The Value of Buying Handmade vs Mass Produced products can be measured in many different ways depending on a person’s perspective.
Regardless if an item is handcrafted or mass produced, people want a good deal. How you determine what a good deal is can be very subjective and not necessarily limited to what’s written in this post.
Some people are more proactive in seeking out handmade or custom made products. The reasons for this can vary greatly. Many like to comparison shop and may be less interested in handcrafted and more interested in a bargain deal regardless if its handcrafted or factory made.
Some of us shop with a sense of political savvy and greater understanding of the questionable practices certain corporations engage in to gain political favors, tax breaks and loopholes that largely go unchecked and not questioned. Those of us that are aware of this may protest or boycott these corporations. Handmade items would be an alternative source.
Companies have been forced to wake up and look closer at both their own manufacturing methods and their suppliers. The public is more often calling out these companies if they are suspected of engaging in any questionable human rights violations. Big corporations like Nike, Nestle and others have been accused of such violations. Regardless if a product is handmade or mass produced, if it in some way violates a real or perceived sense of ethics or morals it will likely cause some consumers to look elsewhere for the products they want or need.
People are more conscious about how products can have an effect on various causes they believe in. If a product helps to support any various types of issues or helps to raise awareness to things important to the consumer, then it may not matter if the product is handmade or mass produced. People may even purchase an item not because they want or need it, but because they believe strongly in the cause they are helping to support.
People also have a strong sense of patronage or support for particular brands or the country in which a product is made. There is no guarantee that handmade vs. mass produced would be a preference if it doesn’t meet these requirements.
So what is the value of buying handmade vs mass produced products? Again, it’s all about perspective. It’s about what is important to the person holding the cash. Not any one thing persuades potential customers to shop handmade over mass produced products. Shopping is very personal in many regards and sometimes impulsive with little thought other than just wanting that item.
Handmade items often have a story behind them, a purpose and inspiration for their existence. There’s a reason why it was created beyond just the obvious monetary reasons. The value of buying handmade vs mass produced products can also be seen in how it encourages the craftsman, artist, entrepreneurs to continue improving their craft, and growing their business. This in turn helps supports families, and local communities especially in times when traditional work, and careers may not offer the job security they once did.
To purchase a handcrafted or custom made item and know the history of why it was created is part of the charm and what helps to make that item unique and maybe even special when compared to similar shrink-wrapped items rolling-off an assembly line.
Many times a handcrafted item is built or designed using proven methods used for hundreds or even thousands of years. I think that adds value and uniqueness to a product in today’s society of mass production. Think about a relatively simply ceramic pot. One crafted by hand using the best clay and hand mixed glaze, turned and shaped by hand relying on the artist’s eye to perfect their work. The factory equivalent is a machine that squirts out a pre measured clay mixture into a mold that may not be touched by hand other than to pack it in a box.
Artist, craftsmen and builders typically strive to produce a piece of work that they are proud of. It’s fairly common for a handcrafted item to be scrutinized by its maker far more than any mass produced product would be. They have an eye for detail and a desire to improve on what they make. If something does not pass their approval, it often won’t be past on to the customer. This helps insure that customers are getting the best for what they are paying for.
When craftsmen, artist and builders sell their work, they realize that customers have a choice of where, how and what to spend their money on.
When customers choose to buy handmade, it’s a compliment. It shows that there are customers who appreciate and want something other than the mainstream products and are putting thought into their purchasing decisions that despite the exact reasons for their purchase, they are increasingly aware that handcrafted products are a viable alternative to buying mainstream.
If you have ever second guessed your decision to buy mainstream vs. handmade products, maybe it’s time to give handmade a chance. You may be pleasantly surprised in what a great deal they can be. There was a time when that’s all we had.