Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Increase Sales or Lower Product Value

I was approached a few days ago by a fellow artisan on Facebook who had liked my page.  Now I just jotted her a note to say hello and thank you.  I have seen this person on my Facebook many times 'liking' and 'sharing' my posts or those of others for whom I have shared, many from the Handmade Artists Shops.  So we got to 'chatting' and I discovered she is a "starving artist" just like myself.  Not so odd, many of us are, but as we were talking about the difficulties of getting our beautiful pieces of work seen and more to the point, bought, she indicated that she had begun to see a few sales and that her sales had come due to a suggestion from a friend.

Now here goes the crux of the issue.  She suggested that I sell kits for my pieces of jewelry with instructions for the creation of them.  Now I asked myself, do I really want to do that?  Here is the thing.

We all tweet, post onFacebook, Pinterest and anywhere we can find to show our wares.  Most of the people who see it are other handcrafting artisans or whatever the medium may be.  Why you say?  Because they are looking for inspiration or are they? So if you are sharing your photos and information to places that for the most part other handmade creators are, then are we asking for out items to be copied, because other handmade artists are not likely to buy our product if they make similar items, right?  Right.  I thought you would agree.

To combat this a possibility is to sell kits for our products and that may definitely drive our sales upwards, but what about the pieces we so lovingly create that are still sitting waiting to be purchased.  Does that leave us with only local craft fairs to sell our goods?  Will this lower the value of our own products?  I think that it may be harder to sell our own items and therefore force us to reduce the prices, but will it? Can we possibly require that the person who might buy the kit, place some identifier on it that shows to all that it is an original design by ?????.  Will they do that?  Not always, rarely I think.

Now some of my pieces are easy peezee, it would not take a rocket scientist to look at them and figure out how they are made, those are the simple things.  But bead weaving for instance, yea, not so much.  It is a bit more difficult to look at and figure out how and where to take your thread and through which bead to make it look the way it does or when to flip it over to get the effect you want or when, if you flip it over you will create a mess for yourself that you have to pull out and start over.

I know a lot of artisans do sell kits for their lower end pieces and I may. Jury is still out on this one.  Could I use the additional sales, absolutely, do I want to get them that way?  I am just not sure.  One good thing about it would be that it would clear out my stash and afford me the opportunity to buy more, better perhaps and/or venture into something more, like metalsmithing, or actual bead looming, or lampwork, all of which I am dying to try out.  This could provide the funds for the required tools such as kilns, glass rods, looms, etc.

Like I said, the jury is still out for me, but I wanted to put this out there as a thought for those who may be struggling and really need to do something a bit different.  This could be the way.  It could stop people from actually stealing your ideas, then you could say, "yes, I sold them the kit that got them started."

What do you think?

1 comment:

lisianblue Kris said...

It's a tough one! I've had people suggest I sell patterns for some of the items I create - not sure I want to sell or give away a pattern of something I'm trying to sell. I imagine there may be people out there that just can't quite come up with their own designs for beadwork, or maybe someone interested in getting into this - and wanting to see how it's done without having to go out and buy all the supplies - maybe you could try a few with some of the orphan beads hanging around that isn't going to recreate a piece you already make. Yeah - beadweaving is whole different story - I learned how to do this many years ago and still enjoy doing it from time to time - love the way the beads feel!