search  current discussion  categories  business - sales & marketing 

underselling other artists because you can

updated fri 28 jun 02

 

Earl Brunner on fri 21 jun 02


The dynamics of a two income household should not determine whether a potter is
"subsidized" or not. Many households rely on two or even more incomes to get by.
Am I subsidized as a school teacher because my wife also works? No, we are just a
two income family. As I said in an earlier post, to me you are subsidized if
another income source is underwriting part of the cost of your "business" pure and
simple. If your pricing is figured honestly, covering the cost of ALL expenses and
a fair wage for yourself, then there shouldn't be an issue. But everything should
be figured into the cost, how much would that studio in the garage cost if you had
to rent it somewhere else? In other words, factor in that portion of your rent or
house payment of that percentage of your living space that is used by your pottery
as an expense, as part of what it costs you to make the pottery. If you are not
factoring in that portion of your rent or house payment, or any other costs, then
you are not being fair to yourself, or others. If any of your expenses are not
being factored into your cost of doing business, then you are subsidizing your
pottery some how and you are doing nobody, least of all yourself any favors.

And of course by "you" I mean any of you that might think that I am talking about
you........

Tony Ferguson wrote:

> Lois,
>
> I am sorry that the phrase "subsidized" angers you but you are
> subsidized--supported, whatever you want to call it. In other words, you
> can afford to sell your work less expensively, drop your prices because the
> market sets them for you as you say and not worry about the direct
> connection of the income derived to cover your bills--meanwhile those of us
> who are not supported who are trying to make an honest living (and maybe
> honest is the key world and ETHICS of how our choices affect each other and
> our livelihoods should also be discussed here) and people who undersell
> affect us because the generally undeducated public is thinking WHAT A DEAL
> or MAN THIS POTTER IS SELLING THEIR STUFF SO CHEAP THEY MUST NOT NEED THE
> MONEY or MUST BE A STARVING ARTIST THEY NEED THE MONEY SO BAD I'LL HELP 'EM
> OUT. If I could get into the mind of the general public I would be rich.
> Most people are generally cheap. We will pay the least amount for something
> if we can (speaking mainly as a Midwesterner here)--this is thanks to Kmart
> and Walmart and all the other marts. This kind of thinking should not be
> applied to artist's work ESPECIALLY by other artists because it is handmade
> usually made with love and there is not a multi-national conglomerate behind
> the artist paying kids in sweat shops beans to make the work.
>
> We are all connected through the craft and art of clay and don't think for
> one minute that how we set our prices doesn't affect other artists because
> it does. Why do you think manufactures have a suggestive retail price.
> Ponder this for awhile--it is because they have figured out that they all
> need a certain amount to STAY in BUSINESS, make an honest living. And for
> many of them not so honest.
>
> Just because someone sells a lot of work at a low price is not a sign that
> they are successful--so they sold a lot of pots. SO what. How's your back
> lately? Can they pay their bills and get out of debt? Success is measured
> in many ways and I would say if you can take care of your family and pay
> your bills, stay in good health, then you are successful BUT not at that
> cost of someone else's family and their means of carrying out business. To
> imply there is not a connection is arrogant and inconsiderate. Why do you
> think pottery, metal, fishing guilds, etc, etc, in the olden days were
> started--to protect the members in many ways and so they could all get fair
> prices. All I am simply suggesting is for us to consider this idea of
> setting a base price for certain like items when we price our work. If you
> want to charge more, then charge more BUT the public will then be making
> more aesthetic choices to purchasing our works then gett'in a deal. They
> can go to walmart to get a deal.
>

--
Earl Brunner
http://coyote.accessnv.com/bruec
mailto:bruec@anv.net

Martin Howard on sat 22 jun 02


selling their wares (especially the work of doing it at a crafts fair) does
it for the fun
of it, which is basically what's being implied.>

Well, yes, I do. Being retired and no real need to do other cover my costs,
excluding the hours I put in, I can charge very low prices.
But there is another potter in the village who does depend on her income
from pottery. So, I charge at her rates, which are still low compared to
pottery in galleries etc.
But most of my pottery income comes from Pottery Parties and Students. That
way I can charge a straight 10 per hour of my time, but including all
materials, electricity etc, and stay competitive. But if I balance my books
at the end of the year that is sufficient for me.
If there was another potter doing Pottery Parties and teaching students in
the near locality, I would have to rethink my prices so as not to undercut
them.
Subsidised, supported? Yes I supposed I am, by my pensions, which I paid
into for many years when doing something else.
It is the love of clay and getting others interested in it which keeps my
going as a potter, not the money.

Martin Howard
Webbs Cottage Pottery
Woolpits Road, Great Saling
BRAINTREE, Essex CM7 5DZ
01371 850 423
martin@webbscottage.co.uk
http://www.webbscottage.co.uk
Updated 15th May 2002

Tony Ferguson on sat 22 jun 02


I must qualify myself more often as many are misunderstanding me.

Subsidized is used soley, and only, in the context, of potters who undersell
their work because there is other monies available to cover their costs of
time and materials and they know this and without consideration to other
potters who are deriving their main income from such venue, behave
inconsiderately while showing a general lack of respect for the profession.

Jeeze, use a governement word socially associated with supporting the poor
and everyone gets a tie in their knickers.

Thank you.

Tony Ferguson
Stoneware, Porcelain, Raku
www.aquariusartgallery.com
218-727-6339
315 N. Lake Ave
Apt 312
Duluth, MN 55806

Lois Ruben Aronow on sat 22 jun 02


On Sat, 22 Jun 2002 12:10:30 -0700, you wrote:

>I must qualify myself more often as many are misunderstanding me.
>
>Subsidized is used soley, and only, in the context, of potters who =
undersell
>their work because there is other monies available to cover their costs =
of
>time and materials and they know this and without consideration to other
>potters who are deriving their main income from such venue, behave
>inconsiderately while showing a general lack of respect for the =
profession.
>
>Jeeze, use a governement word socially associated with supporting the =
poor
>and everyone gets a tie in their knickers.
>
Just be thankful you didn't call them "dabblers".
--------------------------------------------
Lois Ruben Aronow
gilois@bellatlantic.net

=46ine Craft Porcelain
http://www.loisaronow.com - Newly updated!

Earl Brunner on mon 24 jun 02


I have heard that for example a laundry detergent company will make essentially the
same formula of detergent and package with three or four different names in three
or four different price ranges. They get the ones that are motivated to buy the
best (cost = quality), the ones that don't want the most expensive, but not the
"cheapest" and of course the ones looking for the bargain. The perfume might be
different, the color of the little "flavor crystals" might be different, but the
basic formula is the same. Packaged for each targeted consumer.

