I’m a bad person! I try and sell things at a reasonable price, but then I like being nice to people and I often haggle myself down on prices! It’s like I’m at a car boot not a craft fair. Help! But I can’t employ someone. Got to do it for myself…
I think everyone should have the opportunity to have art if they want it, and forget that people have to make a living out of it. I will not be winning business woman of the year…
While I was stall sitting I did a quick sketch of people around a stall across the way from me. There are some lovely things for sale. On the whole I’m enjoying myself.
6 thoughts on “Don’t undersell?”
I know what you mean. I’m selling my notecards right now at cost just because I had a ton of them and they needed to go somewhere. Finding the right price point is tricky — where I live people don’t have a lot of money and $10 for notecards isn’t going to sell the notecards. $5 is working and I need the money… Nice sketch!
Thanks Martha. I sold slightly cheap but friends came and bought so I did better than I expected. The next fair is in Spring, that might not go as well as people won’t be buying Christmas presents.
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I think both of you are right, in today’s tough market. I have been in the field of art – mixed media and fiber arts – for a long time now and I have watched who sells the most things. I think both of you are thinking on the right track. You both need operating money and you understand the economy. The economy is tough right now, even with Christmas ahead, so we have to think in a different way. I have been to some big art fairs, and what I always pay attention to is the way the artists present themselves. Laguna Beach has a huge art show every year with booths throughout the whole area. I walk through. A lot of the artists are just sitting talking to a friend or relative, some have left their booths altogether (where they have their art hanging on the walls), or sitting reading books or talking on cell phones. Hardly a good thing for a sales approach. One gentleman had a huge audience, and I walked over to his booth and watched for awhile. He had cards with Japanese inscriptions on them, and he was holding the audience spellbound talking about how his father had made the inscriptions originally and what they meant, and how each of them related to some story about ancient Japan. He used his hands a lot to illustrate things in such a way that you had to keep watching him. I had not any intention of buying anything from him, but after listening to him talk for about 10 minutes or so, I decided I had to buy one of those cards, and I did just that.
So you are doing the right things – finding a price at which you CAN sell, and also, start a little higher and allow the folks to bargain down. If they start to walk away, ask them what they WOULD consider a price they might pay. Now if you are selling paintings or sketches, etc. and a potential buyer seems to be hesitating, you might ask them whether they are trying to determine whether it would work in their home, offer to bring it out to allow them to see it in context. Bring some others too so that if that one doesn’t work, something perhaps of those colors, etc. might work. The other thing you can do with your artwork is to let them pay say, three payments and it will be delivered at the end of that time. As for the cards, you can sell them a little higher than you are and tell folks that a certain percentage of each sale will benefit (think of a good charity you would like to support and in fact do just that). Keep a sign on the table in your booth notice that X% of each sale will benefit that charity. Pet rescue places, children’s cancer facilities, and veterans’ causes are all good to help people feel like buying to support those causes. You can also show how much has been raised previously toward the cause, and have the note say something like “Help us reach 100% with your contribution. Most people will be glad to help a good cause. You won’t be doing anything that is a lie; but it might help your art to sell better. Good luck with it. This is a tough market so don’t get discouraged. Watch how others who seem to be selling are doing and see if any of the things they are doing might work for you. Good luck, and don’t give up no matter what!
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What a very interesting and thoughtful response. Very helpful. I appreciate your comment very much. Thank you xx
You are most welcome. I had a nonprofit for years to assist physically challenged fiber artists with getting good exposure for their work and teaching them professional development, and I have been involved with creating exhibits, selling of work, etc. for a number of years, and these are just things I have picked up along the way. Always glad to help out. Peace and blessings, Anne
Best wishes and thanks x