While conducting a little competitive analysis on Etsy, I noticed a listing from a certain well advertised seller for a $30 t-shirt quilt. Intrigued, I followed the link to check out the listing. I wanted to see what the customer got for $30.
For $30, you get a baby-size blanket. Nine t-shirts are all cut the same size and sewn together in a grid. The top is then married to a piece of fleece, sewn together envelope style (flip it inside out when done) and finally topstitched 1/2″ from the sewn edges.
Not a bad price for a blanket, but IT’S NOT A QUILT!
Webster’s defines a quilt as: “a bed cover made of two layers of cloth with a filling of wool, cotton, or down held together by patterned stitching.”
No batting and no quilting = BLANKET! Be truthful in your advertising, my seller friend. Stop calling it a quilt when it’s really a blanket!
This pricing strategy reminds me of the loss leaders at the grocery store. They can’t be making any money after they pay for materials, labor and overhead at this price point. I don’t see how it’s sustainable for any length of time – even with a heavy volume. Full price – maybe – if sewers are paid minimum wage and the company got a heck of a deal on the fleece.
Look at it this way. Do you expect to work for minimum wage if you have 15+ years of experience in your industry? I certainly don’t as a teacher librarian (or as a creative arts business owner). I realize today’s economy means some experienced folks are taking whatever job they can to make ends meet right now. However, in a normal economy, you would expect to be compensated for your expertise. Correct? I’ll step off my soapbox now..but I really like the way Andrea Funk of Too Cool T-Shirts addresses this topic. You truly do get what you pay for.