|Forum topic by SteveMI||posted 09-12-2009 05:55 PM||1328 views||0 times favorited||1 reply|
09-12-2009 05:55 PM
During the summer a neighbor was throwing a milestone birthday party for his wife. At the time his wife was just starting a pretty extensive garden. So, I decided to make something for the garden as a gift. It was a sign that personalized it as “her” garden. I’m purposely leaving out details of the gift to make the point.
At the gift opening it got a bunch of raves. A little later, four of the people attending asked me for one with their names. I hadn’t intended to make another or actually sell them. In a quick response I told them the one time only price was going to be $15, which would probably cover my materials. Cash was on the table in minutes.
So, with five in the community the sales are growing, not exponential, but steady. Soon, I will be offering them on the internet and I am approaching flower shops with them. The price has gone to double for a generic wording and a little under 3 times if personalized. (Changing names takes a lot more time than I expected.)
Couple marketing and pricing observations;
1) Get product where interested people will see them. Birthday gifts get focused short attention, but the signs are doing well because people take others on tours of their garden and questions get asked about the signs. Make sure you leave cards. (In my case, I was also able to get pictures of the different names in different gardens for promotional pictures.)
2) If practical, sell the first ones of what you want to produce at a bargain or cost to get exposure. How quickly they are taken at the reduced price will help you gauge the amount you could increase for the next series.
3) Do not give away freebies as they will be taken quickly and can be placed in the back of the closet or garage with no regard. If it costs something, the people will use and display them for some period of time.
4) Reinforcing the point about not making more than materials is a way for initial customers to feel great about a bargain. (Actually you may not even know what your eventual final margin is at the time.) Make sure you tell them it is only for the first so many and clinch a real time impulse sale. They will brag about being the “first in” and later people will know not to expect the same price.
5) Gauge your pricing on a very limited volume to see if it makes sense to make a quantity. I have more than a couple boxes of products on a garage shelf that missed the market. Consider the material and time for the first-in people as R&D.
Not marketing or pricing, but in making the set of four, I found two changes necessary in the design and learned how to construct them easier. Being a bargain to the first four, I didn’t worry about them not being identical to the initial one. If I had decided to produce these in an initial bulk, the process may not have been able to be refined.
My next endeavor is making tall and small tables for hallways to be used for flower vases. Why? – They are seen by everyone who enters the house and the owner is quick to show off the flower arrangement. The table is along for the ride. I am only going to make four to gauge the potential.