"Imzadi ." wrote:

>
> There was an actual study done by (I think) the Stanford Research Institute.
> In America there are actually FIVE LEVELS of BUYERS at five levels of income
> and values and lifestyles. You need to know who to target your work for, find
> venues appropriate for where they will shop and WHY they should buy your
> work. Is your work appropriate for your target? You can't just change the
> arbitrarily change the price and expect them to jump to buying your pots.
>

--
Earl Brunner
http://coyote.accessnv.com/bruec
mailto:bruec@anv.net

Imzadi . on mon 24 jun 02


Tony writes:
<< must qualify myself more often as many are misunderstanding me.

Subsidized... (snip)
Jeeze, use a governement word socially associated with supporting the poor
and everyone gets a tie in their knickers.
>>

No, Tony, it isn't about you using a <with supporting the poor> that got to many of us, it was about using MANY
loose, general, needing to be qualified and defined, ambiguous, emotionally
charged and can be emotionally manipulative words such as: HONESTY, ETHICS,
SUBSIDIZED, SUCCESS. That the way you are using them is AS THEY MEAN TO YOU
and that THEY CAN AND DO MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS TO OTHERS.

These words in American society tend to mean different things (and different
levels) to different people. They are emotionally charged and therefore can
be used in emotionally manipulative ways in quite, quite overt ways, to
ATTACK someone else's value levels of integrity, honesty, ethics, standards
of what "real" success "should" be, using them to infer the speaker's values
on ethics, honesty, definition of success and priorities about these words
are morally superior to others who lack these levels of value for those words
and that he has the only acceptable way to define those concepts.

Jeeze, instead, you could just wave the big flag around like in the
commercials for the "Les Miserable" musical.

There just might be other ways people define and value these words.

SUCCESS:
<they are successful--so they sold a lot of pots. SO what. How's your back
lately? >>

Maybe the man at the Lincoln Center Arts & Crafts Fair that Lois talked about
DOES consider that a success. Anyone who has been juried and got into the
prestigious, highly critical, Lincoln Center Arts & Crafts Fair IS a success!
It is one of cream of the crop fairs in NYC. The fact that he hasn't been
selling for very long and got in is another success. (It is the equivalent if
a new opera singer getting to sing at The Metropolitan Opera House for the
first time -- Lincoln Center is HOME to the Met.)

The fact that this man is trying to prove to his wife he can sell many if his
pots and he DID: IS a success! Maybe to his wife who now has space in her
garage again to park her car once again now that all the boxes of pottery are
gone, considers it a success.

Maybe this man who SOLD a lot of pots, would have MADE a lot of pots anyway!
Maybe he makes twenty teabowls each day just because he loves to. In a five
day week, that's a hundred pots. Four hundred pots in a month filling up his
garage. To have sold so many pots he had made anyway, was a success to him
and his wife. So, let's say, he sold them for $10 and he got rid of ten bowls
to ten separate people at $100 at the same fair (and same time) you are
waiting to sell one of your teabowls for $100. You get to hold onto your
pride and integrity and ethics, while he gets to eat, to refill up his garage
(much to his wife's car's dismay,) he feels proud of himself, and ten
customer went home happy.

How about just being happy for him? He didn't come over to your booth and
attack you about your kind of pride and ethics. He was, err -- too busy
wrapping up pots. Sometimes, your kind of pride and ethics in your pots may
cost you money -- literally. If you truly stand by your pride and personal
ethics, then suck it up those days and starve.

Maybe his other day job was as a mail man and THAT job was breaking his back
as well as his soul, because it was one he didn't love to do. You make it
sound like some outer Force was forcing him to make so many bowls and hurt
his back. That's just martyrdom talk.
As was written about in another post, if he gets tired of making so many
teabowls but still wants to sell, he'd just raise his prices and make a few
less bowls a day, market venue permitting.

<>

I don't think of my own work as priceless. Neither do my pots. My pots
actually can't wait to be sold to a great home and have a happy life being
USED! So I price them reasonably and affordably without underselling myself.
My greatest successes are when a customer buys a pot of mine as a gift to
give to someone ELSE he/she cares about. The Giver gets to be happy, giving
something of quality, value (affordable value at that,) uniqueness. The
recipient gets something special, different, a joy to USE, and not so shi-shi
expensive that A) they feel guilty that the Giver (over)spent, and B) it was
SO expensive that they are afraid to USE my bowl. I make my bowls to be USED
and used well. It doesn't matter if it's potatoes or filet minon. To sit on a
shelf collecting dust because it was expensive or shi-shi is a crime beyond
price. Those are MY values. I don't ask you to adopt them.
I get to be happy that my pots made TWO other people happy. That is a
triple success in the process of selling one pot.
If I sell five teabowls for $50 to one person and she gives a tea party
using my teabowls connecting her to four of her friends during a memorable
evening of the heart. THAT is priceless to me. That is success. I'll match
that to selling one lone teabowl for $100 any day.
And if the bowls gets dropped and broken during use, and the giver comes
back to buy a new one because it is affordable, or the other guests buy their
own set, I am successful again.

ETHICS:
<one minute that how we set our prices doesn't affect other artists because
it does...It doesn't mean your skill is any lesser or greater--you're work
will represent you. What it does mean is you need to consider others besides
yourself out of respect for others in similar boats and respect for the craft
and art of clay... the golden rule is a good thing to remember here. >>

Siting the word Ethics, the Golden Rule, etc., are wonderful in theory and
rhetoric, but in practical application, in the "real" world, sometimes they
just aren't realistic, practical, not everyone does it, or can do it when
their own stomach is at stake.

Fifteen years ago, when I first started in clay and first started attending
my first Lincoln Center fairs, I use to ooh & ahh and longingly caress for
many a long moment the absolutely lovely raku copper matte vases. I was never
able to buy one because the going prices were between $200-$500 per item. I
just don't have that kind of money to spend on a vase, no matter how much I
loved it. That was rent money to me. In fifteen years, I have never been able
to buy one of those priced pots. My only bought copper matte raku pot was a
$20 super small vase.
Back then, the raku process (especially copper mattes) was a mysterious,
secretive firing process. You either knew it or you didn't. Only a fortunate
few knew how to get those brilliant colors, and certainly no one around the
NYC area knew how at the time. (Hence the $500 price tags.)
Since then, Steve Branfman and Robert Pieppenberg came out with their
raku books breaking the mystery and secretness of those techniques. Now,
almost any potter with a raku kiln can produce those copper matte colors
(with lots of experimentation.)
Is Steve Branfman unETHICAL according to your usage? (Sorry Steve for
dragging you into this :-) ) According to you, doesn't he carry a
responsibility to those $500 a pot potters? Instead of writing his book,
shouldn't he have <others in similar [raku] boats and respect for the craft and art of [raku]
clay.>>
He has made raku such a layman's technique that NOW anyone can produce and
sell raku, and not at $500 a pot. Are we still supposed to uphold the $500
price tag just because many people were selling it at that? Be real. With
Steve's writing of his expert knowledge, he's made the reality of raku
affordable to make and to own. Are those potters at Lincoln Center now able
to knock on Steve's door and demand payment for unsold pots because his
disseminating knowledge allowed others to now undersell them, or like me,
make my own copper matte pots so I no longer need or want to buy theirs. Have
we taken money out of their wallets?

