EJR Beads

Author Topic: How are your sales doing?  (Read 12117 times)

ejralph

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How are your sales doing?
« on: November 29, 2011, 09:44:35 AM »
So, how is everyone's sales doing in the run up to Christmas this year?

I don't do fairs myself anymore (maybe I will again one day). But I am hearing lots of reports from customers who do that fairs are doing well this season - better than previous years. I've been told by several regular sellers at fairs / shows etc that people seem to be more appreciative of quality handmade goods this year.

Are you all finding the same? If so, I wonder what is creating the turn around?

Could it just be the natural cycle of things - crafts come into favour, go out of favour, come back into fashion etc? Or do you think more people are learning about crafts through TV shows, magazines featuring sites like Etsy etc in their shopping pages?

Or are you finding no upturn in customer awareness?

Would be fascinated to hear anyone's craft selling experiences this season.

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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Peter

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 10:22:58 AM »
Hi Emma

Has been variable to be honest, but as this is my first year I have nothing to compare it with.   :D :D

Did a couple last week, one was very lucrative (Ladies Golf Club Christmas Fair...all very posh so I put on my best voice!) and the other was a village market that I spent more at than I made (had to buy chutney, jam, a vegetable box to make soup and the cutest little knitted dog you have ever seen) although it has been good to me in the past few months. I only have a couple more to do before Christmas and my Good Lady Wife is doing a jewellery party next week but all things considered (we haven't done any major Fairs this year) it has been quite good.

Following on from what I said on one of the other posts. I do find that if I can engage with people and explain about Polymer Clay and the processes used in making my jewellery (everyone thinks that I paint the designs on!) then I do sell more stuff. Trouble is I am not brilliant at it and struggle to do the whole "selling myself" bit. (which is odd as I worked in retail for 20 years and could sell sand to a camel once!).

Anyway, on the whole, OK!   :D

Peter

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 10:30:48 AM »
Oooo...almost forgot.

The one demographic that has shown most interest in hand made stuff has definitely been ladies of the 30 - 60 age group. Very keen on hand made and mostly aware of how much time and artistry goes into creating. Those aged younger than that generally appear to show no interest unless it has a "label" on it or it was made by child slave labour in Asia and costs 1.00. I was discussing this with my nieces (aged 17 - 25) and they said none of their mates had any interest in going to a craft fair (although they themselves are happy to wear the freebies that their uncle makes for them!).

ejralph

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 10:40:25 AM »
That's really interesting.

You mentioned that the GLW is doing a jewellery party - so does that mean you both get involved in the selling? If so, have you noticed any difference in sales depending on who is selling?

I remember back when I did a lot of fairs - a couple of friends would come with us. Everytime me and my girlfriend let the boys in charge of the table, they would sell LOADS!

We came to the conclusion that ladies of a "certain age" will buy anything if it gives them a chance to stand chatting to leather-clad bikers in their twenties for a while  ;D

Naturally we made good use of this discovery and had them manning the stalls a lot more.

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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Jinx

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011, 10:48:02 AM »
As I'm all new at this, and haven't try to sell anything - haven't quit finnished anything for sales yet, need to be better at this craft, hope to be good enough for sale some day ::)

I can talk about the developement in DK, for handy craft.
In DK, knitting are rising, same with (the thing you do with one "nedle/pin" with a little hook at the end) Mostly people are making squares and put them togehter for blankets, scarfs and so on.

In DK we are going back to alot of DIY in the kitchen, like baking your own bread, making your own soup from scrats, using organic feedstock (is this the right word for organic weggies, and meat?)

I think it has to do with two things atleast here in DK.

1. we have had two tv shows - one with food, and she was a very "don't mess with me" type of lady, that was verry back to basic, used mostly organic stuff if possible, bake your own bread, make your own tomato sauce out of the "to many tomatoes" that you can't possible eat when they are ripe. Crush your own spices so they have most tastet.
The other show was a young mann, who bought a old (ruin) of a farm, and the tv show follow him doing as much farming, with hand and horse, how he raise, kill and make food out of livestick.
As he said, not go back to the stoneage but to live a more simple life.

