what sells part deux

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Forum topic by rustedknuckles posted 11-29-2009 08:44 PM 1005 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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160 posts in 3717 days

11-29-2009 08:44 PM

I saw a project here some time ago, I don’t remember who posted it and I’m very sorry for that because while my product was different I would have liked to given him credit for putting the idea in my head. It was a beautifully done pot trivit made from a granet tile to match a counter top. I made 5 of these and donated 3 to a silent auction at my office for charity. I had a motive however. I was testing the market. At the end of bidding they went for $7.00 each. What did I learn? $4.50 material and 30 minutes labor means either I worked cheap or a production run for the summer craft sales isn’t worth it.


your thoughts would be welcome.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

7 replies so far

View jerryw's profile


158 posts in 3882 days

#1 posted 11-30-2009 05:28 AM

i would not put to much stock in an auction. make a few put a price on them and see what happens. if they don’ sell you got presents for family and freinds- people like free things.

-- jerryw-wva.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#2 posted 11-30-2009 05:31 AM

good work

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4126 days

#3 posted 11-30-2009 04:25 PM

my guess is that at auctions people want to get things cheaper than what they would actually pay for something .

I’m with Jerryw.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4093 days

#4 posted 11-30-2009 06:26 PM

Don’t color your experience with a paint brush of pessimism.
Auctions can go both ways as long as you are in charge.
Not all auctions are the same.
Some are my nature geared to low-end products and others will feature top quality items that command high prices.
In both extremes, auction prices aren’t usually a good indicator of retail price.

Example: I donate a hand-crafted walking stick to an annual auction that raises funds for children’s activities.
My sticks have consistently gone to the highest bidder for about $100 more than my usual retail price.
Follow-up sales have always exceeded the costs of my contributions.

Did you strive to differentiate your products from the mass market?
Did you offer a “suggested retail price” that might give some direction to the bidders?
Did you hand out business cards and brochures at the event?
Did your offering include a well written bio of who you are and what you do?
Did the promoters include your story in their publicity and write-ups?
Did you offer to demonstrate your craft?
Did you alert present and perspective clients about this event?
Did you seek photo ops and speaking sessions?
Did you make perspective bidders aware of how they could contact you?

You have to work harder outside of the shop if you want to sell at a profit.

-- 温故知新

View mynoblebear's profile


722 posts in 3073 days

#5 posted 11-30-2009 06:56 PM

In silent auctions the amount that the item goes for tends to be one half to one third of what people will actually pay at a craft show. I have relatives that go to flee markets and street craft shows and what they say is if what you are selling is under 20 dollars you have an item that will sell. A typical person that goes to a showing brings 40 dollars. The way this works is 20 dollars for something they like and leaving some for food and drink.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4093 days

#6 posted 11-30-2009 07:09 PM


There is no rule on silent auctions.
My experiences differ.
A well run auction can motivate the bidders to pay top prices.

It’s a matter of who, what, when and where.

-- 温故知新

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 3717 days

#7 posted 11-30-2009 07:22 PM

The office auction is a very small charity event, we don’t have a big staff, perhaps 30 people, so needless to say they all know me and I did sugest an opening offer. I wanted them to start the bidding at $15.00 but they decided to start it at $5.00 which is fine, I did donate the items for them to dispose of as they best see fit. Also the majority of the items in my opinion were crap, but who am I to say, a bag of yarn went for $8.00 and that was about the average going rate of things.
I did want the item to stay at or slightly below the $20.00 mark for all the reasons you mention. I also put it out there that if any one wanted one to match their kitchen or dinning room they only need to supply me with the tile and wood choice.

So perhaps I won’t give up on the idea, I just need to jig up for speedier production.

thanks all for your input

-- Dave- New Brunswick

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