| 07/10 2007 Newsletter
How To Make MORE Profit as an Artist, Crafter, or Merchant
Site Newsletter - Release Date: 07/10 2007
The Event Advertising summaries are done in a 10 page, a 3 page, a 2 page, and a 1 page version. The shorter ones are perfect for Artists and Crafters to send with their applications to any events they apply to! Print online today! A 5 cent print-out might make you and hundreds of other exhibitors hundreds of dollars more. The power of information!
1 Page Version - http://www.craftlister.com/craft_experts/articles/read.php?ID=56
2 Page Version - http://www.craftlister.com/craft_experts/articles/read.php?ID=55
3 Page Version - http://www.craftlister.com/craft_experts/articles/read.php?ID=54
10 Page Version - http://www.craftlister.com/craft_experts/articles/read.php?ID=53
How To Make MORE Profit as an Artist, Crafter, or Merchant:
Profit = Number Sold x ( Price Per Unit - Supplies Cost & Time Cost Per Unit ) - Business Expenses
4 indirect methods exist to maximize this equation:
Sell More Units
Sell Same Units for a Higher Price
Produce Units at a Lower Cost
Reduce incidental costs and Sell more without increasing them
Create a Customer Base - then repeatedly market and sell to it. Include a re-order form in every bag or package!
Start a Mailing List - collect names at shows and elsewhere and market to it! Send special offers, coupons, hot specials, upcoming show locations, etc.! Include a few repeat-customer specials with each mailing, engender customer loyalty!
Home Gift Parties - Customers throw home parties where you show your wares to their friends and the host gets a discount on your items based on total orders placed at the party.
Create a Distribution Chain!
Crafter / Artist Representatives - They are out there! They take on multiple artists as clients, then market your products to stores, large and small.
Craft malls, crafter collectives, galleries
Approach stores, gift shops, etc. and ask them to carry your local, hand-made product. - It may take time to find even one, but then you have more opportunities for sales even on weekends with no shows!
Trade table space with other Artists - if you make purses, match up with some purse accessories - straps, charms
Sales Force - Get helpers so you can do more shows or target more stores. If your time is best spent creating, you should pawn off some sales activities to those that are experts in sales.
Seek out wholesale opportunities by placing a flyer about such in every sale bag. Actively contact and visit any possible gift shops, boutiques, etc. that might carry your \'line\'. I know of many artists that have found a handful of shops that resell their goods.
Do Wholesale Shows, Crafter Clearance and Cash & Carry Markets
Offer drop shipping
QVC & Wholesale Buyers - if you can produce many identical es quickly and cheaply, ask for a sitting with any large store\'s buyer!
Web Store - create one today! 24/7 sales opportunities. Hassle-free order taking. Customer expected. b>Get online if not!, it\'s a store that never closes & that your repeats can always find! FYI: You are given a free web page and store here at CraftLister.com when you pick a UserName online. No fees! Free!
Seek Out Unique Selling Opportunities that Others are Passing Up!
Fund Raisers - Send letters to local organizations offering your goods for use in their fund raiser. Offer reduced price so they can mark up enough.
Local Business Professionals - as gifts to clients - local made crafts or art makes a great gift and usually is cheaper than a fruit box!
Corporate Vendor Shows - some promoters arrange these, other large corporate buildings or hospitals will arrange themselves for a local crafter to set up in the lobby, hallway, etc. for a few hours during lunch. Etc. Call companies and ask if you can sell there! Often, there is no spot fee even, but you might be asked to reduce your prices slightly as a courtesy to the employees.
Coupons! - It\'s hard to pass up a discount! Give a coupon to each purchaser enabling them or anyone in their party they give it to to get some thing for 20% less, etc.
Booth Presence, Salesmanship
Don\'t hover, or be perched too close to customers; add a barrier and distance between where you sit and where the customer walks. You should pop out into the booth if they do ask for help or if they appear to be of the friendly nature where it might even be expected by them. But remember, no customer will ever not come in your booth because you are not on top of them as soon as you see them; however, there are MANY customers will NOT even look at your booth or items as they pass if you are standing center booth, eying all passers and shoppers!
Do NOT ask if they need help!!!! Do NOT tell them to let you know if they do need help. They already understand this and most do not appreciate such remarks. Ask were they got their sandwich and how it is, or anything else of a personal nature to start a relationship with them, if you must say something more than \'Hello!\'. Ask if they know any good restaurants you could hit up after the show. I love that ...., it looks hand-made; what show did you buy it at? What other shows do they know of in the area that might be good hunting grounds for you...
Customers that want your undivided attention because they have no one else to talk to will let you know! They will approach YOU and then ask all sorts of stupid questions and talk with you all day long if you don\'t actively get rid of them; this is where you can excuse yourself to straighten up or help another needy customer. Oh, your neighbor looks like they might need you as a relief booth-sitter?
Learn to read body language and you WILL sell more of your work!!! - Only smile or say hello at the most until the customer says anything other than a hello greeting response!!! I can\'t count the number of booths I\'ve left because I was continually \'harassed\' with niceties even though I never so much looked at or smiled at the vendor, and maintained a corresponding body posture and browsing demeanor, clearly showing I was a customer and was looking at what they had that did not want to chit chat.
