slest12+@PITT.EDU on fri 9 feb 01
On the flip side, how kosher is it to *raise* your prices during a sale?
Last summer I was running out of mugs during a street fair, so I bumped the
price up a couple of bucks. I figured, well, supply is low and demand is
high... why not give it a shot? This particular event was a dog in terms
of overall sales (and boy was I tempted to slash prices so I wouldn't have
to pack everthing and drag it home!), but the very lowest of low end items
were moving - mugs and cereal bowls. There was one lady who'd been by a
whole bunch of times admiring two particular mugs, and when she came back
for the umpteenth time and saw they were now $14 instead of $12, she was
miffed. I smiled and shrugged. I didn't sell those two mugs that
particular day, but someone else scarfed them up at the higher price at the
Paul Taylor on sun 11 feb 01
I think you are free to charge what you like because it is you who will
face the consequences of your actions. (well maybe not you alone - we have
some community left and your actions do reflect on us all) again the balance
is hard work .
I would have sold the mugs to the lady at the lower price because I
would have felt that the good will would have furthered my business more
than the four dollars. Since to my mind she is now a good customer who
valued the work. I imagine that she went the extra mile on her expenses to
buy the extra two mugs .
Or have I got it wrong. You underpriced - then she having realized this -
was coming back for more.
I am not a good judge of such things. I noticed that with customers my
feelings can not be trusted. It is so easy to loose good customers by
mistaking fear for hostility so I err on the generous side with my time -
and give deductions after the sale has been made according to time of year
and amount bought - I am in the wilds so I have to make peoples journey here
a pleasant one.
I have a sign in my show room - discreet but clear -that asks my
customers not to bargain. It works very well. I explain in the note that the
prices are as low as possible and that I feel bargaining discriminates
against some customers, like the non assertive . I will send you the exact
wording if you want, but I am not going down to the show room in the gale
that is trying to remove the roof at this moment , and I feel that you would
need to use words that would suit your sales approach. I have put pots back
on the shelf rather than bargain - my best day.
However I would have sold the lady at the price she was quoted the day
before, since she had made a purchase. I would have extracted the promise
from the her that she would not tell anybody that the price was lowered for
This makes the customer feel that she has received special consideration.
This could very quickly move the customer up to the third category of
customer. Those that feel so confident in your service and product that
they encourage others to by your pottery. Well worth four dollars to have
sales people working part time for you. This army of, non paid, part time
sales staff has keeps many a potter solvent; again well worth taking a
chance on four dollars to recruit.
Ironically if the customer was buying the pots just for the fact you were
selling them too cheap; conscience eventually comes to us all and she
becomes a customer of the third order any way, when she encourages her
friends to buy your pots that are reasonably price to make amends.
You would think into middle age I would be less idealistic.
All this is said on the understanding that you are asking a fair price to
support your self from your pots.
Regards from Paul Taylor
Alchemy is the proof that economics is not a science.
> From: slest12+@PITT.EDU
> Reply-To: Ceramic Arts Discussion List
> Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2001 10:33:43 -0500
> To: CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG
> Subject: price changes during sale
> On the flip side, how kosher is it to *raise* your prices during a sale?
> Last summer I was running out of mugs during a street fair, so I bumped the
> price up a couple of bucks. I figured, well, supply is low and demand is
> high... why not give it a shot? This particular event was a dog in terms
> of overall sales (and boy was I tempted to slash prices so I wouldn't have
> to pack everthing and drag it home!), but the very lowest of low end items
> were moving - mugs and cereal bowls. There was one lady who'd been by a
> whole bunch of times admiring two particular mugs, and when she came back
> for the umpteenth time and saw they were now $14 instead of $12, she was
> miffed. I smiled and shrugged. I didn't sell those two mugs that
> particular day, but someone else scarfed them up at the higher price at the
> next sale.
> Susan Erickson
KLeSueur@AOL.COM on sun 11 feb 01
You can always raise your prices, but you should never lower them at a show.
To so is to insult all of those people who bought at the higher price and
felt "ripped off" when they saw the lower prices.
If you have a new item that you don't know how to price put a few out at the
lowest price you can bear. If they sell immediately you can raise the price
slightly. Keep doing this until the item slows down a little in sales
(doesn't fly off of the shelves). Using this method you'll be able judge
what the customer will pay without having to resort to lowering your prices
because you started too high and no one will pay the price.
I use this method but raise the price for the next show, not during a show.