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We have come across some interesting questions and answers on the Association of Professional Piercers Tumblr Page recently. We thought Cody did a great job tackling this one and wanted to share it with you:
Q: I’ve been looking into septum clickers and I find it crazy how expensive they are. I know you should pay for the best for your body, but I can’t afford $200 on a piece of jewelry. Do you know where I could find a cheaper alternative? Thanks!
That’s sort of a loaded question.
Short answer: No.
Long answer: I’m going to answer this as best as I can, and please don’t read any of this as being written in a rude or condescending manner.
You see all these fancy clickers and naturally, you want one. I don’t blame you, they’re gorgeous and it’s a lot of fun to see all the variety that is available as of late.You already know the difference between good quality and cheap jewelry, but do you fully understand what makes a piece of jewelry high quality?
Normally this is where we rant about implant grade materials and a properly polished surface finish, etc. You already know that part. But here are the other things to consider.
Who is making/selling the jewelry?
I don’t even mean the company, I’m talking about the individual making the jewelry. Somebody has to be getting paid to make this stuff, right? Actually, wrong. A LOT of people have to get paid to make that single piece of jewelry.
It needs to be machined or cast by somebody, then somebody needs to polish it, then somebody needs to inlay the gems (when it’s a gemmed piece), then somebody needs to inspect it for quality, then somebody needs to package and ship it. That’s not even taking into account the other people involved, such as payroll, HR, etc.
So a big deciding factor for me (next to the product quality) when deciding which manufacturers I’m willing to do business with for my studio, is how well they treat their employees.
Now take into account that we (the studio owners/piercers) need to purchase that jewelry. Usually quite a few of each style, in various sizes and configurations to appease our clients.
We need to sell that jewelry at a price that will cover our expenses and allow us to pay our bills and pay the rent on the studio. We need to continue stocking the jewelry people want, and we need to be able to afford to bring in new pieces and designs to offer clients variety.
Never mind our liability insurance, piercing supplies and excessively high electricity bills for all the time we spend on tumblr ;)
I think you see where I’m going with this. It’s really no different than any other quality product a person is purchasing. There’s more to that price than you may think, and it is justified.
"Expensive" is a relative term. If you had a lust for platinum, you’d see the price for a titanium clicker and think, "Man, that’s cheap!" It’s okay. It’s not your fault you have good taste.
If $200+ is too expensive for you, I’m not going to fault you. We’re all just trying to make an honest living and sometimes money is tight and we need to choose what our priorities are. If you really want it, you’ll save up for it, and you’ll likely be pretty darn happy you did.
I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before some cheap knock-offs of septum clickers are available. You may even decide to pick a few up. Cool. But I promise you that you’ll immediately notice the difference in quality.
Alternative short answer I could’ve given instead of writing the above novel: You get what you pay for.
Cody Vaughn - APP Outreach Committee