There is also a secondary concept you are doing in your following statement.
It is called "Teaming".
<> <mean is you need to consider others besides yourself out of respect for
others in similar boats and respect for the craft and art of clay.>>
Teaming is thinking that since we are selling at the same crafts fair, in the
same relative space, at the same time means we are one big "Team", that we
should have the same: beliefs, values, expectations, circumstances, levels
and types of training, experience, expertise, etc. If we were part of the
same church group talking about the ten commandments or divorce, then it
would be expected to think and behave similarly, share same values and
beliefs. In the instance that we are all "potters", or at the same fair, it
is an inappropriate expectation and improper lack of boundaries.

That we are both potters at the same fair, so I should charge the same as
you, is improper boundaries. What gives YOU the authority on what to charge?
Why is your criteria the one to go by? That you should presume to tell me
what to charge or make assumptions about me for what I charge, or make
unsubstantiated assumptions about my customers for buying more from my booth
as opposed to yours, is improper boundaries and expectations based on
Teaming. Also, what makes you think they would have been YOUR customers
anyway if someone else hadn't priced lower?

When did my being at the same fair mean I owe you a living, or lunch or
my customers? How is it that my being a potter also means I am here to take
care of you?
If that's true, I only made $35 (beyond the booth fee) last week, at a
new venue for me, the first day and actually lost more money than I made the
second day as I spent $7 for lunch and had to fill up my car with gas. (If
you don't sell anything, it doesn't matter what you charge.) Gee, Tony, since
we are one big Art & Clay Team, can you give me some money til I make it big
at the next craft's fair? Teaming should work both ways. If I sell my wares
at reasonable prices or ESPECIALLY at your prices, and I don't sell, you
should be helping ME out.

<big smile on his or her face driving a brand new SUV next to a potter who is
working her ass off... driving a beater van to make a living, irks me. >>

Ahh, the martyrdom thing again. Poor me, see me driving a beat up van and
suffering for my art. How dare anyone have anything better. They MUST have
been subsidized to get it.
How about they just prioritize their values and their money allocation
differently, and maybe their pride.
I'd love to get a newer car, myself. How about thinking that when a woman
gets a better car than you, the priorities are about SAFETY issues, not how
she looks to the watching public as she pulls away. I pray every day my 12
year old car, full of NY rust, metal fatigue, and over 130,000 miles on it,
won't break down from being overloaded with pottery, booth supplies, etc., on
a CA freeway and I end up like Ennis Cosby, with a bullet to my head because
my car broke down and I am suddenly an easy target with a car obviously
stuffed.
Maybe other people just have a priority to budget for a new car. It has
nothing to do with making pottery or prices.

<>

If your pots are selling better on the web where someone can't really
touch, hold, get a good in-person look, maybe your pots aren't so good
"in-person". That has nothing to do with what anyone ELSE charges. Don't make
it like it is. They might not have bought your bowls anyway. Have you asked
yourself that. That's asking an HONEST question about your own work. Or is it
just easier to blame other people?
Do you offer a money back guarantee if someone doesn't like your pots
once they've had it mailed to them? Do you follow up to see if they love it
and find it worth the $300? If not, what kind of ethics is that?
As Tony Clennel said, if a level of customer has $300 to pay for a
teabowl bought sight unseen (in-person), <$400 a bottle, so a casserole for $375 is like throwing change in the guitar
case of a street busker,>> how do you know your buyer might consider his
whimsy of buying a $300 teabowl off the web one day, simply not even worth
his time to send it back? Your priceless pot may have gone right in his
garbage dumpster without another thought. Or passed it on to the maid, who is
using it in her own home with K-mart potpourri in it.

Maybe something to think about instead of getting individual potters to
uphold your personal standards and what you ass-ume is going on with them, is
to simply ask the craft venues what price range they are accepting and
expecting vendors to sell at? How stringent is their jurying process in
regards to pricing? Is it high-end, which might be of more interest to you.
Then you can you hold the PROMOTERS accountable then to uphold a similar
price-range, similar level of craftsmanship, and customer base. Stay away
from loosely juried venues with wide price ranges, or a non-juried, anything
goes.

To each his own wallet.
Imzadi

Lois Ruben Aronow on mon 24 jun 02


Imzadi, you are my hero.

Thanks for being able to so eloquently articulate what I could not!!

xxx.....Lo
>Tony writes:
><< must qualify myself more often as many are misunderstanding me.
>
> Subsidized... (snip)
> Jeeze, use a governement word socially associated with supporting the =
poor
> and everyone gets a tie in their knickers.
> >>
>
>No, Tony, it isn't about you using a <associated
>with supporting the poor> that got to many of us, it was about using =
MANY
>loose, general, needing to be qualified and defined, ambiguous, =
emotionally
>charged and can be emotionally manipulative words such as: HONESTY, =
ETHICS,
>SUBSIDIZED, SUCCESS. That the way you are using them is AS THEY MEAN TO=
YOU
>and that THEY CAN AND DO MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS TO OTHERS.
>
(rest snipped)
--------------------------------------------
Lois Ruben Aronow
gilois@bellatlantic.net

=46ine Craft Porcelain
http://www.loisaronow.com - Newly updated! New Work and Tattoo pictures!

Tony Ferguson on mon 24 jun 02


Imzadi, I'm glad to have pissed you off a bit because now I am.

Perhaps you have come to some new positive realizations about yourself as an
artist and how you price your work and, now hang with me for a second here
because this a totally far out Eastern concept: that your actions may
actually affect others? Wow. I know, its a tough one becasue in the West
all many of us know is "look out for number one, survival of the fittest
bullshit, I'm better than you, stay out of my wake."

