We get steady traffic on our site checking out us and our schedule but not much in sales. I think it does matter though for applications to shows and to add a way for your new customers to become familiar with you. Maybe a Facebook business site instead would work for you as you already have a platform for sales.
I'd prefer to make $50 an hour and get $25 a mug, but for now it's not looking like I'd sell very many. I am pressed to charge even $12, but less than that I feel like I'm giving them away...
Ya know I do get the need to price an item to move and if we tried $30+ for mugs I don't think they would sell very well, if at all at some of our smallish venues.
I'd rethink the $12 mug though. More than any other item I think mugs and cups are the stable of your booth and at $12 it is dangerously close to being a lost leader. High teens and low twenties can still get traction as I think most people that buy pottery these days see that as the average range and a $20ish price still leaves some room for wholesale or consignment. We do a lot of small local shows and outdoor markets and we are able to keep our mugs moving at the higher price point. BUT of course everyone is different and at the end of the day you have to do what's right for your market and your booth.
When you say you are hard pressed to get $12, how many are you moving at your shows at that price and what higher prices have you tried to contrast it with? Maybe do a little more decorating or other things to your mugs to make them seem like a better bargain at a higher price. Where we sell our dipped mugs at a steady pace, hand painted ones at 20-30% more sell briskly. I think people need to often see something about a coffee mug that makes it really seem more special than what they already have in their cabinets. I guess what I am getting at is that at a certain point I think you have to consider other factors than just price if a product is not moving at what seems to be a low price.
This a topic we are constantly coming back to because we, like you, need to move pottery. As strange as it sounds that's not the case for everyone. If time is limited then the part time potter may be much more concerned with getting compensated more for each item than selling more. They have the luxury of putting in more time and waiting for the higher price.
We've all heard the analogy that it is obviously better for the potter to get $40 for one mug than $20 for 2 since its the same money and obviously half the work. I sure wish it were that simple ;-)
For the record though we do shoot for $50 an hour for studio hours to keep a form in the lineup and by and large our prices have been allowing for that with the exception of show hours. That's our hill to climb right now because we do not have enough volume to cover that and if you factor in the time at the markets evenly distributed across the items sold while we are growing our business it skews the numbers. So to balance this price review process I take those hours aside and only factor each product with a rightful allocation and essentially the remaining unpaid hours are the business loss until we grow to the point our sales are matching our production output.
what you can get. I know that sounds snarky but its so true. At some shows $50 mugs move and others its a challenge to get $20. I would suggest visiting the types of shows you will be doing and see what seems to be the norm. Try to find out if they have been doing that show for a while because if they have their current prices probably reflect what they have figured out along these lines.
There's the price I want to get and there is the price I can get. Finding product fit I think is one of the biggest challenges to this business as a living. I can not even imagine trying to support a large multi-employee company with hand thrown/built pottery revenue, shudder.
Most pull this off with studios on your own property (no rent) and a meal of top ramen occasionally. Ya got to respect a shop that not only pulls it off at their level but their current problem is not having enough pottery to sell at those prices.