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Mark C.

Pottery Sales - strange days

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I have gotten lots of 1-2 and 3-4 mug orders all over the country -they come in near daly now-its starting to wear on me-I usually take some mugs (once I know what size they want -as i make 5 sizes) and put them on a white piece of paper and label the paper with numbers-send them a photo and they pick from there. (my colors are all differen).Little did I know this would be new thing?mugs to Montana -mugs to Utah etc ect

I'm close to turning this over to one of my gallierys as they do online heavy right now.

I'm not a ones twosy potter-I can do it for a limited time as it takes to much time.

In the course of a year I get these orders but never in this volume of a daily request  like now-they all seem to wonder how to pay and how it all works

its taking time away from what I need to be doing.

Yesterday I dropped off pots to all 4 of my super  markets as they are moving product steady now as business is picking up

My best selling Gallery now can acomadate 3 customers in her store at a time now.-last month she sold about 1k of pottery-not terrible considering she was closed except for curbside pickup and online

 

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yeah it does not take much back and forth to take the profit right out of it does it. Cool though that your customers are missing you at the shows and want your mugs enough to jump through some hoops. They could go to dozens of ecom stores by great potters and buy mugs with a lot less hassle but they want yours.. 

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Business is picking up at all 6 food outlets as well-just took in 6 boxes of pots to two of my bagel shops

The reason they want my stuff is all about a large customer base built for many many decades.

Its also about the pieces they use daily and want more if broken. You know your favorite cup deal-its really big in this world.

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There’s ways to do it more efficiently. Farming it out to a gallery is definitely an option. Building some systems and placing some limits on it is another: define clearly what you are and aren’t willing to do is important to keeping your time respected. Batching your shipping so you’re only doing it once a week is a perfectly acceptable business practice. If you want  (key words there) to make these things available to your customers, be prepared and do it properly. Take images of the 24 mugs (or whatever) that you made for online sales as soon as they’re out of the kiln. Leave them in an area with your packing supplies so you’re not running all over the place trying to find the right thing. Put the photos somewhere your customers will look (email, social media, poster on a fence post, whatever). Let them make their choices. Document all the orders as they come in, and process the money as they purchase. Charge flat rate shipping so that it’s easy and fast to quote. If they get overcharged a dollar or two, consider that a service fee to you. Do the packing and the shipping on the designated day so it’s not taking up so much time. We are creative thinkers here. There are ways to solve the problem.

 

If you don’t want to do any of this, then don’t! You’re the boss. Getting to make the rules is one of the job perks of being self employed. 

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