Handmade vs Store bought

Is there any real difference between made by hand and mass-produced items?

Are items made by hand worth the difference in cost?

Don’t they function the same?


Difference Between Handmade and Store Items


I would hope that we could all tell the difference by just looking. But sometimes that isn’t easy.

Some makers of handmade goods are such a high quality craftsperson, that it is almost impossible to tell just by looking.

Of course there are some dead give-aways. if you are looking for them. Labels, manufacturer’s name, etc.

Do you have to be an expert to tell the difference? Usually not. Where you purchase the product will help to give you a good idea.

But ignoring the obvious, can you pick out the little differences? Things like stitch length, identical quilting pattern throughout,  all lines are straight and true, and other characteristics of that type of handmade item.

In later posts, about the type of articles that we make and carry, we will cover more of the differences. Both major and subtle. Including how to tell if the product is worth the price.


Why the Does Handmade usually cost more?

Most of the time, handmade is more expensive than the same type of item at a store.  They may cost more but normally they will last longer.

Handmade takes more time to produce. The materials usually cost the maker more because of the smaller quantity bought at a time.

Store bought is produced much faster. But everything is done by computer-controlled machines or by many workers that are paid almost nothing. Materials are bought in bulk at a lower price.


Why do Handmade Prices Vary so much?

I have heard it said that they know how much their time and workmanship are worth. Value is in the eye of maker. And there are many different pricing practices that people say is the best.

Some crafters keep track of the time and material costs and figure their price like a manufacturer would. Some include only the time to make it and others include the time spent at a fair selling.

Others just look at a project and say ‘This price looks right.’ They just put an arbitrary price that they think will sell. These are normally the ones that complain about not making any money.

Sometimes a crafter doesn’t know how to value their work.

Sometimes all that they want is to break even for the space rent and pay for some more materials. And some just the weekend to not cost them anything, forget replacing the materials.

I have had one crafter tell me that he priced his items just to get the cost of materials back. He said that he enjoyed doing the work so much that he didn’t need to get paid for his time.

Don’t they function the same?

Most of the time they will function just the same but will not last as long. Because of the quality of materials used, most mass-produced items they tend to wear out faster. This is not always true.

Sometimes a craftsperson will cut corners in order to meet the prices of the stores. When they use the same quality of materials that the manufacturers use, the product will normally last longer if the craftsperson still uses good practices of manufacturing.

Some handcrafters don’t take the same care as others. They are in it just for a big profit. Sorry to disappoint them, but there normally isn’t a big profit in handcrafted items. You can make a living if you price the right items at the right price.

Also, some don’t take the time necessary to produce a good product. The same happens in mass-production.

We will cover more on all of this in individual posts as we continue. So please come back each Friday to check out more information.

Please leave us a comment below telling us what you liked or didn’t like and any suggestions you may have for other articles.