In 2013 I showed in a local Christmas gift show at the convention center. I was told by local artists that the show is packed with shoppers buying merchandise. That was true, there were many shoppers, but they were buying gifts in amounts of $30 and under. I did sell some jewelry, but my pricing is $50 and over. I made enough to pay my fees, and made some contacts for custom jewelry work.
I debated doing the show again in 2014 since I knew the price points were low, but I figured I'd give it another shot. This year, I did something I'd never tried, I decided to sell cheaper jewelry mixed in with my custom jewelry. My thought process was, by getting the shopper to stop and look at the lower priced items, they might buy my more expensive pieces.
Wrong! What happened was, they were confused as to why some pieces were less than $20 and my other custom pieces were over $50. What I did was attract the wrong buyer. It didn't sell my work any better. In fact, it devalued my work and I sold less this year!
I was even insulted by customers! One lady looked at a custom, one of a kind ring with the price of $45 on it and then looked at me and said, "Who would pay that much for a ring!?!" Then she walked away. I wanted to shout at her and tell her how many hours it took me to make that ring. The stone was a hand-made dichroic glass I made by cutting glass, stacking it and firing it to the melting point.
Another customer stopped and looked at my hollow cross, her eyes lit up. I thought I had a sale! She walked across the isle and grabbed her friend bringing her to see my cross. She said, "Isn't that the most gaudy piece of jewelry!" They both laughed and walked away.
Lesson learned. If the price point of a show is too low for your art, don't do it and don't lower your standards.
Until next time, have fun claying around!
by Janet Alexander