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phill

What Do You Like Making Vs. What Sells

Favorite VS. What Sells  

53 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your favorite pot to make?

  2. 2. What pot do you sell the most of, in general?



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TJR    359

 

 

If people see an obvious use for something, it tends to sell well.

TJR.

 

Bingo! Even with something as simple as a bowl, which has a million uses, people seem to need to be told what it's for. I can't count how many times someone has come into m y booth and said 'That's a beautiful bowl, but I just don't know what I'd use it for.' Food, maybe?!? Of course, as soon as you say 'ice cream bowl', they say 'I don't like ice cream'! How about salsa? 'I thought you said it was for ice cream'. AAAAAUUUUUUGH!

 

hahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha   I have met these people tooooo!!!   Sometimes I tell them it's for oatmeal.  sometimes applesauce.  or catfood.  hahahahahaha

 

Made me laugh! You cannot win. Salsa-I don't like salsa.Rhubarb crisp bowl-don't like it. Soup-could you make it without that beautiful decoration spiralling into the centre?

I need a holiday.

TJR.

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ChenowethArts    461

I love the cityscape bottles! I'm interested in hearing how you price the various sizes as they are all pretty we'll the same amount of work but is the perception of price different? Bigger bottle, higher price?

Chris,

 

Thanks for the note!

 

Good question.  On the first series, we came to an agreement based solely upon height...I think it was something like $10.00 per inch of height.  That seemed to make things easier for the gallery, but it did not take into consideration the extra amount of effort to sculpt and texture the first 4" - 6".  So now, there is a "base" price for the sculpted portions and then a unit cost per inch of height above that.  I made only one bottle that was 32" tall, thinking that no one would want to pay that much for a single piece...to my complete surprise, it was the first one to sell.

 

Kind regards,

Paul

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JBaymore    1,432

I made only one bottle that was 32" tall, thinking that no one would want to pay that much for a single piece...to my complete surprise, it was the first one to sell.

 

There is an important lesson sitting in there, Paul. :)

 

Also....... do their painters price their work by the inch?  Another thing to ponder.

 

best,

 

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

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Chris Campbell    1,088

> "Also....... do their painters price their work by the inch?  Another thing to ponder."

 

 

"Starving Artist" SALE this weekend at the local Holiday Inn ... a "sofa size" painting for $19.95.

...

and we thought we had it bad!

 

What's the pottery equivalent??? "Big Gulp" sized tumblers for .99 cents?

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ChenowethArts    461

 

I made only one bottle that was 32" tall, thinking that no one would want to pay that much for a single piece...to my complete surprise, it was the first one to sell.

 

There is an important lesson sitting in there, Paul. :)

 

Also....... do their painters price their work by the inch?  Another thing to ponder.

 

best,

 

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

 

John, Actually, I have heard of painters who look at a basic cost per square inch of canvas... that always seemed so odd.  Perhaps it is just a basis/baromenter to make sure that a piece is not under-priced.

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GEP    863

We don't price the paintings of the masters by the inch. But for modern-day painters trying to make a living at art festivals, there is clearly a correlation between size and price.

 

I do it with pottery too, even though I can see the inherent unfairness. Two casseroles of two different sizes, pretty much the same materials used and same effort. Yes I will ask more for the larger one. 

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Mark C.    1,805

I have always priced buy a combination of how much room the piece takes up in kiln as well as to how much work is into the piece-for example handles cost more than none -lidded forms cost more than none-large pots general cost more than small ones.

. The public gets this concept and thats a rare thing.

Mark

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JBaymore    1,432

While I certainly have a "nominal" range for a particular type of category of item (mugs, yuniomi, Chawan, and so on) , I also ascribe to the practice of the aesthetic quality of the item affecting that price significantly.

 

Minimums are always way below labor and materials factors...... no danger of "losing money" ;) .

 

For a specific example, I make some yunomi that sell (retail) in the $40-50.00 (US) range. They are the OK average ones. I also make some yunomi that sell in the $250-300.00 range....those are the cream of the crop. HUGE spread there. They are more or less the same general size. (Yoda - "Judge me by my size, do you?")

 

best,

 

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

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oldlady    1,323

cityscape bottles are great!  congrats on taking some ideas and forming your own masterpiece.

