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Zuiko
2nd July 2011, 01:19 AM
Well, it's too late to back out now, the car is packed ready for my card and photo stall to make it's debut tomorrow at the local school fete. Just to make sure it really is a baptism of fire I'm also booked for a RSPCA fun day on Sunday.

The project seems to have snowballed regarding investment. So far I've purchased a new printer, gazebo, banquet table, two easels, print browser, card rack, three card display baskets, plastic boxes to transport cards, business cards and holders, A4 leaflet display stands and album filled with 8x6 prints to act as a catalogue. I was also going to (still am) purchase a PVC banner but ran out of time. Add to this a reasonable stock of card blanks, envelopes and cellophane bags, spare printer ink, plus the cost of lab prints, mounts and frames and I've spent somewhere in the region of 450! :eek: That could have gone a long way towards buying one of the new Pens or even an E-5.

I got quite a shock when I totalled it up, but at least I can offset it against tax, assuming that I'm not being too optomistic in hoping to earn some taxable income from this venture. :rolleyes:

My stock for the weekend consists of 225 cards, 18 12x8 prints in 16x12 mounts and 3 16x12 prints in 20x16 frames (mainly to act as an example of what can be printed from my catalogue, although they are for sale if anyone wants them)

The big question is will I emerge from the weekend with a vastly depleted stock and a fatter wallet or on Sunday night will I still have 225 cards, 18 mounted prints and 3 framed prints? It'll be interesting to see what happens and, good, bad or just plain embarrasing, I'll let you know.

Phill D
2nd July 2011, 05:32 AM
The very best of luck John I hope you have a good enjoyable and profitable day.
Oh I've asked for a copy of your book for a birthday present. Can I buy it from you direct or do I have to go via Blurb? Happy to buy from you if you make more profit that way?

theMusicMan
2nd July 2011, 07:32 AM
I hope the day goes really well for you, John. Good luck!

Xpres
2nd July 2011, 09:16 AM
Best of luck John!
A baptism of fire indeed... School Fete!

Zuiko
2nd July 2011, 09:34 PM
The very best of luck John I hope you have a good enjoyable and profitable day.
Oh I've asked for a copy of your book for a birthday present. Can I buy it from you direct or do I have to go via Blurb? Happy to buy from you if you make more profit that way?

Thanks Phil.

I don't keep a stock of my book and would have to order it from Blurb myself; it would work out the same. If you get it I do hope you enjoy it. :)

Zuiko
2nd July 2011, 09:54 PM
Well, that's the first day done and it was a bit of a mixed result. I didn't get very many people visit my stall; being mostly parents they naturally spent more time with their children at the stalls for sweets, toys, the tombola, various activities and games, including a number of different bouncy castles.

Those that did stop to look were mainly very complimentary about my work but I only sold 6 cards. The mounted prints drew a lot of interest and I sold two 12x8. I also took an order for a 12x8 canvas. I made a net profit of 18 after paying 10 for the pitch, with more to come when I've done the canvas.

Not too bad for a first event, I thought, although on this showing I maybe should concentrate on mounted prints rather than cards. However, tomorrow's event should be more suited to my type of product so I'll be very interested to see what happens there and hopefully it will give a better indication of the viability of my little enterprise.

The Saint
3rd July 2011, 10:19 AM
John

Hope today goes better for you. Will be interesting to here about your experience next weekend.

Regards

Simon

Chevvyf1
3rd July 2011, 03:07 PM
Well congratulations on making a profit on the days pitch cost ! *chr I am hoping you have taken a shot or two of the image you present ?
Wishing an even better day today *yes *chr

Wee man
3rd July 2011, 04:38 PM
Hope all has gone well.

shirley
3rd July 2011, 05:30 PM
Hope today went well John.

I think you did well to make a profit at a school fete, one card seller at our fete a few weeks ago didn't cover the cost of the table. As you say I think the parents are more focussed on their children and the children don't tend to buy cards.

I am sure you will do better at other events, its just a matter of finding the right event for your work......sounds easy doesn't it :o

Chevvyf1
3rd July 2011, 06:24 PM
IF Parents are more focused on their darling little children ... offer Portrait shots !

theMusicMan
3rd July 2011, 07:07 PM
How did the second day go, John...?

sponner
3rd July 2011, 08:27 PM
I made a net profit of 18 after paying 10 for the pitch, with more to come when I've done the canvas.


Not a bad start given the venue, I'd say.

Zuiko
3rd July 2011, 09:37 PM
I have to say today was a disappointment. Numbers visiting the event were down on last year, no doubt at least partly due to it being the men's final at Wimbledon. However, there still seemed to be a reasonable turnout gathered aroung the main events arena, they just didn't seem to be walking around the stalls as much as usual. Of course, this could be partly due to people having less money to spend and if they don't visit the stalls they won't be tempted.

