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Member Since 08 Apr 2010
Online Last Active Today, 08:23 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Freestanding Retail/studio Location

23 July 2015 - 09:51 PM

dirtroads, thank you for sharing the details and the timeline. Very informative. Your buildings are so charming and inviting!

In Topic: Cannot Change My Profile Picture

23 July 2015 - 04:57 PM

Thank Giselle ...she's the one who figured it out (I think).

Yes it was Giselle who figured out the solution. Thank you Giselle!

In Topic: Going Price Of Mugs

22 July 2015 - 10:31 AM

Here's something I've learned about underpricing: Underpricing only hurts the underpricer. It does not affect anyone else. So don't worry about what others are doing.

I've found that underpricers might hurt you temporarily in a small event where everyone is underpricing except for you. You will stick out, and not in a good way, according to the audience who attends events like that. But still in the long run, it doesn't hurt you, because you have the power to choose not to return to that venue. And that is not the audience you need to win over.

If I am in a large enough event, even if there are other potters who are underpricing, I've learned it does not affect me. As long as there are enough exhibitors with professional-level prices, I will do fine. Because this type of event will attract real pottery customers, the type of audience you want to win over. They do not shop based on price.

On the flip side, if you are new to selling, don't feel pressured to charge more than you are comfortable with. The right answer is different for everyone. The first mugs I sold were $16, at events where "student-grade" work was accepted. I didn't ruin the handmade economy.

The cautions about not underpricing are for experienced professionals, who are making expert-level work. And from my point of view, the caution is only about not forgoing any of your rightful income, and has nothing to do with hurting other potters or the handmade economy.

In Topic: Going Price Of Mugs

21 July 2015 - 02:41 PM

Yeah, if you are next to a booth selling mass produced anything you might as well just grin and bear it the rest of the show because it probably is not the right crowd for handmade pottery and you are unlikely to sell much.


Exactly, and handmakers need to accept this as our responsibility ... to choose venues where everyone involved (organizers, exhibitors, customers) are committed to handmade work. If you find yourself in a venue where your neighbor is selling mass-produced goods, that's not the neighbor's fault. They have the right to make a living however they see fit. It's the handmaker's fault for not doing a proper amount of research into the event. Been there done that! 

In Topic: Going Price Of Mugs

14 July 2015 - 09:35 AM

It's been a few years since I've done a wholesale trade show. But I recall that the going price for a medium size, professional-quality mug was $12. Which translates to $25 retail. Many potters were willing and able to sell at that price. The key is to be able to produce them very efficiently. So for some potters that price point works, and it leads to a high volume of sales.

I wholesale large mugs for $17 ($35 retail, though some of my galleries sell them for more). At the tradeshows I could still find buyers, but not as many. Some buyers would bluntly say "I love your mugs but I know I can't get that price."

These days I do not attend trade shows anymore, and only solicit orders from my existing accounts. Of the accounts I have left, most of them are in northeast metropolitan locations, where $35-$40 for a handmade mug, of any size, is normal.