I'm so tired of defending yet again words taken out of context. I will say
for the last time, really, to all that what I have meant is to consider your
prices when they are under what most artists are selling their work for--I
agree there is a price range for everyone from low to high end, but we are
also talking about educating the majroity of the pubic, not the seasoned
buyers.

As far as subsidized goes, I used that term to describe the person who has
money from another source SO they CAN undersell and the wide ranging effects
this may have. I didn't say there was anything wrong with being subsidized.
Why are some of you being defensive about this? Everyone needs support in
varying degrees and types.

Imzadi and others, as far as for the personal attacks, I believe it reveals
more of your personal conflicts regarding this issue and it is much easier
to attack me than to actually resolve them within yourself or put forth the
action to make positive change. Many of you are focusing on certain bits
and totally running with it into assumptions I never imagined. Enough.
Instead of attacking me, why not contribute positive suggestions regarding
these issues? This is a touchy subject and there is only a few of us who
seem to really be trying to discuss this by talking about our personal
experiences and how to approach pricing and what we think a minimum
something should go for pending on a variety of factors and how our actions
may or may not affect each other. Mine is only one opinion.

Imzadi, as far as manipulation goes, I have had no intent on manipulating
anyone regarding this issue. I have used words that are meaningful to me
with no desire to offend people buyt also hoping people will think about
what is being said. Also note: just because a person gets $300 for a
teabowl doesn't mean jack shit! It only means they have found a very small
market for their work and a difficult one at that and I never mentioned how
often. I too am going through the process of thinking on restructuring my
pricing because I want more consistency in my income and I want my work to
get out there. It doesn't mean I think my work is better than anyone else's
or is priceless--I just work my ass off and think, "God our work is worth
more than.....and if we got a little more we all went have to work so hard."
I can't even joke on this list without someone taking it out of context or
alternating between using his or her in my examples--I left one out and now
I am attacking woman potters! Please! I've swooned at more than one woman
potter's feet and love woman artists and dancers (And not the pole lap dance
variety). I married a tap/ballroom/belly dancer. As far as my work goes, I
am very critical of my work and constantly try to raise the standard aiming
at excellence in my work. Can we move on or will you or someone else find
something more to criticize in this email? I really need to make some pots.

Thank you.

Tony Ferguson
Stoneware, Porcelain, Raku
www.aquariusartgallery.com
218-727-6339
315 N. Lake Ave
Apt 312
Duluth, MN 55806



----- Original Message -----
From: "Imzadi ."
To:
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 11:20 AM
Subject: Re: Underselling other artists because you can


