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clay lover

marketing strategies, do you do incentives?

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clay lover    133

Thought it was time for a spin off on the craft show thread.

 

Do you do any sort of buying incentives?

 

Such as the '10% off if someone buys 2 items' mentioned on the other thread.

 

I have been considering something like that. Maybe 'All purchases over a certain $$$ mark gets a small pot free. I have little things that I make by the dozens that sell for $8. I'm trying to decide what the $$$ mark should be to earn the incentive.

I am so much better a potter than I am an accountant. Or speller.tongue.gif

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Chris Campbell    1,081

I prefer to throw something in for free than to give money off.

Something added is a nice gesture which re-enforces my idea of the value of my work ... it is so nice that I say thank you with it.

Money off says my work really isn't worth full price so I can afford to let you pay less for it.

Also, it's not a stated policy, more a spontaneous gesture.

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GEP    863

I frequently price my pots that way .... such as "$22 each or 2 for $40" or "$40 each or 2 for "$75"

 

I find that I this does encourage more buying, and buying in pairs. However, I only do this for items that I can easily produce in multiples, mugs, tumblers, noodle bowls, etc. I don't think it makes sense for one-of-a-kind pieces. For my larger and fancier things, I will offer discounts in the last hour of a show, you know when I'm tired and thinking about how much work it will take to pack and get home. If some one is looking seriously at a nice piece, I'll say "since it's the last hour of the show, I'll be glad to offer you a discount on that."

 

For your $8 items, I would make those "$9 each or 2 for $15" and see what happens.

 

Mea

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Mark C.    1,796

I have noticed in this economy a few more folks ask for some sort of deal.

My work is not high priced so I as Chris mentioned will often put in say a spoon rest to sweeten the deal.This is for multiple items not one pot.

I have also worked with the tax totals as another discount if they ask. That way the work is full price.-So if they say how about two for 20 on say a total of 24$ I'll say two for $24 no tax that way you save 8%-This percentage saving usually is enough.

Mark

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clay lover    133

Thanks for the ideas.

Do you think people would be pissed if I offered incentives on the last day of a 3 day show if things had been slow the first 2 days. Return shoppers seeing that they could have bought something for less if they had waited to buy the last day?

 

I am considering some sort of 'multiples discount on things that I wished moved a bit better.

Is it foolish to offer an incentive on something that sells great as it is?

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GEP    863

Thanks for the ideas.

Do you think people would be pissed if I offered incentives on the last day of a 3 day show if things had been slow the first 2 days. Return shoppers seeing that they could have bought something for less if they had waited to buy the last day?

 

I am considering some sort of 'multiples discount on things that I wished moved a bit better.

Is it foolish to offer an incentive on something that sells great as it is?

 

 

 

I used to worry about that too ... if I lower a price mid-show would I anger someone who paid the higher price? The truth is customers rarely come back to your booth, and it is well within your rights to change your prices. And if you do see someone who paid the higher price earlier, just tell them the truth "well I didn't sell as many of these as I hoped" and offer them a small freebie.

 

It's not foolish to offer incentives on things that sell great, as long as you can produce them efficiently. As noted elsewhere, customers feel good if they feel like they got a good value, make your customers feel good!

 

Mea

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Mark C.    1,796

Thanks for the ideas.

Do you think people would be pissed if I offered incentives on the last day of a 3 day show if things had been slow the first 2 days. Return shoppers seeing that they could have bought something for less if they had waited to buy the last day?

 

I am considering some sort of 'multiples discount on things that I wished moved a bit better.

Is it foolish to offer an incentive on something that sells great as it is?

 

 

 

As Gep said you will not see very many coming back to your booth yet alone checking prices.You can price when or what you want-I do not do the last day deal but try to be consistent every day.

It would be foolish to make deals on items that sell great-For me I hold the line on spoonrests-they are 5$ no matter how many or what you buy. I do give a few away as a bonus now and then.

The other thing is Sunday is usually my slowest of a 3 day show so make downs on that day really would not do much for me.I think it better to price fairly all 3 days.

Mark

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Chris Campbell    1,081

I agree with consistent pricing Mark ... it might be just me but the ones who swoop in for the last hour of the show to get things cheaper really annoy me ...

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Mark C.    1,796

I agree with consistent pricing Mark ... it might be just me but the ones who swoop in for the last hour of the show to get things cheaper really annoy me ...

 

 

 

I totally agree on the lets make a last minute deal makers Chris. I have found my pottery has the same value after its packed up and unpacked at the next show. I'm also an early bird on pack up-often one of the 1st out next to jewelers-so last minute haggling is not what I will tolerate-About 3 pm on Sunday I am mentally already down the road and packing up the big pots.