Whatever the reason, my stall (and many others, I gather) had woefully few visitors. Those that did stop were very complimentary about my photographs; they were pleased to chat but not willing to part with any cash. In total I sold 21 A6 cards and 2 A5. Takings were 25.15 of which 17.29 was profit but this didn't quite cover the 20 pitch fee. If I then take into account the bacon roll Debbie and myself had plus the raspberry crepe and donuts Freya had plus various drinks, not to mention the petrol getting there and back, it would have been cheaper to just sit at home doing nothing.

Worse, far worse, is the fact that 10 of the cards were bought by my Mum and 5 by my sister, who came to the event just to see my stall. It becomes even more embarrassing when I admit that another 5 were bought by a friend who was there by co-incidence. Just 3 were sold to the general public! :o

Zuiko
3rd July 2011, 10:23 PM
So what went wrong? It could be my products are not attractive enough although, as I say, people were very complimentry. Or were they just being polite and not wishing to hurt my feelings? Maybe my prices are too high, but if this is going to work I do need to make a profit.

Partly, I think, it is that the purpose of my stall is not immediately obvious. I will get a large PVC banner made to rectify this. Next, maybe the subjects I cover are too narrow, being nearly all landscapes. Perhaps I should diversify to appeal to a wider audience. Being an RSPCA fund raising event there were a lot of animal lovers present today, many of them walking around with there dogs. More animal pictures and less landscapes may have been more appropriate.

Another idea is to have a marketing questionaire to gather opinions on whether my choice of subjects are appealing, what other subjects would people like, are my prices reasonable, what messages printed in the cards would be the most popular, and so on. I could do a prize draw for all those filled in with an Argos voucher or something similar as the prize. Today would have been a good opportunity for that, I could have asked for it to be announced over the P A system. With hidsight I could also have donated a framed print to the raffle; this would have got me more publicity.

Some of the problem could be the layout of my stall. I am keen to avoid the tradition of having a table at the front as I consider this is a barrier between myself and my customers, I'd rather welcome them in to my gazebo. Yesterday I had my table running from front to back, positioned in the centre so that people could walk down either side. Here's what it looked like:-

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/CARD_STALL_031_e_r_s.jpg

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/CARD_STALL_039_e_r_s.jpg

It was maybe a bit cluttered because I was promoting Debbie's hand made cards and some of her paintings as well.

Today I tried a variation on the layout, with my main table still running front to back, but along one side. This was stocked with my baskets of cards, several plate holders to act like mini easils for displaying samples and a 3 tier wire card rack to display more examples. There was also a holder for my business cards and several bowls of complimentary sweets for my visitors, plus price lists on several table top A4 display stands.

On the other side I had a smaller table and the print browser for mounted 12x8s wrapped in cellophane. The table displayed my album/catalogue from which I hoped customers would choose their favourite to order enlargements. Also displayed was my book with flyers detailing how to order it from Blurb (I'm nothing if not an optomist). On this table were also more business cards advertizing my website and another bowl of sweets.

At the back of the gazebo were two free-standing easils for displaying examples of my framed 16x12 prints. This is how it looked today:-

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/CARD_STALL_048_e_r_s.jpg

I did notice several people stop to look, pausing at the front but seemingly unwilling to enter. I do wonder if what I see as a friendly invitation to enter my gazebo with no barrier between me and my customer actually appears intimidating to some potential customers, fearing they will feel trapped once inside and almost obliged to buy something in order to escape.


That's not what I'm about at all; I had several lovely conversations with people about areas we had both visited, including one couple who had returned just a week ago from a part of Ireland for which I had a number of pictures. None of these people actually bought anything but I didn't mind, I appreciated their interest and enjoyed talking to them.

It could well be, though, that many people would prefer the table at the front like a counter, acting as a barrier between me and them and guaranteeing them their personal space. Maybe I will try it like that next time. Any thoughts on this matter?

wanderer
3rd July 2011, 10:52 PM
A couple of things spring to mind.
The 'barrier' layout also clearly defines their space and your space. Which should make people relax a bit.
Landscapes are fine, and I've got plenty too, but I notice a small picture of Clint on the right in no.3.
Being an RSPCA fund raising event there were a lot of animal lovers present today, many of them walking around with there dogs. More animal pictures and less landscapes may have been more appropriate.
If he was at A3 framed, mounted and put prominently near the front he would stop 99% of passing traffic. Remember the reaction he got here from a bunch of hardened snappers. Go with what the customer wants.

