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Mark C.

Lockdown Gallery still has online sales-free delivery locally

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One of my galleries is retooling thier website presence as sales are still happening. I'm making a drop off next week (10 boxes from a order from early March)

She has lots of time to work on web photos and a new web site now.She is working about 2/3 time now doing this.

She is pretty creative and is offering free delivery to our local area and its be a way to keep some $$ coming in.Its also like Mea's sale idea and that is not having to Pack up and ship the work. Easier to drop it off  locally as most folks are home now anyway. We had a long talk about the situation and she was planning on this model to continue thru August at least in our state.( we seem to be a little more science driven here in Cal. than other states elsewhere). I suggested when she gets to reopen a circlular flow in her shop  would work well to keep the distance working which she thought was a good idea (its a cashiers in middle of shop so that flow works good already .

Pottery is still her best seller and mugs top that list as well (who knew they would sell best someone once said)

Its a matter of how to shift your thinking now as the public still wants the goods-With Mothers day coming up she is doing ads on radio and print

So if you are trying to sell work its still possible its more about retooling the old way into a new thought process.

Sure sales are not like they used to be but heck that statement will be the new norm for a long time.

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Every business that can in my area has gone online and is offering either local delivery or curbside pickup, not just the potters or other art fair regulars. I'm getting a few orders a week through my website every week, and I've come up with a bit of a routine for deliveries and post office dropoffs. I've marked things up a bit so that post is included, so currently I'm refunding part of that if I'm delivering. For clarity, my shipping costs for a single mug or similar sized item including tax, packing materials, etc is an extra $20 CAD. If I deliver the item myself, I keep $10 and refund the rest. If people order more than one item, I refund the overages. My Weebly website doesn't have a good option to try and avoid this, so I'm looking into how I can configure things on Shopify. If this is the new normal, website fees will replace show fees, and are in fact less money, so I think this is a reasonable business expense. I even have a spiffy fabric delivery mask to reassure people I'm not spreading germs. (I know it won't protect me.) I sanitize the pots in the dishwasher before I pack them, and have included a back side to my usual care card states this so my customers feel reassured. There's a mildly absurd feeling that I'm plaing ding dong dash with pottery when I do deliveries, but it seems to be working so far.

 

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22 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

If this is the new normal, website fees will replace show fees, and are in fact less money, so I think this is a reasonable business expense.

Yes I think this is a reasonable cost in the short term, but not permanently. I mentioned in my blog post about my "home delivery" sale that this approach is missing the opportunity to meet NEW customers. Shows are where that happens. I would like to get back to shows when it's possible. The cost of a booth fee is worth the potential new customers. 

I used a Square online store for my recent event. I know Square and Weebly are the same company now, but you can still build an online store on the squareup.com website that is separate from your Weebly site. The Square store allows you to create different shipping rates for the customer. They could choose the $20 shipping, or the $10 delivery. This would save you the step of refunding. I wonder if you could do this in your Weebly store too. (I would think yes, given that they are the same platform, but I could be wrong.)

The Square store also solved the problem I was having with BigCartel, which would allow multiple people to buy one item, due to slow payment processing. With the Square store, once a person finishes paying for an item, the item automatically became unavailable, even if it was already in somebody else's cart.

Edited by GEP

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I did an experiment 2 years ago, trying to prove Etsy was out to lunch when they said burying the shipping costs in the product price and offering “free” shipping would up your sales. I was absolutely sure no one would pay $60 for a mug, I made, free shipping or not, and I was set on proving it. I set up some listings with hidden shipping ($60 total) and some with added shipping (more accurate shipping rates added to the $40 mug cost). The “free” shipping won every. Single. Time. 

People don’t like extra charges as it turns out, so I’ve been in the habit of incorporating everything ever since. It’s made a huge difference in my online sales.  
 

What I might do is build a coupon code that takes some of the amount off for delivery, or all of it if they choose contactless pickup. People like discounts.
 

In terms of getting in front of new audiences, I think that this is where a social media funnel that directs people towards your mailing list comes in. I’ve been using social media more as a tool to stay in touch with my community than as a sales avenue, but I’m beginning to change that now, and while it’s early, I’m having some small successes. I will not claim to have all the answers on the subject, but it looks promising so far. 

Closures have been extended in Canada rather than eased, so I won’t have access to large shows for quite some time. They cancelled the Calgary Stampede for the first time in its almost 100 year history. At this point, I think expecting any kind of in person Christmas season is optimistic, and if they go ahead, they won’t be as well attended as in years past. Which means I have to do my own marketing rather than having show promoters do it for me. Perhaps if I can get things going online at a reasonable clip, I can hire a VA to take care of some of the social media and customer service  things so I can make more pots. That part is a ways off yet though. 

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Made a small 12 box delivery to that lock downed  gallery in Eureka  today in my small toyo truck. They needed mugs and glasses as they are selling them online.

I filled 90% of the order I got 1st week of March so I do not have to worry about it when the days comes they reopen.

Small stuff is selling well at the markets now as well.Especially sponge holders

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I am in the process of building my online shop today.  I am slow, as it is a learning curve for me, but it is coming along.  Took photos yesterday and this first shop will be for locals (MSDFHDPS @GEP )targeting Mother's day sales since I usually organize a sale this time of the year.  After that I will assess and go from there as far as future online sales.  

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@Roberta12 heads up! I spent a bunch of time on the phone yesterday with Square and Weebly. If you add a shop to your existing weebly site, open it through the Square side, not the Weebly side. They’re almost the same, but the packages they offer are much more favourable if you come in from Square. (Better shipping options, MUCH better financial reporting). I got grandfathered in to an older version because I came at it from the Weebly side and now I have a bunch of work to do over. 

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1 hour ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

@Roberta12 heads up! I spent a bunch of time on the phone yesterday with Square and Weebly. If you add a shop to your existing weebly site, open it through the Square side, not the Weebly side. They’re almost the same, but the packages they offer are much more favourable if you come in from Square. (Better shipping options, MUCH better financial reporting). I got grandfathered in to an older version because I came at it from the Weebly side and now I have a bunch of work to do over. 

Yep, that's what I am doing.  I have taken payment through square for several years and have been pleased with ease of use and their analytics.  Once I figured out the squareonline store was simply part of my "dashboard" through Square, I started working on it.  @GEP sales site looked clean and easy and  it's been fairly straightforward.  It has taken a bit of time to edit photos and write up descriptions, but not too much, really.  I can do this AND make sourdough bread at the same time!  :D

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