Quantcast

Perceived value

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

navigator9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
2,713
Reaction score
3,088
Location
New England
I was thinking about this a lot today, after talking to a young girl who was in a craft fair that I did last year. I asked her if she was going to do it again, and she said, "Probably not, I didn't do very well. I was in a bad spot."

That made me think...she's a lovely young girl, college student, and very talented. She made handpainted Christmas ornaments, and she'd even do them by request, as people said "Gee, I'd love one with my Rottweiler on it." She'd Google a pic of a Rottweiler and paint it for them. They were really lovely. But...her display was awful. She had no table covering. She had nothing to help her show off her ornaments. At one point, she took off her scarf, puddled it on the table, and laid her ornaments on it. She had paints and supplies on the table as she painted the ornaments. It looked kind of sad and messy. I hesitated to say anything, but maybe I should have. I thought how much nicer it would have looked if she had maybe a dark green table cover and something like this tree to display her ornaments. It wouldn't be hard to make, and how nice her ornaments would have looked amazing hanging on it. She also had handpainted badge buddies, and they were just sitting on the table. I thought a frame like this, would be great to display them. Who doesn't have an old, unused frame at home that they could fix up like this?

When you do a craft fair, you're in competition with all of the other crafters there. Shoppers only have so much they're willing to spend, and you need to convince them to spend it on your items. If it looks like you don't care, why should they? If you have a beautiful display, and your items are made to look like a million bucks, people are much more likely to buy. The perceived value of items that are displayed beautifully, and carefully is much greater than items that are just dumped on a table, no matter how pretty they may be. I always think of store windows. Stores know that they only have a few seconds to grab your attention as you walk by. A beautiful display is much more likely to draw you in than an unenthusiastic, haphazard one. Your display doesn't have to cost a lot either, to look beautiful. I've made some great finds in the clearance shelves at Marshalls and Big Lots. And I've made other display pieces from scratch.

I thought it was very telling that this young girl thought she didn't do well because of her location. But I was directly across from her and did very well. I think I need to call her. Do you think it would be too pushy to suggest these display pieces to her, I'd hate to hurt her feelings.

ball tree3.gif

frame.jpg
 

JayJay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
422
Reaction score
218
In my opinion, it is very nice of you to help her. Not many people would help their competition. If I were in her shoes, I would be grateful for the suggestions. And I love those pics by the way. :)
 

newbie

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
6,115
Reaction score
5,433
I think you should call her and offer your suggestions. She's a young woman, entrepreneurial and has some talent from what you say. I would think she'd love some ideas and help creating an inviting booth and you sound like you've got good diplomatic skills in offering your help.
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,686
Location
Los Angeles
I think it's a really nice thing to do, and a good idea. Maybe you could say something like " I saw x, y and z" the other day, and they mad me think of you, I thought they would look really great on your table. Your things are so nice, and they would set them off perfectly." Or something, you know.
 

Dorymae

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
1,544
Reaction score
1,386
Location
Buckeye, Arizona
I would be a little more blunt. I would say, I was thinking about how beautiful your ornaments are and why they didn't sell better. Have you ever thought about dressing up your display a bit more?

You might find out she has no money for a better display, or maybe she doesn't know how to make a display look good on a budget.

Definitely open up the dialog, if you are willing to help her with ideas be sure to let her know that right away.

Being young and entrepreneurial Ill bet she will jump at the offer.
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,984
Location
So Cal
If I were her I would very much appreciate any suggestions from a successful seller, and I think thats very kind of you to want to help. It never hurts to offer, right?
 

TeresaT

I see you.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
2,269
Reaction score
2,474
Location
Chatta-Vegas, TN
Go for it! Call her with your suggestions. She probably hasn't got a clue. I'm not saying that to be mean or nasty, I'm speaking from personal experience. I am clueless about "selling myself" and my former boss used to get on me about it all the time. She'd list a bunch of things on my evaluation and I'd think, "what's the big deal?" Maybe she doesn't realize that just because her stuff is way better than someone else's, that other one's going to get sold because it wrapped in pretty paper. Most people want a 2 carat diamond with flaws than a flawless 1/2 carat one. She needs to be able to draw the attention to the overall aesthetics and value of her 1/2 carat vs that 2 carat crap.
 

navigator9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
2,713
Reaction score
3,088
Location
New England
Thanks, those were great suggestions, I will definitely contact her. I think with just a little help, she would do really well.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
12,600
Reaction score
17,399
Location
Northeast Iowa, USA
When I was a twentysomething engineer, I attended a technical conference with another engineer from our company. As we were sitting and listening to the speakers, a complete stranger sitting nearby -- someone I had never even spoken to -- handed me a note. The note suggested I should take a zinc supplement to help with my acne. I did not appreciate that the person, who apparently wasn't willing to introduce herself to me or even sign the note, felt compelled to give this kind of advice in this particular way.

On a strictly practical note, the person might have been giving sound, reasonable advice to help with a medical issue. But was the advice given in an empathetic, kind way? Was the advice offered in a way that showed a positive regard for me as a person? My feeling at the time and still is ... no, it wasn't.

