Saturday, August 30, 2008

Strategies To Try If Your Crafts Aren't Selling

When a product isn't selling you have three other choices: Stop trying to sell it, change it, or make something else. An here are four ways you can change a product to make it more appealing to buyers:

1. Change your prices

2. Change the materials being used

3. Change your colors or designs

4. Change the name or function of your product

CHANGE YOUR PRICES. The price you place on a product has a great deal to do with whether it will sell or not. Before you even think of lowering the price of a hard-to-sell product, try first to change it in some way to make buyers feel it is worth more to them.

CHANGE MATERIALS. The type and quality of the materials you use in your work automatically determines your market and the prices you can charge for it. Some materials are ordinary or plain, while others are unusual or luxurious. When you elect to work with common materials, buyers may expect your prices to be common as well. When you use luxurious or exotic materials, however, you automatically attract more affluent buyers.

For example, you can either make teddy bears for children, using inexpensive washable furs from your local sewing store, or make designer bears for collectors, using expensive imported fur such as Mohair. Whereas a teddy bear for kids might sell for $15 to $25, collectors will pay ten times this price for a one-of-a-kind bear. If you make furniture or wooden accessories, you can either use a common wood like pine and price it for the general public, or use uncommon or exotic woods that will appeal to buyers with bigger pocketbooks.

CHANGE COLORS OR DESIGNS. Even when you are using the right materials for a product, it may not sell if your colors or designs are wrong for the times. Stay aware of what's hot and what's not where colors are concerned, and strive always for more originality in your designs.

CHANGE PRODUCT NAME OR FUNCTION. What you call your products has a great deal to do with whether they will sell or not, so try calling them something other than what most people might call them. For example, let's assume that you make wheat weavings. They might sell at higher prices if you presented them as "Wheat Art Sculptures" or "WheatArt Collectibles." That's because some people automatically expect to pay more for a product if they feel they are buying "art" instead of "craft." To further illustrate, a wheat weaving affixed to a plaque might be perceived as "craft" while a wheat weaving in a shadow box behind glass might be considered "art." (And the extra benefit is that this product won't be soiled after it has hung on the wall for a couple of years.)

To change the function of a wheat weaving presently being sold as a plaque, consider placing it in a box with a recessed top so the arrangement is permanently preserved under glass. Such a box could be lined in leather or turned into a velvet-lined jewelry box. Now you've not only changed the function, but the name as well. And by adding a high-quality music mechanism that might add less than $10 to your materials cost, you could easily ask four times the price for this product because now the product has become a handcrafted music box.

Wheat weavings also make charming Christmas ornaments. The same people who aren't interested in another picture to hang on the wall may find it hard to resist buying another ornament for their tree. Or, think "jewelry," always of interest to most women. Think "pendants" and "earrings" and "designer pins," and remember that the quality of your metal findings will determine the price you can ask for jewelry. People will always pay more for gold-plated or sterling silver jewelry.

As you can see, price, material, color, design and a product's name and function all work together where sales are concerned. Apply the above logic to your craftwork and see what happens.

MAKE SOMETHING ELSE. Sometimes the only logical solution to sluggish sales is to make something else. Whatever your art or craft, if you're not selling at a profit after a certain length of time, it may be that you're simply in a rut on the wrong road to sales success. Let this be your signal to stop and think about new roads you might explore.

As any successful seller will tell you, changing directions in midstream is all part of the fun of selling what you make. Instead of waiting for a pot of gold that may never appear, make some changes. As someone once said, you cannot expect different results if you keep doing the same thing. Creative ideas will come if you will make the effort to stretch your imagination. To do this, pay attention to what others are doing.

Read. Network. Experiment. Turn left instead of right. Ask "what if?" and "why not?" Dare to be different.

Adapted from

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