> Tony writes:
> << must qualify myself more often as many are misunderstanding me.
>
> Subsidized... (snip)
> Jeeze, use a governement word socially associated with supporting the
poor
> and everyone gets a tie in their knickers.
> >>
>
> No, Tony, it isn't about you using a <associated
> with supporting the poor> that got to many of us, it was about using MANY
> loose, general, needing to be qualified and defined, ambiguous,
emotionally
> charged and can be emotionally manipulative words such as: HONESTY,
ETHICS,
> SUBSIDIZED, SUCCESS. That the way you are using them is AS THEY MEAN TO
YOU
> and that THEY CAN AND DO MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS TO OTHERS.
>
> These words in American society tend to mean different things (and
different
> levels) to different people. They are emotionally charged and therefore
can
> be used in emotionally manipulative ways in quite, quite overt ways, to
> ATTACK someone else's value levels of integrity, honesty, ethics,
standards
> of what "real" success "should" be, using them to infer the speaker's
values
> on ethics, honesty, definition of success and priorities about these words
> are morally superior to others who lack these levels of value for those
words
> and that he has the only acceptable way to define those concepts.
>
> Jeeze, instead, you could just wave the big flag around like in the
> commercials for the "Les Miserable" musical.
>
> There just might be other ways people define and value these words.
>
> SUCCESS:
> <that
> they are successful--so they sold a lot of pots. SO what. How's your back
> lately? >>
>
> Maybe the man at the Lincoln Center Arts & Crafts Fair that Lois talked
about
> DOES consider that a success. Anyone who has been juried and got into the
> prestigious, highly critical, Lincoln Center Arts & Crafts Fair IS a
success!
> It is one of cream of the crop fairs in NYC. The fact that he hasn't been
> selling for very long and got in is another success. (It is the equivalent
if
> a new opera singer getting to sing at The Metropolitan Opera House for the
> first time -- Lincoln Center is HOME to the Met.)
>
> The fact that this man is trying to prove to his wife he can sell many if
his
> pots and he DID: IS a success! Maybe to his wife who now has space in her
> garage again to park her car once again now that all the boxes of pottery
are
> gone, considers it a success.
>
> Maybe this man who SOLD a lot of pots, would have MADE a lot of pots
anyway!
> Maybe he makes twenty teabowls each day just because he loves to. In a
five
> day week, that's a hundred pots. Four hundred pots in a month filling up
his
> garage. To have sold so many pots he had made anyway, was a success to him
> and his wife. So, let's say, he sold them for $10 and he got rid of ten
bowls
> to ten separate people at $100 at the same fair (and same time) you are
> waiting to sell one of your teabowls for $100. You get to hold onto your
> pride and integrity and ethics, while he gets to eat, to refill up his
garage
> (much to his wife's car's dismay,) he feels proud of himself, and ten
> customer went home happy.
>
> How about just being happy for him? He didn't come over to your booth and
> attack you about your kind of pride and ethics. He was, err -- too busy
> wrapping up pots. Sometimes, your kind of pride and ethics in your pots
may
> cost you money -- literally. If you truly stand by your pride and personal
> ethics, then suck it up those days and starve.
>
> Maybe his other day job was as a mail man and THAT job was breaking his
back
> as well as his soul, because it was one he didn't love to do. You make it
> sound like some outer Force was forcing him to make so many bowls and hurt
> his back. That's just martyrdom talk.
> As was written about in another post, if he gets tired of making so
many
> teabowls but still wants to sell, he'd just raise his prices and make a
few
> less bowls a day, market venue permitting.
>
> <>
>
> I don't think of my own work as priceless. Neither do my pots. My pots
> actually can't wait to be sold to a great home and have a happy life being
> USED! So I price them reasonably and affordably without underselling
myself.
> My greatest successes are when a customer buys a pot of mine as a gift to
> give to someone ELSE he/she cares about. The Giver gets to be happy,
giving
> something of quality, value (affordable value at that,) uniqueness. The
> recipient gets something special, different, a joy to USE, and not so
shi-shi
> expensive that A) they feel guilty that the Giver (over)spent, and B) it
was
> SO expensive that they are afraid to USE my bowl. I make my bowls to be
USED
> and used well. It doesn't matter if it's potatoes or filet minon. To sit
on a
> shelf collecting dust because it was expensive or shi-shi is a crime
beyond
> price. Those are MY values. I don't ask you to adopt them.
> I get to be happy that my pots made TWO other people happy. That is a
> triple success in the process of selling one pot.
> If I sell five teabowls for $50 to one person and she gives a tea
party
> using my teabowls connecting her to four of her friends during a memorable
> evening of the heart. THAT is priceless to me. That is success. I'll match
> that to selling one lone teabowl for $100 any day.
> And if the bowls gets dropped and broken during use, and the giver
comes
> back to buy a new one because it is affordable, or the other guests buy
their
> own set, I am successful again.
>
> ETHICS:
> <for
> one minute that how we set our prices doesn't affect other artists because
> it does...It doesn't mean your skill is any lesser or greater--you're work
> will represent you. What it does mean is you need to consider others
besides
> yourself out of respect for others in similar boats and respect for the
craft
> and art of clay... the golden rule is a good thing to remember here. >>
>
> Siting the word Ethics, the Golden Rule, etc., are wonderful in theory and
> rhetoric, but in practical application, in the "real" world, sometimes
they
> just aren't realistic, practical, not everyone does it, or can do it when
> their own stomach is at stake.
>
> Fifteen years ago, when I first started in clay and first started
attending
> my first Lincoln Center fairs, I use to ooh & ahh and longingly caress for
> many a long moment the absolutely lovely raku copper matte vases. I was
never
> able to buy one because the going prices were between $200-$500 per item.
I
> just don't have that kind of money to spend on a vase, no matter how much
I
> loved it. That was rent money to me. In fifteen years, I have never been
able
> to buy one of those priced pots. My only bought copper matte raku pot was
a
> $20 super small vase.
> Back then, the raku process (especially copper mattes) was a
mysterious,
> secretive firing process. You either knew it or you didn't. Only a
fortunate
> few knew how to get those brilliant colors, and certainly no one around
the
> NYC area knew how at the time. (Hence the $500 price tags.)
> Since then, Steve Branfman and Robert Pieppenberg came out with their
> raku books breaking the mystery and secretness of those techniques. Now,
> almost any potter with a raku kiln can produce those copper matte colors
> (with lots of experimentation.)
> Is Steve Branfman unETHICAL according to your usage? (Sorry Steve for
> dragging you into this :-) ) According to you, doesn't he carry a
> responsibility to those $500 a pot potters? Instead of writing his book,
> shouldn't he have <> others in similar [raku] boats and respect for the craft and art of [raku]
> clay.>>
> He has made raku such a layman's technique that NOW anyone can produce
and
> sell raku, and not at $500 a pot. Are we still supposed to uphold the $500
> price tag just because many people were selling it at that? Be real. With
> Steve's writing of his expert knowledge, he's made the reality of raku
> affordable to make and to own. Are those potters at Lincoln Center now
able
> to knock on Steve's door and demand payment for unsold pots because his
> disseminating knowledge allowed others to now undersell them, or like me,
> make my own copper matte pots so I no longer need or want to buy theirs.
Have
> we taken money out of their wallets?
>
> There is also a secondary concept you are doing in your following
statement.
> It is called "Teaming".
> <> <> mean is you need to consider others besides yourself out of respect for
> others in similar boats and respect for the craft and art of clay.>>
> Teaming is thinking that since we are selling at the same crafts fair, in
the
> same relative space, at the same time means we are one big "Team", that we
> should have the same: beliefs, values, expectations, circumstances, levels
> and types of training, experience, expertise, etc. If we were part of the
> same church group talking about the ten commandments or divorce, then it
> would be expected to think and behave similarly, share same values and
> beliefs. In the instance that we are all "potters", or at the same fair,
it
> is an inappropriate expectation and improper lack of boundaries.
>
> That we are both potters at the same fair, so I should charge the same as
> you, is improper boundaries. What gives YOU the authority on what to
charge?
> Why is your criteria the one to go by? That you should presume to tell me
> what to charge or make assumptions about me for what I charge, or make
> unsubstantiated assumptions about my customers for buying more from my
booth
> as opposed to yours, is improper boundaries and expectations based on
> Teaming. Also, what makes you think they would have been YOUR customers
> anyway if someone else hadn't priced lower?
>
> When did my being at the same fair mean I owe you a living, or lunch
or
> my customers? How is it that my being a potter also means I am here to
take
> care of you?
> If that's true, I only made $35 (beyond the booth fee) last week, at a
> new venue for me, the first day and actually lost more money than I made
the
> second day as I spent $7 for lunch and had to fill up my car with gas. (If
> you don't sell anything, it doesn't matter what you charge.) Gee, Tony,
since
> we are one big Art & Clay Team, can you give me some money til I make it
big
> at the next craft's fair? Teaming should work both ways. If I sell my
wares
> at reasonable prices or ESPECIALLY at your prices, and I don't sell, you
> should be helping ME out.
>
> <a
> big smile on his or her face driving a brand new SUV next to a potter who
is
> working her ass off... driving a beater van to make a living, irks me. >>
>
> Ahh, the martyrdom thing again. Poor me, see me driving a beat up van and
> suffering for my art. How dare anyone have anything better. They MUST have
> been subsidized to get it.
> How about they just prioritize their values and their money allocation
> differently, and maybe their pride.
> I'd love to get a newer car, myself. How about thinking that when a
woman
> gets a better car than you, the priorities are about SAFETY issues, not
how
> she looks to the watching public as she pulls away. I pray every day my 12
> year old car, full of NY rust, metal fatigue, and over 130,000 miles on
it,
> won't break down from being overloaded with pottery, booth supplies, etc.,
on
> a CA freeway and I end up like Ennis Cosby, with a bullet to my head
because
> my car broke down and I am suddenly an easy target with a car obviously
> stuffed.
> Maybe other people just have a priority to budget for a new car. It
has
> nothing to do with making pottery or prices.
>
> <>
>
> If your pots are selling better on the web where someone can't really
> touch, hold, get a good in-person look, maybe your pots aren't so good
> "in-person". That has nothing to do with what anyone ELSE charges. Don't
make
> it like it is. They might not have bought your bowls anyway. Have you
asked
> yourself that. That's asking an HONEST question about your own work. Or is
it
> just easier to blame other people?
> Do you offer a money back guarantee if someone doesn't like your pots
> once they've had it mailed to them? Do you follow up to see if they love
it
> and find it worth the $300? If not, what kind of ethics is that?
> As Tony Clennel said, if a level of customer has $300 to pay for a
> teabowl bought sight unseen (in-person), <cost
> $400 a bottle, so a casserole for $375 is like throwing change in the
guitar
> case of a street busker,>> how do you know your buyer might consider his
> whimsy of buying a $300 teabowl off the web one day, simply not even worth
> his time to send it back? Your priceless pot may have gone right in his
> garbage dumpster without another thought. Or passed it on to the maid, who
is
> using it in her own home with K-mart potpourri in it.
>
> Maybe something to think about instead of getting individual potters to
> uphold your personal standards and what you ass-ume is going on with them,
is
> to simply ask the craft venues what price range they are accepting and
> expecting vendors to sell at? How stringent is their jurying process in
> regards to pricing? Is it high-end, which might be of more interest to
you.
> Then you can you hold the PROMOTERS accountable then to uphold a similar
> price-range, similar level of craftsmanship, and customer base. Stay away
> from loosely juried venues with wide price ranges, or a non-juried,
anything
> goes.
>
> To each his own wallet.
> Imzadi
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________
__
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
melpots@pclink.com.
>

