July 21, 2011

Do you have a garage sale mentality when selling your work?

Do you have the garage sale mentality when selling your work?

We just had a garage sale. That is a lot of work to be sure. Yet, it's fun too.

But the one part I dislike, is when a person comes up holding a brand new item with the tags still hanging on it, marked $85.00, that I've marked down to $2., and they say," will you take .50 cents for this?"

Now, I like a bargain as much as anyone else. Garage sales are my recreation.

But when I hear, " Will you take .50 cents for this?", I usually think,
" Look at this brand name, look at the tags, with the price I paid for it still hanging and viable, on the attached tags, it's never been worn or used and you want to pay 50 cents? You'd pay much more for it at Goodwill! Are you out of your mind?".

The really strange thing is, I will often accept this low price request. I'll bet you do too.
It's that garage sale mentality.

I got to thinking though. Do we do the same thing when pricing our work?

If some other sellers are selling their items for less than it cost to make them, we may feel that to be competitive, we must have similar prices. "Would you take .50 cents for this?"

It is pressure, no doubt about it. If you're just starting out, naturally you can't expect to charge the same as an artist with a well earned reputation and a huge following would.

But if you're giving your work away, what are message are you sending? Valueless
People expect to pay little for valueless junk, is that how you perceive your work? Certainly not.

Walk onto a car lot and if you see a Porsche priced dirt cheap, what's the first thought that runs through your mind? Isn't it,"What's wrong with it?" There has to be something wrong at this low price".

Place value on your work and others will too.

1 comment:

  1. My sister lives in an Italian neighborhood in New Jersey, very close to an Indian one. Several years ago, she had a garage sale and the same thing happened. All the Indians who came over, bobbed their heads and went into bartering mode, part of the fun and definitely a cultural thing.

    The next year, and every year since, she has a "free" sale. Very disappointing for the ones who come for barter fun. They cannot believe it! Can I give you 50 cents for this? The bartering goes in reverse.

    There is a hidden moral here, too. We can devalue our work, but we can also clutter our lives with work might need to be passed on, either at a reduced price or as a "gift". I look around me and see all the clutter that I need to go through and get rid of. Sometimes new ideas can only come when the old ones are cleaned out...


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