Friday, 22 January 2010

What price for a sale

Regardless of how you price an item, the price is only one factor in getting a sale, but you must get it right, and for the right reasons.

What do people think when they see the price of an item?
a) it is priced perfectly
b) it is far too expensive
c) it is far too cheap

So what do these three key words mean, perfectly, expensive and cheap? There are people who will not buy something if it is too cheap. Let’s say my wife’s birthday is coming up, I wouldn't buy my wife a handmade scarf for £10, that’s far too cheap and probably not worth my time looking at. I would certainly consider £35 - £65. So here you can learn something. If and when I decide that my wife needs a handmade scarf, I would dismiss scarves that are cheaper than $35 and more expensive than $65.

Now apply that logic to the items you create.

In the post ‘One percent’
We have looked at how many views an item need before a purchase.

Now I am going to use myself as an example of a buyer, whom do I buy for, simple, myself and my family.

There are some 500 sellers on folksy at the time of writing this; I doubt I would buy from quite a few of them. Why? I admire their skill, their use of materials, their designs, the technique employed. A lot of my favorites are woodworkers or jewellery makers (I need to refine that); they are people who hand craft a piece from raw wood into a unique object. So many of the people I have in my favorites are woodworkers or jewellery makers. Somebody who glues one item to a finding and calls it jewellery is just not my cup of tea. They have a market, and some people have sold hundreds and thousands of objects. But it just isn’t what I’d buy for my wife, mother, or sister.

So there are loads of sellers who have had visits from me on their pages. I admire their work but won't buy from them.

I have also looked in amazement at some seller’s shop’s, whose work I think is just awful....... (Sorry, simple truth)

Now one of folksy faults is that to get on, you need people to favorite your shop, I think this was intended as a type of peer review, but many people (myself included, have asked people to favorite them, in exchange for being favorite back), thereby defeating the objective.

You may make the most beautiful brooch and live in a large urban town. Do you decide to price because nobody in your town would pay more than £5.00? You had a look in a few shops, and that was the price they were selling at, even though there’s was not handmade. No. You price your product properly for the time, raw materials, overheads and profit. I have never sold an item off folksy to someone in my town. Why would I price what my local economy would accept?

You all need to price your items for the right reasons. Never, ever think that because you hand knit a scarf, and that to price it correctly you need to charge £60 that it will not sell. Why should you only price it at £20 because that’s what you think it will sell at? There are buyers out there, they will pay extra for handmade, and they want original, quality items. If they want cheap tat, they can go to asda or anywhere else selling dirt cheap mass produced crap.

Make people want what is special, not what everyone can have.


One percent

Is my pricing right? Can anyone give me tips on getting a sale? I’ve not had a sale yet, what am I doing wrong? Help! How do I get a sale?

Haven't we all read this kind of post before?

This post will probably be quite long, It’s not the complete answer, but it will help, Remember that underlying everything, your items will only sell if there is a buyer who want’s it. If you have made something that’s rubbish, it wont sell

It doesn't matter what you are making, your item will only ever appeal to 10%, 5%, 1% or 0.001% of the population.
(excluding fellow sellers)
Wouldn’t it be amazing if every time you listed something, it was viewed once and purchased?

Lets not worry about what it is, let just call it ‘the item’.

So we can now agree that your item will only ever appeal to certain % of the population. Now lets make a figure up of 1%. So you need 100 people to view it, for 1 to say, "I would like buy that." The other 99 will say that is pretty, nice, etc. Then move on.

We are now happy that 1 in 100 will like it enough to buy it. But for some reason, that person does not have the money to buy it then and there, but she may have the money soon and will be back then.

So the first 100 people, who view your item, generate the 1 who might buy it, but they don't. You now need another 100 to view it to generate your next 1. This happens, and this one is a student who just can't afford it at the moment, they agree that it is priced more than fairly for what it is, but they are skint.

It is probably at this stage with Mrs. Right just around the corner and three clicks away from finding your shop, that you have a crisis of confidence and drop your prices, close your shop, stop blogging, stop promoting - any or all of these.

By using the ‘Manage your items’ tab under your account, you can see how many times an item has been viewed, you can also use Google Analytics to help with this. For sellers on folksy, the percentage should be higher than 1 percent

So you need to remember that you need people to look at your shop, the more people that look, the more chance of the 1% seeing your item, and having every other factor in place to buy it, now you have been following the advice of other sellers, you tweet, facebook, and blog, but what more can you do? The key question to ask is, How can I get visitors to the site to view items in my shop?

The next few posts will deal with the answers to this question

This post owes a lot of content and respect to Chris Parry, a jewellery who sells on etsy, and his own website