March 18, 2012

Wrinkly And Squinty-Eyed

Recently I was asked to donate a very popular drink charm set for a Facebook giveaway. Not a blog giveaway. Not an Etsy Team giveaway. A Facebook giveaway. I never heard of such a thing and I was skeptical. As well I should have been.

I looked into this person's Facebook page and didn't see much. Lots of links that I didn't have time to click. Then I went to look at the person's Etsy shop. Yikes.

The shop was all about crochet. Crocheted things for babies. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, except for the fact that she used those true-to-life rubber babies as models. I'm so grossed out by those things I can't even tell you. I was so distracted by these wrinkly, squinty-eyed things that I couldn't even get a good look at the product for sale. Rubber...babies. That's just wrong and bad.

Here's the thing. This person wants to pay tribute to the anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. She wants people to donate their beautiful work, their hard work, their work that they don't model on rubber babies, so she can just give it away.  I don't suppose she's got any of her own things to give away either.  She's just going to list this stuff as "Free Giveaway Stuff" on her Facebook page, people are going to get it for free and that will be that. She's not showcasing particular artists or crafters. I speculate that her reasoning for doing this, on Facebook, is so people follow her, look at her, give her Facebook numbers she can brag about. She's not doing a service for the particular people whose things she's giving away. She's not paying tribute to the work that goes into these special giveaway items. She's not going to encourage anyone to shop at these people's Etsy shops. She's giving away good stuff so people pay attention to her. It just all kind of made me sick. 

It all got me thinking about donations in general. Not just donating created items, but also donating clothes and household items to charities. Why do people donate? Why do they not?

I'm not above donating something to make myself look good. If someone wanted to write a blog post about me, interview me, and request that I donate something for one of their lucky readers to win, I'd probably do it. I'd do it because it would benefit me.

On the other hand, I donate a lot of things from my house that I don't use anymore. Clothes, bedding, small appliances, books...lots and lots of things. I don't donate them to make myself look good, I donate them because I want to get things that are useless to me (but still in fine condition) out of my house. OK, in that respect it benefits me - a less cluttered house is always a good thing. But I'm not looking for people to admire me because I'm donating something. In a way, when I make my donations I'm having a giveaway too. But I'm not doing it on Facebook and I'm giving away my own things. I'm not looking for the praise. I'm not even looking for a tax break.

I just thought this person's methods were in bad taste and had a disrespect for my work. She didn't even give an opinion of why she thought my item would be a good giveaway item, like "what a clever idea," or "these are so cute." It's all about her. Sorry honey, but when it comes to my business it's pretty much all about me. Unless she can guarantee this giveaway will bring more business to me, I'm not interested. Oh, there's one exception to that rule: some craft fairs will ask you to donate something worth at least $10 for a silent auction or raffle. The proceeds for something like that goes to the organization sponsoring the craft fair. I'm all for that and will gladly donate for their cause.

I sound so selfish about this, but seriously, I can't get those damn rubber babies out of my mind. Ick.