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Downfalls to professional looking packaging?


Guest EMercier
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Guest EMercier

OK, you all know I did my first two day show (22-23rd of April). Here's the problem. Has any one run into problems with packaging looking too professional? I made my table and then some, which was good because some didn't make that or they made just the table. I was hoping to get more and I would've gotten more, BUT I had people just standing there staring at my packaging and commenting on how nice it looks and they can't believe I did it. Well, I wanted them to buy, buy, buy. Is there a certain standard that they expect with hand made crafts. I think it was almost as if they didn't believe I made them. They also liked the way they smelled as well. Very strong cold throw. I don't know what to do? Great crowd and I didn't even speak to an individual and they saw my stuff and invited me to a show on the main line (richy area) and that's great, BUT I'm hoping it's just me. Anyone else go through that?

I just wanted to reinvent a business that was a true reflection of me and what I wanted people to see.

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I think I know what you mean. I've had customers look at my packaging/presentation and they can't believe I'm a handcrafter -- they think I got all this stuff from a commercial mfr. and I'm trying to pass it off as handmade. LOL (Not that my packaging is anything to write home about, but you get my drift.)

I'm wondering if retail sales are just down due to the extremely high gas prices and such lately. Even grocery store trips are killing my budget these days. :(

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I had something a little similar at my show the other week. When telling people that my candles are handpoured (and also when they saw my sign saying they are handpoured), people didn't believe it. I had one lady say, "There's no way you poured all of those!!!" I'm like, Lady, I didn't do it all in one week or one day, you Ding Dong!! I also took put several of my votives side by side and some votives from PartyLite side by side to show that mine were all just a slight bit different, hence the handpoured. And that PL's were all the EXACT same.

I think the ones who are surprised that we actually made the products ourselves are ones who may not like quality products. Or they may be looking for the "handmade" look that some items show.

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I have people that are amazed that I MAKE the candles I sell. They think I purchase them and resell them... I just love comments like that.. It makes me feel that I am doing all the right things...

What a compliment for you Emercier to get invited to the Main Line..

( I used to go clubbing in that are years ago!!:P)

Very nice area and people will definitely have the money to spend there!!

You go girl..:cool2:

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I'm wondering if retail sales are just down due to the extremely high gas prices and such lately. Even grocery store trips are killing my budget these days. :(

I think this is definitely the case for some. Especially those shows that may be in rural areas. My last show was in section of town where people have money and it's right in the same area as a mall. People could walk from the hotel to where the show was. So, it worked out.

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Guest EMercier
I have people that are amazed that I MAKE the candles I sell. They think I purchase them and resell them... I just love comments like that.. It makes me feel that I am doing all the right things...

What a compliment for you Emercier to get invited to the Main Line..

( I used to go clubbing in that are years ago!!:P)

Very nice area and people will definitely have the money to spend there!!

You go girl..:cool2:

Didn't know you were in the area. It's actually in Nova, but it's tight right now and I don't think I can budge on the booth fee right now. I'm happy to be invited, but it's short notice. It's next month. Normally if it's $30 I can swing it. They want $175 for the 10 X 10 booth.

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When people ask if I am a distributor I take it as a compliment.

If I ever get my work area cleaned up, I going to have Amanda take some pics of me pouring candles. I'll put a little picture album together and set it on my table at shows.

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They think I purchase them and resell them
Same here, even though mine are rather homemade looking. I think it's because they don't make these things themselves, have no idea how it's done, and think it's too difficult to do it at home without the resources of a factory.
I had one lady say, "There's no way you poured all of those!!!" I'm like, Lady, I didn't do it all in one week or one day, you Ding Dong!!
Yes, this is another reason why they don't believe I made them myself. It could be due to the fact that they don't realize we do this full time year round. They think crafters only make their stuff once a year just before the bazaar.
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When people ask if I am a distributor I take it as a compliment.

If I ever get my work area cleaned up, I going to have Amanda take some pics of me pouring candles. I'll put a little picture album together and set it on my table at shows.

I'm working on the same thing myself. I'm thinking I'll include them in my brochure too.

I got frustrated hearing people grumble about "reselling vs. handmade" and trying to convince them that I'd made them myself.

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When people ask if I am a distributor I take it as a compliment.

If I ever get my work area cleaned up, I going to have Amanda take some pics of me pouring candles. I'll put a little picture album together and set it on my table at shows.

Great idea...I had planned on doing this back when I first started, but never got anyone to take them. I think I'll definitely do it now. Maybe this'll help people to stop asking crazy questions!

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I have had this happen with my incense sales. I used to sell my hand dipped incense nicely packaged in a poly bag stapled with a hang tag. People thought it was just another brand of incense and would ask "don't you have any hand-dipped?" (even though the sign clearly stated HAND DIPPED...first rule of sales is that people don't read). Finally I bought a big display and started selling the sticks naked (mix and match your scents and bag them yourself.) Muuuuuch better sales & happier customers. I don't know about candles, I guess I'll see for myself when I start selling.

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I've even had skeptics pull my KID aside and ask, "Does your mom really make all these?" She'll say, "Yes!" They ask, "How?" "Well, first she melts the wax in a big turkey roaster ... " ROFL

When people approach my booth at a show or market and say, "Do you really make all this yourself?" I say, "Yes! But not all at ONCE." :D

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Haven't started selling candles but I also make jewelry and I made a rosary as a gift for a friend and when his friends and family saw it, they insisted that I had purchased it from HSN or some other store and when he told them he had chosen all of the components from a catalog and he was certain it was handmade, they were silenced. I want everything I make to look professional as well. From packaging to product. I believe some people assume that if the packaging and the product is comparable to the big guys, that you will automatically expect the same prices. Also, when your selling at flea markets and craft shows, most people don't expect to pay very much for anything. Most people think that craft show items are hand made by all the local little old church ladies or weekend crafters, and they don't expect quality merchandise.And, I don't think they really respect the time, work and money that is put into the items. They really don't expect professional looking(functioning) stuff from a craft show, I mean after all, it is a craft show and not Neiman Marcus. However, if you place your items in Neiman Marcus, they would pay 10 times as much for them and be happy to do so!..LOL people are so funny that way.

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first rule of sales is that people don't read)

So, so true!!!! I learned this during my first part time retail job. I've worked in a card store and clothing stores. And no matter which way you advertise the price, people will still ask how much it is!!!

Most people think that craft show items are hand made by all the local little old church ladies or weekend crafters, and they don't expect quality merchandise.

Someone purchased one of my gardenia flower pots at a show in March. She e-mailed me the other day saying she thought it was going to be "Just like a dollar store candle". And was pleasantly surprised when she could smell the fragrance all over and blah, blah, blah. Long story short, she's placed a large order for Mother's Day. Sometimes when I have skeptics, I'll convince them to buy something like a flower pot and try it out, and if they don't like it I'd give them their money back. I haven't had anyone yet who has wanted anything back, they always want more!!

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LOL, you pretty much know that people buy dollar store candles when they buy one of yours and come back to say "I just can't believe how much this candle smells". There are a lot of good candles out there, but you're not going to get a good throw from those dollar ones.

I personally appreciate a nice label and packaging. To me it screams "quality". If you take enough pride in your product then why not package it with the same pride.

I was at a craft show this past Christmas. A lady there was selling soaps and bathsalts. You couldn't have given me one of her bars of soap, they were soooo nasty looking. I think they rolled around in the trunk of her car for the past year, no wrap on them and allllllll marked up. And her bathsalts were in baggies. To me it was very unprofessional. I have no idea if she sold anything since she was not near me. I almost felt sorry for her..........but I have to add that her personal appearance wasn't much better.

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but I have to add that her personal appearance wasn't much better.

LOL...How about the ones who come to participate in a show and they are in sweats. I had a lady do my show and she looked like she's LITERALLY rolled out of bed and came to the show. Hair looking uncombed, sweat pants, tshirt...I thought she was just wearing it to set up so she wouldn't get her clothes dirty, guess I was wrong!

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I think that, although it's hard for most of us to imagine, a lot of people have very limited computer skills, so they certainly couldn't create professional-looking labels. And they also don't realize how much money we put into our packaging so it WILL look professional; they expect hand-made to look unprofessional because they don't know how to do otherwise.

Jane

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having pictures taken of you while working in your shop is great to display...just make sure to have all labels on your supplies out of sight.

the last show i did, my "competition" didn't believe i made everything myself, even after she asked 101 questions, and knew i printed on my home computer and covered with packing tape. she even told customers when they were at her booth that i wasn't the actual crafter because a home crafter can't make professional labels....whatever! i guess the next step when they think you're too "pro" is to focus your sales on shops. which is what i am doing now.

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