Purchasing handcrafted items is a terrific way to support quality jobs. But you don’t want to go broke doing it! Where can you find the best prices on handmade products? Here are some tips from a professional crafter for unearthing handmade steals.https://buyresearchchemicalsonlineusa.com/
The Internet enables artists and crafters to sell you their work directly with very little overhead cost – resulting in savings for you. Etsy.com, Artfire.com and the everpopular eBay are great places to get reasonably priced handcrafts online. To distinguish handmade from homemade, check the seller’s stats, feedback, and profile. And it’s a good idea to know the return policy before you buy anywhere you shop, especially if you order custom work.
Many artists and galleries use social networking and/or e-mail lists to announce new products sales, seasonal and holiday promotions, trunk shows, etc. When you find someone whose products you like, check their website or business card for links to Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter. Mailing lists (e- or snail) are usually free to join and sometimes you even get a coupon or some other perk for signing up.
Craft fairs are another way to purchase handmade items directly from their makers. Flea markets and festivals often have handmade crafts too. If you have friends with similar taste, ask the seller about discounts for purchasing multiple items together. Also inquire about “seconds,” less-than-perfect items offered at reduced prices. You are most likely to find bargains on the final day of a craft fair, when artists want to liquidate as much inventory as possible before having to pack it up and transport it home. This is especially true in the final hours of the show, when you’ll find some artists are quite willing to negotiate.
Handcrafted items often turn up secondhand at tag sales and thrift shops. Do some research on the item if you can – you can learn a lot with a few mouse clicks! Turn over pottery and glass to look for a hallmark, stamp or signature; check framed art for signatures and/or print numbers. Unless you’re an expert, steer clear of high-end items; forgeries are rampant, and you are unlikely to find attentive customer service once money has changed hands. Always assume that you are purchasing the item “as is” and be wary of any claims of value that you can’t substantiate.
For handmade candles and bath/body products, check out your local farmer’s market. With luck, you’ll find local farms or gardeners producing these items using homegrown, organic ingredients like flowers, herbs, and honey. It’s best to use these products promptly, as they may contain little or no preservatives – great for folks who are sensitive to chemical additives!
The sense of connection and meaning that comes from living with handcrafted items isn’t reserved for the affluent. Buy art and crafts for the joy and pleasure they give you, not the price tag they wear, and you’ll find that the value of what you accrue far outweighs what you spend.
Karen Shaw Suriner is an artist, crafter, designer, vocalist, and writer, with degrees in philosophy and English literature.