While I think the advice you would like to offer to the young artist would be helpful, I want to suggest treading carefully. Advice from a stranger can be difficult to accept and can sometimes do more harm than good, especially for a younger person who may be struggling with self confidence and resiliency and who does not have much life experience. The fact that she's blaming her poor showing on external reasons, rather than wondering how she could improve, suggests she might be in that boat. Talented and capable in her craft, but a babe in arms otherwise.

Not saying you should not offer advice ... just do your best to act from a place of empathy, kindness, and positive regard for the other.
 

navigator9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
2,713
Reaction score
3,088
Location
New England
When I was a twentysomething engineer, I attended a technical conference with another engineer from our company. As we were sitting and listening to the speakers, a complete stranger sitting nearby -- someone I had never even spoken to -- handed me a note. The note suggested I should take a zinc supplement to help with my acne. I did not appreciate that the person, who apparently wasn't willing to introduce herself to me or even sign the note, felt compelled to give this kind of advice in this particular way.

On a strictly practical note, the person might have been giving sound, reasonable advice to help with a medical issue. But was the advice given in an empathetic, kind way? Was the advice offered in a way that showed a positive regard for me as a person? My feeling at the time and still is ... no, it wasn't.

While I think the advice you would like to offer to the young artist would be helpful, I want to suggest treading carefully. Advice from a stranger can be difficult to accept and can sometimes do more harm than good, especially for a younger person who may be struggling with self confidence and resiliency and who does not have much life experience. The fact that she's blaming her poor showing on external reasons, rather than wondering how she could improve, suggests she might be in that boat. Talented and capable in her craft, but a babe in arms otherwise.

Not saying you should not offer advice ... just do your best to act from a place of empathy, kindness, and positive regard for the other.
I completely understand. There are many ways to offer advice. As you found out, some are not so empathetic. She is not a stranger, though, she is part time co-worker. (or was, until I retired) I come from a place of really wanting her to do well. And I think she's approaching things from an artistic point of view, not a business point of view. I have no business background at all, and it was tough for me in the beginning to get into the "psychology of selling." I found that once I put myself in the place of the buyer and not the seller, it made a huge difference. I started to think about all the things that make a difference to me in my experience as a customer. Once I did that, things turned around for me in a positive way. I had a customer at a craft fair come up to me and say, "I decided to buy from you and not the other soap vendor because I really like your presentation." So I know that it does make a difference. I think I will be able to make suggestions in a way that will not offend her. I want her to have a positive experience the next time she does a craft fair, she's a lovely girl and deserves it.
 

dixiedragon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
6,388
Reaction score
4,938
Location
Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Rather than saying, "Your booth is a mess" maybe use exactly what you said here:
"As a seller, try approaching things from a business point of view, rather than an artistic point of view."
"Look at your booth as a potential customer."
"Presentation does make a difference."

Maybe she could take pics of her booth and post them on a forum for feedback?

I'd make these sorts of open-ended suggestions, and then if she asks you for more advice, go into specifics.
 

shunt2011

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
15,193
Reaction score
9,372
Location
Michigan
I think if you offer suggestions in a kind, caring, sincere way she will likely be very appreciative. I think is very thoughtful of you to want to help her achieve success in selling her things. When I first started I didn't have a clue.
 

galaxyMLP

SPONSOR
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
1,838
Reaction score
1,338
Location
Florida
As a young twenty something myself, I think it would make me extremely appreciative to hear advice from another crafter.

In fact, whenever I go to my shows, I really like it when other, more experienced crafters give me pointers on my booth. Its especially rewarding when I see those same people at another show later on and they give me positive feedback on changes.

Some of the things are small but can make a huge difference.

ETA: DeeAnna, I also wanted to say that person was just a butt face. Thats like when my bother had horrible acne and he would hear people say "its called proactive" from accross the hall in middle/high school when he had already tried almost everything out there and was on heavy duty stuff... Its such a shame you got a note like that.
 
Last edited:

navigator9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
2,713
Reaction score
3,088
Location
New England
I think if you offer suggestions in a kind, caring, sincere way she will likely be very appreciative. I think is very thoughtful of you to want to help her achieve success in selling her things. When I first started I didn't have a clue.
I think most of us are totally clueless as beginners. God, I hate to remember back to what my first craft fair table looked like. Eeek!!! I'm surprised anyone stopped at all. I'm certainly not out to make her feel badly, or hurt her feelings in any way. What I want is to let her know that her poor sales had nothing to do with her product, it had to do with marketing. I think I can find a tactful way to do that.
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,686
Location
Los Angeles
Nav, it is obvious you like this young woman, only have her best interests at heart, and want to be kind. I think those things will guide you to the right approach. Also, one good thing is that it seems like she really hasn't done *anything* to fix up her booth. Ie; it would be way worse if she had an ugly one that she had spent a lot of time fixing up, people get really offended if you suggest stufff in that case because it seems like you are criticizing their taste. Here, I think she will just take it as purely helpful advice b/c that is not at issue, plus you genuinely like her work.

