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books & videos plus thoughts on p&p applicable to all mail order

updated tue 16 nov 04


Janet Kaiser on tue 16 nov 04

I have just been going through the 2004&2005 books and video list
from "The Guild of Master Craftsman Publications" and realised
that potters in the UK now have access to those "500 Bowls" and
"500 Teapots" published by Lark, which are often discussed here
on Clayart. Also the Frank Giorgini "Handmade Tile" (same price)
and a few other titles new to me. Not just ceramics either...
Anything from basketry to soap making, although there seem to be
a lot more "women's crafts" than this Guild name would suggest!
Knitting and quilting taking more than their share of space for

I imagine most of these titles are available elsewhere too, but
armchair shopping is something we now associate with online
activity, rather than this old fashioned thumbing through
catalogues. Indeed... there on the front is the web site listing: But however good and user-friendly that
may be, it does not equal the real thing IMHO!! I would not want
to miss my cuddle up on the sofa/in bed with a pile of catalogues
for anything! With or without other company! LOL!

Seriously... A catalogue is a pretty poor substitute for leafing
through a book in a bookshop, but I spent an enjoyable couple of
hours choosing what I wanted/could afford and then filled in the
order form last night. Gosh! =A360.80 for four books already.
Still, they are carefully chosen and I will expect a lot of
information, knowledge and skills learned from them, as well as
much enjoyment and "eye candy" for many years...

But then I notice any order over =A335 and I can chose one extra
free. Any one up to the value of =A325 OK... I'll take "The
Michaels Book of Arts and Crafts" thank you! Sounds like a nice
big heavy coffee table type book, seeing it has =A31 extra
mailing cost listed... Includes many different crafts -- an
enjoyable bedtime read if nothing else... OK...

That is it... Christmas presents for us both!

Now complete the order form... Name, address. Check my maths...
That is correct. Add P&P... What!??! Postage and Package here in
small print... Add =A32.95 for the first item, =A31.95 for each
additional one, plus that =A31 extra for the heavy *free* book.
That is another =A311.85 postage and packing to add to the hefty
=A360.80... Good job I am not in "rest of the world" because it
would be =A34.95 per item!!!

You know what? I am not going to order any!!! I shall go into
town and see if I can order through my bookshop at these
recommended published prices. If they cannot source them, then I
will have to do without. Thank you Guild of Craftsman (sic) for
advertising these books, because apart from those mentioned on
Clayart, I would not have heard about them, not known they were
published in the UK and certainly would not have considered
buying them.

Now... What does that tell anyone on the list thinking about
charging P&P as a listed extra??? I have no doubt that it lost
this company my prospective custom even though I am a business
person myself and know all about the costs... My reaction really
underscores how right professionals are to fracture ALL COSTS,
including potential P&P into any one item. Not only is this
normal practice amongst long-standing pros, but I have always
advised young/first-time potters to include their P&P costs in
all end-price calculations, so shipping appears to be "free" to
all customers.

They can make a very juicy "selling point" of this claim,
although it is not strictly true. They should not fiddle about
adding P&P to their itemised lists, and I really do feel that I
have proved to myself (yet again) precisely why I have always
advised not charging P&P as an extra "item"! It can and will put
prospective new customers off buying!

But what of the situation where p&p costs are included in the
list price, but then work is collected from them in person? What
then? Well they simply have a little extra profit in the kitty
and can be "generous" in other ways if they feel like it...
Adding a mug or a vase to the customer's order at holiday time?
Or whenever a goodwill gesture is required or advisable. Or not.
It really is just one more factor in the ups and downs of doing
business. Nothing to get excited about.

Of course nothing is ever free, anymore than that book was
"free". But why on earth do they offer a "free" item, but then
charge for postage & package? I would much prefer "free" p&p and
really did not need an "added incentive". They actually added
insult to injury by making me pay =A32.95 postage for a "free"
item!! LOL! A first class product does not need to be promoted
with this sort of cheap gimic IMHO.


Janet Kaiser -- I did not win those =A310 American Airline
tickets BTW :o( Guess it is just as well... Baltimore can be
pretty chilly! And I would probably be sent straight home for
being subversive, seeing I am still enjoying the wonderful
cartoons and heated rants from special Claymates in
post-electoral USA... Particularly like the innovative hedge
trimmers and redrawn maps but can imagine Mr. CIA does not have a
sense of humour!
The Chapel of Art : Capel Celfyddyd
8 Marine Crescent : Criccieth : Wales : UK
Home of The International Potters' Path
Tel: ++44 (01766) 523570

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