2. I think in a very streessed time, and everyday life it signals surplus, and we are in control of our life and can do the sunday baking with the children and so on..
So I think these people is using handy craft and quality, to give this signals to the surroundings.

Trouble is I am not brilliant at it and struggle to do the whole "selling myself" bit. (which is odd as I worked in retail for 20 years and could sell sand to a camel once!).
For Peter, I think it's more difficult to give yourself the credit of art, than someone else - then someone else is to be the responsible, where when you are selling your self, I think we (maybe) are abit afraite of expose our self.
But every one in here have seen your work, and for my part you are a true artist - I love your work.

Jinnie
To many things to try and too little time!
http://www.amio.dk/butik/madebyjia/produkter

Peter

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 11:02:20 AM »
That's really interesting.

You mentioned that the GLW is doing a jewellery party - so does that mean you both get involved in the selling? If so, have you noticed any difference in sales depending on who is selling?



Emma

Yes, the GLW comes with me to every show. I am Registered Blind (although I still have some central vision) and need her to do the driving, show me where stuff is and help setting up. She is also good at selling but not so good at explaining how things are made so we work as a team on that. I mostly do standing about chatting to the ladies while she helps them try things on and picks up the things that I knock over!   :D

She also makes a great model for my things!

shelleym

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 03:33:12 PM »
So far this christmas season has been pretty dire for me. I have to admit I do far more shows in the summer anyway, and did better in the summer too. I do have other shows over several years to compare to. Last weekend for example I found that there were not so many people through the doors as on previous years. One couple I overheard sitting and discussing what they were going to go back and try and purchase and how much they were willing to pay for such things (item in question they said was 18, but they agreed they would not purchase unless they could get it for 10 or less!) I had many people going through my sale/reduced to clear box - which clears stock, but doesn't make me much in the way of money!

I agree with Peter that youngsters are not interested in crafts generally. They either want designer goods, or something for a quid! I also find that many many people are now making their own jewellery, and are often looking and asking questions to get their own ideas of making things, and have no intention of buying at all. At least with having a range of polymer clay and wire worked things it is different from the usual bought beads etc. I am seriously thinking of finding ways to run classes and teach it instead.

I would say I am definitely not having the volume of sales as I usually do at this time of year. Value of what they are spending per item is way down. This one show last weekend is usually one of my best of the year. This year it was about a 3rd of what I had taken 2-3 years ago - and the costs to do it have gone up. I doubt I will be doing it next year. Same goes for some of the other shows. I have had more luck at smaller venues and house parties than the bigger shows.

I probably need a nice strapping young leather clad male assistant!

I am also not good at really selling myself. But I am getting better at taking praise when someone says how beautiful something is, I can now say 'thank you', rather than feel embarassed!

Shelley



ejralph

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 03:59:17 PM »
I think in times of recession - two things get more popular. Firstly, nostalgia itself is big business, with vintage styling popular.

Also, the notion of "self sufficiency" and making things yourself seems to grow.

But the effect on people's sales seems to be mixed. As I mentioned, lots of my customers who regularly do the craft fair circuit are finding sales up on last year. With people having more of an appreciation for handmade maybe?

But obviously that is not the case for everyone selling. And the flip side to the coin is that maybe more people are making stuff themselves too.

I think the leather-clad young studmuffins might be the way to go Shelley!

So - with all these young kids wanting the designer goods. I hope you are explaining to them that your stuff is TRUE designer wear!

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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shelleym

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2011, 04:49:47 PM »


So - with all these young kids wanting the designer goods. I hope you are explaining to them that your stuff is TRUE designer wear!

Emma

Of course Emma!

I do still have my regulars that will come and buy from me and want to see what new things I've created . It's just I've noticed people being much more careful with their money (I am too, so I can't blame them).

Shelley

ilkidesigns

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2011, 08:45:36 PM »
I have just started doing a few Craft Fairs, all with the same organiser, and have found them all a bit dire.  Lots of people admire the designs, but generally only cheaper items sell.  Attendance has also been poor, a distinct lack of footfall.  I did do large fairs in the past, another life and another craft many years ago, and I based the estimates for sales on a greatly scaled down volume from then.  However, i failed to get near to my estimates.
I also have a home sale or party at this time of year and find this far more successful.  Like Shelley there are regulars, but they can only buy so much from you.
I have been thinking that there must be alternatives to reaching the right people but have failed to come up with a plan yet!
Todays news doesn't seem to indicate any change in economic circumstances for years.  On the plus side the more I look at the wonderful skill displayed by people on this site, the more I think I need to practice a whole lot more so that's what I will concentrate on!

