I found that my last craft fair, I got asked a lot more of the"Can you make this in white," "Can you make me a set of these bowls" etc. So I had a good amount of interest in custom orders. Now I know granted some of those people are not serious buyers, but a few may have been. I spoke to them about the potential custom order, gave them a business card and they went on their way. Now, weeks later none of them have reached out. So my question is this...
Does anyone have any experience in taking custom orders on the spot? If a customer shows interest in a custom order, I'd like to have the customer fill out a form (that states all the specifics), take a deposit, and give them a receipt. Then arrange to get them to custom piece when it's completed either in person, or my mail.
I live in NY, people here are quick paced, and seem to try and get things done right then and there. If not, next time they're at the dreaded home goods they'll pick up whatever I could have custom made them. So I thought of doing this custom order concept as almost a "strike while the irons hot" kind of thing, but didn't want the concept to seem pushy to a customer.
I'm open to advice!
I have had over 35 years of doing custom orders-which I do not do anymore.
That said I shipped a custom cannister out to AZ yesterday and a honey pot lid to LA. today
These where special exceptions for customers I already have sold pottery to.
Over the years I learned that custom orders really are not worth it-heres why
1st the custom order is the 1st pot to crack or not turn out-trust me on how I know this
2nd-the custom order which you now need to remake has taken twice the time you thought as it did not work the 1st time thru
3rd-they never pick the damm thing up anymore as you noted they are just to busy these days
4th ok its done now you need to stop with your life and pack and ship it -its getting more costly for you every minute
I will make exceptions but I stoppped doing custom work years ago when society shifted to the burger king thought process -I want it my way today right now for the highway.
I suggest you take this advice to heart as the other road is heartbreak
your very post mentions thier busy lifes and quick paced wonderings
Take it from me and let them wonder-spend your time with making and selling to interested buyers who like what you have made not what you do not have.
The only iron you need is the one to wack them with and quit wasting your time on does this come in blue questions.
This might be my most true advice I have given in 2,000 posts-
time to set the bar high-doing custom work for existing customers is another topic.