can charge for something; how much money they can make.

I've sold handmade crafts and my hand spun, hand dyed, hand knitted items for year.  The comment I hear most often is "you don't charge enough for your items".   Well, you know what?  If I make a small profit, if I love what I do, if my prices are something just about everyone can afford, if you love and appreciate what you purchased from me, then it's all good.  I'm happy.  You're happy.

I think it's time to stop all the craziness. Money. Money. Money.  When are we going to regain our common sense?  Where does it end?

I'll keep doing my part. I shop around for the best prices and supplies; buy when on sale; in bulk when necessary.  If I sell knitwear, it's a price I've never had anyone quibble about.  And people are happy.

That's it.  Just had to get it out.  But I'm still flabbergasted.


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Back in the 70's I did some canning because we had so many tomatoes and did not want to waste them. Yes, it was also fad and part of that "get back to nature" movement. I now use the jars for as vases. Hubby got into wine making in the 90's; it was awful and that phase quickly ended. Now my son makes beer and has invested a great deal into this passion. I am not thrilled about that.

Prices all are determined by the market and fads come and always go away. People are always looking for a bargain so if everyone else is selling for less, I doubt if that vendor will be successful.

Sandra Knapp said...

Loved your rant. You are absolutely right too. Just because it's now "in" to be spinning or quilting again, the prices go up because big profits must be made. I wouldn't touch that $83.00 roving if it was the very last bit of it in existance, but I'm sure there are plenty of suckers out there that will go for it, and then fool themselves that they have something very special and unique to brag to their friends about. LOL They are welcome to it. :-)

Linda said...

You're right Judy and Sandie. Well, as long as some vendors still believe in a fair price for a good product, they'll get my business every time. LOL, Sandie! yeah....that $83 blew my mind; like a said....a sucker born every minute!! Hope you gals are enjoying a beautiful Spring!