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February 15, 2013
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Please don't take this journal entry the wrong way - this IS NOT intended to be bitchy or nasty or negative... I would just like people's opinions on this because I am... totally confused.

:star:I'm sure none of you would do this but please DO NOT send this person abuse or hassle her or whatever. If you want to say anything please do so here! Only spread positivity please :) :star:

So... I was browsing through Etsy and I came across this totally cute stone ornament. It's really very sweet, so I clicked on it... and then I looked at the price.

As far as I know, the ornament in question is literally a stone, like one you would find lying around anywhere, with a face crudely painted onto the front.

$45.

I shit you not.

Another example... A piece of wood with an eye painted on it. It's now a Driftwood Dragon. $105.

Here is the item... and by all means have a browse around her shop and purchase if you like anything! www.etsy.com/listing/109645449…?

Again, I would never be so obnoxious as to question the seller or spread negativity. Afterall, all the stone artwork she creates is original and pretty darn cool, and what she does in her spare time doesn't effect me in the slightest. No one is MAKING me purchase her art.


I just... I mean...urgh... blurgh. Can't even articulate my puzzlement.

Am I alone in my confusion? Please someone point out some vital detail I've missed. Please someone give me an insight! I love nearly all forms of art and stone art (?) is no exception. It's an awesome idea. But would you pay that much?? I mean... it's like the greatest business idea since bottled water! I'm envious I didn't think of it first haha!

I don't mean to cause offense, I'm just baffled and looking for some kind of explanation without hassling the actual artist. Insights please!!
  • Mood: Questionable
  • Playing: Minecraft
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:iconjsaren:
Jsaren Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
That is how EVERYTHING ON ETSY is. Not even joking. :(
Reply
:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Except my stuff, I hope ;)
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:iconjsaren:
Jsaren Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Of course! :)
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:iconqihah:
Qihah Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
it's quite cute but it needs a more suitable price. this person is really overcharging it. i'd say....$10??
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:iconanastasiaaroure:
AnastasiaAroure Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
It's pet rocks all over again. ;)
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:iconrutana:
Rutana Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Student Writer
I think it's a question about offer and request.
If there are people willing to pay the price for these items, then the price seems fine in my opinion. I can't judge it, I'm not the targeted audience, but I can see that there are people who absolutly love the idea and the design and are willing to pay the money for it - and that's totally ok.

Art can't be scaled in price based on the material costs and working time alone. Heck, most artists sell their work for WAY too cheap, too. So as long as she has customers, the price is fine. I prefer to see an Artist charging what he/she thinks her work is worth then someone who makes absolutly low prices just to sell as much as possible - and I'm happy for every artist who can charge that much.
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:iconiammattf:
iammattf Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist
Well, I have known a few artists and in the end, an artist can charge whatever he or she can get away with and that is what they should do. Artists don't tend to make a lot of money in the first place so they have to do whatever they must to survive.
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:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're absolutely right. If I had a family to support and I could sell rocks for $45, I probably would.
Reply
:iconelements212:
elements212 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
Anyone trying to sell their own work is entitled to setting their own price and if it sells that's brilliant. She could also include the cost of finding the materials too as each piece can be used in so many ways.

They're definitely unique products and have a certain charm about them but I think she'd sell a lot more if she sold them for less.
Reply
:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Now that you mention, she might sell more if she advertised them as paperweights hehe. I only like to buy things that are practical. I mean... I've never understood paperweights but at least her rocks would have more of a purpose than sitting on a shelf or wherever the heck people put them! Although, she advertises them as healing stones, and aren't you meant to carry healing stones around with you? Like a good luck charm or something? I suppose that instantly makes them more appealing.
Reply
:iconelements212:
elements212 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
I'm guessing she advertises them as healing stones to justify the cost. And to be completely honest I don't have a clue what you do with healing stones... I personally think they're more like trinkets
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:iconninjafoxsbuddy:
NinjaFoxsBuddy Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That's ridiculous :u
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:iconbattyechan:
BattyeChan Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
id rather just find a rock and paint on it myself xD 45 quid is a bit much, no offence..
Reply
:iconinvincibleprincess:
InvinciblePrincess Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
I agree completely. I don't know if I simply lack the thought process behind this, or if it legitimately should cost so much. I definitely wouldn't pay $45 for a rock. Maybe if it stood up and sang me a show tune. But otherwise, no. A friend an I actually found someone who had bought a bunch of cheap octopus necklaces, glued googly eyes on them, and sold them for about $50 a pop as "steampunk jewelry.*
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:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
'Maybe if it stood up and sang me a show tune.' - Hahahaha, very true!

