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Gracious answer to not reducing your prices


#1

Occasionally, I am asked if I will reduce my price if the person
buys two pendants vs. only one (I’m not talking about major
quantities). These are $38 and the cheapest things that I make
(there’s some profit in there but not that much). I never feel like
just saying “no” is the right answer or telling them that I’m a
starving artist, etc. I need a gracious answer such that the price
is not reduced but that they feel like they are paying a fair price.
I would love to hear how others handle this.

Thanks, Elizabeth
www.borntobeworn.com


#2

Dear Elizabeth,

Everyone likes to get a special deal. What this may be telling you
is that you may need to bump up your prices just a bit to allow for
small discounts. Smile and say that you would be happy to give a 5%
discount for two pieces and if she buys three pieces you will give
her a 7% discount. As the artist it is my privilege to give a
discount, but I am not required to do so. I have also told customers
to ‘take a hike’, which is also my privilege. But however you
choose to handle your pricing, always remind the customer that YOU
are the artist and what they are purchasing is your creative work.
You are not in competition with 10-year-old children in Taiwan or a
machine. Batya Stark


#3

You could try…

Sorry Id love to but, I keep my prices very tightly fixed, and Im
afraid I really couldnt lower the price considering the work
involved. Hope this helps? Tina


#4

Elizabeth,

Last year a man asked me if $58 was the best price I could l give
him for a bracelet (beads and Bali silver). I told him that I price
my work fairly, and don’t inflate prices just to take a discount.
Then I showed discussed the various gemstone beads in the bracelet,
and explained about Bali silver being handmade as well, etc, etc.

His comment was, “Good answer” as he handed me his credit card. I
don’t get asked often, but when the occasional discount question
comes up, I respond by explaining that I don’t artificially inflate
pricing (because I don’t) and then explain the quality of materials
and the workmanship involved.

HTH,
Jill


#5
    Occasionally, I am asked if I will reduce my price if the
person buys two pendants vs. only one (I'm not talking about major
quantities).  These are $38 and the cheapest things that I make
(there's some profit in there but not that much). 

My father, age 89, sells his hobby jewelry at local street fairs and
at a few local bars. He cuts the cabs himself, but buys all the
findings pre-finished. He barely marks the stuff up enough to make
30%-40% over the cost of the findings. I’m always on him to raise his
prices, but he’s happy with what he makes. He regularly gets asked if
he’ll give “quantity discounts” if someone buys two belt buckles or
whatever. His stock response is simply “I don’t make enough off of
these to mark them down at all”. And he leaves it at that. Most
people usually go ahead and buy the two of whatever they were looking
at. They just feel they have to ask, I guess.

When someone asks ME about “quantity discounts” for just two or
three items, I give them my wholesale account/minimum requirement
amount spiel and ask for their tax ID or 501©(3) number.

–Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Pet Motif Jewelry
http://www.featheredgems.com


#6
I need a gracious answer such that the price is not reduced but
that they feel like they are paying a fair price. 

In my craft booth, I always tell people that I am offering
everything at the lowest price that I can. Sometimes, I inform them
that if they price similar work in a gallery setting the price would
be 20-40% higher (which is true). Some people just have to have a
discount to feel satisfied when they purchase multiples, and I offer
them 1(sometimes 2) dollars off per item (some people find this
funny and just give me all the money). I inform them happily of all
this, because no matter what, they are getting a good deal…they
always buy, and feel confident in the exchange. I am confident in my
pricing and quality of work that I offer. If they are asking, they
have usually made up their mind to make the purchase anyway.

I have witnessed so many artists who get themselves all worked up
and insulted over this issue. I have noticed that their pricing is
usually higher than mine, and they have got their ego imbedded in
the pricing structure somehow. Asking these people for a discount
causes an emotional crises. Over time this adds up to contempt for
the buying public…not good…also you get this bulgy eyed, head
going to blow up any second look, that is not flattering.

I take every one of these requests as an opportunity to inform,
educate and interact with a serious customer.

Find prices and a policy that you feel really good about, be fair to
yourself, get what you want and need, so that you can cheerfully
deal with this ongoing request.

Bye now, Holly in Oregon


#7

I’m sorry, but I don’t consider it a privilege to give a discount.
This is how we make a living. An honest living. No one’s employer
tells them they do great work but I want to pay you less this week
just because it’s a game to me to get a deal out of you. If I am
having a yard sale I expect people to haggle. I don’t think people
are trying to be rude, they just don’t think. I just smile and say,
(I’m really sorry but I can’t).


#8

Just to add my two cents worth. Why would you expect people who are
conditioned to “haggle” or ask for a discount for the biggest
purchases in their lives- cars and homes - not to ask for one on what
may be the biggest discretionary purchase -good jewelry?

