A friend and co-vendor at Junk in the Ol' Trunk recently wrote this on her facebook page and it was so elegently (and accurately) explained that I asked if I could borrow it for my website.
I’d like to take a moment to explain what is included, although not an exhaustive list, in the price when you purchase an upcycled/refinished piece of furniture from a seller on a site like this. I can speak for myself but also for a great many other sellers, as I have gotten to know some terrific (and a little crazy and obsessive) people doing the same thing.
To bring you the best quality product possible, many of us: 1. Spend hours, not to mention gas money, scouring thrift stores and garage sales to get the best deals to pass on to our customers. (I agree, my 18 month old has taken many a nap in the car on the way to garage sales.)
2. Invest in professional classes and tools. (Good paint is expensive!!!)
3. Spend hours researching different techniques and products.
4. Sacrifice garage space and living space for our projects. (My husband hasn’t parked his car in the garage in 3 years, bless his supportive heart. My kids also haven’t eaten at the dining room table in 3 years but they don’t really mind.) (You can barely get in our front door and I took over half the kid's playroom by putting up a dog gate and calling it Mommy's workshop.)
5. Buy a bottle of whiskey here and there for said supportive husband who undoubtedly has been enlisted to drill, glue or otherwise MacGyver a project on more than one occasion (aaaaaand see #4)
6. Make 5 trips to Lowes in any one day to get that paint color just right, or because we forgot the sand paper, or got the wrong size screw, or the drawer pulls we thought would be perfect weren’t… (My husband will tell me, when you go to Lowe's today....and I ask what makes you assume I'm going to Lowe's...the look I get back is priceless.)
7. Sacrifice more living space, and family sanity, for all the furniture pieces “in the cue” so to speak, either waiting for paint to cure or for a new home. (I can still park the car in the garage- as long as no one wants to get out on the passenger side.)
8. Incur the cost of obvious, and not so obvious, supplies to get the job done (myriad of paints & stains, chemical strippers and cleaners, sandpaper, steel wool, upholstery staples, boxes of fabric, paint brushes, rags, loads of chocolate and caffeine…to name a few.) (Part of that cost is our time...it takes a lot longer to prep a peice for paint or stain than it does to do the painting/staining.) So, the next time you see a picture of a beautiful dresser that would fit perfectly in your home, you may now have a new appreciation of why the price is not $50. We do this because we love it, and many of us are compelled to take things that are cast aside and make them beautiful and useful again. It can just be very deflating to put a lot of time, energy and money into a piece only to have someone offer half of what we are asking. Check out what you can get at Fred Meyer, Walmart and Ikea for the same price….not nearly the quality, craftsmanship and character of most of the antique and older vintage pieces - and you don’t have to put it together yourself! A lot of times we don’t even want to think about how much we make per hour on some projects. To quote Napoleon Dynamite, “That’s like a dollar an hour!” Anyway, thanks for reading!! Hopefully this helps explain why we charge what we do.
Thank you, Kara McClure, for letting me post this.