Unfortunately, the octopus necklace scenario is becoming increasingly common on Etsy, I believe. I kind of commend that person for their business strategy, but I don't commend their laziness and lack of creativity, or their want to shamelessly rip people off.
Reply
:iconinvincibleprincess:
InvinciblePrincess Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
I see the same thing working at The Disney Store. People will come in, buy an entire stock of limited edition merchandise, then, once it can't be found anywhere else, sell it online for about 4 times what they bought it for. :(
Reply
:iconjikosangel:
jikosangel Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nope, I'm with you, I have no idea why people charge such astronomical prices (SAME or more than regular stores!) for things that at least appear to be incredibly easy to make/cheap, too. I mean, I don't plan to charge much for pieces I make, because I think that the important part is making something beautiful and having someone appreciate that so much that they want to spend money to have it. THAT is amazing, and awe-inspiring, and very humbling. Every time I sell something on Redbubble, I am awed. But to charge such unreasonable prices for things....I will never understand that. Especially since there are so many talented people gifted in certain unusual arts that make fantastic things, and then to see all these basic, simple items at the same price point...it's incredibly frustrating and unfair. If you didn't put a lot of work into it, don't demand so much for it. That's selfish and mean. Etsy is a place for artists and art-loving people to find beautiful, unique items, not to try to make a fortune with very little effort.
Reply
:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As I said in another comment, I don't doubt the sincerity behind the artist's work and intentions. I believe a lot of love and effort went into her pieces, even if it wasn't complex or time consuming. However, I agree that I would never charge those prices. It's something I'm very paranoid about, in fact, and when I opened my Etsy store I decided to never overcharge for anything. I wanted everything to be affordable. Shows I could never be a cut-throat businessman hahaha! I've always thought it's awful that Apple (for example) charged 700 for the new iPhone. But they CAN because everyone flocks to get them like sheep. I commend the artist's ability to market her stones in such a way that people will pay those prices. But is it right? I don't know....
Reply
:iconjikosangel:
jikosangel Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm with you, I completely agree. I will never be a businesswoman, because I would feel awful to overcharge someone for something. If I enjoyed making it, and someone is actually happy to have it, that is the payment right there. Getting money for the supplies and maybe a couple cents extra is plenty for me. I hate that the industries (technology and clothing, esp) go so far to charge astronomical prices, and then others think they have to do the same to make any money :(
Reply
:icondancingintwilight:
DancingInTwilight Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Student General Artist
i asked her :/
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:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty annoyed that you did considering I stated clearly in my journal not to hassle her. I hope at least you were polite.
Reply
:icondancingintwilight:
DancingInTwilight Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Student General Artist
i didn't hassle her i asked her a question. To me hassling would be "Why are your prices so high?! its just doodles on a rock! Jerk!"
Reply
:iconmutilatedgothchild:
mutilatedgothchild Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013   General Artist
They're cute, but no I wouldn't pay that much. If they are making money on them, good for them, those are some crazy prices.
Reply
:iconhappyeverafter:
happyeverafter Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
I am only partially surprised by this. I mean, I wouldn't pay so much for a stone so simply (yet adorably) painted. But look at the ratings...Over 1000 sales! And 100% positive reviews! That is crazy? Obviously there is some upscale niche market in the painted stone business and she is doing well capitalizing on it. So congrats to her.

But still...it seems silly to charge that much.

