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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Thoughts to Ponder: Artists and Crafters could use a degree in consumer psychology

I'm reading "Crafts and Craft Shows: How to Make Money" by Philip Kadubec. I avoided this one for a while since the cover is cheaply done and cheesy, but the old saying about judging the book by it's cover still holds true. Anyway, it's a great book. Again, since we're on the high end of craft stuff and the low end of art, there are sections of this book that don't completely apply. He does have good advice about choosing shows and booth design.

From a section on loss leaders (an item priced at or below cost to draw people in, like cheap milk at a convienience store):

"As with everything else in the crafts business, there is an exception. An artist friend of ours, who worked in oils, taught me this. In front of his booth he always had a very large painting that he priced at $5,000. That may seem like an unusual price for a loss leader, but in this case the goal was different. He knew, just as well as I, that virtually no one goes to a craft show to buy a $5,000 painting. If they are going to spend that much money, they'll go to a reputable, established art galler. He never did sell that painting at a craft show, but he sure sold a lot of small paintings and prints. Customers looked at and admired the $5,000 painting; somehow the price established his credentials as an artist. Then they thought they were getting a bargin on anything that they did purchase. "

We've noticed that our most expensive piece never sells as well are our second most expensive piece. And you do have to choose what to bring based on your market...at the farmer's market we bring some of our less expensive stuff, while we're taking all the good stuff to Boston.

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