Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

First real show

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • First real show

    I've been selling by word of mouth alone for a couple of years now and have never done a craft or carving show, that is till now. The Moose lodge in Zanesville Ohio put on a free table, no cost to the crafter, craft show. They only asked for a $10 item to raffle off for Moose heart.

    Well 36 crafters showed up making for a full lodge i'll tell you. The people came in and after looking at my prices laughed and walked away. Now i know that i can't really explain everything about my carvings details to explain my prices to ya'll but the basics are this; a 1x1x6" santa ornament is $25, a 1.5x1.5x12" free standing santa is $45, a 6" or 12" carved pine tree is $30 and the kicker was my snowman and santa pins at $4. I understand that the economy is in the crapper and folks aren't buying like they used to but i was always told to price high enough to show the quality of the work, and i've been told that i could get more out of them if i wanted.
    I don't want to give them away but i think i may have set my bar too high for this type of a show..But..i've always got my price on word of mouth sales and told by my customers that my prices were cheap for the quality of work i do and that i should ask for more. I, like all of us, am not in this to get rich but maybe i need to stick with W.O.M. sales instead and stay away craft shows.

    Have any of you had this kind of trouble? Any thought or advice is welcome.

    By the way i did make one sale and it was a display only item my neighbor wanted so i gave it to her at a discount in exchange for a discount on her homemade Pepper Butter..yummy! LOL!

  • #2
    Re: First real show

    I am sure there are a lot of us in the same position. It's a great feeling when someone wants to buy one of my carvings - it sort of acknowledges that the carving is good. Sounds like you prices are very fair. It's really just a matter of trying different events to sell them. One tip - it's always good to come up with a bunch of $10 items - it's like buying a candy bar at the grocery store register as you leave - usually pays for the table rental.
    Good luck & don't give up!

    Ken

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: First real show

      Michael,

      I know your carvings, and they're worth what you price them at. So, I don't think the problem is with your carvings or with you. Folks that attend a craft show are looking for ideas that they can do themselves, or maybe they confuse a craft show with a flea market, or a garage sale. Perhaps that the tables were free was the tip off. I have come to the conclusion that if an event charges admission for the seller as well as the "public", the better items are the better sellers.

      Tom H
      http://beginnerscarvingcorner.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: First real show

        Man, I hate to hear that don’t let it get you down. Most folks think of woodcarving as a craft not FINE ART. I sold carvings that took me hundreds of hours to complete for $20 and sold paintings that took me 20 hours for a grand. I think people that buy art are pretentious and I could care less what they think of my carvings. I carve wood because I love it, all of it the tools, techniques, feel and smell of the wood. Honestly I love to paint as well but I am a Woodcarver that paints once in a while. I had a patron of art say to me recently after seeing one of my paintings “I didn’t know that you were an artist” mind you this man paid me $500 for a woodcarving earlier that year.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: First real show

          The largest hurdle all carvers will face when trying to sell their carvings is rejection. No matter how good you might think you are, how fair your pricing, you will face this. Some can't take it and quickly fold their table and give up. Some are afraid of it and don't even try. Others take a chance, face the odds, get humbled but then get back up again and try even harder. These are the ones who succeed. It's hard to find the price for your work but you still have to do it. I too know how much I think my carvings are worth but I can't think how that other person sees them. If I price them too cheap they won't sell. If I price them too high they won't sell. But if I price them just right someone just might open their wallet but only if they really want the carving. They are not going to buy something just because the price might seem fair. If you're selling something that everyone else is selling, say Santas, your going to have a harder time as you're competing against all those other little red men. The best thing is to come up with something truly unique that will catch the attention of the viewer. But the best advice is to keep at it no matter what you do.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: First real show

            Graywolf,
            I have run into this....a craft show is no place to try and sell carvings.... Craft shows attract a different type of crowd/customer than a carving show will. I did a craft show with a friend many years ago. Didn't sell a thing. People are looking for garage sale pricing at craft shows.

            I always did pretty well at carving shows. It's a different atmosphere all together. You will still get one or two people who raise an eyebrow at your prices but most folks who come to a carving show, understand the work that went into it. They're impressed with the work. Don't be hurt by your experience. It was just the wrong venue for your quality of work.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: First real show

              Plus like you said " I understand that the economy is in the crapper ". Probably the biggest part of the problem!

              Dave

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: First real show

                I'm sorry you had a not so good time with this sale. It does happen.. locality, weather, advertisement, time of year... it all will affect what kind of day you have. A tip to maybe help the next one.. send an email or flyer to your past purchasers...let them know your going to be at a show and if they bring this flyer with.. they get a percent off thier purchase. Sometimes all it takes is seeing someone buying that will bring in walker-bys..... Another is to have your calling card there for someone to pick up. I've seen it many times where folks will call you later to see if something that caught their eye is still for sale.
                Dont give up... next time you may sell more than you expect.