I am known for leaving soon after a show is closed. If I stayed and tried to sell to the end (instead of packing) for another few bucks I'm old enough and have enough $ to not care about it.

Also packing early also get folks into better buy it now as I'm boxing it all up at warp speed and they see that-I will say after 39 years of shows I do not care about some things anymore-Its a bonus with age I feel.I have refused service(nothing for sale for you in this booth) to several in my career as well-Thats another whole story.

Mark

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TJR    359

I'm a slow packer. They even let me come in the day before at a sale I do at my cottage. It takes me about 2 or 3 hours to set up. I know potters who have wine boxes with cardboard dIviders, where they just slip the mugs right in without wrapping first. I have a buddy who is a jeweler. He is the last to arrive and the first to go. He has all of his earrings on folding window screens. He folds them up, puts them in the car and is GONE!

On giving deals, if someone buys 5 mugs from a 6 mug set, I will let the sixth mug go for half price just to get rid of it. I don't lower prices on the last day of the sale. I don't think this is fair to the people that paid full price.

I think you can have a "Bargain Bin" section with old stock that you want to move, but show it for the duration of the sale. The flaw with having a bargain section, is that many people will look at the bargain stuff and not at your quality work.

TJR

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Chris Campbell    1,081

Jewelers have all the fun, don't they? I helped a friend in her booth selling jewelry ... It is ridiculously easy to sell jewelry!!! A person who spends half an hour hemming and hawing over a thirty dollar pot drops twice that in five minutes on earrings ... And it takes five minutes because they have to wait for the previous customer to pay. Definitely made me wonder why I was lugging a ton of pots around to shows!

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Mark C.    1,796

I'm a slow packer. They even let me come in the day before at a sale I do at my cottage. It takes me about 2 or 3 hours to set up. I know potters who have wine boxes with cardboard dIviders, where they just slip the mugs right in without wrapping first. I have a buddy who is a jeweler. He is the last to arrive and the first to go. He has all of his earrings on folding window screens. He folds them up, puts them in the car and is GONE!

On giving deals, if someone buys 5 mugs from a 6 mug set, I will let the sixth mug go for half price just to get rid of it. I don't lower prices on the last day of the sale. I don't think this is fair to the people that paid full price.

I think you can have a "Bargain Bin" section with old stock that you want to move, but show it for the duration of the sale. The flaw with having a bargain section, is that many people will look at the bargain stuff and not at your quality work.

TJR

 

 

TRJ

It takes me about that long to set as well-but its all the little tricks for pack up that make it speedy-I'll try to take a few photos of next kiln load packing which shows some of these.

I learned a few shortcuts on packing from some other professional potters back in the late 70's early 80's which helps. The real trick is knowing how mush your pots can take as far as packing/ handling them.

Mark

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GEP    863

Just to add to the discussion about proper pricing and incentives for buying multiples ....

 

I have a new item this year, a simple tumbler. At my first show I priced it at $24 each, and only sold one. At my show last weekend, I priced it at $22 each, or 2 for $40, and sold out of them. Most people bought them in pairs or quads. This shows how much difference it makes when you are just a few dollars away from the correct price. And that it might take a few shows before you figure out that correct price.

 

Also, I had discussed in another thread (I forget which one) about pricing for my dinner plates. The price had been inching up over the years but I found last year at $35 each the sales had really dropped off. This year I reduced the price to $30 each (I have a more efficient way to produce/fire them, so a price cut made sense anyways), and I'm selling them like crazy again.

 

Mea

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JBaymore    1,432

Another approach to seliing your work is to adjust the MARKET rather than focusing on the price.

 

 

"Focus on quality, not on price". - Tom Peters -mainstream business marketing guru

 

 

best,

 

 

........................john

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GEP    863

Another approach to seliing your work is to adjust the MARKET rather than focusing on the price.

 

 

"Focus on quality, not on price". - Tom Peters -mainstream business marketing guru

 

 

best,

 

 

........................john

 

 

 

 

John, I agree with your statement, but I don't think anything I said implied that I was not focused on quality. And I guess I should point out these are items that I can produce in a super speedy fashion. And think about how efficient it is to pack no-handle tumblers, and dinner plates. This all goes along with the "spoon rest" concept of business planning, and I think it's really smart.

 

Mea

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JBaymore    1,432

Another approach to seliing your work is to adjust the MARKET rather than focusing on the price.

 

 

"Focus on quality, not on price". - Tom Peters -mainstream business marketing guru

 

 

best,

 

 

........................john

 

 

John, I agree with your statement, but I don't think anything I said implied that I was not focused on quality. And I guess I should point out these are items that I can produce in a super speedy fashion. And think about how efficient it is to pack no-handle tumblers, and dinner plates. This all goes along with the "spoon rest" concept of business planning, and I think it's really smart.

