Why Sales rarely help.
Some horrible truths
The mostly likely reason for something not selling is the public simply don’t like it. Not its price
People lie. They say they can’t afford something as the kindest way not to buy .
Cutting prices makes existing customers regret their purchase and wait for the sale next time
Special offers are for Baked Beans. They are not a quick sales fix for handmade craft that isn’t selling
The Why, How & Where of Sales
WHY are you having a sale?
You have to decide what you want to achieve
Do you want to move stock that isn’t selling?
Is it priced above your better sellers? If it is, it could be that the price is too high for your market place. You have a choice: try reducing the price, or try another market place.
Can you afford to reduce the price and still make a reasonable profit? If you can’t, withdraw the stock. Thats cheaper than running a sale that can’t make any money and better than drawing attention to unloved product.
Selling at a price just to recoup the cost of materials has to be done out of the spotlight or it will tarnish your other products
Do you want to get more interest in your online shop/website?
When sales dry up its hard to resist taking action.
Having a sale to draw attention to products which aren’t selling is the equivalent of hitching your skirt up a bit further. The horrible truth is, if you didn’t excite much interest initially, you still won’t.
If your products aren’t selling you need to develop new product or change the market place, having a sale is just moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. It may just be a seasonal issue in which case keep your nerve and wait it out.
A reasonably successful site can try a short offer which will increase attention and widen interest BUT you have to construct it really carefully
I like POST FREE. At best that will persuade the buyers on the brink to come out and pay.
But take anything off the shop whose profit won’t survive the offer.
HOW do you do a sale?
First of all you have to decide on your offer and that means a really careful examination of what you can afford. You must work from your profit margins, not from your prices.
If you make a 10% reduction on an item with 10% profit you lose your profit entirely.
You need to use your sale to promote your site in a positive way .
Sales must be stylish, not bargain basement
This sale feels like an oportunity, without any loss of status.
Notice it says nothing what so ever about price
Here is a small craftsperson keeping her sale up market
WHERE Do you have your Sale?
It is important to regularly spring clean your online sites taking down any poor sellers. Online is your shop window and it’s where you have to look your best. Thats why any reductions have to be very carefully presented.
It is not the place to cheap off your poor sellers. You do that in person at a show which has not gone well where you already know your customers are not there. The last depressing day you put out some of this stock and you cheap it off in the hope of getting your stall fee, or you deliberately choose a pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap market stall.
This is your equivalent of factory outlet stores. Keep the unsuccessful stuff well away from your winners.
Sometimes its better to bite the bullet on non -selling stock
I really don’t like these either, especially the ones that are put in with the product to encourage the customer to buy again. To me these are a way of saying you have just overpaid.
No Discounts Ever?
Almost, except you are allowed to do a little sweetener to get people to purchase at a show, or open studios, rather than buying online at their leisure. You want them to know about your website but you need them to buy right now, so you offer a discount if you can afford one.
How do you evaluate a sale?
There is no certain way of knowing how many of those buyers would have bought at full price
Even if it produced more sales than usual, how do you know that wasn’t due to the extra publicity you gave the sale?
It is always saltatory to work out after a so-called successful sale how much profit you gave away. I made this much, rather than this much. Don’t deal in percent as that is a great cover for a nasty reality.
Next time you feel a sale coming on
Announce that you are going to put all your prices up in a month’s time.
It will have exactly the same effect as a sale and will save you a lot of money.
Okay that’s my take on Sales tell me your experiences of them, good and bad
Read also Pricing For Failure and you will be ahead of the pack