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Mark C.

Know When Orders Are Orders-Or Pie In The Sky Orders

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Mark C.    1,807

Now for at least 35 years I have had so many of these that now I'm just a seasoned vet when they come in.

Todays e-mail from deep space was this one.( I removed the actual name of place and person) to protect the impossible mission

 

Hi Mark,
I'm from (XXXXXX) Community Health Centers and we are co-hosting a national best practices meeting for community health centers in San Francisco on November 4-7. We are building our welcome baskets which includes local products and would love to include a one of your large mugs & business card in each basket.

I was hoping you could put together a quote for us: 120 large mugs (color is negotiable) to see if we can fit it into our overall budget.

signed

Margret

Pie and the sky coordinator

 

Now I have seen about 30 of these in years past and none I repeat none have ever worked out.I have had them come out to the studio then write letters -now in todays world its e-mails from deep space.

I have two upcoming shows in the next few weeks so this e-mail always comes in just before I have other commitments

Some may get excited about cashing in on some big money-others may think what can I afford to sell these for(how low) and should I quit my part time job and just make mugs NOW. As I have only a few weeks to make this order

Since I'm a full timer at this clay work my response has always been to answer with my usual price for my work times 120 equals the the final price plus in this case tax as well as its not a resale item.

I sell my work for very resonable prices and will not let it go for less no matter what the request is-I have a wholesale price for a few galleries but this only applies to them as I do not wholesale to individuals in general ever.

Now back to the request-mug size is not stated only large? is that 12 oz 14oz 16oz or maybe my 24oz or is it my 32oz??? color lets talk? I have 15 glazes currently going?

I am not worried about making this order as these orders never happen-repeat never happen.

Yes I could do this jump thru whatever hoops are tossed up but why?

It never fits into the budget it never fits into a reasonable time frame-its always a pie in the sky.

I answerd with my price and the fact that the time frame is real tight but I'm not  to worried  about any order as 99% will never follow through as the budget does not allow for it.

Mark

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Chris Campbell    1,088

I hear you Mark! Hand made items sound like a good idea until they see the price.

I also get tired of explaining why the price of hand made items does not go down with quantity, like machine made stuff does.

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Pres    896

I had a worksheet years ago that showed how many pieces could be thrown in an hour, how long to trim the same number, clean, and load kiln, fire, unload the kiln, wax, glaze, decorate, reload kiln, fire(electric costs), and unload the kiln again. Then I put in a $20 an hour price tag. It explained everything. I even had a few copies in booth for the sceptically curious customer. The usual ending comment was. . . so much time for one of these. I told them it was the materials, skill, time, and the love of clay that made it worth while and they were paying for the first two the third was free.

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TJR    359

Mark, Chris;

It always sounds great at the time. One of your fans wants to include your work as gifts. When they find out the total cost of your mugs-say $1200.00, for 83 mugs, someone else on the committee goes.."whoa!"

We can get mugs at the dollar store for a buck. Lets go with that .

Everyone wants yet another dollar store mug rather than a hand made item from a local artist.[Not!]

Note.. They just built a Dollar Tree by my school. Had to go there yesterday for clear packing tape. Everything is $1.25.

Shouldn't they be calling it the "Dollar 25 Store?"

They would have to change all of their signs.

TJR.

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Benzine    610

I had a worksheet years ago that showed how many pieces could be thrown in an hour, how long to trim the same number, clean, and load kiln, fire, unload the kiln, wax, glaze, decorate, reload kiln, fire(electric costs), and unload the kiln again. Then I put in a $20 an hour price tag. It explained everything. I even had a few copies in booth for the sceptically curious customer. The usual ending comment was. . . so much time for one of these. I told them it was the materials, skill, time, and the love of clay that made it worth while and they were paying for the first two the third was free.

  

 

Nice way of phrasing things Pres.

 

 

Mark, Chris;

It always sounds great at the time. One of your fans wants to include your work as gifts. When they find out the total cost of your mugs-say $1200.00, for 83 mugs, someone else on the committee goes.."whoa!"

We can get mugs at the dollar store for a buck. Lets go with that .

Everyone wants yet another dollar store mug rather than a hand made item from a local artist.[Not!]

Note.. They just built a Dollar Tree by my school. Had to go there yesterday for clear packing tape. Everything is $1.25.

