$90 Wollmeise?

Or $91 dollar Wollmeise, to be precise.

Well, that’s what we call demand, children, although I certainly wouldn’t have paid $91 for that particular color myself. There’s an interesting dilemma in this, because Claudia, the woman who dyes the Wollmeise sock yarn, has specifically asked that people do not charge more for the yarn than they paid for it. (Here’s a link to her shop)

 Now, in this case, I can see that this person didn’t have control over how much it sold for—after all, it is an auction and Ebay auctions can get crazy. But apparently, some people made a habit of buying Wollmeise and turning around and reselling it for much more on Ebay. Claudia has apparently said that she won’t sell to people that do that.

 Here’s my opinion: she needs to raise her prices.

 Seriously. There is a huge demand for this yarn. The yardage is great (over 500 yards, I believe) and maybe it would slow down the frenzy. Otherwise, I am unsure of why it is so offensive to have your yarn resold on Ebay. Honestly. I mean, I would have thought that it would be flattering to have people who are willing to pay more than retail for your yarn.

 I guess that this is part of a personal shtick with this mentality that I’ve seen that it is mean to make money when you destash yarn or trade or swap. That somehow, this evil knitter is rubbing their skinny villain hands as they bilk fellow knitters out of an extra $5 for a discontinued Socks that Rock color.

 Let’s put it this way: if someone willing buys something without someone else holding a gun to their head—then I don’t care if you pay $200 for a skein of Caron Simply Soft. Yarn is not a life-giving essential. You do not need yarn to live. (Ow, I felt a twinge just writing that!)

 Raising the prices, at least by a buck or two (or I should say, euro, since Wollmeise is a German-based company) could maybe help stem some of the demand, thus automatically lessening the chance of $90 skeins of Wollmeise.

 Whaddya think? You can comment here and check out the original thread at Ravelry about the uber-expensive Wollmeise)

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July 29, 2008. Snark Editorial, Uncategorized.

8 Comments

  1. Lulu replied:

    Looking at the actual Ebay page, the woman started out selling the yarn at a reasonable price but because of the nature of the site and the demand for the yarn, the price went up. This is America, capitalism and everything, supply and demand. If there is somebody willing to pay that much for a skein of yarn, they should go right ahead. However, I do think that people should do what they can to respect the dyer’s wishes.

    Maybe the woman who sold the yarn on Ebay could donate some of her profits to a charity?

  2. Aunt Kathy replied:

    What??? We don’t need yarn to live??? I did NOT get that memo.

  3. knittenkitten80 replied:

    We don’t need yarn to live?? Someone is disconnected and needs to inhale some cashmere fumes.

  4. knittenkitten80 replied:

    You don’t need yarn to live?? Someone is disconnected and needs to inhale some cashmere fumes.

  5. Jen replied:

    You make good points. But I can also see the dyer’s point, and I agree with hers a little more.

    Yes, supply and demand does allow for the raising of prices, but just because it can doesn’t mean that’s always the right answer. Ask any struggling commuter making minimum wage if he/she thinks that gas prices should continue to rise as high as the market will bear, and I doubt he/she will be revealed as a fan of unfettered capitalism. And, in fact, this is not a country that embraces a “charge whatever the market will bear” mentality on all items. There are external market controls that are applied on certain items to avoid having them priced out of reach of the majority.

    Of course, those items tend to be a lot more essential than yarn. Food. Electricity. Gasoline. Things people need to live (or to earn the money to buy things they need to live). And yes, yarn doesn’t fall into that category.

    But does that mean that just because yarn isn’t essential for life that the possession of the nicest types should always be limited to the well off? Sure, there’s perfectly serviceable–and sometimes very nice–yarn available for tighter budgets. But Claudia is making an attempt to make her very nice, very desirable yarn available to the masses. She COULD raise her prices to make buying and reselling less profitable to yarn speculators, but doing so risks raising prices out of reach of some knitters that Claudia would like to reach. It’s a Catch-22, but I have to applaud Claudia for the attempt.

  6. francois replied:

    Pouf. Supply and demand. If you can’t supply what the customers want then you can hardly be surprised that they go elsewhere. I think she should sell it on ebay herself in the first place and cut out the middle man. Capitalism may not be everyone’s ideal, but its the basis of the society most of us are living in. And its one of us knitters somewhere thats driving the price up in this case. The bubble will burst. There are plenty of other good sock wools out there…especially if you’re going to pay that price!

  7. P replied:

    I know this is an old entry, but I was doing a google search because I honestly am mystified that anyone cares what i sell on ebay!!

    once the product leaves the seller’s hand she really has no control or say on what a person does with it. I just sold a skein of wollmeise on ebay, not because i’m evil but because I don’t have much that’s worth money and i needed money. So why trade or sell on ravelry for 40-50 less than i’d make on ebay? Anyway, After I listed the item I was bombarded with questions and messages from ‘concerned knitters’ about possibly being ‘blacklisted’ from buying wollmeise in the future.

    Seriously people, I can’t afford to pay my doctor copays…Yarn is the furthest thing from my mind. These people need to lighten up. If you use the rationale of these people, at least half of the auctions on ebay would be crossing some kind of ethical line. I mean there is a whole INDUSTRY of collectibles, and the idea is that the more valuable an item, the more it fetches at auction. If claudia can’t handle this, she should keep a steady stream of yarn on ebay so that people won’t BID $50+ for a skein. I didn’t set a reserve price and I started the bidding at $0.99. It’s not my problem that some people are willing to pay so much for something so trivial.

  8. Maria replied:

    I think a lot of people have seriously misunderstood Claudia’s statement. She never said it wasn’t ok to sell a skein of her yarn that you don’t happen to like on ebay. What she did say was that if she finds out that people are routinely buying her yarn only to sell it for a profit on ebay, she won’t sell to them. That is, if people are profiteering on her work.

    I think this is a highly respectful position to take. Claudia dyes yarn because she loves it. Yes, it is her business, but it’s a business she got into because she loves it. She obviously wants it to go to people who enjoy it, not to people who want to further profit on her hard work.

    As for raising the prices, I really respect that she hasn’t done that. It’s one more reason I keep trying to get it–she doesn’t present it as only for the well off and if you aren’t well off–screw you.

    And I think people are crazy for spending that kind of money on yarn, even as a one off. $90? Not nice.

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