It seems appropriate, at this time of year to be talking about sales. The "delight" that is Black Friday seems to have jumped over the Atlantic, and people are desperately trying to grab a bargain. Quite literally in some places.
Even my twitter feed has become full of small independnet companies like mine that feel they have to jump on the sales bandwagon. It's something I have quite strong feelings about. I respect the business owner's decision, and their right to run a sale, but I happen to believe it's not a healthy thing for a small one person yarn/fibre business to do.
I work hard, as does every other single person business out there. Every single thing that is listed for sale in my shop has required work, with my own hands. When I calculate my prices I look at all my costs, and work out how long it takes me to do something. I then calculate how much I'll be paying myself for that item. If I run a sale I'm effectively taking a pay cut. I'm saying that my work isn't worth as much as I believe it is.
I'm not Amazon, it's employees will still earn the same amount of money when they work on Black Friday. If I run a sale then I still do the same amount of work, but will be paying myself less. I value my time, and my expertise too much to do that.
I'd also like to think I have a close relationship with many of my customers. We chat in my ravelry group, interact on twitter, and have conversations on Etsy. You are more than just a meaningless address, where the packing of orders is as close to automated as it can be. When Mum and I pack the parcels we spot the names of people who buy regularly. We get to know the colours and fibres you like, and speculate on what you might be making. We look on a map, and imagine what your life is like in those far away, exotic countries.
I value your custom, without you, I don't pay my bills. I believe you're entitled to pay a fair price for my items, and that means not having an artificially high price, so that I can afford to run sales. I also don't believe it's fair to put pressure on you to buy just because there's a sale on. I want people to buy the fibre they love, in a colour they love. That way they'll use it up, create something beautiful, and not just have fibre sat in a storage box becoming compacted and deteriorating in quality.
I also know the sinking feeling when you see a sale happening, and know you have no money in your bank account to buy anything, and that next week when you do have cash, the price will be higher again. Or even worse, you've just treated yourself, and then see the same item reduced in price a short time later. It's also horrible to go through your stash and discover the item you bought because it was on sale and you felt it was too much of a bargain to resist, but actually, it's not your colour.
So I keep everything the same price all the time, that way you can buy at the time that suits you, and know that you've paid me a fair wage. The only time I ever run a sale is the Pot Luck Sale at the end of show season, and then it's because items have been handled and it would be unfair to ask full price for them online.