                Marcia

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: First real show

                  I guess I will be finding out Dec 4th at a craft fair near here. But then, It usually has high end crafts and crafters and I have been told that my ornaments are price way to cheap also. But them, let what happens happen. The least it will do is I don't sell anything. However, I will have items in a variety of prices and should sell. This fair is by invitation only so may be different. Was invited last year but family health problems kept me from doing it so rejection or acception, I plan on being there and haveing a great time.

                  Least I will have enough items for Christmas presents which always are accepted.LOL
                  Hang in ther Graywolf. you'll get them the next time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: First real show

                    As mentioned, most people don't make any difference between art and craft.

                    The only time someone told me I was not asking enough for a wood carving I did is when the buyer was from a wood working family (nor wood carving).

                    The other times I had to ask money for a carving (not giving it away...), people though it was too much, and I was merely asking for the price of the material...

                    But I noticed these same people buy crafts made for tourists, just because they are sold in stores, not from the carver himself.

                    Gilles

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: First real show

                      Totally correct Giles. My little bride and I quit going to one High end Craft Fair in Oklahoma because it started being "Made in China" junk and supposedly the fair was set up for the Mom and Pop crafters but wound up being get what you can out of the craft goers with the junk from China. On booth operater denied any of his stuff was "made in China" and it was alll hand made. Yep it was hand made in China as the booth next to him had the very same thing with the "Made in China" on the back of the items.

                      What stand differently is the high end Crafts compared to everyday crafters and I am not putting everyday crafters down. Just the opposite, The little bride is an every day Crafter and a High end crafter also.
                      Anyway, Like I said, if I sell fine if not, I have Christmas gifts already and will not have to hurry to get some done.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: First real show

                        You all have seen those excellent wood carvings made from tropical hardwood. The 6’ giraffe carved in a cool stylized design for $100 bucks. I would carve you one for a hundred bucks from American hardwood if I wanted to and had the time. I could knock one out in less than two hours not much detail just cool to look at. This is just me talking, I don’t want a giraffe no matter how cool it is I would rather have a Santa carved by an American artist. I don’t care if this hurts feelings, we in the west have our own style of art and it is what I like!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: First real show

                          Just got in from a fall festival, at a tree farm, no fees. Your prices are very close to mine. Spent two days carving ornaments and talking to KIDS from 4-15 and loved every minute. I have found most kids are more interested in and have more appreciation of carving than most adults. (And what grandparent can resist a whining kid going "buy me this?") I sometimes think adults are intimadated by something they may not understand (quaility, time spent learning your art etc.) Sold quite a few carvings, got a commission, and have several new folks seriously interested in my work. I was set up next to a couple my wife and I already knew, and quickly became friends with some other vendors. Great food and great weekend. I have done shows where I paid for a booth and sold NOTHING. You just never know, but don't let it get you down. I don't do events for the money as much as the good time I always seem to have. Just my perspective. Better luck with your next try. (And do try again)

                          John

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: First real show

                            Many carvers want to sell items to sell items. I don't do craft shows, nor will I sell on ebay. I have done a couple of carving shows and a couple of art shows. But I will agree with Lynn, and Susie and the others.
                            Today I carve very little that is not already purchased before I start or at least an agreed to price. My time has a value, and if I do not get that value then the only one who I cheated was me.
                            If I make a carving and it does not sell at what I ask , before I will sell it for less I will give it to someone I feel has a need for it. At least I know the value was achieved . It is not often I do a carving for less than 100.00. The cost of wood , design, and time is too expensive.
                            I sell art, I do not sell a craft. A craft is the skill used to make the art. The cost of wood carving includes years to learn the skills, hours to make designs, hours of removing the wood and turning it into something that will be cherrished for all time. The result is art. If people want my work it has a price, if they wish to go elsewhere it is not my work and they are free to do so. To me your work sounds cheap. I would hope they were laughing because they thought the work was funny and enjoyable.
                            If they were laughing at the price thinking it was overpriced , they they truly are unaware of the work involved to produce the art you were selling.

                            Ash

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: First real show

                              I guess cheap is in the wallet of the beholder Ashbys and i am by no means a professional carver doing this for a living, i'm simply a janitor who likes to carve and share with others. I admit that a craft show may not have been the best place to get my price but it was for the Moose Heart foundation, a good cause in my eyes, and worth setting up for. It was free tables so no real loss and a learning experience for me.

                              But thanks for all the advice. I think i'll just stick with word of mouth sales for now, it's been working.

                              Michael Gray

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X