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phill    17

I've been doing a lot of business and marketing research lately and have come upon a lot of good advice. 

 

My favorite so far is: You can't price based on materials cost and time. Instead you have to price based on value.

 

And by value they are talking about what your audience pays for your goods. 

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DirtRoads    145

I've been doing a lot of business and marketing research lately and have come upon a lot of good advice. 

 

My favorite so far is: You can't price based on materials cost and time. Instead you have to price based on value.

 

And by value they are talking about what your audience pays for your goods. 

 

It might be more about "perceived" value.  But you have to start with materials cost and time.    That doesn't have to be your end price but you have to start with those factors in order to make a living.

 

price= f [ *{ cost of materials}  *{labor} {electricity}* {use of resources} **{fixed operation cost} ***{perceived quality} ****{perceived value}]

 

*  Variable costs of production

** Coefficient or percentage of operation costs

*** Perceived quality - I would more likely relate to technique, even though it can be closely tied with "perceived value" .  The perceived quality might be reflected in the amount of time spent learning and perfecting your craft. 

**** Perceived value would be a function of things like reputation of the potter (the value of a potter's "brand"), product differentiation, where the pottery is purchased,  intrinsic qualities of pottery that just make it "worth more".  The artistic value.  There isn't an exact number here but the stronger these factors, the more you can add to your price. Example:  those City Scape bottles ... art vs craft.   Art commands a higher price.

 

The higher perceived quality and perceived value a pottery has, the more added to the price.  In regression terms, higher responding beta coefficients.  Just look at some of the pottery of the forum posters.   I can readily see the variances in justified price differentials.  Just look at Chris Campbell's lovely  work.  It's differentiated and she sells in mostly the "best" galleries.  There is no question she can add these factors into her price.  And you do have to appreciate the amount of time that must go into these lovely creations.   While material costs become less consequential (even to the point of being an insignificant beta coefficient)  for the better potters, I'm not sure about time.  I think time would always be some factor.

 

I've seen some very high quality pottery that just doesn't command a higher price.  They have spent the time in perfecting their craft but it's still missing perceived "value",  perhaps lacking the wow factor .   And I've seen a lot of potters that just simply can not produce enough to make a living.   Time is money.  How can you not consider it?  Just today a crafter showed me something they "needed" to sell for $500.  I quizzed about time.  They said "At least a week or longer".    I told them "don't quit your day job just yet". 

 

Selling venue is an extremely important factor.   Gallery, juried art show, handmade shows, flea markets, gift stores, vendor marts, owner run retail shop.  These venues all add (or detract) from price.  And within these venues, there are yet another set of differences, example some juried shows are just way better than others.  If you are at a certain show, then your work is expected to be in a price range.  A lot of potters don't sell their work because they are at the wrong venue for their marked prices.  I know of one potter that did not sell ONE single piece at a handmade show because customers just didn't get the "perceived price".

 

Wholesale vs retail price.  Retail price is usually 2x wholesale price (with ranges up to 2.4x -3x)  What I saw in my 20 years as a specialty retailer and still see is that a lot of pottery doesn't meet the perceived value at retail price.

 

You have to earn perceived value.  Wishing does not make it so. 

 

And "value" is a multifaceted construct.

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phill    17

I think time would always be some factor.

 

Perhaps for the potter on an emotional level, sure, but I have to disagree from the customer's perspective. Knowing the amount of time you invested in a project might be an interesting fact to know, but it doesn't seem like something that would matter to the customer. It's kind of like a magician's secret--once you know it's kind of a downer. Again, this is coming from the customer's perspective, which is what my original quote was talking about. Value isn't given by the potter but the buyer.

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JBaymore    1,432

 

I think time would always be some factor.

 

Perhaps for the potter on an emotional level, sure, but I have to disagree from the customer's perspective. Knowing the amount of time you invested in a project might be an interesting fact to know, but it doesn't seem like something that would matter to the customer. It's kind of like a magician's secret--once you know it's kind of a downer. Again, this is coming from the customer's perspective, which is what my original quote was talking about. Value isn't given by the potter but the buyer.

 

 

The whole thing is about "selling the sizzle" unless you want to treat pottery as a commodity.  And if you want to sell a 'commodity" type work.... you can't compete with Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai ceramic imports and Walmart's price points. 

