Plushie Sales Anxiety

I went back to school yesterday. It was a great day, but my evening wasn’t so great.

Squirtle accompanied me to school, along with his WIP brother. I find that when I am nervous, holding a cute toy in my hands is calming.

Squirtle’s first task came when I met a stranger on the bus. Really, he wasn’t a stranger; his name was Joseph. He was starting his first year at the college and wasn’t totally sure what to expect. I showed him the ultra awesome, secret doev lab, where no one but gaim doevs can enter. Okay so it’s not that secret, but I think Joseph enjoyed his mini tour. I hope he will have a good year this year.

I took Squirtle to the fair, which was located in the commons. Squirtle met Mr. Bear, and KK posed on the pink table. I insta’d that ish. Mr. Chair decided to be silly about guessing the identity of our guitar doggy friend:

solid-snake

(Click for full view)

I was initially going to charge East $15 for KK, but I gave him a discount because he gave me some good ideas for Iron Man, which actually worked. What kind of ideas? Sorry internet, we’re not yet at that level in our relationship.

I’ve said it before in the mushroom earring blog: There’s something exciting about strangers liking your crafts. While walking about, people stopped to compliment Squirtle, or the Pokeball earrings. A guy handing out orange bracelents did so, and Squirtle got too excited and gave him a kiss. X3 Later, I found my classmate, Puppy, and his friends waiting to sell some books. He smelled a bit, but Squirtle didn’t seem to mind. Puppy’s friend Cameron said it was cool that I could do stuff like this. To which I replied, “AND YET I’M SINGLE!” It was a joke, obviously. I don’t need to worry about being single when I’m surrounded by awesome people.

Tay, JC, and Puppy, with Squirtle

Fishes wish their boys were HALF as cute as mine.

I suppose now’s the time for the “bummer” half of the blog. After posting some pictures of Squirtle’s day, a friend of one of the guys said she wanted Squirtle. In fact, she wanted all three original starters. Since this was a personal sale (we could ask our mutual friend to take it to her, saving us from shipping costs) I was willing to charge a little less than usual, bearing in mind that she was in a bit of a financial rut. She wouldn’t agree if the price was $10/each or higher. I tried to negotiate an option to make smaller plushies, which were cheaper and easier to produce. Sadly, she was more interested in this regular size. Instant stress! Sometimes I think that introverts are not built to negotiate.

Of course, Kitty was there to help. I showed him Squirtle, and he instantly said that $10 was way too low and I should sell to somebody else. I was looking forward to making a sale so this didn’t feel right. But then Kitty brought up some interesting food for thought. He relayed the predicament to his girlfriend, who also sells handmade things, and she asked an interesting question: do you want to make a good impression, or do you want to make money?

Sure, you can sell for a low price just to make a good impression, but once you sell for that low price once, you’re stuck with that low price. Future customers will expect that price from you all the time, and you will only end up losing out in the long run.

Here is a question: if you wanted to buy this Squirtle plushie, how much would you be willing to pay?

Size comparison to ceramic Pikachu, approx. 3"

Size comparison to ceramic Pikachu, approx. 3″

 

If you say anything less than $5, to you I say: “If you ever fall down a flight of stairs, I will just stand there laughing at you.”

A lot of people don’t understand the costs that go into making plushies, especially crochet plushies like these. A single skein of basic yarn, depending on the brand can cost between $5 – 8 each. I bought the blue and yellow yarns, while the white and burnt orange were leftover from another project. That means I’ve already spent $10 on the yarn alone. Letting this Squirtle go for $5 would be a ripoff. How can I make the world plush if I cannot even make up the cost of the materials?

As you can tell, most of my charges come from the materials. Additional charges come for labour and amount of the materials required. With a few exceptions, the plushies I’ve sold this year are created from my own pattern. When someone asks for a specific plushie, I look up references, sketch it out, and create the pattern accordingly. It takes time and effort to make these patterns. I work on these in my free time, so I don’t charge according to a specific time limit. I DO charge for the labour. Hey, as the Joker said:

So please; help a girl out. I just want to make the world plush in a way that everyone can enjoy.

By the way, $15 would be ideal for a Squirtle like this. That would cover the materials and effort, with a little bit left over as profit. Also this is an estimate for a one-on-one sale, not online.

 

The person was awesome and agreed that we’d just take pictures of Tay with funny stuff on his head, but I still felt guilty about letting that possible sale fall through. It’s fortunate Kitty, East, and Derpston were online to chat. East sent me this pic, and I felt happy to know that he and his Lady’s world was now plush. Kirby and KK look so cozy with the other plushies! The boys know how it feels to be overwhelmed and unappreciated, so even though multiple conversations stress me out, it felt good to get the feels out. Derpston even gave some inspiration for another plushie, on top of the many I still wish to make. In class, East suggested a Cyndaquil plush.

Kirby and KK - the K's of love.

The K’s of love.

With so much inspiration, I wonder what plushie will be in the next blog! As for the shop, I’m still waiting to see if Mr. Drippy arrived safely, in case I have to refund the person.

Got a plushie idea you want to see? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

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