Crossed Arms - they feel they need to protect themselves from you
Hands in Pockets or Behind Back - they do not want to be seen as potential buyer yet and do not need help as they are \'just browsing\'
Eye Contact Avoidance - they do not want to acknowledge that you see them and now need to say hi
Smile - they only want to smile, not say hello or hear how you as the booth owner could help them
Torso facing direction - if they are pointing away from you as you talk, they signaling their intention to run at first opportunity
Shoulders Hunched, head Down - they want to keep to themselves
Disarm the husband - Often his pushing makes or takes the sale. He pushes her on with \'why don\'t you pick out something for...\' or he pushes her on to further their booth march. Often occupying HIM with chit chat, questions, plain old BS, etc. will make the sale. He might simply not urge here to leave the booth by his non-attending to her, but there are many times that after the game of \'so where are you from\', and others that he will not only approve of her pick-out but even suggests she buy MORE with a \'why don\'t you pick out a matching... too?\'
Encourage touch and try on! - Feature SEVERAL prominent mirrors. Don\'t have items behind glass! Too neat of a display and some folks will fear touching, slightly shopped is best!
Image, Appearance, and Branding.
Improve your display and thereby image. You should look presentable too. Appearance is the name of the game here folks.
Make Clear that your Items are Hand-Made by YOU ( IF they Are...) This MUST include a SIGN, a PHOTO ALBUM of your shop, and your VERBALLY STATING it to customers you do talk to as in \'we do make everything ourselves, so I can answer anything\' . Everyone with such a sign and album has told me it DOES INCREASE SALES. It has also been said that product price tags that say \'HAND-MADE By ...\' increase sales and even that folks will then later seek out your name if they see the tag - branding!.
Product Diversity, Quality, etc.
BE NECESSARY! - do you have \'functional\', necessary items, that folks buy anyway? Repeatedly or even regularly?? Do you offer easy reorder, contact, and \'find us again at shows\' methods?
Sell something Different or at least Better; stand out! State on a sign why yours is better. People love to be informed and have a better product that they understand and can relate the superiorities of.
Keep up with fads, and colors; also your own sales trends! Photograph old best seller designs
Adjust your product line and prices. Drop your least profitable items after calculating profit on each multiplied by the number sold per year, then diversify and improve upon the types of items you made the most on. Any items that sold faster than you could stock a few, should be raised in price!
A product for every price should be your goal. If you don\'t have an expensive item, you can\'t sell an expensive item.
Packaging - Offer some units in a new types of packaging and see how it affects sales! Folks love gift boxes, little jars, anything they think they can re-use.... especially for gift packaging/wrapping.
Show & Event Selection
Raise your show standards and drop the lowest quarter or so of your shows and try new ones each year.
Ask vendors where they do well and ask customers where they go that they think are great shows! Often customers will ask, \'do you do ...?\' This is their telling you that \'....\' is possibly another great show in that area. Ask them more about it! Write the info about it down and then investigate further!
General Advice To Increase Sales
Quantity & prices Vs. show prices and your options
Consider that you might be ready for the next level of show where you may pay more for a booth, but where you will have many more people make purchases and where you can ask a higher price per work, and receive it with smiles!
Clearly post Prices; sometimes the same item with a higher price actually sell BETTER! Also, all shows are NOT the same, prices should not be either.
Charge tax as added, not included. Add tax onto even dollar priced items. $5 sells as well as $4.95. Since you must pay the sales tax anyway, you might as well not have it come out of your product price and your profit.
Production & Manufacturing Business Advice
Bulk - Assembly line production - Reduce the time needed to produce a unit. Your production time is your most valuable! Make it more productive. If you make 10 items at once, but finish them in later stages differently as appropriate, your time for each will be much reduced that if you had only made one. As artists we must maintain uniqueness, but to compete with bulk crap from china, we must also ourselves produce in bulk - but with quality. There will always be a market for true one-of-a-kinds, but even then, other supplies and prep steps can be production lined so you do many items at each stage on many at a time rather that each item all the way through at a time. As craftsmen we have the obligation to be resourceful and fruitful, productive manufacturers of the goods we are experts at producing. From those that much is given, much is expected in return.
Create your own tools, devices, jigs, clamps, patterns, templates, etc. to help you do your repetitive work faster and more accurately. Have someone help you construct it once you conceive of it, heck it might be sold online already!
Experiment with new production methods and designs. Tinker, Play, and have Fun! Consider that changing an existing design in some small way may not affect sales and might half your production time for it.
Keep up with industry techniques, tools, knowledge, alternate supplies, etc.
Buy Supplies in Bulk - Ask for 20% off if you order $1,000 at once. Seek out cheaper sources for your most costly components. Review your suppliers and sources. If you are buying thousands of dollars of anything, make sure you are getting the largest volume discount available, find out what is necessary to qualify for more.
Shop around for new possible suppliers each year! Prices are never stable and there are almost always deals to find. Buy surplus, with friends in group-buys, only when on sale, off-season, in-person to reduce defective/damaged supplies that otherwise are a loss, etc.
Finally and MOST IMPORTANTLY - Think BIG! You will unlikely see much more, let alone many times, your current yearly profit unless you do better shows and sell more and make more profit on each item and sell more items per sale and.... It takes allot to make a lot. Book larger, better shows, and ask more for your quality products. The top customers are still to be had and still even travel in packs! They also maintain artist loyalty and repeat their purchases year after year whenever they can find the vendor.
Artists & Crafters: What other sales methods do you find success with? How can CraftLister.com help serve you in those areas?
I\'ve heard a few times from what seem like authoritative sources that artists and crafters make about half their revenue at shows. Where then the other half? Most folks I know make 100% or 90% at shows, and the few that I know of who do make more elsewhere than at shows would hardly seem to make up the difference, unless you start to consider high priced fine art that sells in a gallery or by artist reputation. Could that be the offset?
Any advice that you would like to share on this topic, Please send via the Online Customer Service Interface:
|Promoter Add On:
The offer for free upgrades and other help, such as in the form of mailing labels, is still open, and always will be. If you are the promoter of an event that is struggling to maintain size or quality, please let me know using the Online customer service interface:
|Vendor Add On:
|P or V Add On:
|V NON-Member Add On:
|Member Add On:
|P w/ No Listings Add On: