Selling My Cards – Update
Update - Selling My Cards
By Marion Davis, Artistic Guide
Wow! What a summer. The excessive heat and humidity has decidedly affected my stamping. I found myself getting up at 5 AM so the house would be cool enough to do some work. I also found that the humidity had an impact on my papers even with the AC running. There was one day that the paper was so damp that the inks feathered out when I used die based inks. I also found myself reverting to colored pencils as my choice for color.
Anyway here is a progress report on my adventure into selling my cards. I have made a few discoveries. If you decide to try this hopefully it will help you avoid some things I found out the hard way.
- Farmers markets are a great way to get to be known IF you go on a regular basis. People come with “food” money to farmers markets, so being able to accept credit cards made a marked difference in my sales. If you need more info on what I am using email me or comment. I will be happy to share but I don’t want it to become an advertisement on this site.
- Signage should include the next date you expect to be there, the forms of payment you accept and handouts with the list of shows you are scheduled to do. You want repeat customers. Also include special information; i.e., if you have Jewish New Year cards be sure your signage gives the dates for the holiday. This year Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) is September 16 and Hanukkah is Dec 8-16. If they are not aware how early it is they may need to buy from you quickly in order to send them out in a timely fashion. Photo: Woburn 3
- Price your cards so that you can afford to do a show special. I do "Buy 4 get 1 free". It has people buying an extra 1 or 2 to get the free one.
- Take special orders if you know you can fill them. Be sure to get a name, address, phone number and deposit for the work. You can never guess what they want. It says Happy Birthday …they want Get Well Soon. If possible have someone with you. That way you will have coverage when you need to move or go to the bathroom. If they can’t stay the whole day ask them to come for a short while. My son covers for me around noon when I work in the town he lives in. By then things usually have slowed down and I need a break. Photo Woburn 1
- Be sure when you commit to an outside show you have the right to cancel if rain is predicted. Even in plastic sleeves your work can be ruined by a rainy day (Fortunately I did this before anything happened to me.) When in doubt stay home.
- Each of your cards MUST be in a clear bag or protected from fingers and food in some way. They may seem expensive but without them you could be throwing away a lot of stock.
- Make a decision on whether or not to stamp inside. I decided to do note cards rather than greeting cards so I leave them blank. If you do stamp inside, include a duplicate of the interior sentiment and include it visibly in the packaging.
- Take the following with you:
- Twice as much water as you think you will need.
- Your own food because you may not be able to find something handy.
- A small kit to repair a card if needed.
- Plastic table cloths to quickly cover your display in case of a sudden shower.
- If outside, bug spray and sun screen.
- Also if outside take double faced tape to stick the display cards down so they won’t blow around.
- A light weight shirt or jacket to protect you from sun and wind.
Just for the record, I have made almost 800 cards since March. I have worked very hard during the summer because I have 4 or more shows per month from September to December. I won’t have much time to make stock between. Photos Waltham 2 and Woburn 2
Hopefully I will be getting up early to work during the week.
Wish me luck.