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walmart/are we in competition?

updated wed 17 nov 04


mel jacobson on tue 16 nov 04

i am not in competition with walmart, or target or
most any store.

i make what stores cannot have. personalized, hand made
gifts at a fair price. most of my pots are in that 25-50
dollar range. up to 75. but, people will buy three, four at a time.
they don't have to add up their check register. they can afford it. now.
and, i don't have pots to put away after a sale. what i tell young potters
is: how many do you sell? not how much each one many
can you sell?

i work that angle with my customers.
i sell gifts. ( would bet that 60 percent of my sales are given to someone
often the buyer is getting a gift for themselves.
i do that at my holiday sale.
december 10, 11,12. `come and buy yourself a gift.`
late in the season, almost on top of christmas.
i don't get in the rush of other potters sales in november.
i do very well.

you have to create your market, just as i am doing
with my tick business. it is not easy. takes time and patience.
but, it does work, and pay off.

if you are going to compete with cheap vases and flower pots,
well, you are in trouble. you just lost the battle.

that is not my market. that is not in my 50 mile circle.
i buy cheap flower tubs, i don't compete with them.

potters and makers of hand made things have a huge advantage.
it is called: BACKLASH

quality buyers are tired of cheap, imported things to give as gifts.
they are looking for home, one of a kind made, quality things. it is up to
you to find the adults that want that sort of thing.
i have a thousand names in my data base. it has taken years
to build that list. they are faithful, love to come to me, my house
and my place. they take away a piece of me. (quote from tony)
they desire that. i love to laugh with them, `man, you would pay
three hundred dollars for this pot at `macy's`and it
would say `made in turkey` on the bottom. they walk away with
spending a hundred bucks, and are pleased as punch. they come back.
well, a hundred bucks times 1,000 people. hmmm. as i have said many times
on this list. if you work your territory, take care of your customers, your
only problem will be production. if you think you can change the direction
of big box stores in america, or chains of stores, think again. it is here
to stay, til it changes on its own. and it will. dayton's is gone,
kreske's and
woolworth's are gone, replaced with dollar stores. but, you can still
buy the same old crap. it is your choice. don't blame big america.
blame your own merchandising skill. look at what david hendley is doing
in rural texas. wonderful skill at getting people to come to him. his
posters and newsletters are funny, clever and to the point. he is
creating an `event`. folks will flock to that. and buy pots. he calls
it a business. it is how he makes his money to live. he does it well.
good pots, good fellow, kind to customers, and people will respect that
and come back. wouldn't you?

Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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