I think the original questioner was right. She needs a gracious
answer to explain that she has already priced her material as low as
possible so that others may enjoy the beauty she brings and so that
she can continue to make more beautiful items.


#9
Sometimes, I inform them that if they price similar work in a
gallery setting the price would be 20-40% higher (which is true). 

Hmmm, that would give me the impression that you’re selling directly
to the public at WHOLESALE prices. Many in galleries take that into
consideration and are forced to raise their prices so that the
galleries will not be “undersold” by the artist.


#10

There is another side to this issue. We are the land of Emma
Lazarus, we have welcomed many cultures to our shores.

A part of many of these cultures is to bargain. This is never meant
as an affront or insult to the seller, it is simply an age old
tradition. It certainly be a win win situation if it is taken in
good humor, Yield a bit, hear the counter offer and simply end with
yet another small bet. The buyer goes away happy and you have sold a
piece you will not be returning to your inventory, and you may have
made a long term customer.

This is a total turn around for me. As a child I was humiliated when
my mother out of necessity bargained. She was happy to save a bit
and I hid in shame.

As I grew older and traveled the world I began to see how common it
was, yet I refrained, and I was a pain in the butt about it, shall
we say a bit holier than thou?

I had a wonderful Thai boyfriend who told me to keep my mouth shut
and not say a word while he bargained relentlessly. He told me I was
awful in yielding to the asked price and actually insulting the
seller in doing so.

I am still not comfortable in doing it myself, and I don’t, but I
don’t mind someone bargaining with me, and I probably yield too much
in that direction too.

Basically we send customers away when we are haughty with our
negative position. Believe me, I know this does not work at all.
Terrie


#11
     she has already priced her material as low as possible so
that others may enjoy the beauty she brings and so that she can
continue to make more beautiful items

Belinda, I think you just gave the most gracious answer of all. :slight_smile:

Just to add my two cents worth. Why would you expect people who are
conditioned to “haggle” or ask for a discount for the biggest
purchases in their lives- cars and homes - not to ask for one on
what may be the biggest discretionary purchase -good jewelry?

I think the original questioner was right. She needs a gracious
answer to explain that she has already priced her material as low as
possible so that others may enjoy the beauty she brings and so that
she can continue to make more beautiful items.

Blue Piranha Jewelry

From Simple to Simply Stunning
@Blue_Piranha_Jewelry
http://www.bpjewelry.com


#12

Dear Terrie,

Thank you so much for introducing a multicultural perspective to
this thread! I know we’re an “international” list, but it sometimes
seems dominated by an Anglo-American take on things.

A “gracious answer” might even include a sentence such as "I know
that bargaining is a part of many cultures but, because few people in
this culture understand the process I don’t do it when I sell here."
Gives them a sense that you might do international shows! You could
also add that, instead, you price your pieces as low as you can and
still pay your health insurance.

I used to know a woman who owned a funky designer clothing company.
When people asked her why her prices were so high, she said, “My
employees have mortgages.”

Lisa Orlando
Aphrodite’s Ornaments
Benicia, CA


#13

My reply to those who ask me to reduce my price By asking me to
reduce my price, you are asking me to take a pay cut. My

work is based on materials cost - plus labor. Have you tried to get
a plumber, dentist, or surgeon to work for you at a discount
recently?

What do you do for a living? Would you be willing to work for me at
your trade or profession for less than your normal wage? When? How
much less?

They usually realize at this point

Brian Marshall


#14

i’ve enjoyed reading this thread tremendously. i often give a small
discount when i don’t really want to for the reason that i’d rather
sell a piece than not sell it.

i have a customer though who finally made me angry this morning. he
ordered a custom piece that i priced for him at $350. he was fine
with this price.

there was a question as to what type of chain or leather we were
going to put this piece on and i did not make it clear that the
pendant price was separate and fixed from the cord or chain. so we
have gone back and forth over email discussing the cord/chain issue,
finally deciding on cord, specifically genya if i could find it.
then we went back and forth on my finding or not finding it.
finally, i just suggested he go with black leather cord, which i
have in stock. he agreed.

i got the piece shipped off to him in time for his deadline, and
sent him an invoice for the remaining balance. which reflected my
mistake in not making it clear to him that the cord/chain was
separate, making his total about $40 less than it would have been
otherwise.

i got an email from him today, not thanking me, not happy to have
this custom piece on its way to him, but asking me why i chose black
leather and why i only discounted his piece $22.50 for not using
chain instead of $30 (my estimated price for chain).

good lord! does he totally miss the point that he asked me to do a
piece for the design of the PENDANT, not whether or not i put it on
leather or genya or whatever? i don’t get it.

i’ve written him back an email that explains all this and tells him
i’m more than happy to take the piece back for a full refund (hoping
this will jar him into realizing he’s being rediculous), but have
held off sending it until my husband can read it and tell me if i’m
way out of line! :slight_smile:

jocelyn

Jocelyn Broyles
Designer/President
www.jocelynbroyles.com
Costa Rica ph(011 506) 376.6417
U.S. fax (253) 669.1679


#15
A "gracious answer" might even include a sentence such as "I know
that bargaining is a part of many cultures but, because few people
in this culture understand the process I don't do it when I sell
here." Gives them a sense that you might do international shows! 