You do need a backdrop. In these pictures my eye keeps going through the stand to look at what is behind.

Zuiko
3rd July 2011, 11:11 PM
A couple of things spring to mind.
The 'barrier' layout also clearly defines their space and your space. Which should make people relax a bit.
Landscapes are fine, and I've got plenty too, but I notice a small picture of Clint on the right in no.3.

If he was at A3 framed, mounted and put prominently near the front he would stop 99% of passing traffic. Remember the reaction he got here from a bunch of hardened snappers. Go with what the customer wants.

You do need a backdrop. In these pictures my eye keeps going through the stand to look at what is behind.

A couple of great points, Duncan. I think I've already realized that, particularly for today's event, it would have been better for my work to be more animal orientated and you've just hit the nail to reinforce that.

It's interesting what you say about the counter/barrier defining my space and the customer's space. It really confirms what I was starting to fear. I'll try this approach next time and see what difference it makes.

A BACKDROP! Of course, why didn't I think of that? The silly thing is, I had two side panels and a back panel for my gazebo in case it was wet or windy, but I didn't think to put them up as it was such a fine day........:o

Ho hum, it's definitely a learning experience for me. Thanks very much for the input. :)

Chevvyf1
4th July 2011, 06:12 AM
John, on "Exhibiting Yourself" :D there was, in the 1980's a John Cleese DVD "How not to Exhibit Yourself" it was part of his Video Arts company and their Training Materials ... I may have it somewhere from my past life ... I shall look :confused: in the loft *chr

Ah! ha! A clip from VA website
http://www.videoarts.com/product/EXB2/How-not-to-exhibit-yourself

One KEY point was, at events like the Money Show ; Ideal Home Exhibition etc., (big exhibitions where you want the public to come onto your pitch and BUY BUY BUY) the first hurdle when they are in the door is
1. get them onto you pitch.

Inhibitors to this are
Gatekeeper and desk/sitting at the front
1. a different colour carpet for your pitch
2. a raised exhibition floor
3. Staff sitting around, doing things
4. Stale staff
5. Disinterested staff
6. Staff who run away when a potential buyer comes towards the pitch/staff

1. Because the buyer has to physically cross a line (mentally entering your space)
2. ditto but even more of a step
3. these tell the potential buyer "they are having a party/not interested in me/I dont want to break it up
4. approach a member of John Lewis shop staff then a smaller high street store - Hall of Cards perhaps?
5. ditto as 4.
6. How often do you go to approach a member of staff, who turns the other way ?

I believe your table down the centre is good - but easels not at the back, where the PB (potential buyer) feels they "have to walk onto and to the back of your pitch" :eek: you may eat them :rolleyes:

Easels at the front corners of your pitch are inviting the PB to browse - without entering your space - not because you will pounce on them, but because so many exhibitors, desperate to make a sale, pounce on them before and after your pitch.:cool:

Big prices on the Easels "Large Prints from 20" and from the Gazebo hanging down "Cards from 1.25" - then Peeps will know what your offer is and Prices from. A banner with "Landscape Photography" and some of your prints could hang across the front !

Closed Questions - answer can be yes or no ! mostly NO ! or a defined answer from a selection :confused: because Peeps fear Stranger Peeps approaching them or talking to them :D

Q1. can I help you.
Q2. would you like to look at my ... etchings ... cards ... prints ...
Q3. do you like Landscapes photos.


Open Questions - answer anything
http://changingminds.org/techniques/questioning/open_closed_questions.htm

Chevvyf1
4th July 2011, 06:29 AM
Personally, I sell mostly flower photo cards; cute animals include from the Zoo, Meercats; Penguins; Tigers. and 90% of card sales are on white card!

Domestic animals, cats and dogs and cuties - my two foals "Boxing" in the New Forest - Dragonflys mating. and Cards of cute scenes vis children in the Bluebell woods; Poppy fields; children with a puppy/kitten or teddy bear ! except my "chidlren" are not (because of problems of Parents/Permissions I use dolls :EEK very pretty long haired old fashioned dolls posed carefully! but its not obvious:) )

If you want to draw attention to yourself - a raffle - free ticket to passers by no purchase required. Make the "prize" stock ! "Your pick of 10 cards A5" or a print (unframed).

Dont spend money on Market Research, unless this is done professionally well, its not worth the paper its written on ! BUT do think about HOW YOU FEEL at an event, walk around and FEEL how the Pitch' Peeps approach you and how you feel? What feels nice and welcoming to you, usually is !

Look out for books in the Library on "How to Exhibit yourself" or look to small Exhibition organisers who offer "training" for their market. I think Craft Exhibitions do this.

