The Price of Principles


I was pretty nervous about how my door would be viewed by others.

So much so that I nearly chickened out of taking it to the pub and was going to beg a friend to do it for me.  But I have principles, you know.

Principles are pesky thoughts that make you do what you believe is right even if you don’t wish too.

Principles made sure I was present for the delivery.  Fortunately, no-one pointed and laughed, turned up their noses or flung wild insults.

I did get some curious stares as I waltzed through the pub door.  I’m not sure if it was because I was closely followed by a large, muscular, Maltese man hefting a solid wooden door or if  it was the messy, post-jet-ski, pigtails I was sporting.

Anyway, I survived and felt a sense of achievement through the completion and delivery.  “Mr Muscle” and I stayed for a celebratory cider, on principle of course.

Image 2

Principle Cider

Can you imagine how I felt when, mere hours after a photo of my door had been posted on Facebook by the Pub’s Manager, someone offered to buy it?!?!

I was beside myself. Seriously. Stunned doesn’t cover it.

After picking myself up off the floor, I did a little happy dance to myself in the lounge room.  Ok, so it was a big happy dance and I may have cried a little.

It wasn’t about the money, it was more that someone liked something I created enough to want to own it.  A total stranger, someone who doesn’t know me from Adam, someone outside of my “gene pool” wanted to take my door home with them just because they liked it.

This is what I want to DO and, for a minute, it looked totally DO-able.

The woman who was interested lives in Melbourne and I am in Adelaide.  Melbourne.  Hear me people, MELBOURNE!  My all-time favourite, creative city!

It felt goooood.

However, transporting the door was an issue.  How does the potential buyer get her item?

Quite understandably, the pub does not offer transport or delivery.

I had a few conversations with friends, most of whom agreed that the cost of transport lay with the purchaser.  A close friend of mine, who spend some time as a business advisor to an artist on the Sunshine Coast, advised that the cost to transport works the size and weight of a door anywhere in Australia was approximately $150.00.

Mr Muscle suggested that I be proactive and find some solutions to offer her, which I did.  After a few hours research on the net and some phone calls I found a company I thought would be perfect due to it’s personalised, point-to-point service and it’s very competitive price.

I forwarded the information, via the pub, to the potential buyer.

In return, the buyer haggled and requested free delivery.

As is the custom, I haggled back by offering to subsidise just over half the delivery cost, plus use my own resources to get it to the transport depot.

I have not had a response in several days which indicates to me that she has declined.

As I said earlier, it’s not about the money.  Of course it would be helpful given my current employment status but, this first time, it was more about having the balls to back myself and put myself out there creatively.

So, if it’s not about the money why did I not simply give the door away to the first interested party?  Why did I not offer free delivery of the item to ensure it’s sale?

Principles it seems.  They do not come cheap but apparently it’s good to have them.

What would you have done?

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6 thoughts on “The Price of Principles

    • hehe – I like the sentiment.

      I always look at negotiation/haggling as a bit of a game. I’m rarely the instigator of haggling (I tend to just pay ticket price) but if someone haggles me I feel it is only etiquette to haggle back!

  1. I think if you acccept less than the asking price, you under-value your work!
    After all, the project was, as you say, about having the guts to put yourself and your talent out there. Knowing that someone wanted your work is indeed high praise, you should be very proud of yourself

  2. Yes, the level of interest is a big compliment and I’m pretty happy with that. I also agree with the concept of not under-valuing which then raises the topic of value. How do I determine the value? Is there a formula to this?! There seems to be a fine line between too much and not enough.

  3. You were right to not pay the delivery fee, no other artist I know would even consider that. If you buy something. anything. you are the one who is responsible for getting it home. can you imagine walking into IKEA buying loads of stuff then epecting it delivered to your house? free? I am pleased that she liked it (although very cheeky to ask for free delivery to MELBOURNE!) & wanted to buy it but I feel it has a greater purpose & a better ‘fit’ in terms of ownership just around the corner……… Have faith & well done you!!!

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