Monday, 10 December 2012

Let's talk about selling

I may have used this picture before... still love it. Carluccio's  Christmassy boxes of panettone.
When you make things to sell you want to get a fair price for them. You want people to know that you and your products exist. And you want to be able to justify doing what you love - making things - to your nearest and dearest when sometimes you are not earning much money.

Before the shop my most successful time financially was when I had an agent selling my products for me. She won me really big orders but on the downside I then had to make hundreds of the same items which made me feel like a machine but at the time it seemed worthwhile.

Customers regularly say things like,'Of course you can't charge for the time it takes to make things.' There seems to be a misconception out there that makers don't need to make money!! Certainly there are hundreds of talented people who are forced to stop doing what they really want to do - make things - to work full time for someone else in order to make a reliable income. It's a shame. I've talked before about high prices for stands at the big fairs. If fairs want to show off the handmade in the UK products the customer is looking for they have to help good designer/makers by offering them cheap/free stands.

What about selling online? If you have hundreds of pounds you are willing to invest join one of the big operations that market your products for you. Your work will then be seen by more people than if you set up your own website but don't know how to enable enough people to find it. The exception is who charge very little for displaying and selling your items but because it's good you are competing with zillions of other would-be-sellers on the site. It's a bit of a Catch 22 and I'd like to offer some solid advice here but I guess I'm still trying to work out the answers myself... 

No comments: