As we covered in a previous article, lowering
the prices of your products does more harm than good, but what do you do if you just can’t sell
your products at the prices they’re at? If the time it takes you to make a
product and the materials you use are pricing you out of the market, consider
changing a few details of your business. Don’t keep doing what you’re doing and
simply lower the price; make some changes to lower your costs first or change
up your tactics to keep your prices the same but generate more sales. Below are
10 tips you can try if you think your sales are low due to your prices being high.
1) CHANGE YOUR MATERIALS
If you’re currently working with top of the
line materials to ensure your products are of the best quality but sales are a
little slow, you may want to try using
materials that aren't as expensive and will bring your costs down. If your shoppers are aware you're using the best in quality but don't end up buying, they may care less about your high end components than you think. Try the same designs in materials that aren't quite as expensive and see if that helps sales. You don’t have to get rid
of the top of the line products you currently make, but they may be better suited for
a different sales platform...which brings us to our next point:
2) CHANGE YOUR SELLING PLATFORM
Typically people shopping at an event like a Farmers’
Market aren’t ready to drop a few hundred dollars on the spot so if you’re
pricing calculations are correct but you’re not doing well selling through one
platform, try another. Your high-end products may be better suited for a different type of craft show, selling online
or wholesale through a boutique. It doesn’t matter what the price of your
products are (high or low), if you’re putting them in front of the wrong
audience, they won’t do well. Be sure you’re advertising and selling in a place
that reaches your target market.
3) FEWER DETAILS
Adding fewer details to your work means you
spend less time and materials and can ultimately lower your price. Skip all
those detailed pockets inside your handmade purses and just have one or two for
keys and lipstick. You don’t want to take away the special touches that make
your work unique but before you add on a feature, ask yourself if customers
will care about it enough to warrant the higher price tag.
4) SPEED UP PRODUCTION
This will come with time as you improve
your skills but there are little things you can do to break the process into
steps and prep in bulk (just check out how I lowered my production time by implementing a few tactics). If you’re sewing your products, perhaps you can break
your steps into cutting, serging, sewing and detailing. Instead of going back
and forth between stations and tools, complete cutting for 20 pieces at a time,
then move onto serging those 20 pieces and so on and so forth.
5) OFFER OPTIONS
You may offer the same piece in a higher
and lower end finish. This not only gives the shopper options, it will help
them see the value in the higher end pieces. However you do need to be careful
with this strategy; don’t
mix the lower end pieces in with the high; make sure you clearly define that
the lower end products are a separate line and point out the value in the
higher end ones.
You'll find more information on effectively applying this technique to your products so it results in more sales, in our free sample chapter: MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT
6) CHOOSE WISELY
Be sure you’re choosing the right craft
shows you participate in; same goes for the boutiques your products are in.
Instead of signing up for every craft show in your area, take the time to
research which ones have great organizers to ensure (as much as you can) that
it will be a good show. Check out our article on red flags to watch for and questions you should ask before committing. This way
you won’t be wasting time, money and stock on shows or boutiques that don’t
turn a good profit for you.
7) TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT INPUT VS OUTPUT
What do you spend a lot of time on and how
much do you profit from it? If you’re spending 2 hours a day sending emails
but nothing ever comes from them, consider using the BCC field to send the same message to multiple prospects or creating canned responses for
the questions you get the most. If there’s a product
that takes you a lot of time to create but you rarely sell it, consider
scratching it from your product line (even if it’s your favorite). Narrow that down even further and think about whether there's one component of your product's production that takes up a lot of time to incorporate; are shoppers noticing this feature or buying because of it? If not, you may want to consider taking it out or testing a few products without the time consuming element to see if people really miss it. Don't get stuck in thinking because other businesses do things a certain way or because you've always done things one way, you have to continue to do so. Business is all about change and adapting to your market.
8) WATCH YOUR BOTTOM LINE
If you’re not sure what your “bottom line”
is, check out our article. Be sure you’re thinking of all the little things when
it comes to your business and where there are opportunities to reduce your
costs. Use up the stacks of material in your storage bin before going to
purchase more. Plan ahead so you can buy your materials in bulk and take
advantage of discounts. Don’t make 5 trips to the post office a week; set a day
to send packages out and save time and gas. Take good
care of your tools so you don’t have to replace them every 6 months. Decide whether those expensive price tags you use are essential to your brand or if you can find a cheaper option. You get
the idea; these things may seem small but over time, they’ll protect your
bottom line and save you money.
9) TRY A DIFFERENT SALES TECHNIQUE
Shoppers may not understand the value of
your products, in which case, it’s your job to educate them. If your prices are
higher than other vendors selling similar items, be sure you’re communicating
the reason why to shoppers. If you’re using 100% organic, locally sourced
ingredients when others typically don’t, mention that on your tags, your
signage and in your sales pitch. If shoppers don’t understand your prices, they
won’t be willing to pay them.
If selling is not your strong point, you'll find a lot of useful pointers in my e-book: MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS. Chapter 9 covers how to craft the perfect sales pitch that points out the features your shoppers actually care about. As well, I share tons of tips that will put the most anxious vendor at ease and feel comfortable selling (especially if you're an introvert like me).
10) INCREASE YOUR PRODUCT’S PERCEIVED VALUE
What does your display at craft shows look
like? What about your labeling, photography and packaging? If your products are
tossed down on a table with prices scribbled on them and no thought put into presentation, shoppers are not going to put much value on them. Take those same
items and put them into nice packaging with a well thought out label, handle
them with care and watch how much more attention and sales they’ll get. Online,
you need to portray this same feeling through your photos, titles and
Download the free sample chapter MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT for more simple ways to increase your product's perceived value (this chapter is seriously packed with valuable info every vendor should know).