Hmmm, I wonder if it might be perceived as “I bargain with everybody
but Americans”.

I believe in maintaining a multicultural perspective and respect for
individual identity, and think that others should do the same. It
is not the norm for prices to be negotiable in the US, outside of
certain sectors of the market (stocks, auctions, garage sales,
etc.), and it should not be a defensive issue to “just say no” to
negotiating your pricing.

–Terri


#16

I’ve used various versions of this response. It’s the first one I
think about when someone asks.

“I don’t discount my work. I can’t ethically undercut the galleries
who sell my work and it would be unfair to the clients I have who
have paid full price.”

Often you get people who just think the work is overpriced and tell
you that to your face, which I find hilarious when I’ve sold dozens
of the pieces to people who think my work’s a bargain. To them I
would say:

“No one wants to feel like they are paying more for an item than
it’s worth, and I know that this piece is so unique that it may seem
unusual for you to pay what I’m asking, but I can assure you that
I’ve (sold many of these at this price/fairly priced the work) and
researched my pricing extensively enough to know that the price is
very competitive.”

I like the response that was given recently where the tables were
turned on the client, asking them how they would feel if someone
asked them to take a discount for their work. However, that seems a
little awkward to me and hits a little to close to home. They could
always say, “yeah, I’d do it.” Then what do you say. Instead, how
about this:

“I tell you what, you convince (the producer of the show/my
landlord) to give me back 10% of my (booth fee/rent), I’d be glad to
give you a 10% discount…(the producers booth is down this aisle/my
landlord’s phone number is …)” It’s direct, demands an immediate
response, takes the onus off you, puts the request for a discount in
terms they can understand and if you say it with a big grin and a
chuckle it may be enough to disarm the client.

It also blows my mind that people ask for you to not charge tax.
I’d love to hear what comebacks people have for this one.

Larry


#17

I normally tell the customer that I cannot undercut my galleries and
customers who have paid the full price. If the customer is
insistent I say, “Let me recalculate it again. Maybe I
miscalculated the price.” I get out me calculator and tap in many
figures then say, “Oh my goodness I really miscalculated the price.
It should have been twenty dollars more than the marked price, but
because I goofed, I will let it go for the marked price.” If the
customer is still insistent I will go through the whole process
again and add another $20 to the old previous recalculated price.
The chances are if the customer really likes the item he will pay
the marked price for it.

There are some people who live by negotiating. They are usually the
ones who can afford what ever the price of a piece of art work is.
Its just a code they live by.

Lee Epperson


#18

For the people who protest “what you’re going to charge me tax for
that too??” I have come up with a response that usually makes the
customer much more compliant. I tell them that I am not charging
sales tax, the state of NY, or wherever, is charging sales tax and I
am just passing it along to them. It is a statement that they can’t
argue with and they realize that the extra amount isn’t some kind of
little add-on bonus for me to keep.

I think something to remember with all of these statements about
pricing is that the tone of voice and demeanor is really important.
I think that any note of sarcasm can really turn the exchange into an
adversary situation. Also, one must be careful about responses that
may sound like complaints. We all have expenses such as housing and
insurance and so forth, but I wouldn’t want to be reminding the
customer about their own health insurance bills or their mortgage
while I am trying to part them from their money!! Focusing on the
special design features, the unique materials or techniques (without
going overboard), and most importantly, how the jewelry will suit
them and their style, can all serve to dimish the price fixation.

Not an expert in sales yet, just my personal observation

Natasha

natasha@natashajewelry.com


http://www.artnatasha.net


#19

If you mark your prices and do not care to have customers bargain
with you, you could put up a discreet sign: “All prices are as
marked.” Then if someone asks for a discount, just point to the sign
and explain that “this is our policy”. Sometimes the written word
is more intimidating than a vendor who looks like a pushover.

Dee


#20
It also blows my mind that people ask for you to not charge tax.
I'd love to hear what comebacks people have for this one. 

Just let them know, very nicely, that the fine you would have to pay
for failing to charge tax would cost more than the item they’re
buying…so you’d rather not take the risk.

Dee