Shouldn't they be calling it the "Dollar 25 Store?"

They would have to change all of their signs.

TJR.

They probably mean one US Dollar.....This joke may hold zero truth, as I haven't the foggiest of the current exchange rate.

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TJR    359

 

I had a worksheet years ago that showed how many pieces could be thrown in an hour, how long to trim the same number, clean, and load kiln, fire, unload the kiln, wax, glaze, decorate, reload kiln, fire(electric costs), and unload the kiln again. Then I put in a $20 an hour price tag. It explained everything. I even had a few copies in booth for the sceptically curious customer. The usual ending comment was. . . so much time for one of these. I told them it was the materials, skill, time, and the love of clay that made it worth while and they were paying for the first two the third was free.

  

 

Nice way of phrasing things Pres.

 

 

Mark, Chris;

It always sounds great at the time. One of your fans wants to include your work as gifts. When they find out the total cost of your mugs-say $1200.00, for 83 mugs, someone else on the committee goes.."whoa!"

We can get mugs at the dollar store for a buck. Lets go with that .

Everyone wants yet another dollar store mug rather than a hand made item from a local artist.[Not!]

Note.. They just built a Dollar Tree by my school. Had to go there yesterday for clear packing tape. Everything is $1.25.

Shouldn't they be calling it the "Dollar 25 Store?"

They would have to change all of their signs.

TJR.

They probably mean one US Dollar.....This joke may hold zero truth, as I haven't the foggiest of the current exchange rate.

 

Ben,Pres;

I'm trying to think of a witty comeback. I got nuthin'. That's my American accent.

Just came back from watching the movie Eliseum with my boys. That Jody Foster is COLD. My head is full of science fiction fight scenes. I'll think on it using my right brain.

TJR.

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Mark C.    1,807

I just may have to eat some crow on this one-as they called me this am and my price is within the BUDGET-they will get the final ok from the top Tuesday am and call me again.I'm so glad I gave them my regular price for the public even though I never expected to hear back. We shall see the crow plate is yet to be severed .

I'll keep you all in the loop.If this flies it will be a first for me in the gift basket realm.

I think because its a healthcare outfit they have tons of $$$ from us patients . Maybe I can view this as a kickback on doctor bills?

Mark

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Pres    896

Then again too, someone may appreciate quality, handcrafted work. There are those in power out there at times!

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GEP    863

Wow it sounds like a great order ... way to go! I would still get a signed contract and a deposit. In fact, write up the contract now so you can email it to her as soon as she calls with the go ahead. 

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TJR    359

Mark;

We are all rooting for you! That sounds a bit obscene.[No intention].

Have your contract in one hand, and your bottle of Ketchup in the other.

TJR.

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Mark C.    1,807

Well I like Mea's contract idea so I made one in word ready to go but alas they never called today-I'll shoot and e-mail in am to see if this is a pie and the sky-I have my 40th annual local fair this weekend then a fair in two weeks in another western state about 1,000 from here one way-so My plates plenty full now. No need to root for me as I really could care less as these usually never work out as stated above-If it flies I will be very surprized and will gladly serve up my crow plate.

TJR do I cover them in the ketchup? or do something else with it as I'm not a ketchup user????

Mark

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TJR    359

Well I like Mea's contract idea so I made one in word ready to go but alas they never called today-I'll shoot and e-mail in am to see if this is a pie and the sky-I have my 40th annual local fair this weekend then a fair in two weeks in another western state about 1,000 from here one way-so My plates plenty full now. No nee d to root for me as I really could care less as these usually never work out as stated above-If it flies I will be very surprized and will gladly serve up my crow plate.

TJR do I cover them in the ketchup? or do something else with it as I'm not a ketchup user????

Mark

Ketchup makes the crow go down better.If they in fact do come through with the order, you will be eating, but also cashing in.

TJR.

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Mark C.    1,807

Well I knew this was going to be the usual deal when I did not hear from them when they did not call yesterday.

I sent a follow up e-mail this am

and at 1 pm this showed up in the inbox.

Hi Mark,

Sorry for my delay in responding to you.  The group decided to not include any breakables in our baskets at this event due to the distances participants have to travel.

Thank you so much for your willingness to fit us in during your busy time of the year!!