Gail

fluff

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2011, 09:30:14 PM »
I've been doing the craft fair circuit here in Cumbria for 3 years now and I've noticed a steady decline in takings generally, not just me but all the crafters - I have a couple of venues which always net me great takings but I am knocking on the head some of the less lucrative ones - I value my time too much to stand around all day twiddling my thumbs for 50!

I am selling more on line now though - its a case of building up a good reputation and client base - many of my sales are now to previous purchasers - both on the findings and jewellery sides.

I must admit it really pee's me off when people come up to my stall and ask how this is made and that's  done and then say "oh I'm not buying but I want to start making jewllery myself - its an easy way to make money isnt it, anyone can do it"    GRRRRRRRR!!!!!

I dont know any studmuffins ....:-(( ::)

ejralph

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2011, 11:09:54 PM »
Faith, you could just keep a basket of kittens on the table. If that doesn't bring in the punters, I don't know what will!

I have to say - my pet hate too is people who ask how you make the stuff you sell. It's so rude! I always used to reply "well, if I told you, I'd have to kill you!" and that would shut them up!

I never forget the time another polymer clay bead seller on ebay messaged me literally DEMANDING I told her how to make a certain set of beads I had for sale "only in silver colour, not gold" as that is what "her customer wants".

My polite "shove it up your bum" messages didn't seem to reach her for some reason and she wrote an even snottier message to me saying she had reported me to ebay for not replying to her!

The sense of entitlement some people have is astounding.

Emma

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Jinx

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2011, 09:15:09 AM »
I get a little confuesed...  ???

I trouly understand that you get so, offended by these rude and small minded people..

We (the HB and I), have a IT Business, concentration on ERP (economy and production systems)  POS (Point of sales system), and we do see with our smaller cosutmer, that they had some cusin or the neighbors son, to try solve a problem, and when they mess everything up, and it stop working thy call us, and doesn't understand that this has a price (I mean this is what we are living from). And they are incline to have the same thought about our work - How difficult can it be - even though they can't fix it themselfs.

Now to the confusing stuff.. all in here seems happy to share knowledge, to eachother and to newbie's like my self.. I mean if you (someone) is realy going in to claying, you at some point have to sell of it. It would be impossible to use all these jewelry, even though you change more or less every day.

So it's my impression that you don't mind new sellers, but I understand you get annoyed over these rude people..

Jinnie
To many things to try and too little time!
http://www.amio.dk/butik/madebyjia/produkter

noani

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2011, 09:25:34 AM »
I've done some christmas markets the past weekends....it didn't go that good! Oh, lots of admierers and how do you make this! It's a tricky thing to balance telling the effort I put in a piece and not telling  how it's done, but I too have lots of people just wanting to know so that they can make it themself.
When you think of the time I put in making the jewelry, standing hours selling them and the cost for the stand...well I'm practically giving it away! So I've been a little disapointed. The design and craft fair I did in september went really well and I think I should keep to places like that, the word design gives a better feeling  than christmas market and the customers are a different kind . At the cristmas markets there where lot of people selling homemade things REALLY cheap  ???
But I sold some of my big expensive necklaces!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 10:04:26 AM by noani »

noani

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Re: How are your sales doing?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2011, 10:22:33 AM »
You got a point Jinnie! We are a sharing community we clayers and I wouldn't have learned what I know today if it wasn't for the internet and all the generous clayers sharing there knowledge. I can't really tell why the ones asking all the "how are this made" questions  for making it themselfes makes me a little upset and drained? Perhaps because  I think they should go through all the try and error faces I've done and not slide in directly!Not knowing in minutes what took me hours to learn. But then again, you can't slide in ....... Practise is the way!
I should be happy to share and get more people to discover this wonderful medium.......