Increase Sales or Lower Product Value

Increase Sales or Lower Product Value

Handmade Crocheet EarringsI 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.

Radient Mind Beads TutorialsWe all tweet, post on Facebook, 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.

Darlovely TutorialsI 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?

Written by Bead Thing




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Posted in Creative Breakroom

12 Responses to “Increase Sales or Lower Product Value”

  • Interesting article……. something I’ve thought about, but come to a “no” conclusion.
    As, I only make each piece once, making kits to sell “my” items, would devalue what I am trying to achieve.

    I actually sell most at fairs and get the prices I ask 99% of the time; I actually think it’s all about placing yourself and your items in the correct demographic – know who your customer is…. I know my market is 40-60 year old woman (empty nester with money to spend on herself)

    I am not a buyer of kits either, preferring to use my imagination, some days that is good, others not……..

    I agree totally on the social media sharing thing, I’ve had “likers” ask me how to make the items and then get upset when I won’t share… I suppose it goes with the territory of putting yourself out there…. sigh!

  • chainmaille says:

    Gives you something to think about, I say go for both!

  • well, I guess it couldn’t hurt…but like Lottie, I don’t usually make the same thing twice. I would rather try to spend my time getting my items out there for the non-crafty type to see. The ones who like my items, but don’t have the time or inclination to make it themselves.

  • This is interesting. I was “invited” recently to use a service to publish a Chainmaille book based on my blog (E-Published of course). There are a ton of Chainmaille books out there, as well as e-published books too, and better than anything that would come from the blog.

    Do I really want more Maillers out there? No. Teaching a class is one thing, but offering my designs as an “Everybody can do it”, like Lottie, I feel it would devalue my items. Now if I was making money on not only the items I make to sell but on supplies as well that would be a different story, but again, there are already suppliers out there that can provide supplies faster than I can as just a one-woman-show.

  • Uniqlets says:

    I think it all comes to the bottom line. If the money would help you do what you want in your crafts, do you really lose anything if you sell patterns for your more simplistic pieces. I guess, in part, it depends upon whether you think those items represent your creativity. Chances are that you make them for the same reason you would provide patterns or tutorials, they bring money in more easily. It sounds like you could do both, sell patterns and protect your creativity.

  • lisianblue says:

    LOL jury is still out on that whole thing with me too! One of things I do with google+ is items (mine & others) are posted publicly – not just to people in my circle, thinking fb is set up pretty much the same way.
    Hopefully things will pick up here soon – with the holiday’s coming up.

  • I can’t really do that with my art, but when I used to sell fabric items that I had created, I would sell pdf tutorials for certain small items such as little fabric tissue holders or business card holders. Maybe if you created a very simplistic bracelet, you could just do a tutorial and sell that. Just a simple download with no shipping hassle.

  • slneri says:

    I am really worried about losing my competitive edge when it comes to my unique designs. I am a wire artist jeweler and my specialty is tatting with wire. At a crafts show recently another crafter came up and asked what gauge of wire I use to tat the jewelry with. I didn’t want to be rude and tell her that I just don’t share that information. I live in a small area where if everyone that knows how to tat starts making tattted wire jewelry I will not be able to compete. It really does not sell well and you can’t make a fortune tatting wire jewelry because it is so time consuming. But against my better judgemtn I told her the gauge of wire I use. I started selling tatted wire jewelry in 2004 and no one was making jewelry this way. In 2007 I listed some on and there was no other tatted wire on there. Right away people started listing tatted wire. My dream is to make a video and teach it to others so that I can possibly make money that way. Even that is going to saturated the market with pieces similar or the same as mine. I don’t know about kits. I have bought small beading kits for bracelets and saved the patterns so I could recreate them in differnt colors. But I always say thay I got the pattern from somewhere else I never take credit for someone else’s designs. I think there is a great risk of having your designs copied even if you don’t offer kits or give information. The serious crafter is always going to figure it out anyway. The patten laws are so complicated and I was told that if I hadn’t started selling it and putting it out there that I might have been able to patten the technique but because I started sell it before I could not do it after.

  • trusk4u says:

    It is a dilema isn’t it? Personally, I think kits have their place. Great for beginners, kids and the casual crafter. If you make the kits for the more common styles, I think that is could be a good thing. You’d make some money and the customer is happy to be able to make something. As for anything else that is strictly your original design from beginning to end, I would not. In the ned, only YOU can make the decision that is right for you. Thanks for a thought provoking article.

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