Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Business Chat - Sale! Discount! Bargain!

“OMG, I love this necklace! But I’m going to wait a couple of weeks until it’s on sale for Black Friday, how much cheaper will it be?”

Someone asked me this today in my booth. At a craft show.

“I don’t have Black Friday sales,” I replied.

“Oh. Well then I’ll come to your studio, how much cheaper are your prices there?”

“They’re the same as they are here,” I replied.

“But in your studio you don’t have to pay for the booth! Prices should be cheaper!”

Now, at this point I could mention that in my studio I pay rent, hydro, internet and other stuff. However I chose not to.

“My prices are consistent everywhere, everyday.”

“But what about sales like Black Friday, and Boxing Day? Every store offers sales on days like that. You’re losing a lot by not having sales.”

Maybe I am losing by not offering massive discounts on certain days in order to compete with other stores. I don’t think so. Just because other “stores” (and many artisans) choose to discount heavily doesn’t mean I have to.

I never EVER have sales. Well, that’s not strictly true. I hold a one day sale on my birthday but only to my mailing list. It is not advertised or available to anyone outside of that mailing list, it’s my reward to them for loyally following my newsletters for the rest of the year.

I know my own buying habits, most of the time I wait for something to go on sale when I’m buying from a regular store. Why pay full price when you know that several times a year it will be heavily discounted?

There is a huge amount of pressure to hold sales just because it’s Black Friday or Boxing Day or whatever the media has decided it is. Large stores do this because they have excess inventory and need to clear it out.

I don’t want my customers standing in my booth thinking, yes I love those earrings, I’ll wait for Boxing Day to buy them. I want them to buy them when they see them, at a show or online. At full price.

Think about how you feel when you’ve bought something at full value, and then weeks later you see that item at 40% off. I know that makes me feel a little cheated. That’s not how I want my customers to feel. I want them to feel like they got good value for their money. I want my brand to be associated with fantastic quality, excellent work and great value, not bargain basement sales.

If you want to offer sales because it’s some sort of shopping extravaganza day, or because you want to clear out a lot of stuff once or twice a year that’s fine. Just don’t feel like you have to because other stores or artisans decide to be a discount brand. It’s your business. Make your own decisions.

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