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new at selling/ pricing

updated wed 26 jun 02


David Dahlquist on mon 24 jun 02

I just participated in my first art fair last weekend, the Lake Oswego =
Art Fair in Oregon. I have been selling at Portland Saturday Market =
(just this year), but the Art fair seems to be a little different venue, =
similar but different. There were 4 potters, I think my pricing was =
appropriate, not too low, but maybe a little lower then two well known =
established potters that had more surface decoration then mine. But, at =
the end of one isle a guy with a 10x20 booth and 8.00 mugs. White with =
cobalt stripes. I understand he will take some customers away, and that =
pisses me off a little but I try to view it as his problem. Im not =
really after a customer that will price compare and make a decision to =
save 7.00. Pricing for me is starting to become a bigger and bigger =
issue. I can see how things sell, and what customers gravitate towards, =
or away from I have a greater sense for what the market will bare. I =
understand I'm still learning though. I swear I have been doing market =
research for the last three years, and I always thought potters were =
getting 20.00-24.00 for a nice mug? Has the market deflated in last =
three years or is me? My pricing strategy has been, time materials and =
what the market will allow me to ask. So if I can make a nice pitcher =
and sell it for 25.00 and make a profit, but the market for a pitcher of =
quality is 40.00 then I will ask 40.00 for it. But, if the market for =
mugs will only bare 8.00 but I have to sell them for 15.00 to make a =
profit I will ask 15.00. After at doing Saturday market a few times and =
scratching my head why I wasn't able to sell mugs I looked around the =
potters and there were 6 or 8 dollar mugs and bowls in more then one =
booth. Bingo! I thought so the next weekend I did it, I lowered my =
prices on mugs and select other items for the last half of a slow =
Sunday. I hated myself for it. I cant do it. Never again. My prices went =
back up immediatly. I will never be shamed like that again. BTW, I =
still didnt sell that afternoon. This experience really got me thinking =
about my pricing strategy. I'm not making the money I thought I would. =
I'm only averaging about 75.00 a day at Saturday market. I only cleared =
about 300.00 over booth fees at the art fair. But I believe my pots are =
better, more colorful, nicer design, etc. I'm seriously considering =
flying in the face of the cheapo potters at the market, and raising them =
even more. My 15.00 mugs will be 20.00. I'm after a different niche then =
they. And I shouldn't even try to compete by dropping my drawers. I can =
compete pot vs. pot, and more bang for more bucks. Yes, it cost more, =
and yes Im new selling, but dam it it IS better. As a newbie marketeer =
it can be intimidating out there. I'm the new kid, these guys have been =
here for years, they know what the market will bare and what will sell =
at a certain price, what the hell do I know? Well, screw that. I've seen =
the light. Ive looked into the abyss, and low... I will not subcome to =
the perils of prostituing my pots. I'm worth more then a 15.00 mug, I'm =
a 20.00 mug guy! I'm not 25.00 pitcher guy, I'm a 50.00 pitcher guy. My =
jars are worth 40.00, not 30.00! In reality I have a very small ego =
(too small, but thats another post in a different discussion group), but =
I want to be a money making potter so bad I do need to be able to stand =
up and say, hey my stuff is better, and I can get more money for it! If =
Saturday Market wont support it then I will find another venue, If the =
art fair wont support it then...well.. are their mugs in museums? Maybe =
I will end up maketing through galleries, if not then, well then I will =
be a toilet seat salesman the rest of my life and throw in my garage in =
suclusion for Christmas presents, but I will not be part of under =
cutting the market again. It felt so dirty, but thats me.
Wilsonville, Or