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Business Development: Let's Talk Pricing, Part 7

teddyBusiness Development: Let's Talk Pricing, Part 6  -  by Teddy Wright, Education Director

Customer #5: 
Do you sell your samples?

I was always hesistant about selling my samples because I didn't want to spend the time to create another sample. In restrospect, that wasn't the best fiscal choice. The purpose of a sample is to stimulate the customer's interest and generate a sale. So why am I saying no to a customer that wants to spend the money? That would be like going to Macy's and seeing a dress on display that was just what I wanted, but the last one available. So, I ask the sales clerk to sell it to me and they say no because other people will want to look at it or they didn't want to take the time to redo the display.

As retailers, we need to take advantage of every type of sale possible. Whether it is the "do-it-yourself" crafter or the "do-it-for-me" baby boomer. Variable pricing strategies are the name of the game. 

Finished ware is a good revenue stream to take advantage. You can:

  1. Sell your samples
  2. Set up a finished ware section
  3. Sell discontinued items


  • Put a sticker on all items you are willing to sell with a price. This helps you clear out old ideas and replace samples with fresh, new items.
  • Have a sample sale. Take a table or shelf, set everything out and mark it 'garage sale' prices. Keep the profits or donate the funds to charity.
  • How do you price? Charge retail price of pottery, plus your labor. Labor cost can be an adult studio fee or another denominator of your time cost. Such as 'Pottery plus $15', or 'Pottery plus $20', your choice. Just think when you go to the grocery store, the deli charges more for prepared food than if you do it yourself.

Finished Ware Section:

  • Many people do not want to paint the item or just do not have time, but love the hand-made items. So offer items they can "grab-and-go." Increase your sales by adding a Pebeo pen, gift bag from the dollar store and a card. 
  • Finished ware sections meet the need of the last minute gift shopper. For example: create a sample that any of your employees can replicate for birthday, wedding, anniversary or going way occasions. Have a section with the finished items displayed with a sign indicating "Gifts to Go". The customer can buy the finished item or you can drop in names, dates, or saying and they pick it up in three days. 
  • Since this is custom work, the price is generally higher than what a customer can do the same project themselves. You are bring paid for your time.

Sell Discontinued Items:

  • Everyone loves to find a bargain. Sell old samples, discontinued pottery, finished pottery customers did not pick up. 
  • How about the 1/2 finished pottery that have been there for six months? Clean it off and sell it for 1/2 the price. 
  • Items sitting on your shelf for months and months are eating up your cash flow. Mark it down and turn the items - churn and burn, baby. 

As I said before, it's all abou the multiple pricing strategies. You already have the in-studio fees, so capture the sale from the "Gift to Go" or your own custom work.

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