But.......Think about the market she is appealing to. If she priced it cheap, it would be just that...a cheap piece of rock art. Somehow, by inflating the price, it becomes something more.
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:iconroseredautumn:
roseredautumn Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I hesitate to say that it's an overcharge, because too often my professors told me that I should never charge too little for art. Personally, I would charge about half that. But, given the excellent photos and the good quality of her prints, it seems like this person is well established as an artist and has a decent reputation. They may feel they can charge more now, that they deserve more pay than an inexperienced artist like me does. And honestly, that's fair.
I also hesitate on the "I could make it myself!" front. Sure, you could make stone art. Odds are, it'd be lovely. But it wouldn't be the same product.
As a last argument, I'll bring in that sea worn stones and pottery are something people already collect and sometimes value. Especially pottery.

So, I don't know, really. There are a lot of things to consider.
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:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
All your points are very fair! I have to say, I do love collecting beach stones, hehe. I don't know what it is about them as they only sit around gathering dust once they're in your house. I believe in England it's actually illegal to remove large quantities of rocks from the beaches as it's 'diminishing the coastline'.

And you're right - the more famous and well established the artist, the more they will charge!
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:iconpiggy-tails:
piggy-tails Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I can't even justify $6.00 for a latte, (I have a french press at home, helloooo!!!) why would I want to pay $100 for a piece of driftwood?? I think I'm about as baffled as you are! Though, I know plenty of people who would find some deep spiritual-ness in the art and pay just about anything to have it in their home.
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:iconpookiepony:
PookiePony Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh, and she also gets people by saying they are "healing" stones.
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:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I always wondered what the difference is between a normal stone and healing stone! I always thought healing stones were precious stones, like obsidian etc.
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:iconnefertiri-merytmut:
Nefertiri-Merytmut Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Holy schmolies.... No way I'd pay more than a couple bucks for that! I could do that with stuff lying around the house!
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:iconpookiepony:
PookiePony Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Student General Artist
Some people don't like to work hard for money and would rather pass it off as "art". Art is sometimes so subjective that these guys can get away with it. Meanwhile, hard working artists everywhere cant get 20 bucks for something. But, that's everywhere on Etsy nowadays.
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:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would refrain from suggesting that she doesn't work hard. Afterall, a great deal of effort probably went into collecting the stones, thinking up the images, photographing them etc. I feel a great deal of love went into her art, you know? But, it doesn't change the fact that, in my opinion, they're still over priced ;)
Reply
:iconjuliettaylor:
JulietTaylor Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I think the prize is crazy.
But.. if someone wants to pay so much.. guess .. it's their fault!
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:iconmaga-link:
Maga-Link Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm sorry if this sounds rude, but this made lol so hard! x'D you're totally right! It's ridiculous to pay that for a stone!!! A freaking stone!! Looool!! XDDDD
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:iconandmyshadow:
AndMyShadow Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's original and kinda cute... but I wouldn't pay more than 5 dollars for that... maybe it's because I don't like minimalist art unless it has a deeper meaning xP
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:iconartsyfartsygirl2936:
ArtsyFartsyGirl2936 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Though her art maybe "original" I wouldn't pay such an amount for something I could plainly paint myself on a flat river stone I found at the creek at my house. But... that's not saying someone else would. Believe me after being to hundreds of craft fairs and art shows...people that have money will literally pay anything for something they want or think is cute...so she is targeting those people who literally have money to throw away, I have seen it time and time again, but good for her she is making the money. :XD:
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:iconmoonlightmoth:
MoonlightMoth Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Ok so I did visit and look around at a few things. There is a small point that "might" make sense for some pieces. Beach pottery. I can't say I've ever found any. Wouldn't it be an amazing feeling to have a small piece of history? Imagine who or what kind of person ate or drank from that object. Her paintings are also linked to spiritual stuff that may have more impact on her side of the world. These are really all I can think of. Golden rule: Something is Only worth what someone is willing to pay.
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:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
'Her side of the world' is also my side of the world - I'm European too! And her stuff is primarily Buddhist, which is not as relevant either here or in the States as it is in Asia, and I highly doubt she intends her primary audience to be Asian. I imagine us Western folk would see it as novelty or a story to tell when someones asks about it, rather than an actual religious icon.

Yeah, the beach pottery stuff is cool! I mean it could be anything, honestly... But it's much, much more interesting than a rock, hehe.
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:iconkeyshe54:
Keyshe54 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013   Traditional Artist
Seems kinda high to me as well, there may be more to how they do their work then we know. Some of it is stated to be 'beach pottery'? :/ All I can guess is that they are going for high end art look/feel to their business, probably no real repeat works one of a kind theme going on. And small amount of work produced each year. Might even had a celebrity buy their work to encourage the demanded.