Imzadi . on mon 24 jun 02


TSull32031@AOL.COM writes:

<< there is always a bell curve of buyers for any product at
any price point... Price fixing simply doesn't work. If your work cannot be
differentiated from your competitions then you had better let them set your
prices. If we want to be able to charge more for our work, then we should be
able to give our customers a reason to pay a higher price. The answer is not
to ask the other
guy to raise his prices so that we can make a living. >>
>>

How true.
There was an actual study done by (I think) the Stanford Research Institute.
In America there are actually FIVE LEVELS of BUYERS at five levels of income
and values and lifestyles. You need to know who to target your work for, find
venues appropriate for where they will shop and WHY they should buy your
work. Is your work appropriate for your target? You can't just change the
arbitrarily change the price and expect them to jump to buying your pots.

Of course there is some overlap and exceptions, but GENERALLY the five
categories are:

NEED DRIVEN:
These are the people at basic survival level. They are minimum wage
workers, some on welfare. They buy the cheapest beer on sale, like Rolling
Rock, and shop at the closest cheapest places, like dollar stores. Name brand
or quality doesn't count so much as cheap price. If they shop at K-mart, it
is for the clearance items. Companies who target them are the late nite ads
for insurance.

BELONGERS:
These are basically Midwestern, home and hearth people. Family is their
#1 priority as well as being patriotic and loyal to country. "The American
way!" They love stability. Wounding them psychically would be to go through a
divorce, extreme change in home, job, family, economics. (These are the
perfect examples in stories about how if they won the lottery, things got
WORSE for them! Family and friends changed toward them, stable values got
toppled. They no longer fit into middle-America with their new money.)
Companies they are loyal to (and who target them) are: AT&T, Sears, K-mart
(Martha Stewart's stock scandal could topple her if she is perceived as being
disloyal to Americans for doing insider trading.) Ford & Chevy: the
all-American cars -- built tough and made to stay that way (stability). Beer
is Budweiser, Miller (all-American).
Coke made the biggest marketing blunder of all time when they introduced
"New" Coke. They forgot who their buyers were. They eventually had to bring
back "Classic" (stable, loyal) Coke.

EMULATORS:
This group is typically around 17-38 years old. They are on their way up
in the corporate/job/status world, but have NOT "made it" - ACHIEVED yet.
Income is between $50,000 - $80,000.
Their deepest psychic wound is that they have low self confidence and
they KNOW it. So they look for things to make them feel confident and to give
them the appearance of the status they seek. They buy Mustangs, Camaros
Z-28s. Sexy cars. Sexy, status clothing. The Mitsubishi Miata was top selling
in it's class the first year it came out advertised as the sexy (secretly
affordable) sports car. Just watch the Mitsubishi and Nissan commercials and
who is sitting and dancing in them.
They drink Coors for beer.
They are called EMULATORS because they try to "emulate" the next category of:

ACHIEVERS:
This group HAS made it in their chosen professions. Typically makes $80,000
- $250,000.They have the class and sophistication and know it. They like to
be unique and different from the "crowd". Their psychic wound would be to be
thought of as part of the crowd - LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE!
They do not want to be confused as an EMULATOR or a BELONGER. They drive
BMWs, Mercedes, Ferraris. They show only top designer lines at Saks Fifth
Avenue, Bloomingdales. They wear only the latest Ralph Lauren Polo shirts.
(He changes the logo slightly every year so that the ACHIEVERS won't have to
be caught dead in last season's logo that the EMULATORS are now wearing
having bought at an end of the season, designer's closeout sale. They wear
sophisticated loungewear -- never any sweats! If they do drink beers, it is
foreign, quality, expensive: Heineken, or the dark foreign amber beers, etc.

SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS:
These are generally 44 years olds & up. They are post Vietnam and
Woodstock but those social values of the time are still with them. They need
to feel smart and socially conscious. Al Gore is one of them.
This group works less than 50% of the time. They hate achievers. Think all
ACHIEVERS do is waste money and resources. Their psychic wound is being
manipulated by others -- especially through advertising! They hate those
emotionally manipulative Kleenex & AT&T commercials designed to make you cry
to buy their products. They shop at L. L. Bean, The Earth Shop, etc.
ACHIEVERS have the SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS, think they just sit around all day
with no drive.

An INTEGRATIVE level is a combo of Achievers and Socially Conscious. They
make $250,000 and up. Oprah Winfrey is one -- rich while doing socially
conscious thing with money. Also: Anthony Robbins, Marianne Williamson.

These levels of Buyers of course do not take in the extreme rich, for they
don't buy store bought. They are so assured of themselves and can have made
whatever they want. They buy custom-made, one of a kind items, couture
designer clothing. Tom Cruise and Nicole bought exclusively handmade, hand
embroidered, hand laced Irish linen for bedding when they filmed "Far and
Away" up in Ireland.
If they do buy anything considered "mass-produced" their maid or a hired
shopper bought it for them.

So while many on this thread often sited the example of buyers shopping at
K-mart then expecting K-mart levels of pricing on our pottery, many K-mart
shoppers IF they shop at Nordstrom's, Bloomingdales at all, will only look at
and buy the extremely price-slashed clearance items. Their priority is
hunting for BARGAINS, even if they want quality and handmade. These are the
ones who will point out defects in your work to get you to lower the price or
bargain three for the price of one. %$#*@!

Emulators will want a pot that will give them status when they give a dinner
party, or has status on their coffee table, but at an affordable price.

