As the end of the year approaches, I'm going through my card making supplies and deciding what I can part with. I have way too many supplies and every now and then need to weed them down. I have a bad habit of buying too much, thinking "if I just had that, I'd be able to make the perfect card." I'm always looking for that perfect phrase or image that will make someone's day or change someone's life.
It's taken a while, but I've come to realize that it's not the amount of supplies, but the creativity behind how they are used that really counts. I often doubt how creative I really am, but I continue to get compliments on my work so I must be doing something right.
In addition, part of what makes a card great is the quality of the paper, stamped images and other embellishments used. I was introduced to Stampin' Up! products when I first started paper crafting almost a decade ago and continue to rely on them heavily for my "stash". I think they are high quality and love how things color coordinate.
That said, I am a bit frustrated with their business model. It's not just them, it's any company that "retires" products regularly. Not only do I then see things I bought full price selling for clearance prices a few months later, it also creates an artificial sense of want, need, and scarcity. You willingly pay full price because you don't want to miss out on a particular product. And once something is gone, the resale market on those items can skyrocket.
As I list craft supplies in my Etsy store, I have to walk a fine line between underpricing, asking a fair price, and price gouging. When I sell craft supplies, I simply want to pass the items on to someone else who will use them and enjoy them, so I tend to price things on the low side. But I've had the sense with a couple sales, that I've priced them too low and they are being bought simply to be resold again at a higher price. I've seen some retired "rare" stamp sets being sold for upwards of $50 on EBay. I don't care the quality or manufacturer, no stamp set (or set of dies, or any other crafting supply) is worth that much. And I hate that by "retiring" products, companies help to create such practices. I understand that they need to keep their product lines fresh and limit how much surplus inventory they have on hand, still, it's frustrating sometimes when I see people being greedy.
Of course, I really can't control what people do with what I sell them after it leaves my hands, so if they do turn around and resell it at a higher price, that's on their conscious, not mine. I can hardly ask that people write a 500 word essay about how they will love and cherish what I sell them! Still, I just want people to be able to enjoy using the products I have to sell - and hopefully using them to create beautiful things.
Check out the Craft Supplies section of my shop to see if there is anything you can use in your creative journey.