or Why I am NOT taking part in the GAL or Black Friday Sales.
I live in the UK. We have Harvest Festivals in September or October; we do not have Thanksgiving. And therefore we do not have Black Friday.
Until last year.
For the first time last year some places over here, big and small, had Black Friday deals. This year it is even worse, with many catching on to a ‘sales opportunity’.
At the same time, over on Ravelry, there is the GAL – the Gift-Along. Designers are cutting prices by 25% and pushing other people’s patterns all over social media. It only started a few days ago, and I am bored with it already! It is a huge amount of effort, and while it obviously works for some people, it isn’t for me.
I like a bargain as much as the next person, but not at the expense of other people. Maybe the huge stores can afford the drop in profits, but indies can’t.
In the knitting and crochet world, there is more and more pressure to have lots of free patterns. It gives people a chance to see what your patterns are like, ‘they’ say; you will sell more, they say. But it is my experience that things do not work that way.
There are folk who buy patterns, and folk who will only consider free patterns. Very occasionally someone who downloads a free pattern will come back and buy patterns, but the vast majority do not. The two ‘markets’ are different, and as I like to heat my house, I sell my patterns.
There seem to be more an more excuses for having a %off sale. New patterns, old patterns, holiday time (which, incidentally, over here come in July and August), festivals and anything else you can think of. The trouble is, once you start doing this, many folk wait until you have a sale before buying – I know that I wait to get things from companies which do this!
I have 3 main objections to such promotions:
a) As an indi, I do not get a salary from anyone. If I want to eat and run my car I need to get money for my work. Yes, I enjoy my work, but I need to keep the money coming in. The people who buy promotions tend not to come back again at a later date.
b) The people I want to benefit from any sales or specials are those who buy my patterns and books year in, year out. The ones who have loyally followed me and bought my patterns for years (and years and years in some cases!). I am very grateful for their support and like to give them something back.
c) Patterns take a lot of time, effort and money to get out there. If I don’t value my work, and expect to get paid for it, why should anyone else value my work?
Will I loose out on sales if I don’t take part? I don’t know – my Ravelry takings did not drop last year. But if they do, so be it. I will continue to believe in my work, and will continue to give a Thank You to my loyal customers.
So, for all my very-valued long-term customers and friends, here is a piccy of Scottie. Totally irrelevant, but I love his laid back style. Taken on one of the beaches on North Ronaldsay a month before he died.