Although the economic downturn has nearly everyone pinching pennies, craft stores are watching theirs stack up as holiday gift-givers are saving money by making their own gifts or buying handmade items from others, the New York Times reports. While overall retail revenues in November were off 7.4% from last year, the $5.9 billion craft sector is enjoying booming sales, according to retailers.
Big stores like Michaels and their smaller counterparts are reporting higher holiday sales than last year, as are marketplaces for handmade goods like eBay and Etsy, where people sold $10.8 million in goods in November—more than double last year's total. Sales of handmade crafts on eBay were up 34% in the past 60 days, averaging $8.21 per item. “With the recession, people are looking for ways to save money,” one industry group leader said.