Freakin' well said, Beki!! I think the group is well-intentioned and made
up of good people. I also think that they need to consider that their
liberation front may not change the market to what they want to change it
to, because that just isn't the way it works on ebay.
I agree about the use of the term Nazi as well. While the group *is* trying
to get people to not post 99 cent auctions, and to raise their prices in
general, several have come forward and said that trying to police pricing
just isn't fair. Some others came right out and said they *do* wish there
was a price guideline that everyone had to follow, and that they should call
out certain lampworkers and try to get them to change. That's what got me
fired up. But Nazi just isn't the right term, and is pretty mean, actually.
Here's what I posted there earlier today. I got several private messages
that were positive, but most people in the thread have not responded to what
""<<<<holding breath, jumping in>>>>
Okay. I wasn't going to post anything in this thread, but after reading it
all, I really want to now. I applaud the good intentions. I love Rita -
she's fabulous, as an artist and as a person.
However, I have a few issues with this Liberation Group, and I am going to
post my opinions about it, while still trying to honor the fact that this
whole idea is about empowering and respecting art.
Issue #1, which was brought up by someone else (thank goodness, otherwise I
would be too afraid to post my thoughts) - 99 cent auctions are not always
about perceived value. I have said this before and I will say it again - I
post 99 cent bead sets on ebay to reduce ebay fees, and because I have
confidence that my beads will get a good price. I have only been
disappointed once or twice. eBay is an auction house, *not* a retail outlet.
It's a game to many cusotmers. People do need to ba a little more lenient
about price, but I *do* understand the need to ask for prices you can
accept. That means when you list something, you need to be ready for what
the market decides to do with it. So admonishing people for listing at 99
cents or 9.99 or 99.99 or what have you, is really not something that I see
as good. A couple of artists have actually been named here in this thread,
and some have been alluded to. That's not fair.
Issue #2, which is a broad and multi-faceted issue - Everyone in this art
field needs to take a good long look at if and why they are not selling
their pieces for what they would like to. There's a whole huge range of
skill in this group. Some beadmakers / glass artists cannot command higher
prices due to a whole bunch of reasons that need to be addressed. You can't
just increase your prices, stand back and watch the money pour in. You need
to consider your buyers. You're not letting them in on this group action -
they will have no idea why you're doing what you're doing.
To raise prices, you also need to raise the bar where quality is concerned.
I am not just talking about the quality of the bead itself - I also mean the
quality of service, and the quality of the auctions themselves. Someone
posted guidelines on their web site and was torn to pieces on this forum,
even though she is a buyer who spends a lot of money on lampwork. Customers
need to be listened to. I know we all just want to make what we want and
have it sell, but the bottom line is that the market does not always work
exactly that way. There needs to be a blend of market research and artistic
expression. If pink is really in this season, that's going to be what sells
a lot. If you decide not to go with that flow, because you hate pink, that's
totally fine, but you need to keep that in mind when pink stuff is selling
for higher than your stuff. That's an over-simplified example, of course.
And you know, I see a LOT of people complaining about ebay. Yet, there are
successes on ebay *all the time* in the very categories we sell in. We all
need to look at that and figure out *why*. I am not saying to ask those
sellers for their secrets, or try and copy them. I am saying that we need to
focus on bettering ourselves as artists. People have success because they
make it. They pay their dues, work like dogs, have talent, and *make their
Stop complaining about ebay sucking. Start doing your homework and figuring
out why ebay sucks for you. It's not always a "slow time of year" there.
Issue #3 - ebay is not black and white. It's a grey whale, baby. There's no
"one way" to make it work. There's no one answer. There are hundreds, maybe
thousands, of lampworkers listing there. You may think this group is large,
here, but it's only a small fraction of the lampworkers listing on ebay.
Your group may not get the results you're looking for, so be prepared for
Okay - I know I have been the person to post an opposing opinion on several
of these types of issues on this forum. If y'all want me to go away, just
let me know. I can handle that. But the many new threads about ebay being
crap, and complaining about not getting the prices you want for your beads
is getting really irksome to me. Maybe it's because I am not having the same
problems you all are. And you know what? No one ever asks me why. Does any
one care why?""
Air & Earth Designs
Post by DreamBeadr
Wow, I have so many issues I could bring up about this concept. =o)
First, I would like to comment that I am offended when people use the term Nazi
lightly. There is nothing even remotely similar to lampworkers and a Nazi.
Second, while I feel the concept of people placing a personal value on their
own work is a good one, determining an industry standard, just because you
happen to produce a product within a certain category, just won't work.
That would be like asking all beadweavers to charge at least X amount of
dollars per hour for their work. Their lives may be so busy that their hourly
worth is tremendous, but they may not yet have all the skills to produce a
quality piece of beadwork.
Third, I have been involved in the beading world for over 30 years now. I
started creating simple beaded pieces with my Grandmother at age 8. By age 12,
I was selling simple beaded jewelry to friends, at the beach and at small
craft shows. By 18 I was selling beads. By 25 I had an established retail
While I am not the most experienced person in this industry, I am very
experienced. I have made it my life to learn as much about beads in all their
forms as I can. Along with that self-education comes a bit of
Post by DreamBeadr
how the market (as it relates to beads and beading) works.
There will always be the person who feels they need to "undercut" the next guy
to stand out. There will always be the person who feels the "value" of their
time is worth more than the average market will bear. There will always be the
person who understands their worth, and is willing to work with the market
demand to find that happy medium.
That being said, there is such a tremendous influx of lampworkers at this time,
that the market will be thin. This is the progression of any industry.
Post by DreamBeadr
market thins, your competition increases.
You can compensate for that by looking within ones self and determining what it
is you as an individual can do to change.
You can use your competition to better yourself. (which, I feel, is what
should always be done) This same set of standard rules of business apply to
any field. Beadmakers, beadsellers, beaders, etc.
Your service, your reputation, your style, your adaptability, your personal
input into the industry, all of these things are what can help set you apart
from your competition. This is what will raise the value of what you have to
offer. Not what others choose to sell for.
The value of the beads I sell are in direct relation to their quality, my
service, my reputation, and the volume I sell them in.
They are not, nor will they ever be, in relation to what others sell theirs
I do however, work under a standard industry guideline. I do not intentionally
undercut others and I do not overprice.
Were I to make my own beads for sale, I would again follow along those same
guidelines. I would understand what the market can bear, I would learn where
and who my customers are, and I would supply them with what they want at the
prices they demand. If I were really lucky, I would be some of the very few
who know how to escalate themselves to the top of that imaginary list of the
best of the best.. =o)
If the online auction places are not bringing you the dollar amount you feel
you deserve, then find the location that will.
It works better to locate your customers rather than try to force yourself upon
While the entire bead industry can and should be viewed as one big family, it
is the individuals within that family that make it what it is.
A think a revolution to help others learn to value themselves as artists,
craftspeople, creators, sellers, business people, etc would garner much more