Sunday 23 October 2011

New items and a plea for advice!

Some new items listed in le shop...interspersed with a little post-craft show chat. 

So, today I was at a local-ish to me craft fair. I'm just starting to post the odd thing on facebook, so some of you may know this already. (Not a facebook fan. Not entirely sure why, apart from that it feels very Big Brother-y to me...but I'm doing my best to be brave though!)I did this same fair last month and it wasn't one of my most successful, and last month was especially quiet. I'm told this was the curse of September...not sure if it strikes everywhere though ;-)

It's a great venue in terms of space - an old, historic covered market, right in a town centre. I just have a feeling it may be the wrong venue for my jewellery. A lot of other jewellery sellers (although mine is generally pretty different from other jewellery - art beads/antique copper and brass etc just aren't anywhere near as big over here in the UK as they are in the US, by all accounts) and quite a few selling little, quite sweet pieces but much simpler than mine and much cheaper. And not just the jewellery - a lot of the stalls had generally much lower price points than me. 

Now, I must say, I don't think my jewellery is that expensive. I have tried to put my prices up in the last year, and especially since starting the craft fairs, but I still think that if I ever sold wholesale I'd be a bit buggered trying to make any money and, in fact, not losing money(!), with my prices as they are! Which is fine for the moment (because I'm not) but my point is that in the context of today's fair, I was expensive. Does anyone have any advice for this type of situation? Just give up with this market? Lower my prices (I'm loathe to do this)? Have different stock for these types of markets and purposefully create items that can be sold for less money? I generally have items available for between £4 (some hair grips) and £30. And actually, when I come to think of it, the few things that I did sell today were not at the cheaper end of the scale. I just didn't sell very many!

I've only just jumped into this craft market malarky, and (I'm sure this must be the same in the states) the more established ones are notoriously hard to get a slot at, especially for jewellery sellers. So I don't want to jump ship unless that's really the best option.....any seasoned craft fair-ers out there; if you have any advice, it will be most gratefully received! I took a few shots of my table today; once I've uploaded them onto the computer tomorrow, I'll maybe share them here too. 

If you're still reading, thanks for making it this far in my post! Hopefully it's not too whiney. Today wasn't a bad day and I met some lovely people, it's just whether it's worth it, for only a handful of sales, when I could still be in bed (as one really should be!) at 10am on a Sunday morning....!

Hope you have all had a fab weekend :-) x x x


My Life Under the Bus said...

Maybe you need a different venue - I certainly think your jewelry is lovely! I made a bunch of cheaper things for our show thinking if I had them and people wanted to buy something at least there was a 20.00 necklace option - small charm necklaces and lockets. While mostly things under 50.00 sold - I did sell a few above too. We were lucky in that the venue was in a town that is pretty high end so I am sure comparatively we were inexpensive! Maybe you need a younger hipper venue?

TesoriTrovati said...

Always know your audience. If they aren't into the big things, have the smaller handy. But I always have a lot of different price points. You just never know if that pricey item they see will be the one they buy or something they might aspire to. It is a fickle thing, art sales. I only do one and this year it was all about the 'treasure chest' that I have with reduced prices. Economy perhaps and the fact that the ticket price was $25 just to get in! (I argue with them all the time). I have quite different stock at the gallery where I exhibit and the art center for the holidays and Etsy. Again it comes back to knowing your audience. And sometimes it takes time to build up that following so next time that person who passed you by will be ready!

Enjoy the day, Miss Rebecca!

Moobie Grace said...

I second guess my pricing at every show!! Unfortunately, I'm in an area that is typically not very "well off" and to be honest, anything over $40 you can forget about people buying around here...

Barbara Lewis said...

I agree with the "knowing your audience" advice. But even if you don't know your audience, a lot of people will buy on price alone. If the show is convenient to you and you like doing it (even though you haven't sold much) maybe you could bring some lower priced things ... some things with a younger vibe that would be for gifts for teens and 20-somethings. It's always good, though, to show your range. If you're going to show "art jewelry" make sure you come to the show a few times. Sometimes it takes a customer a few viewings before they can part with their money for something on the more expensive side. I'd walk around and see what's selling with others and decide whether you can adapt to the show or not. :-) Good luck! Your work is lovely so be careful not to think it's about you!

Barbara said...

I have to agree with Barbara and is important to know your audience. Do the other jewelry artists seem to be selling? If so, and there jewelry is much different than yours, it may not be the right venue for you.

However, if you like the venue and you think it has potential, then perhaps you are able to wait it out a bit if you are able to cover your expenses. Sometimes, things need some time to get moving and since you jewelry is so different from the others, your presence might inspire others to join in and change the feel of the market altogether...but that's a big gamble.

I don't think you should ever lower your prices...but maybe play a bit with the items you display. Develop several types which you can retail for a smaller price point and see how they do. I also agree that you never know what is going to sell so always make sure you have a nice range from inexpensive to your showstoppers...and I think it is always good to engage the customer and speak to them about your work. One of the things that I find makes for good sales is customers learning more about you and your work and what sets your work apart from the fray. :)

It's such a hassle though, finding the right shows and spending the time, money, and resources to find the perfect show. I think that's why you'll find many artists, like Erin and myself, really limit our shows.

Anonymous said...

Pricing! I hate it and always err on the side of caution (to Oli's annoyance) but then you get sharp intakes of breath upon picking up a price tag! In the sewing world I think young folk are so used to Primark prices, and the grannies just think, 'pff! I could make that!' Jewellery... a whole other kettle of fish! (Erm, sorry, that was beyond unhelpful!)


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