Bloomingdales shoppers would never be caught dead in K-mart buying Ivory
soap. Unusual, unique and quality, regardless of price speak to them. If your
pot is not well-made, lacks quality, craftsmanship, individual character,
they aren't buying it no matter what fixed, high price is on it.

To target the Achievers, go to dinner parties with Tony & Sheila Clennell!


When I learned about this study, I was at a seminar. The speaker had actual
audience members come up and just stand there. We had to differentiate the
different groups they fit in according to their clothing, demeaner & posture,
hairstyle, eye glasses, personal style, etc. Each audience member said we
nailed them on the head. While some members may fit back and forth between
two adjacent categories, They usually did choose one category where the
social values were MOST them.

So quit talking about the K-mart shoppers and other K-mart priced potters (if
you don't want to be one,) target your real markets!

Imzadi

KLeSueur@AOL.COM on mon 24 jun 02


<

Another interesting study done by a university business school had to do with pricing. They took a simple plastic windshield icescraper and put various prices on it. At $.39 it was ignored as a piece of junk that would fall apart. At $1.99 it was too expensive for a simple icescraper. The most popular price, the one at which the most unit sold, was $1.29. Yet, the piece showed a good profit at the $.39 price.

Sometimes if you aren't selling you should try raising the price.

Kathi LeSueur

Philip Poburka on mon 24 jun 02


Dear Imzadi,

I enjoyed the 'Stanford' insights you mention below.

And the contemplation of them depresses me about as effectively as more
tangible social occasions may sometimes do.

Tieing in with this, are all manner of interesting Anthropological,
Ontological and Aesthetic issues, leading branchlike, as far as one may wish
to take them...maybe farther...

Summing up which, was nicely done in Lee Love's mention the other day, of
something observed by Hamada :

"The Craftsman only has his character..." - I believe it went...

How eloquent!

Anyway...

Phil
Las Vegas


----- Original Message -----
From: "Imzadi ."
To:
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 1:18 PM
Subject: Re: Underselling other artists because you can


> TSull32031@AOL.COM writes:
>
> << there is always a bell curve of buyers for any product at
> any price point... Price fixing simply doesn't work. If your work cannot
be
> differentiated from your competitions then you had better let them set
your
> prices. If we want to be able to charge more for our work, then we should
be
> able to give our customers a reason to pay a higher price. The answer is
not
> to ask the other
> guy to raise his prices so that we can make a living. >>
> >>
>
> How true.
> There was an actual study done by (I think) the Stanford Research
Institute.
> In America there are actually FIVE LEVELS of BUYERS at five levels of
income
> and values and lifestyles. You need to know who to target your work for,
find
> venues appropriate for where they will shop and WHY they should buy your
> work. Is your work appropriate for your target? You can't just change the
> arbitrarily change the price and expect them to jump to buying your pots.
>
> Of course there is some overlap and exceptions, but GENERALLY the five
> categories are:
>
> NEED DRIVEN:
> These are the people at basic survival level. They are minimum wage
> workers, some on welfare. They buy the cheapest beer on sale, like Rolling
> Rock, and shop at the closest cheapest places, like dollar stores. Name
brand
> or quality doesn't count so much as cheap price. If they shop at K-mart,
it
> is for the clearance items. Companies who target them are the late nite
ads
> for insurance.
>
> BELONGERS:
> These are basically Midwestern, home and hearth people. Family is
their
> #1 priority as well as being patriotic and loyal to country. "The
American
> way!" They love stability. Wounding them psychically would be to go
through a
> divorce, extreme change in home, job, family, economics. (These are the
> perfect examples in stories about how if they won the lottery, things got
> WORSE for them! Family and friends changed toward them, stable values got
> toppled. They no longer fit into middle-America with their new money.)
> Companies they are loyal to (and who target them) are: AT&T, Sears, K-mart
> (Martha Stewart's stock scandal could topple her if she is perceived as
being
> disloyal to Americans for doing insider trading.) Ford & Chevy: the
> all-American cars -- built tough and made to stay that way (stability).
Beer
> is Budweiser, Miller (all-American).
> Coke made the biggest marketing blunder of all time when they
introduced
> "New" Coke. They forgot who their buyers were. They eventually had to
bring
> back "Classic" (stable, loyal) Coke.
>
> EMULATORS:
> This group is typically around 17-38 years old. They are on their way
up
> in the corporate/job/status world, but have NOT "made it" - ACHIEVED yet.
> Income is between $50,000 - $80,000.
> Their deepest psychic wound is that they have low self confidence and
> they KNOW it. So they look for things to make them feel confident and to
give
> them the appearance of the status they seek. They buy Mustangs, Camaros
> Z-28s. Sexy cars. Sexy, status clothing. The Mitsubishi Miata was top
selling
> in it's class the first year it came out advertised as the sexy (secretly
> affordable) sports car. Just watch the Mitsubishi and Nissan commercials
and
> who is sitting and dancing in them.
> They drink Coors for beer.
> They are called EMULATORS because they try to "emulate" the next category
of:
>
> ACHIEVERS:
> This group HAS made it in their chosen professions. Typically makes
$80,000
> - $250,000.They have the class and sophistication and know it. They like
to
> be unique and different from the "crowd". Their psychic wound would be to
be
> thought of as part of the crowd - LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE!
> They do not want to be confused as an EMULATOR or a BELONGER. They drive
> BMWs, Mercedes, Ferraris. They show only top designer lines at Saks Fifth
> Avenue, Bloomingdales. They wear only the latest Ralph Lauren Polo shirts.
> (He changes the logo slightly every year so that the ACHIEVERS won't have
to
> be caught dead in last season's logo that the EMULATORS are now wearing
> having bought at an end of the season, designer's closeout sale. They wear
> sophisticated loungewear -- never any sweats! If they do drink beers, it
is
> foreign, quality, expensive: Heineken, or the dark foreign amber beers,
etc.
>
> SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS:
> These are generally 44 years olds & up. They are post Vietnam and
> Woodstock but those social values of the time are still with them. They
need
> to feel smart and socially conscious. Al Gore is one of them.
> This group works less than 50% of the time. They hate achievers. Think all
> ACHIEVERS do is waste money and resources. Their psychic wound is being
> manipulated by others -- especially through advertising! They hate those
> emotionally manipulative Kleenex & AT&T commercials designed to make you
cry
> to buy their products. They shop at L. L. Bean, The Earth Shop, etc.
> ACHIEVERS have the SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS, think they just sit around all
day
> with no drive.
>
> An INTEGRATIVE level is a combo of Achievers and Socially Conscious. They
> make $250,000 and up. Oprah Winfrey is one -- rich while doing socially
> conscious thing with money. Also: Anthony Robbins, Marianne Williamson.
>
> These levels of Buyers of course do not take in the extreme rich, for they
> don't buy store bought. They are so assured of themselves and can have
made
> whatever they want. They buy custom-made, one of a kind items, couture
> designer clothing. Tom Cruise and Nicole bought exclusively handmade, hand
> embroidered, hand laced Irish linen for bedding when they filmed "Far and
> Away" up in Ireland.
> If they do buy anything considered "mass-produced" their maid or a
hired
> shopper bought it for them.
>
> So while many on this thread often sited the example of buyers shopping at
> K-mart then expecting K-mart levels of pricing on our pottery, many K-mart
> shoppers IF they shop at Nordstrom's, Bloomingdales at all, will only look
at
> and buy the extremely price-slashed clearance items. Their priority is
> hunting for BARGAINS, even if they want quality and handmade. These are
the
> ones who will point out defects in your work to get you to lower the price
or
> bargain three for the price of one. %$#*@!
>
> Emulators will want a pot that will give them status when they give a
dinner
> party, or has status on their coffee table, but at an affordable price.
>
> Bloomingdales shoppers would never be caught dead in K-mart buying Ivory
> soap. Unusual, unique and quality, regardless of price speak to them. If
your
> pot is not well-made, lacks quality, craftsmanship, individual character,
> they aren't buying it no matter what fixed, high price is on it.
>
> To target the Achievers, go to dinner parties with Tony & Sheila Clennell!
>
>
> When I learned about this study, I was at a seminar. The speaker had
actual
> audience members come up and just stand there. We had to differentiate the
> different groups they fit in according to their clothing, demeaner &
posture,
> hairstyle, eye glasses, personal style, etc. Each audience member said we
> nailed them on the head. While some members may fit back and forth between
> two adjacent categories, They usually did choose one category where the
> social values were MOST them.
>
> So quit talking about the K-mart shoppers and other K-mart priced potters
(if
> you don't want to be one,) target your real markets!
>
> Imzadi
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________
__
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
melpots@pclink.com.