 

Well thats 40 years of knowing when to file the paperwork under pie in the sky-I should not have spent a minute working on that contract for $1,650  knowing this was only a pie in the sky deal again-

No crow tonight-looks like fresh tuna and home grown corn instead.

Mark

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Min    784

Their loss! Fresh tuna sounds so much better than old crow anyway.

 

I think that as potters we are so used to trying and trying again when we have a problem with clay / glaze / form / equipment etc that it is in our nature to give problems a try. Even though we know these kind of orders are iffy we still have to give them a go.

 

It was nice meeting you in Anacortes in August, the little pot I got from you made it through a month long camping trip and is now happily at home with us.

 

Min

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nancylee    30

Hi,

I am new to pottery, but not to retail, this, but I swear, I would be really frustrated by this. I would probably get all excited and then - hopes dashed!!!

 

Dealing with the public is quite frustrating. I've done it for years in my shop, and I am done with it. People are mostly incredibly thoughtless, and I can't imagine doing a public show at this point.

Nancy

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Mark C.    1,807

Their loss! Fresh tuna sounds so much better than old crow anyway.

 

I think that as potters we are so used to trying and trying again when we have a problem with clay / glaze / form / equipment etc that it is in our nature to give problems a try. Even though we know these kind of orders are iffy we still have to give them a go.

 

It was nice meeting you in Anacortes in August, the little pot I got from you made it through a month long camping trip and is now happily at home with us.

 

Min

Min 

You are the first person I have met thru this forum other than one of my Mentees who also came to Anacortes the past two years to talk story-also down from Canada.

I love that show in Anacortes and this past one was my 20th year there.

Glad that little guy made it a month  long camping without damage.

If you come down next year lets trade a pot for a pot.

The albacore was caught by me on one of my best trips ever out of Eureka.Got to love fresh fish over crow.

Its ok as I'm neck deep in shows and real orders from my usual customers plus x-mas is just around the corner my biggest push.

I never got my hopes up as I am to seasoned by now as these mega orders always go south especially if the word gift basket is in the order.

Mark

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TJR    359

Mark;

Glad you didn't sweat too much about this. Their loss. Been there myself. See;"Left at the Altar" in a previous post.I actually got sucked in to making the 83 mugs, for a loss of over $1200.00.

Time to move on.

TJR.

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Min    784

 

Their loss! Fresh tuna sounds so much better than old crow anyway.

 

I think that as potters we are so used to trying and trying again when we have a problem with clay / glaze / form / equipment etc that it is in our nature to give problems a try. Even though we know these kind of orders are iffy we still have to give them a go.

 

It was nice meeting you in Anacortes in August, the little pot I got from you made it through a month long camping trip and is now happily at home with us.

 

Min

Min 

You are the first person I have met thru this forum other than one of my Mentees who also came to Anacortes the past two years to talk story-also down from Canada.

I love that show in Anacortes and this past one was my 20th year there.

Glad that little guy made it a month  long camping without damage.

If you come down next year lets trade a pot for a pot.

The albacore was caught by me on one of my best trips ever out of Eureka.Got to love fresh fish over crow.

Its ok as I'm neck deep in shows and real orders from my usual customers plus x-mas is just around the corner my biggest push.

I never got my hopes up as I am to seasoned by now as these mega orders always go south especially if the word gift basket is in the order.

Mark

 

 

You are the first I have met in person from this forum also. If we are down that way next summer I'll be sure and come by and swap a pot with you.

 

We lived on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) for 7 years, Can relate to your fresh fish tasting better than crow. We used to barter work for halibut, fish the rivers for salmon, dive for crab and dig razor clams. Grocery store seafood just doesn't compete.

 

Min

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Mark C.    1,807

Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands)

This is a small world-back in 1993 I chartered a small dive boat and 5 of my friends flew into sandspit we saw old giant yelloweye fish that never have seen human divers and recall a small hot spring on a small Islands near the world heritage site. We had a great trip but the boat was beater.We manly dove the inside areas.

I still have a small piece of driftwood on window sill from there. I have been underwater in many places on this planet and have found memories of there. Here's a hat I still have from there.

Mark

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GEP    863

The group decided to not include any breakables in our baskets at this event due to the distances participants have to travel.

 

 

Sounds like the decision of a committee.

 

I'm glad your instincts sniffed it out from the beginning. And it's not like you need more work this time of year anyways. Tuna and corn, yum!

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