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Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  regiooaksartist on 2/8/2009, 08:21

Blush Awwww....Diane and Lori....thank you thank you. I am sooo proud of him. Ummmmm, Diane what should I price him at? That's something I have such a hard time doing...pricing!!
I was going to list him at $250 but thought that was to high...hubby said list for $350.....I get so confuzzled Going in circles LOL!!! Any help in the pricing area from anyone would be greatly appreciated. It would give me some kind of idea.

Hugs,
Confuzzled Regi

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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  darel on 2/8/2009, 10:11

Regi,

Santa and Chester look great. You did a wonderful job on them.


I think pricing is always a problem. The method that Jack Johnston teaches is:

materials + your rate per hour + overhead + advertising = wholesale price

Double the wholesale price for your retail price.

I hope that helps.

Again great job.

Darel

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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  DianeExpress on 2/8/2009, 11:06

Regi,
I was composing my dissertation before I saw Darel's post, so I'd like to comment on that first, and then add my 2cents. Smile

I had heard what Jack says, too, but there's one element I believe
that he left out. The desirability of the work. People buy things
because they want to own it. I don't know how to paint very well, so
someone like Thomas Kinkade and I could take the exact same materials,
time, etc. to produce a painting, but you can be darn sure that his
would sell in a heartbeat and no one would touch mine!!! There's a lot
more to art than A + B = C
With that said, here goes my answer....

Dear Confuzzled,

I know. That's one of the hardest things about selling what you do.
How do you plan on marketing him? You've got some real latitude in
pricing if you're not doing this to recoup booth and travel fees, or if
you're not making Santas as your sole income!!



You know all that went into your work, but it's hard for others to
understand. I was at a show near DC (about 10 years ago!!) and I was
working on a Santa in the booth. (The idea for him came about at 3am
one night...you get the idea. Hyper Santa is careening down a hill on his old-fashioned tricycle (?) with his bike basket full of Teddy Bears. (I know, I have this thing about Teddy Bears and Santa.) Anyway, he's going so fast!!!
that the bears are flying out of the basket, clinging to the ribbons
that are flying out with them. (I had it all wired up.) There's only
one bear left in the basket and he's sitting right in the front,
hanging on for dear life. Santa is leaning back from the force of the
wind, with both feet sticking out to the sides. His hair and beard are
flying back (I used a fan) and you could tell he thought he was Mario
Andretti on a trike. The whole thing was born out of a severe lack of
sleep, tease but it was a howl.)

Anyway, to continue...a man walked by and asked me how much, he
responded with, "Is that in AMERICAN dollars????" Needless to say he
kept walking. Well, he wasn't the right buyer, but one DID come along
and it sold for $1200! American dollars. Hundreds of people past by
that booth that weekend, but it only took one.

Another time, I was at a show near Richmond, and wasn't selling
much. Got the first prize for the booth! but that didn't help sales.
I had one Santa that a man admired, but didn't buy. That evening it
DID sell and I was happy. BUT! The first man drove several hours
home, sat in his driveway, didn't even go in the house, turned around
and drove back to get that Santa! Was he disappointed when I said that
it was sold!!!!! This was just a few weeks before Christmas and I was
already beat, but I told him that I would make another for him...and I
did. (I had a head ready, thank goodness, but it still took 36 hours
straight with no sleep. Why did I do that kind of thing?? wallbash ) Wink Hey. It's me.



I was in another 3 day show and sold ZERO until Sunday right before
closing, and that was only my most inexpensive one. No takers that
weekend. I actually overheard two women talking and they said, "Well,
it's real cute, but not for $200." I wanted to interrupt and say, "Ok, lady. YOU try it!!!!" rant jingle bells jingle bells........

The point of all this is....you've got to price your Santas according
to what they mean to you. If you don't care about working for $1 an
hour wtf
then price it real low. Take into account the cost of the materials
and your time. But why start there? I would listen to your husband on
this one. If you don't have booth or travel fees to recoup give it
your best shot. If you don't get a buyer at the starting price, then
it's your choice to drop the price to give it a better chance at
selling. (Now, if you're at a show, you usually can't discount, but
otherwise it's totally up to you.)

