Sunday, March 27, 2011

What its worth!

For a little while now i have been seeing a lot of items that i sell in my shop, which are from small boutique suppliers, in a lot of large chain stores! 1 particular chain store that on the surface likes to look and feel like a boutique Paper shop, but is in fact a massive chain owned but another massive chain that has 2 other chains stores...We are talking MEGA i personally dont usually have the biggest of problems with chain stores, I dont often shop in them, but i do find myself browsing around when i have no choice but to hit the *eek* Mall..... When u have a 3yr old, Target and Big W really are very handy sometimes!!
Soooo my point....I am getting to one i that the two days ago while reading one of my very lovely home magazines i came across a product page with a product that i have instore. This particular brand is usually reserved for indi shops and boutique retailers, so I was quite shocked to see it was 'available' at said paper chain store!

So firstly i was a little taken back at the fact that my supplier would want their product in such a shop, but more importantly i was completely shocked at the price it was being sold for! It was being sold for 10c more than its wholesale price! I actually would be ok with the product being sold in this shop, cos its only 1 product and the brand has sooo many wonderful amazing products for us all to have in our shops, BUT, why is it being sold for almost cost price?
Firstly, straight up the brand is cheapened, it makes the product seem like its just a cheap little novelty gift, when in fact its a wonderful piece of stationery. and Secondly, how the hell are the rest of us little guys meant to survive when products are being sold for pretty much wholesale price? I mean i would LOVE to sell every product everyone for wholesale and the world would be covered in flowers and everyone would sing to each other and no war would ever happen....but its not reality! I am passionate about my Paper shop and i dont do it for the money that can be made, but money does need to be made! Rent on the Northern Beaches of Sydney is the highest anywhere and i really need to eat at least once a day!
So how on earth can these giant companies do this?
I do try and look at it from a customers point of view, and most people, especially in Australia where we are one of the most expensive country's to live, i can see that people want a good price for things. Small boutiques offer beautiful quality producst and in most cases rare items that cant be bought anywhere else. If people continue to stick with teh giant mega chains then small boutiques wont exsist, and everyone will be walking around in the same clothes, have the same interiors in their houses and loose their indivduality and rare items will be so hard to get, the cost will be so extreme only the ridiculously wealthy will be able to afford things that right now are in reach of almost everyone!
Try and support yoru local boutiques and yoru local boutiques will support you!
The reason i felt i needed to say something was because i read a wonderful article by Pip Lincolne from Meet me at Mikes, that is all about the big online companies selling books for less than wholesale....even her own book, that she cant even buy for as cheap as some companies are selling it for....She is the AUTHOR! go have a read Meet me at Mikes Blog Here

Photo from Pip's Meet me at Mikes Blog Here is available at Little Paper Lane forthe price its worth :)


  1. Oh ... this is why whenever I think about getting into retail I back away really fast! That's REALLY hard when this situation happens Jayde. It makes it very hard for people to appreciate the value of an item when the big guys can sell it for so much less than independent shops :(

  2. Totally understand where you're coming from. I find it very dishearting that the big stores are starting to copy crafters. I saw one stationery store chain do this. Also seeing big home magazines publishing DIY projects that I saw on a crafters blog, months ago. :-( Because it's cool, the big chains muscle in.

  3. Well said! And unfortunately, it is the same all across the board: small fruit and vegetable shops are disappearing, kids' clothing shops are shutting down etc. Not only do the big guys wiggle their way in with suppliers, but they also sell cheap imitations when it comes to crafting and party-supplies.

  4. Yes you are right. It must be hard to keep the creativity flowing when you're dealing with this kind of thing. Not fair. And it happens with everything. I was so sad when the small country town we holiday in ten weeks a year lost their fight for a Woolworths. I'm dreading going back in a couple of weeks as I'm sure the local supermarket that sold local produce will be on it's last legs... Thanks for reminding us to think a little further and support the people in the community who are trying to do something more wonderful (like yourself). Pruxxx

  5. Alana-Mae Rocksalte. Design StudioMarch 31, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    Hi just thought I would check out Pip's Meet me at Mikes Blog Here and it directed me to some ruby slippers for a dorothy costume... just thought you should know darl

  6. hahahaaa that is so weird!! thanks Alana, I will see if i can fix it up!! i LOVE the wizard of Oz, but not where i wanted u to go haha!

  7. I totally understand. "Michaels" is a big chain craft supply store here in Canada. They sell many different brands of papers, embellishments, etc. I am seeing more of the brands there that supply craft "basics" starting to mass products homemade-esk like products like banners, cupcake toppers, etc. Basically, the companies that traditionally only provided the "basics" crafters needed to make these beautiful items are now making those very items that crafters use their supplies for. I find this very disturbing - they are screwing over their own customers to expand their product line, and as crafters, it is difficult to complete with their price point, selection and overall co-ordinationing accessories. Even companies like "Wilton" who make cake decorating supplies make very homemade-esk cupcake topper sets down. The only thing we can do as crafters is compete on customer service, product distinction and quality.

  8. I agree totally and it makes it very hard for small business to keep their doors open. I have a small boutique card making and paper craft store on the sunny coast and people are always coming in and comparing prices saying that Lincraft or Spotlight have them for a few dollars cheaper, but what customers don't understand is that the bigger stores have a bigger buying power that what I do. I just say, yes but do they show you how to use or look after that product like I do? I keep all my beautiful pattern papers in plastic bags so that they are not bent, marked or damaged. I know where I would rather shop!
    I know the suppliers/wholesalers are trying to make money also but it really is frustrating when they sell to the bigger chain stores. For that reason, there are some Australia Paper Companies that I just won't stock as I have seen there product available in the $2 shops (can't compete with that)