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I Got Asked If I "wholesale" And If I Wanted To Do A "pop Up"


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ive been selling some pieces at local bakery /cafe,  while there ran into boutique owner  hence the title.

 

i've kind of not been trying to make money at this, nor any real marketing.. but when opportunity knocks ... and my cylinders are getting more consistent. 

 

not to mention the saying .... when preparation and opportunity meet

 

 

when she asked i felt like she was throwing buzzwords at me.   naturally i redirected  and talked about my work and process.....

 

i suppose it was inevitable.... i suppose wholesaling is better than consignment if owner has $$

 

now i have to create "stock"

 

my yunomi/  small cups sell for $15  ( to give you an idea of what the market here will bear)  what should i wholesale for...? ive sold more of these  than anything.   

 

just to get an idea of what is industry standard?  whats about a medium size plate?   4.5 inch trinket/ dessert dish? mug?     im thinking of putting together a small $200 package to pitch. 

 

what exactly is a pop up.... how does that work?

 

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If your small cups are your bread and butter pieces and they sell quickly: do not offer them wholesale. Create a line, or pick out of your existing line pieces that are relatively easy or cost effective to make: and wholesale those. Advice is strictly from a business perspective: no pottery expressed or implied. :)

Nerd

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Here is an article I wrote on wholesale ....

 

http://ccpottery.com/wholesale.html

 

Here is another on working with galleries ...

 

http://ccpottery.com/untitled.html

 

'Pop ups' are a relatively new phenomenon ... A store or restaurant pops up for a day, week or whatever ... Then is gone.

It might be a very fun way to sell your work but make sure you protect yourself business wise.

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If your current market price for the yunomi is $15, then the wholesale price would be $7.50. But first, go visit this boutique and see what they are charging for similar items. $15 sounds a little low to me, so do your research before you lock yourself in to that number. If you don't feel comfortable "spying" on them yourself, send a friend.

 

My wholesale prices for the following items were:

 

small trinket dish $6

dessert dish $12

mug $17

 

These prices were mostly for the mid-atlantic and northeast, and some midwest. Note that my mug prices are high for the wholesale market. Most craft resellers expect mugs to be closer to $12 wholesale.

 

 

Also, the buzzwords may have been important. It's important to understand exactly what your customer expects, and to be able to communicate with them in their language on their playing field. Do you remember what was discussed?

 

EDIT: Not to imply that discussing your processes was unimportant. Buyers need to speak your language too, and the good ones do. But not all of them can, so it's important to flesh that out.

 

Congrats and good luck!

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Pop-ups are new to my area too, but seem to be getting popular. In my area, they are hosted in restaurants, bars, and office buildings. You (the artist) set up a temporary display for selling, usually just for a few hours. You capitalize on the business' established traffic, and they capitalize on you drawing attention (and some of your own fans) and giving the business some artsy cred. I've never done it, so I can't provide any insight on whether it's a worthwhile pursuit.  

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good luck lou, hope you do well.  i hate the term "pop up" because it was used to describe one of my favorite and lucrative sales venues for  years.  it has been going for 69 years as a craft fair, now it is a pop up because it now has a new, young manager.     how kindergarten can you get.

 

can females be curmugeons?

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I first heard the term "pop up" about 4 years ago.  It was used in reference to the restaurant business......Some of us thought it would be a fun way to bring attention to local art and host a community event.  We had 2 pop ups the first year, one last summer, and we are working on another one for June.  Old Lady is right....these events used to be called something else.  Not sure what it would have been around here......we do not have the history of long lived, long standing art fairs.  But we have "popped up" in a different, empty space each time.  Like many small towns, we have our share of empty buildings, that are for rent or sale.  It is a way to showcase that space and local art, including food, beverages, and music.  Our Pop Up Galleries are short term, Thursday evening, Friday late afternoon/evening, and Saturday daytime.  They are not HUGE sale events like a craft fair, but most everyone sells something and it brings attention art in our area.  Plus it's a fun event!  It has also been a way to bring our small art community together.  We have had to charge a small vendor fee in order to pay for advertising, etc.  I know these events have been gaining popularity in other countries as well as here in the U.S.  I think artists are trying to find a low cost way to market their work and to connect with others.  I have really enjoyed our pop ups here........and I think the community has as well!

 

Roberta

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that sounds like a great idea, roberta.  and a correct usage of a term that suggests a temporary rather than long term venue.  the fair i attended is the focus of the entire community for the entire year and covers acres of land, nothing pop-up about the planning and execution of this complicated event.   hundreds of vendors of multiple media, tens of food vendors, parking for thousands of cars, traffic signs out on the highways directing visitors.   not a sudden idea that just popped into someone's head.

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after some research   this is what i found out what she meant by "pop up"

 

set up space in or outside of boutique/shop  for part of day or two,  usually busiest day saturday.   invite my people/customer base (if  available).  shop will advertise event usually via social media.  Me/artist brings work  chats with customers about my art process, pottery.   sells work through store, the whole artist in store  creates "street cred,"  its meet the artist kind of thing.

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Can anyone give some sales stats to any popups they have done?

 

I get that they are good for exposure but are they also good for few hundred in sales. It's a lot of work to put up and take down a booth.

 

Do you usually have to give a percentage of 'table' fee to the hosting business?

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Here in our little part of the world, at our pop ups, we charge just enough to cover advertising.  We usually have to limit number of participants because of space considerations, and we have to limit number of pieces (which can be replaced upon sale) simply because we are going for more of a gallery look.  No commission is charged.  So $25 vendor fee, and we have a group that may have to clean the space (if it is empty) before and after.  On pottery, I usually average about $350.  But....set up is not as challenging as for a craft fair.....fewer pieces......someone else is cashier. It is more of a community event.   If you were going to be the only artist, and have a full set up,  the answers to Stephen's questions would be of utmost importance!

 

r.

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what commission do you pay the shop?

i havent done it yet.  but told each situation is different.  i did another one similar (didnt know it was (buzzword) pop up.  where i pocketed all.

 

Can anyone give some sales stats to any popups they have done?

 

I get that they are good for exposure but are they also good for few hundred in sales. It's a lot of work to put up and take down a booth.

 

Do you usually have to give a percentage of 'table' fee to the hosting business?

 

did a holiday sale @ cafe  with a handful of vendors,   left the night with just over $500  ( 4 hours) ....  but that was a "holiday exception",  one folding table one riser,   less than 1 hour set up, all cash...

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Ya know a few hundred to five is an OK range for something that is more filler and exposure than anything. Still in trying to make a living at this, when you can at least hit this range then its contributing and it makes the effort mean something. We are really working on our one day show setup to make it much easier.

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Pop-ups here are about peppercorn rent in unused shopfronts for a limited time while the building owners decide what their long term plans are. Good for artist with very, very cheap rent and good for building owner as the shop is not empty and vulnerable to vandals.  Not a long term option in central Sydney, 2 weeks -3 months usually, as our real estate turnover is fast but suburban ones in the artsy hip suburbs can last for 1-3 years.

 

Did 2 weeks with 4 others once 8 years ago right at Sydney Harbour international cruise liner wharf. Was a good sales run because of the transient tourist trade who were not going to return again and didn't have to think of luggage limits when they left. Our shopfront cost $200 all expenses, made $20K profit and was a great promotional tool as well for our local customers.

 

So my 5c worth is do it but pick the place that suits your business and products and not just the shop owners want for something unusual to show off to their customers.

 

 

Irene

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