Another(big) thing you have to take into account....Who's you're
audience? If you're at a show with inexpensive booth fees you won't find people
wanting to do more than buying $5.00 items or just come to look. Even then, the weekend when those precious ladies made their comments
my booth was stuck right beside a peanut vendor. Not good
psychologically. sick I sold the Trike Santa at a show that people expected to pay big money, ($500 booth fee) and it was still tough.


With the economy where it's at right now you might find that your
Santa won't find another home for awhile. If you're willing to wait,
consider not just "giving it away". Unless you want it to be a gift!!



One other thing I just thought of. The traditional red and white Santa doesn't seem to be that popular around here at SMs, but when I was selling Santas at shows the ones that were the traditional went the fastest. Then the humorous ones. Then the elegant ones. Notice the order. Almost as soon as I got a red and white one done it got sold. The other ones hung around for awhile and some never sold. I ended up giving them away to friends and family!

I could go on and on.... yammer but I hope this was a little food for thought. Let us know what you decide...ok?
Big hugs...Diane

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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  LMPartdolls on 2/8/2009, 11:29

Diane,

This is a very insightful post. I too believe that you should price something for what it means to you, plus that of Jack's formula. At times, I border on the feeling that I'm just giving my stuff away with the prices that I set. But, I counteract that thought with the realism that I am only just beginning my adventure into the artdoll world; I'm just an unknown doll artist trying to find my way, so how dare I set prices as high as that! bag Then, I scold myself for thinking such things..because if it is good and it means something to me, then why should I give it away? Question wallbash

Pricing is the age old headache. How can you really be sure what an item is worth. Shrug One thing that I tell myself, is that what we do is special. We make stuff that not everyone can do. Can they learn how to do it? Sure they can, but, most either do not want to learn, or really do not have the talent to put it together. The other thing is that on demand. If a lot of people like something enough, they will pay for it. There are times, where money is not an option and it doesn't matter what the price is. In this economy, people are not looking to spend a lot of money. If you price your item at a higher price....don't worry if it does not sell because eventually the right buyer will come along. Unless, of course, you are needing the money and are willing to let something go at a lower price. It's really about what you are able to live with. hmm

It is true that if you are doing shows, the type of show will depend on your sells and the prices that people are willing to pay. If it is a high dollar show, people come expecting to pay some money, but if it is a low dollar show, people are either lookers, or the will nickle and dime you to death. sigh In the end you get what you pay for I suppose. As for myself, the show I'm trying to get ready for in November..it is more than likely a low dollar show. And, the only thing that will sell will be the little ornaments. If I sell a doll, I'll be surprised really. But, even though it is a nickle and dime show, I'll not give my pieces away. My thought about it is this: I want people to know that I am a serious doll artist and take my business ....seriously. The right buyer will come around evenually. Shrug And, if they don't, that is ok cause I have some pretty nifty santas to look at. LOL

Hugs,
Lori

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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  DianeExpress on 2/8/2009, 11:37

You got it, Lori. thumbup

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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  darel on 2/8/2009, 13:05

Diane, Lori,

I agree with you both completely. I should have expanded more on my explantion to Regi. When I apply Jack's method, my rate per hour changes depending on how I value the piece.

I had a showing in a coffe shop (The Coffee Tree) last christmas and nothing sold. The owners told me that the biggest complaint they got was people thought the stuff was too pricey. Needless to say I took it all home. Since then, three people have come back to them wanting to know how to get in contact with me because they wanted a piece that they saw at christmas. I got my price for all three. They were all clay sculpts, not art dolls.

I would rather have my art sit on the shelf in my studio or in another part of the house as to let it go for less than what I think it is worth. It doesn't bother me to bring it all back home.

Darel

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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  psclaus on 2/8/2009, 13:22

Ok, I gotta get my 2cents in on this. Something else you should take into consideration (Diane's Santa on a trike got me to thinking about this) is how unusual is your piece? I'm a collector too, so I look for odd and quirky pieces. I have so many red and white plain Jane Santa's I could scream, but I won't part with them. I think collectors look for pieces that have been made with that extra mile in mind. Some thing that makes it stand out and above the norm. Plus you have to have faith in your talent. My DH says dazzle them with bullshit. Lol. Tell your potential buyer about your work, why you think it stands out above the rest. It only takes a minute or two to befriend a customer and once the word gets out, they will come looking for you.
I think that was more like a quarters worth ha ha.
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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  LMPartdolls on 2/8/2009, 13:30