 

Then you are selling on price not on quality (my favorite Tom Peters Quote that I mention all the time).

 

The amout of time involved in production is one part of the way to "sell the sizzle" and help to paint the story picture about the genesis of the work.  People don't need handcrafted pottery anymore... they have to WANT handcrafted pottery.  The story is as important as the pices to many, MANY folks.

 

best,

 

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

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Pres    896

Most of my "perceived value"  I have heard feed back on involves the way the details fit a persons hand or the functionality with the body and food-at least in my functional ware. People talk about the way the thumb fits to give leverage on a mug, or the way a spoon fits into the bottom of a bowl, or the way the spout pours without dripping. I could go on and on about these comments, but in the end it really boils down to some pieces individually performing their tasks so well that they rise above the others these folks have used whether made by me from some other source. At the same time one mug does not fit all. Some hands are larger, grips are different, fingers are longer or shorter. It is why bowling balls are individually measured for each hand and drilled to specific requirements for the grip and type of delivery. Have you priced a good drilling on a bowling ball? So people go looking for a good fit with a piece of handmade pottery, knowing that the potter that made them made each individually, and knowing that if they test several, someday they will find the perfect fit. It is why we have our favorite mug or bowl, and why we can compete with cast pottery from wherever.

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ixchelm    0

As a newer potter, I've had the most success selling bowls. But I have taken classes and enjoyed the challenge presented making tea pots and throwing smaller pieces and using them to create a larger work.

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JLowes    28

What I enjoy making most are raku fired figures of animals, which as it turns out is what i sell the most. My figures are wheel thrown, handbuilt and extruded "bullets" with added features such as eyes, ears, snouts, feet, tails, etc.  That is where each gains its own character, and where the buyer can start to "see" an animal they have stored in their mind. Most I fill with a few pieces of broken up bisque for a little user interaction via noise when shaken.  Tugging hard on those heart strings ups the perceived value of a inanimate object and sells.

 

Like Marcia Selsor, I also like making orbs as canvas for decoration or alternative firing techniques.  Also mostly not fulfilling any function either.  There is something about taking 3-4 pounds of clay and seeing how wide, and tall, you can make something without it collapsing, that i find irrestible.

 

My functional work sells, but not nearly as well.  They probably don't have the potter's "spark" within.

 

John

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Jawpot    1

Large highly embellished art peaces.  A lot of times I will do some glass work with them.  A show stopper will stop people and draw a crowd. 

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JAW    2

I like to make large fermentation crocks, moonshine jugs, and face jugs.

 

The bulk of what we sell out of our store are mugs, bowl, and mixing bowls.

 

Our online store sells a lot of fermentation crocks and mixing bowls.

 

I have never put name cards in stuff to help people imagination. My mom runs the shop and she likes to stage stuff to help people. Like she has a few tables set up between the shelves with place settings set up with breakfast ready to be served.

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GiselleNo5    464

When I list my stuff online I try to list three possible uses for it because I have found that some people have no imagination. I don't need anybody to tell me how to use a bowl!! I've learned at in-person events to put a wooden spoon on at least one of my spoon rests because so many people were coming up to me and asking "What is this for??" I kept my answer very neutral but they always looked so embarrassed. I should start telling them, "It's a diet bowl! You put cereal and milk in it and you can only eat whatever's left!" Hee hee hee. 

sml_gallery_67168_947_202145.jpg

 

Re: the poll: I love making nesting bowl sets, and little stacking prep bowl sets. I also like making cups with handles, which are also one of my most-sold items. The other best-seller is slab-built tissue box covers. I made my own template and whenever I make a batch they sell out within a few weeks. I texture the whole thing with slip trailing and then use a nice breaking glaze. 

 

But I love the feeling of making a beautiful perfectly rounded bowl. :)

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bciskepottery    925

But I love the feeling of making a beautiful perfectly rounded bowl. :)

I often tell folks looking at wares in the booth that I've never met a round bowl I couldn't make better.

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GiselleNo5    464

 

But I love the feeling of making a beautiful perfectly rounded bowl. :)

I often tell folks looking at wares in the booth that I've never met a round bowl I couldn't make better.

 

I'll admit I'm using the term "perfectly rounded" loosely ... ;)

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