WRITE TO ME! firstname.lastname@example.org Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
"much too expensive" vs. "you don't charge enough"
When I wholesale, I usually say "why don't I bring you some stuff, choose what you want for the store, I'll tell you suggested retail price that I would sell it for, and I'll give you a break on price".
I am not a factory in China, and I am not a penniless pottery machine. Generally, if I make it, it sells! I am very fortunate about how my life and my business works out. And I am sure as heck not desperate to make piles of quick sellers.
A month ago I was contacted by a stranger in Connecticut who said she had a store and wanted 10 identical frog mugs wholesale by the next week. She said she would pay a little for shipping. I got the feeling she wanted them DEAD CHEAP. And I make something different everyday and did not have ten of those mugs (and was not in the mood to make them...that is ME: I make what I am in the mood to make).
I responded with a fair discount price and a fair shipping price and said they could be ready in 2 weeks, and never heard back. Lesson number one in retail: lay out the pricing and timing right away so nobody is surprised.
I thought that was stinkin' RUDE. She contacts me out of the blue, I respond politely and NEVER get a reply. I figured she wasn't interested, but followed up a month later with a polite "hope you got my message and thanks for writing!". She tells me "Oh, I got your message. MUCH TOO EXPENSIVE". That was it, she heaped rude on rude! I was tempted to write back explaining my prices and terms were reasonable, and what does she expect? And that she is a stinking witch. Of course I did not do that, instead I decided to blog it! Of course.
OK, but here is the kicker. I charge 19-20 bucks retail for a mug. As a shopper, I think that is PLENTY of money for a mug. People ask how long it takes to make a mug. I have added it all up, from throwing to finishing, to glazing...to schlepping clay home, going to the post office and the craft fair...whatever. Let's call it about a half hour to 2 hours make and sell a mug. (the throwing part? 1.5 minutes---I am fast with that part, but that is just one part of the process)
SO, the same exact morning I get that stinker "MUCH TOO EXPENSIVE" I am selling a mug online to a potter who lives near that shop. By coincidence. And they do not know each other or about my conversations. And this potter, what does she tell me?
"You don't charge enough for your pottery". She is a sweetiepie, and that message came at exactly the right moment.
Hey, go on over and find some not expensive enough pottery at my etsy shoppe, with many new items!
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