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AVPottery

Gargage Sale/ Driveway Sale For Selling Pieces

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Curious if anyone has ever tried doing something like a garage sale / art sale for selling pieces.  I figure I'm at home on weekends and I live just off a busy vein in my city.  I figure people sell junk all the time at garage sales and why not try to sell my handmade art wares.  No booth fees.  Put an ad in craigslist, put out a sandwich board and good to go.  Just curious if anyone has tried this and found success.

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Last summer I decided to clear out some of my one of a kind, practice, part of a set pieces.  I invited some artisan friends to bring their things and we did have some deep discounts on items.  For me, it was important to clear things out to make more space.  We had handmade soap, jewelry, paintings, ceramics.....I put it on FB on a Monday, sent out a few emails, and had the sale on Wednesday.  And yes, I put a signboard on the corner.  I was astounded by the number of people who came!  And, I live in the country on a county road.  Yes, they came.  We are planning one again for this year.  But.....I wouldn't do one every week because like Joseph pointed out, you will have people wanting to buy the pitcher which should be priced at $40 for 50 cents.  One friend referred to it as a Yart Sale. So, my intention was to clear things out for space and we did have marked down prices.   But you could call it an Open Studio day, set up a nice display and have regular prices! 

 

Roberta

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Last summer I decided to clear out some of my one of a kind, practice, part of a set pieces.  I invited some artisan friends to bring their things and we did have some deep discounts on items.  For me, it was important to clear things out to make more space.  We had handmade soap, jewelry, paintings, ceramics.....I put it on FB on a Monday, sent out a few emails, and had the sale on Wednesday.  And yes, I put a signboard on the corner.  I was astounded by the number of people who came!  And, I live in the country on a county road.  Yes, they came.  We are planning one again for this year.  But.....I wouldn't do one every week because like Joseph pointed out, you will have people wanting to buy the pitcher which should be priced at $40 for 50 cents.  One friend referred to it as a Yart Sale. So, my intention was to clear things out for space and we did have marked down prices.   But you could call it an Open Studio day, set up a nice display and have regular prices! 

 

Roberta

 

That's great to hear.  I don't intend to do much discounting and certainly plan to market it as an art sale.  I hope you have some luck if you do it again.

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I did this once in the early 80's at my Mothers place in Santa Barbara.

Put up my pottery stand and a bunch of pottery sale signs (I always use Flourssant sign board).

It was as as noted about a tough road as folks are thinking yard sale 25 cent items. The prices back then where cheaper but the sale was a bust.

I made a few bucks but would never do it again.

About a decade earlier in collage two of us potters did it in Eureka on main highway 101 and made about 35$ in 1975 and felt dam good about it.

Now days the cops would want you have a business license and the property owners permission something we as students did not have in 75.

I think of it a s a desperate way to clear out your junk ceramic wise.

 

Now on the other hand an annual studio sale is another thing-with mailers and signs

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I did this once in the early 80's at my Mothers place in Santa Barbara.

Put up my pottery stand and a bunch of pottery sale signs (I always use Flourssant sign board).

It was as as noted about a tough road as folks are thinking yard sale 25 cent items. The prices back then where cheaper but the sale was a bust.

I made a few bucks but would never do it again.

About a decade earlier in collage two of us potters did it in Eureka on main highway 101 and made about 35$ in 1975 and felt dam good about it.

Now days the cops would want you have a business license and the property owners permission something we as students did not have in 75.

I think of it a s a desperate way to clear out your junk ceramic wise.

 

Now on the other hand an annual studio sale is another thing-with mailers and signs

 

I cant really do the studio sale thing or market it that way.  My studio is a pottery wheel in my basement next to my couch and TV.  I just don't have a public friendly space to market in that way.  I need to be able to just put up a pop-up tent, and treat it like a booth.  I also live in a fairly dense residential neighbor hood so the only outside space is really going to be my driveway.

 

And also considering i'm new to pottery their are a lot of pieces i would like to get rid of so i can make space / have money to make more! 

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I used to have a really crummy studio in my basement, so I held my "open studio" in my living room instead, and called it an "open house." I think your driveway would work too. But you need to advertise a lot farther than a sign on your driveway, and definitely market it as an art sale. I always hang a banner out front for the week leading up to my home shows, and I get very few neighbors to visit. And if they buy anything, it's usually something from the markdowns area. "Neighbors" are too broad and diverse, very little chance they are pottery fans. Craigslist is too broad too. People who are just walking by will expect yard sale prices.

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I used to have a really crummy studio in my basement, so I held my "open studio" in my living room instead, and called it an "open house." I think your driveway would work too. But you need to advertise a lot farther than a sign on your driveway, and definitely market it as an art sale. I always hang a banner out front for the week leading up to my home shows, and I get very few neighbors to visit. And if they buy anything, it's usually something from the markdowns area. "Neighbors" are too broad and diverse, very little chance they are pottery fans. Craigslist is too broad too. People who are just walking by will expect yard sale prices.

 

Did you have success with your "open house".  Trying to figure out if its worthwhile.  

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It is now my most profitable event of my year, especially when factoring in the low expenses. Granted I only do it once a year. I think if I did it more often, I would dilute its profitability.

 

Also, it wouldn't work if I didn't do a lot of shows. I meet the customers at shows, then invite them to my house once a year. If I didn't do the shows, I wouldn't meet the customers.

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I did studio sales with a 1000 person mailing list for 19 years-I did it twice a year-it was before the open studio movement of today.

I stopped in 1993. I held the summer one in front yard the winter one in my covered kiln area in the rain.Both required lot of set up.

Now times are changed . Back then folks felt it was special to see whats up at your studio. That generation is shifting I feel.Now after 40 plus years I would never do it as I'm in such a rural setting.My two local shows and 4 outlets keep those old customers happy.

I tried the local open studio tour about 10 years ago and it was a bust-only made 1k for the weekend which for me is not worth the effort.

Many may find this just fine but I'd rather go do a art show and make 10 times that for the same effort.

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If it's crap toss it, but if you find something to like in it so will others.

I only recently returned to clay after 20 years of upcycling . I took everything I had finished to the first show I did with ceramics only and sold nearly everything. But then, I priced everything to about 1/2 what I would have charged had the item been 'perfect' and explained I am not a professional - I'm just having fun.

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