Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Craft Shopping Telly..Good or Bad

There has no doubt been a huge increase in the amount of Craft Goods being sold on the TV Shopping Channels at least in quantity if not range.

QVC had sold crafts for a long time with Dawn Bibby being the anchor but it wasn't until Alan and Barry from Rainbow Glass arrived at Ideal World that things really took off. Some people loved watching them, others didn't enjoy their sense of humour at all :-) Whatever, it was down to them that Ideal World joined the Craft Market with a vengeance, launching the Create and Craft channel and later the Create and Craft Club

After leaving leaving Ideal World Alan and Barry went on to develop their own Website, now, in addition to presenting on JML and Channel 648 they also produce daily live shows on the internet.

So there's the quick history BUT has this been a good thing?

On the positive side:
  • There are now lots of craft demos to be seen even if most of them lean heavily on "the sell"
  • It has definitely driven down prices (although this would probably have happened as the Internet became more popular anyway) 10 years ago most peel offs were £1 a sheet in many shops and at the NEC. In the last 10 years the prices have dropped remarkably.
  • It has brought many more people into crafts, attracting a lot of people who through disability or location are unable to get to craft classes.
On the negative side:
  • Shopping Channels would have you believe that paper crafts were the bee all and end all of crafting. Paper Crafts: card making, decoupage, scrap booking etc are obviously a cash cow for the shopping channels and they are going to milk it for every penny they can get.
  • The quality of some of the items sold on these channels can be a bit suspect and they aren't always as cheap as they like to make you believe.
  • They are driving some of the smaller craft shops out of business... leaving us with just papercraft suppliers rather than real craft shops run by craft enthusiasts.
  • They have a very simplistic idea of crafts, the American "stick A to B" style of crafting. They don't try and sell crafts or techniques which are difficult or take time to learn as they only want to sell stuff everybody can do irrespective of time, ability and talent. If it can't be demonstrated in 60 seconds then they aren't interested (OK that may be a bit of an exaggeration but I still believe it's based in the truth)
In the end it doesn't matter the shopping channels are here to stay (well some of them at least) and we will see an increase in TV style websites as well but remember "you get what you pay for" Whilst shopping channels and larger sites can often offer cheap(ish) prices the smaller sites and local shops often excell at customers service and advice. Lets face it, in these ays of money means everything your order is probably less than o.o1% of a shopping channels daily takings but it could be something like 10% of a small shops / sites takings... who do you think is going to value you more :-)

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