 

Mea

 

 

 

Mea,

 

That was a comment directed toward the overall thread tiopic, not on your specific posting.

 

best,

 

...................john

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GEP    863

OK.

 

I don't think it's wise to avoid talking about pricing. It's one of the most elusive subjects for those who are trying to sell. I often get asked about it from those who are just starting out. Sometimes people think there is a simple formula! But mostly, people tell me about all the angst and frustration they are having trying to figure it out. I want to convey there is no quick answer, it's a long-term process of trial and error, and can take years sometimes. It's important for us to talk about it in practical and honest terms.

 

Mea

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clay lover    133

Mea, I always appreciate your input. I've seen your work in great galleries around the east and your articles in magazines and the blog are wonderful.

I agree that pricing is difficult, and I have to bloom where I'm planted ,so to speak.

I am very careful with my work, don't sell seconds and work hard to present an organized color co-ordinated booth.

I just finished a show yesterday and used credit cards for the first time. I don't know if it increased sales or not. I used the square on my phone.

I will readily admitt that #s are not my long suit. It's hard for me to tell if lowering the price to sell something in groupsa is better than taking fewer sales and not lowering price. How do you decide when it's smart and when itr's not?

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GEP    863

"It's hard for me to tell if lowering the price to sell something in groupsa is better than taking fewer sales and not lowering price. How do you decide when it's smart and when itr's not? "

 

It's different for every item. If it can be made+fired+packed efficiently, then heck yes I'd rather sell two for a slight discount than sell them one at a time. In the case of the tumblers, after I sold them 2/$40, I couldn't wait to make more. They are fast to throw, have a rolled no-trim footring, and I can glaze them without wax. And I really like the design, useful and pretty. Still well worth my time.

 

I guess my answer is, you just gotta try it and see how you feel about it afterwards.

 

So how did you do with those small items that you were talking about at the beginning of this thread? Did you offer a discount for multiples, and if so how did it go?

 

Mea

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clay lover    133

I decided to offer a free little thing with all sales over $30. Sales were slow all around me and no one was very excited about the show, so I don't know whether they affected my bottom line or not.

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Red Rocks    3

Just to add to the discussion about proper pricing and incentives for buying multiples ....

 

I have a new item this year, a simple tumbler. At my first show I priced it at $24 each, and only sold one. At my show last weekend, I priced it at $22 each, or 2 for $40, and sold out of them. Most people bought them in pairs or quads. This shows how much difference it makes when you are just a few dollars away from the correct price. And that it might take a few shows before you figure out that correct price.

 

Also, I had discussed in another thread (I forget which one) about pricing for my dinner plates. The price had been inching up over the years but I found last year at $35 each the sales had really dropped off. This year I reduced the price to $30 each (I have a more efficient way to produce/fire them, so a price cut made sense anyways), and I'm selling them like crazy again.

 

Mea

 

 

Hi Mea:

 

Can you tell us some more on your comments about discovering more efficient ways to produce and fire dinner plates? This really caught my attention as dinnerware will be a big part of our production. I am thinking about using the high alumina/cone 11 place setters that allow you to fire up to six plates stacked on a single shelf. Have you ever used these?

 

Thanks

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GEP    863

Yes my solution was to buy new plate setters. They are smaller and shorter than my old plate setters, so now a stack of plates takes up a lot less space in my kiln. The new setters are better suited for my square and rectangle plates (my old plate setters were a better fit for round plates). I got them from Bailey Pottery:

 

http://www.baileypottery.com/kilnfurniture/setters.htm

 

 

Mea

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Red Rocks    3

Thanks, Mea. I just finished reading an old thread on Clay Art where there was a very spirited discussion on plate setters. In the end, it appears that the consensus was they make a great deal of sense. In fact, John Baymore had a couple of great posts on the subject that would really be worth reposting here if he is so inclined.

 

I plan to buy both the round and square Cone 11 setters and so far, Bailey looks like the best place to get them - even though they are all the way on the other side of the country. If any one knows a supplier of the type of plate setters like Bailey sells on the west coast, I would really appreciate the name(s).

 

Thanks

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Mark C.    1,796

I live on the west coast and I know of nowhere these are sold like Baileys sells-as they say they have them custom made. I have had heavier larger items shipped by Jim Bailey-electric slab roller for one.

I assume you are using them in electric kilns?

Mark

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Red Rocks    3

I live on the west coast and I know of nowhere these are sold like Baileys sells-as they say they have them custom made. I have had heavier larger items shipped by Jim Bailey-electric slab roller for one.

I assume you are using them in electric kilns?

Mark

 

 

 

Hi MarK:

 

These will be for Cone 10 reduction in a gas kiln. Have you used the Bailey place setters?

 

Thanks

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