I love quarters! Hyper It is very true, if you are a friendly and personable person, your sales will be much better too. You have to dazzle them with yourself and then dazzle them with the product. If you are knowledgeable in your craft, people will remember that and have more respect for you. And, if all you can do is dazzle them with bullshit..then so be it. rofl Like Darel says, if you have to bring home your wares, no big deal. If they liked your stuff enough, they WILL be back. Have business cards available; they will be in touch at a later date. yes

Hugs,
Lori

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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  regiooaksartist on 2/8/2009, 14:40

Excited OK I'm going to price my Santa's with confidence...what I have invested in them materials...time.... and heart wise. Ya'll are all just the bestest group EVER!!!!!!!!!!! (bestest...Chazman's word..lol) I appreciate all the information and wonderful thoughts and suggestions. Thank you Darel, Diane, Paula and Lori. Thank you for sharing experiences with all of us to in your responses. That is something that I really love about this group...we don't just give an answer...we tell our story!!!!

I am going to put the price at $350 like my hubby suggested. This Santa is unique and very quirky from most...I think!! I am doing all of these to put in a musuem gift shop (I think I told ya'll about it when I first joined....the Harrison Hardware musuem) The curator said that she feels that I will get a good following with buying ppl. She has regualr customers that come in on a weekly basis to see what new items have come it. I will be the only doll/sculpt artist they have in the shop.

Again...thank you all so much for the imput....what in the world would I do without ya'll.

Hugs,
Regi

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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  DianeExpress on 2/8/2009, 15:00

vThis has been a great discussion, everybody! Regi, I'm glad that it all
helped!!! The only part that scares me, Lori, is that
having to bedazzle the customer with yourself thing. Do we HAVE to?????? tease

The thing that gets me about the red and white Santas (and I might be
getting into trouble for this) is when you find so many that have poor
Santa standing there, with a blank stare and holding packages and a
tree. Excuse me. Did anyone ever pick up a tree?? With one hand???
tsktsk

My best selling one in all the shows (made 15 of this one)...a red and white... (ok, it was also one of the
least pricey, but that was only part of sales) was my Twinkles. He was
a whimsical Santa, sitting on a round, braided rug, with a big,
white box full of Christmas lights between his feet. (Same type lights
I have wrapped around Elfis in my album.) He's sitting in the midst
of this tangled lights mess....through his fingers....up over his
head... with a "How did this happen?" look on his face. I guess it hit
a chord with so many people that I sold them all...except the one I
gave to my parents. I patterned him after my dad. Every year the
lights were neatly put away and every year they came out of the box a
tangled mess. I think the same "who-dun-its" that steal socks from the
dryer mess up the lights.

Anyway, I don't think it's always what he's dressed in, (although
that matters, of course) as much as does it connect emotionally with
the buyer? The trike one was like that. He was dressed in more casual
clothes. The coat looked like it came from an old quilt. Still, it
was a hoot and the buyer just had to have it. Hang the price.

And I'm going to put my money where my mouth is. whistle
The next Santa is going to be a red and white, only an upscaled, more
elegant version. Simple design, simple idea, but have to connect
emotionally with first me, and then the buyer. I want people to see it and say, "Now that's Santa!"

Now the next thing I have to do is learn how to handtool leather for the belt. pray

I'm really jazzed about Santa-ing again! This is great!!
Big hugs to you all...........Diane (Expressions of Santa / Fine Art Dolls by Diane Davis) stars

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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  LMPartdolls on 2/8/2009, 16:05

Excited What? You don't want to dazzle your clients? rofl Of course you don't have to dance with the customer at all. happydance Really, your work should speak for itself and do all the dazzling. yammer Just sit back and take all the kudos.

As for myself, I like to deal with people. And, I leave myself open in case hopeful clients might like to ask questions and so forth. It's just my type of personality. Shrug To me, I like when potential customers want to connect with me and my craft, it makes it more personable, and brings me down to their level. I think when customers know you as a person, they know your work too. It's just my theory. Of course, that is what happens when you have the gift of gab too...darn that being a southerner thing. LOL hmm

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Re: Chester...the marionette in new Santa ooaks

Post  DianeExpress on 2/8/2009, 16:27

It's great that you do that naturally, Lori. And I'm sure that the buyers that look at your things enjoy talking with you. I would! I'll have to work on that. shutup D

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