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Mark C.

Member Since 09 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 03:34 PM

Topics I've Started

Selling Online-How Many Contacts To Close The Deal-For Me Its 7

20 January 2015 - 09:43 PM

I have always thought it takes 6-8 e-mails to finish the deal.
I have just made a sale and sure enough I just counted 7 back and forth e-mails two phone calls and its a done deal.
The box is shipped and the payment was done on my smart phone with amazon reader.
hers how it seems to go always
1st contact via my web site-asking about specific mug colors and shipping costs-no zip code given (EVER) even though they always ask about shipping costs-this drives me crazy
2nd Me giving size of mug info and pricing info and asking for clarification.
3rd-price ok If I have to wait if you do not have all colors ok as well
4th I found the mugs here is a photo of them
5th-Great I'll take them here is where I live(address) telephone#
6th Here is the total cost with shipping now that I have the zip code I can run it thru my ups software.
6-A-she called I was on a walk missed call
7-I missed your call-I'll call you
7-A called got visa #-done deal
8- does not count but I emailed a note that it shipped and I put a sponge holder in as a gift
9 -Thanks for the gift super-see you in the fall-thanks for the pots for my sisters birthday.
So my average is 7 e-mails to move out pottery via the web-this is the norm for me  no matter if its a dinnerware set or a spoon rest and thats if the buyers are on it not space muffins-which I had recently (another story)
I do not try to sell on the web via my web site but sell to my existing customer base from shows (this customer above who bought some mugs) sees me every year at a show in her town. I have been going over 20 years now. I will see her in the fall again as well.So its really a continuation of the same same business.I end up shipping many boxes out via UPS every year to existing customers.My shipping costs this year where $1.200.00 so thats a fair amount of small boxes heading out.
If I tried to make a living doing this on the web I would drown myself within a a few months of jump in front of a whale.
Thats my story of net sales-its not pretty but I'm a nice guy up to a point with customers .
I really push art fair sales with some consign and some wholesale to round out the sales.
Hopefully somebody can make a sale in only 2 e-mails??
Ok this is off topic but mail related
Speaking of mail you ever get any junk mail?
I have found that if they pay the postage you can mail them a pet rock and they pay the bill -seems you never get any mail again from them after getting a pet rock
Heres a recent outgoing pet rock duct taped the letter to rock-weighed a ton-I love dropping these into a mail box-thunk
You can include watering and feeding instructions inside the envelope as well. This rock was born on the riverbed nearby.

Happy Holidays To All

24 December 2014 - 02:22 AM

I'll be busy closing and packing my booth up and taking signage down in town tomorrow eve so I'll post my wish you well for the holidays and have a Merry Christmas tonight.Hope your clay dreams all come true.

Last Glaze Fire Of The Year Today

20 December 2014 - 05:52 PM

I'm firing my 35 cubic car gas reduction kiln for the last time this year today. These pots are mainly for my outlets for stocking up early in January to keep the displays loooking good.
This is my 25 th kiln glaze load in this kiln this year. I unloaded my small 12 cubic foot updraft yesterday for the last time this year as well-I fired 20 loads in that kiln this year as well.
Seems sales are up overall in most of my outlets and for me doing my own retail as well.
Our rainy season is really living up to its itself so far we have had 22 inches this year. The wet has yet to slow customers down.
I can see the light in the end of the tunnel as x-mas eve is coming up fast and I can pack up the booth and kick back some.I have scheduled a seven week break from the studio this time around.Time to work on other projects other than clay.

Trucking Clay Snafu Collides With Xmas Season

27 November 2014 - 01:32 PM

Well due to a trucking issue my annual materials and clay shipment came in about 3 weeks late-right before my sales season. Moving this 11 tons last minute into my shed and studio has put a hurt on my body. I usually take time and get this done over time not 5 days as I just finished yesterday.This shed holds about 11 tons of clay as its 8 boxes deep. I stacked them 8-9 boxes high in the back.

What I learned is order really early or do it mid winter .Now that its what I call an inconvenient holiday (thanksgiving) which has always been a pottery making /sales issue time I'm doing my usual kiln load and fire today. This years Holiday is a bit late so my big out of state show is next weekend. I gave up selling on this weekend years ago when I stopped doing studio sales.

Someday I will just relax and enjoy some food.I always wonder what this would be like. Today its mix glazes and get ready for the Black Friday glaze day here when bisque is unloaded.

I can see the light in the end of the tunnel on Dec 25th.Until then its make/glaze /sell pots for folks to enjoy giving to each other.This year s my 35th year of having a x-mas booth in my small town in a shopping center.



Skutt 1227 Band Snaps Loose During Recent Bisque-Gerrrr

19 November 2014 - 08:43 PM

OK bashing brands is not what I'm known for but.
On my 1227 the band which is now a rusting mess as well as all the steel parts (handle-snap latches and bands) came apart on last bisque. This kiln has only been used for bisque and on a good year maybe 6 bisques total ( I use my gas kilns for most bisquing).Its from the mid 90's
This year I have a whopping 7 fires on it so far and the middle band came apart on the spot wields on the tensioning bands-exactly like my one of my smaller skutts did a decade ago. The only difference is my two older skutts have no rust on the stainless steel bands-it appears the new bands are really a very poor grade of stainless. Spot wields just are the wrong thing to do on kiln jackets..I should mention that the older skutts I own have spotless bands as the stainless is a much better quality 
I have only gone to cone 08 in this kiln and have little use on it over the two decades. I live 7 miles from the sea so its not that either.
I'm going to screw this together with quality stainless marine screws before next fire (holiday season is NOW)-just another nail in my reason to buy another brand of kiln for me.
If you are in the kiln market check for spot wields and ask about how stainless is the stainless.
Rant over-
I'm dreaming of an L&L
one last note -have you noticed it always all happens at once