All I can say is if she is charging that much for her work... I guess a lot of us are under priced XD Thinking it over I can't say they aren't definitely not worth it-- you can go to a store where things like that are mass-produced out of funky materials for 10-25 dollars a pop. This comment also might shared some light on it too :[link]
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:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think one off art can be charged such a high rate, sometimes. It's understandable, I guess, as no two natural rocks are the same.
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:iconbalunstormhands:
BalunStormhands Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
At least it is slightly better then the Pet Rock craze of the last century.

No what kills me is that people seem to gladly pay big bucks for things like this, yet completely ignore or dis the things we spend months creating.

I have no idea why that happens.
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:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Perhaps the people who buy it have no... artistic creativity themselves? I think when another artist looks at it they go 'It's pretty and sweet, but it's very simple.' Whereas a 'normal' person doesn't. I dunno.

What was the Pet Rock craze???
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:iconbalunstormhands:
BalunStormhands Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
I think it is more complicated then that. Some people are just looking for something that fits with their decor. Some people respond with their emotions. Some, like us, can see it for what it is.

:D You have GOT to know about the Pet Rock [link]
Reply
:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
' Dahl sold 1.5 million Pet Rocks and became a millionaire'

Wow, this literally made my day!! I love that people tried to sue him, ahaha! They're probably the people who got the rock home and were disappointed when the rock didn't actually do anything! Actually amazing. That's the best example of creating hype that I have ever seen, evar.
Reply
:iconbalunstormhands:
BalunStormhands Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
I know, right. :)
Reply
:icongrendalunleashed:
GrendalUnleashed Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
It would appear that the legacy of Marcel Duchamp continues into the twenty-first century. while 'fountain' may have ushered in concept art the anthropomorphized perception of common objects has been around since prehistory.

What appears to be your irk would be the price and not the object though and $45 is still far less than the $1.7 million paid for a reproduction of 'fountain'.

The perception of value intertwines with the social desirability of the object in question, whether it be the 'hottest' smart phone or a pet rock all it takes is a modicum of 'social superiority/coalition' associated with it for people to put aside rational reasoning and assert 'my life is incomplete without...'

:)
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:iconhannah-alexander:
Hannah-Alexander Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Is that... a urinal? Hahaha! I'd never heard of Fountain before!

I suppose it's my personal ethics too... I hate the feeling of being ripped off. Like if you pay big bucks for something and it breaks etc. Art is quite a blurry in that respect because... well... art means different things to different people. What I consider to be 'bad' art or 'worthless', someone might pay $1.7 million for!

As a previous deviant commented, it's all about creating 'hype' around your work.
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:icongrendalunleashed:
GrendalUnleashed Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Professional General Artist
That is very much the peculiarity of art, is it a work of craft, decomposing fauna or constructed design.

'hype' an interesting usage as a contraction of hyperbole, meaning exaggeration, 'an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally'. The motivation I undertake for my 'artistic endeavors' is purely a personal expression.

As for being 'ripped off' never pay more than one perceives the object to be worth and one can avoid the 'hype' of worth :D
Reply
:iconklipiec:
Klipiec Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Student Digital Artist
The idea is nice, but the price is completely insane. I wouldn't pay this much , definitely. And not 'cause I can do the same with no effort - it's just... heh, I guess also I can't find the words for it. ;)
Reply
:iconpluckypooka:
PluckyPooka Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
S/he is from Sweden, so the exchange rate, cost of living, and shipping may be affecting the price. (The separate charge for shipping seems low to me, so that makes me think s/he may have upped the price of the items to help support shipping costs.) Glancing at the exchange rate and cost of living though, it looks like she could buy two meals at an inexpensive restaurant for $45. That tends to cost more like $20 in the United States.

They also looks like they aren't selling that well given that s/he has a bunch on discount. Perhaps a different type of art was selling well enough to get him/her the 1000+ sales.

I do agree that the price looks pretty ridiculous for an US dollar perspective.
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