DeeAnna, I hate that that person said that to you when you were so young, things like that sting and lodge in your brain like barbs, even when the facts giving rise to them are long gone. Jerk.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
12,600
Reaction score
17,399
Location
Northeast Iowa, USA
"... I want her to have a positive experience the next time she does a craft fair, she's a lovely girl and deserves it...."

Navigator -- You have your heart in the right place, and you have some good ideas to share. I think you'll do a lovely job of helping this gal. Kudos to you for caring!!!! :)

Not_ally and Galaxy -- Yep, some folks are clueless buttheads! I have to say that I hadn't thought of that little incident for years until today, but the fact that I remember it at all means you're absolutely right, Not_ally -- stuff like this does stick in a person's mind much more clearly than the many wonderful things that happen to all of us. Oh, well.....
 

navigator9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
2,713
Reaction score
3,088
Location
New England
DeeAnna, I wanted to look up this quote, I couldn't remember exactly how it went. "People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel." The person who offered you that advice may have done it with good intentions, but the way it was done made you feel badly, and that's what you remember about it, that's what stuck with you. I think we all know people like that, who are constantly putting their foot in their mouth, even when they are well meaning. Your experience will remind me to be extra careful how I approach the situation, thanks for the reminder! And I'm sure your experience, and the way it stayed with you, even though it hurt at the time, has made you a kinder and more considerate person, because you will always stop to consider the other person's feelings before you make a comment. Again, thanks for the reminder. :smile:
 

galaxyMLP

SPONSOR
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
1,838
Reaction score
1,338
Location
Florida
DeeAnna, I wanted to look up this quote, I couldn't remember exactly how it went. "People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel." The person who offered you that advice may have done it with good intentions, but the way it was done made you feel badly, and that's what you remember about it, that's what stuck with you. I think we all know people like that, who are constantly putting their foot in their mouth, even when they are well meaning. Your experience will remind me to be extra careful how I approach the situation, thanks for the reminder! And I'm sure your experience, and the way it stayed with you, even though it hurt at the time, has made you a kinder and more considerate person, because you will always stop to consider the other person's feelings before you make a comment. Again, thanks for the reminder. :smile:
This is beautiful and I love it.
 

TeresaT

I see you.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
2,269
Reaction score
2,474
Location
Chatta-Vegas, TN
I completely understand. There are many ways to offer advice. As you found out, some are not so empathetic. She is not a stranger, though, she is part time co-worker. (or was, until I retired) I come from a place of really wanting her to do well. And I think she's approaching things from an artistic point of view, not a business point of view. I have no business background at all, and it was tough for me in the beginning to get into the "psychology of selling." I found that once I put myself in the place of the buyer and not the seller, it made a huge difference. I started to think about all the things that make a difference to me in my experience as a customer. Once I did that, things turned around for me in a positive way. I had a customer at a craft fair come up to me and say, "I decided to buy from you and not the other soap vendor because I really like your presentation." So I know that it does make a difference. I think I will be able to make suggestions in a way that will not offend her. I want her to have a positive experience the next time she does a craft fair, she's a lovely girl and deserves it.
You have your answer right there in your quote from the customer at the craft fair. To paraphrase: It's all in the presentation. You obviously care for the girl and explaining to her that you want her to be successful will alleviate any awkwardness. I still say, "Go for it!" You will feel better knowing you tried to help her. If she doesn't appreciate the help now, she may reflect back on your conversation years from now and, with maturity and experience, appreciate what you tried to do for her. Either way, you win because you have the joy of knowing you tried. And at the end of the day, when you lay your head on your pillows at night, you get to answer the question, "What good did I do in the world today?" with this young lady's story.
 

Trix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
150
Reaction score
48
Hi navigator, I understand where you are coming from, you want to help and while you know "you are doing so great" is a great thing to hear, you cannot tell her that yet.

When I was in college, I had a friend whose biology just made them sweat too much, and so unfortunately there was that nasty BO, that they were clueless to.
I knew ppl were being nasty behind there back, and if I went and suggested a deodorant it would look just as bad, but would have explained why ppl would not stay to speak so long with them...so what to do?

I was randomly looking into my bag and playing with makeup as any girl would do, then used the opportunity to pull my cream deodorant and go "omg this is a life saviour"
I then went on and invented this embarrassing story about a time when something so important was taking place, and I had no idea I had such a strong body odour even after showering, and hence why bad moment happened, but how I use that ever since and it works. I guess the unique packaging of it being a cream and not a stick a,so helped get there attention.

Surely enough they asked me where I got it from, and it worked for them, that the body odour was not as bad anymore.

What I am trying to say, is a story about a 'flop' in presentation in the earlier days, even if invented, and then showing her what you do now with your table to ensure ppl stay, would be a good approach.

Being a mentor to this girl is great, and showing her that everyone is struggling at first may also be a way to approach this without worrying that you are making her feel like she is not doing a good job, when it is clear you think she is great and hence why you want her to really do well. (Which is very commendable on your part to)
 
Top