Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jewelry Shows - There's Something about a Sale

I've been making jewelry for over 6 years. I don't do a ton of shows, but I've done enough to consider myself a veteran.

In the past I've had 'sales' - for example: Spend $50 and get 10% off your order. Or buy two pendants and save $1 on each. Things like that.

But I've never had a sale table - where everything on the table was marked down.

Well last week I had three solid days of shows. In the last few months I've purchased a whole new line of beads and am designing different things. I had hundreds of items made some of which had been displayed at my shows for years - literally.

There were things in my 'box' that I looked at and said "What was I THINKING when I made this? It's never going to sell".

Well I decided to get a second table. I took MANY of my older, 'less popular' items and marked them with a colored dot. Depending on the color the customer got 20%, 30%, or 40% off the item. Now keep in mind- most of my items were marked to sell on consignment, so I had some leeway to work with.

Well the sale table blew away my expectations. The things that hadn't been looked at for show after show after show were selling in droves.

Honestly - there is something about a true sale that just seems to make people go a little crazy. I admit, I've fallen prey to the Sale Fever in the past too.

So what did this do for me:

1.) I cleared out at least 40-50 pieces of very old inventory that I thought I would have to cut apart.
2.) My customers got a great deal and I did not lose money on anything.
3.) I increased my cash flow, making more cash available to invest in the newer designs I'm making.
4.) I had a record breaking year at a show I had attended for 6 years. My sales increased by well over 15% and I sold many more individual items then I had in the past.

On the down side - the customers at this show were interested more in my sale table than in the newer designs I was premiering. I did sell a number of my higher end pieces but didn't get the "WOW" impact I was hoping for.

To be honest - I did so well at the shows that I don't really mind. I've got plenty of time and opportunity to showcase my new (and I feel better) designs.

I don't always have the opportunity to get a second table. But after all of these years I learned the value of taking advantage of the opportunity if I have it.


Jessica said...

Congrats! I'll keep this in mind if I decide to do a show again. Great blog post. :)

A Painting a Day by Kristen Stein said...

Congratulations on the sales and fabulous information.


Terry Spier said...

Interesting results - good for you. I've thought about putting older pieces on sale, but most of the shows I do don't allow a "sale" table - will have to find some other way of doing it, especially with older stock that no longer fits with what I am currently doing.

Thanks for the post.

SewDanish-Scandinavian Textile Art, Unique Handmade Supplies said...

Good for you, and thank you for sharing your expirence! Defenately something to keep in mind for that ' just sitting around' inventory.

earthexpressions said...

Thanks for sharing your experience Carla :)
Interesting info... congratulations on your sales... That second table is a great idea...

Shasta McLaughlin said...

I was wondering if when you had these customers in the buying mood if you offered them a complimentary upsell?

Something I'm learning from my marketing studies is that when a customer is buying keep offering them something that would compliment what they already bought until they say no.

When they say no offer them a downsell like a discount for buying the extra pieces.

Designer Jewelry for Women said...

If I had to choose one thing that I love about creating my own beaded jewelry designs, it would be the unlimited possibilities that are presented to me every time I sit down with my sketchbook and my beads. Really, I can't think of another jewelry-making medium that allows for such expression of your personal artistic taste in such a beautiful way!