Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What I've Learned Part 1

Every new opportunity lends itself to a learning curve.  Starting a new job.  A new piece of technology.  Trying to do your own taxes (don't).  And then magically, one day, we don't need to think about HOW to use these things, we just do.  I bet you can't remember a time you didn't know how to use a spoon?  So in this little series I'd like to share with you some of the tips and tricks I've figured out, the hard way, about handmade selling.

Today's Episode- How Putting the Price Out in the Open Stopped My Sales
Whoa!  I know right?  It seems counter intuitive.  And a lot of makers will tell you YOU NEED to put your prices right out in the open.  What if someone is shy and they don't want to talk to you? If your prices aren't visible, you'll loose that sale. And that's a fair assumption.  But let me tell you my story about how doing that TOTALLY backfired on me.

First full year of production - 2014.  Tyler and I were working every market together -it's always nice to have someone to bounce your ideas off of.  I had my boot cuffs displayed in baskets, all lined up, ready to go to home with fashionable ladies.  I had these great little chalkboard picks I'd got at Michaels and stuck them in the baskets with the words "boot cuffs" on them. Cute right?

Then I got an idea- let's use my super cute chalk board signs and put the price of the cuffs on the chalkboards.  I rewrote the signs with $49-the price of my cable cuffs.  This would allow me to interact with my customers without having to answer "How much are the boot cuffs?"  I thought I was a genius!  My brilliant idea was efficient and informative; who wouldn't love it?

The customers, that's who didn't love it.  By seeing that $49 in black and white kept people from even touching the cuffs.  People stopped talking about them ALTOGETHER!  No one picked them up.  And just like that my boot cuff sales stopped. DEAD.  I mentioned to Ty how bummed I was that people weren't interested in the cuffs.  He suggested that the price was scaring them off and that we erase the signs.  The price was on the tag anyway, it's not like we were hiding how much they were.  So we erased them.  Put them back just with the words "boot cuffs".  Lo and behold, sales started to pick up.  I couldn't believe it!  Every blog I'd ever read told me to make sure my prices were visible.  But when I tested that theory, it didn't work for me.  

So what's the moral of the story. Depending on what you make, most shoppers need to feel a connection to your product.  Especially if it's a bit of an investment.  Once people pick up my cuffs, feel how soft they are, see how well crafted they are, they've already started the process of imagining how those cuffs would fit in their life. They start thinking about what boots they have that would match. In their head, they already own the cuffs.  And that is EXACTLY what you want people to do with your products.  ENCOURAGE shoppers to pick up and try, feel, touch your products.  Putting your product in their hands already gives them a sense of ownership!  It brings them one step closer to making that purchase, WITHOUT YOU HAVING TO BE PUSHY! WOO!   Once someone has picked up something, it's in their hands, they are interacting with it, they're imagining how it will fit in their life, their wardrobe, their home.  Once they can see their life WITH your product, the price becomes LESS scary.  Why? Because they've already purchased it in their head.  They've already decided that they need this.  I can't tell you how many people have balked at the price of my products, UNTIL THE PICK IT UP or TRY IT ON!  Then they get it.  

I'm not saying hide your prices.  I'm not saying to be sleazy, or scamy (that's not how I roll).  But you don't need to have a big neon flashing sign (or chalkboard sign for that matter) outright flaunting your prices.  Next time you're shopping in a higher end clothing store, try to find a tag that's out in the open.  Bet you can't.  High end retailers do the same thing.  They want you to envision your life with that sweater, BEFORE you see the price.  Think about the prices at an art gallery.  Tiny. Almost hidden beside the painting. Available, but not flashy.   And from my experience, it works.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on how to be a better handmade seller.  Got a comment or question?  Leave it below.  I promise to get back to all of them.  Let's make 2016 your most successful handmade year yet!

Peace, Love & Handmade

1 comment:

Coastal Dreamer Designs said...

Great posting! I have had very similar experiences in the past as well! So I couldn't agree more :)