Imzadi . on tue 25 jun 02


KLeSueur@AOL.COM writes:
<< Another interesting study done by a university business school had
to do with pricing. They took a simple plastic windshield icescraper and put
various prices on it. At $.39 it was ignored as a piece of junk that would
fall apart. At $1.99 it was too expensive for a simple icescraper. The most
popular price, the one at which the most unit sold, was $1.29. Yet, the piece
showed a good profit at the $.39 price. >>

Reminds me of a time I was reading posts at the eBay Sellers Forum. A person
was complaining: "Why can't Buyers do better homework in regards to retail
pricing before buying? There is one item in which the final auction price of
that item sells consistantly at three times the retail price of the item
which is sold directly off the Sellers personal website. She has a link to it
right on the eBay auction page. All you have to do is click on the link and
buy it at the lower price."

To which another poster replied, "You know of an item that you can buy full
retail at a low price and will definitely resell for three times the
amount?!? What is it? I want to sell it!"

Imzadi

Lois Ruben Aronow on tue 25 jun 02


On Mon, 24 Jun 2002 23:39:15 -0700, you wrote:

>I have heard that for example a laundry detergent company will make =
essentially the
>same formula of detergent and package with three or four different names=
in three
>or four different price ranges. They get the ones that are motivated =
to buy the
>best (cost =3D quality), the ones that don't want the most expensive, =
but not the
>"cheapest" and of course the ones looking for the bargain. The perfume =
might be
>different, the color of the little "flavor crystals" might be different,=
but the
>basic formula is the same. Packaged for each targeted consumer.
>
Car companies have done that for YEARS. For example - General Motors
has it's Chevrolet line (basic), Pontiac (sportier), and Buick
(Luxury). Ford has it's Ford, Lincoln, Mercury (although now it's
just Lincoln/Mercury). They use the same bodies and parts, but allow
for different colours and options to appear to different segments of
the population.


Radio stations do this too. There are currently 2 big radio
conglomerates, who, since deregulation, own several different stations
in each market. Each station is programmed to appeal to teens,
adults, hispanics, and african-americans. While each station appears
different to the average listener, they give each conglomerate access
to all segments to the population.
--------------------------------------------
Lois Ruben Aronow
gilois@bellatlantic.net

=46ine Craft Porcelain
http://www.loisaronow.com - Newly updated! New Work and Tattoo pictures!

Orchard Valley Ceramics Arts Guild on wed 26 jun 02


>I have heard that for example a laundry detergent company will make
>essentially the
>same formula of detergent and package with three or four different
>names in three
>or four different price ranges. They get the ones that are
>motivated to buy the
>best (cost = quality), the ones that don't want the most expensive,
>but not the
>"cheapest" and of course the ones looking for the bargain. The
>perfume might be
>different, the color of the little "flavor crystals" might be
>different, but the
>basic formula is the same. Packaged for each targeted consumer.
>

There's a famous case study in marketing classes. A liquor
manufacturer (I forget
which one) with low sales concluded that there was too much competition in
their price range. They actually RAISED their prices, without changing the
product at all. They were appealing to a different buyer, who equated price
with quality, and sales went up dramatically.

I've often wondered if the same trick would work with my pots. ("Wow,
this guy must be a real artist! His mugs sell for $40!")

- Bob

Cindi Anderson on thu 27 jun 02


This study is kind of bizarre. I get the drift. But it seems to exclude a
lot of people. Like the people who have money, have confidence, but don't
have any desire to impress other people. I can think of other categories
who were missed... but basically they all fit in the category of "well
adjusted people with or without money." Are there actually so few that they
are not important parts of the buying public. That would be pretty sad. Or
maybe they just aren't useful in terms of buying because they don't buy
much.

I have often felt that our economy (and maybe our world) would collapse if
the population was overall more well-adjusted. No crazy CEO's driving
growth, trying to prove something to somebody. Nobody willing to run for
political office, given when you have to go through. Nobody buying dumb
things they don't need, which they buy for a variety of dysfunctional
reasons.

Anyway, back to pottery... I don't think I saw anybody in that study who
bought something just because they loved it, or it was beautiful (and I
would guess that is the majority of people who buy handmade pottery.)

Cindi
Fremont, CA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Imzadi ."
> How true.
> There was an actual study done by (I think) the Stanford Research
Institute.
> In America there are actually FIVE LEVELS of BUYERS at five levels of
income
> and values and lifestyles. You need to know who to target your work for,
find
> venues appropriate for where they will shop and WHY they should buy your
> work. Is your work appropriate for your target? You can't just change the
> arbitrarily change the price and expect them to jump to buying your pots.