The maker’s point of view
I never really took part in any Black Friday sale except if I am selling through a platform that does that and I am just part of a general sale offer of 10% or 12% or 15% which is fairly acceptable. In this case, I just go with the flow as the hassle of login in each of them and put my shops on holiday mode and then undo it after the promotion finishes, is too much. What I do, or rather don’t do, I simply don’t promote my paintings during this time so if people buy from me by chance, so be it.
I understand why the big retailers do it, but if people expect small businesses to join in, that’s a different story. I know from my own experience that our products are priced as low as we can to make sure we cover the expenses and to make a small profit while keeping it affordable at the same time. If we lower our prices even more, all our profit is gone. I, personally, always say that I prefer to give my products for free to my friends and people who really like them. As my items grow old and can't find an owner, I would either give them as gifts or re-work them.
The copywriter’s point of view
I don’t know how many of you know that I also work as a freelance (copy)writer where part of my job is being in charge of social media for some businesses. As they do a Black Friday sale, my job is to promote their offer through all their social media platforms and that’s OK. I know there are artists and makers who don’t mind it and I also know that there are artists and makers who don’t want to be part of it. It is all about respecting my job and the wish of the ones who put me in charge of their promotions.
The buyer’s point of view
This year, I am joining the #indieweek campaign initiated by Just a Card and not only I am promoting small businesses that I bought from over the years but also some local independent shops that I bought Christmas gifts from. It is not easy to resist temptation and run to the big retailers for bargains and while you can still do this with big household items (my husband is currently on the lookout for a freezer to put in the basement), when it comes to gifts – art, jewellery, pottery, cards – why not look for alternatives? They are perfect and unique and those two qualities should be enough to buy them at the asking price without expecting any discount.
The seller’s point of view
I can only offer discounts for my paintings that’s why I am not bothered by the sale promotions on the online galleries I am selling with. But when it comes to smaller items – jewellery, art prints, cards, coasters – I simply can not do it. And yes, I am doing a happy dance every time when someone buys from me, no matter how small the item is. At the same time, I don’t want people to buy from me as an act of benevolence. I want them to REALLY like it and if they don’t, I am happy to recommend other small business owners they can choose from. I am aware that what I create is not to everyone’s taste and that’s OK too. There is a place for everyone in this eclectic handmade community.
Folksy is a great online shop to buy from and you can find a variety of sellers and handmade products to suit everyone's taste. And here is an article I wrote last year explaining why I like being a seller on Folksy. They are also running their own campaign 'Celebrate Handmade' in order to make people understand the value of handmade and what it means for a designer/ maker/ artist when they make a sale.
1. Yellow hanging heart by Dottery Pottery
2. Cottage bead bracelet by Ditsy Blue
3. Yellow flower earrings by Di Keeble Beads & Jewellery
4. Meadow floral bracelet by Dawn Sneesby Jewellery
How about you, which side of Black Friday are you on?