THINK about "who goes to this event?" What are the main attractions ? What is the likelihood of selling ... much ... at all ?

Young Peeps are into "sending Moonpig" cards :( or Apple iPod/ iPhone applet cards :(
Most mums have a friend who sells "Phoenix" card sets at school ! Parents buy a mixed pack of thank you cards; birthday cards for children and parents etc., see hotlink

http://www.phoenix-trading.co.uk/web/corp/

I find my market is, mature; Peeps who value cards received and send ! mainly women buy these - the exception being at conference lunch slots with mostly men :)

At school/Fete/fairs where children are very very well catered for, thats what the Parents are interested in ! Offering Portrait shots for say 25 for a postcard print is a nice little earner - then they come to view the shots and pic one for 25 paid at the time of taking the shots! and offer 1 A4 print for 25.00 - you were at the fete anyway! Paid Pitch fee; would have been doing ? anything else if not taking Little Jonnys shot ? It mortifys me how much Parents are shelling out for Venture Prints - they often buy 4 postcard size +1 A4 and some want a big boxed frameprint too !

Have a "good deal for A4 prints" ready to place your print orders !

The Saint
4th July 2011, 07:09 AM
John

Sorry to hear that Sunday didn't go too well.

Two points that instantly come to mind, if this was a RSPB then a strong bird orientation might have been good (at least as the larger images on display to draw people in), focus on the type of people likely to visit the fete/fair.

Also the number of type of images on display to draw people in doesn't appear that many from the images you have provided. I'm no retailing expert but a few of the post card sized images (near the front so you can see them) and visible images down into the gazabo to draw people in might help.

What I would suggest is going to a few fairs/fetes and seeing how other people organise their stalls and also look at the interest/punters they are getting, what they look at and how (does the large image draw a person in but they are reluctant to flick through the cards in the basket?).

Although from what I understand you are looking to sell items are high quality/low quantity (rather than cheap and lots), it might be worth doing some offers and make them highly visible, buy X cards and get one free/20% discount, etc. People are always drawn in when they think they are getting a bargin, also they may buy more to get the discount (just make sure you don't loss out, eg. still making a profit).

Regards

Simon

Zuiko
4th July 2011, 09:09 AM
Thanks Duncan, Chevvy and Simon. Plenty to think about here, I will digest it all later. Really appreciated, thank you. :)

Chevvyf1
5th July 2011, 08:09 AM
John,

I dont think you weekend did not go too well - Life is for living and you grasped it. I fear the Economy was a BIG mitigating factor!

I would also add that Peeps are talking on 4ms of 1) not spending much at Country Fetes/Fairs and 2) lots are not going so they are not seeing something to buy ! We (Nick and I) have just decided not to attend 1) New Forest Show and 2) Alresford Show - at both of which we always end up buying things we can do without, but see and love :)

Benedict
5th July 2011, 08:50 AM
So what went wrong? It could be my products are not attractive enough although, as I say, people were very complimentry. Or were they just being polite and not wishing to hurt my feelings? Maybe my prices are too high, but if this is going to work I do need to make a profit.

Partly, I think, it is that the purpose of my stall is not immediately obvious. I will get a large PVC banner made to rectify this. Next, maybe the subjects I cover are too narrow, being nearly all landscapes. Perhaps I should diversify to appeal to a wider audience. Being an RSPCA fund raising event there were a lot of animal lovers present today, many of them walking around with there dogs. More animal pictures and less landscapes may have been more appropriate.

I will try it like that next time. Any thoughts on this matter?

John,

You are quite right when you say people were complimentary about your pictures,so I will also be polite on what I see before( your set up ) me on a computer monitor,but before I do I also had a look at your blurp book so that I could get a feel for what your were/are about.

You really do have some landscape/seascape cracking shots in your book,so why were they not on display. The ones on show in your gazebo wre of trees and these do not inspire a sale,no matter how they look.

I think that your fundamental mistakes were :

1. The whole layout was wrong. Your 'Cracking' shots should have been up there on a multi row frames,displaying some of your best work from your book.

2. You tried to be a photographer but you appear to ave missed that you were there as a saleman of you prints,not as the photographer ( if you get my drift ). I can talk all day about my photography but if I am selling I take on the saleman's persona,because I want the SALE !

3. Yes you needed some sort of banner to attract people to the stand.

4. Don't mix Arts and crafts with photographs - they rarely mix. The sortof people who would buy your prints wouldn't necessarily buy the other. It could even put some people off.

In summary:

Its about presentation ....

Its about ...... about you and your ability to ensure that the potential buyer walks away with your picture - create an interest in the shot,make a story around it for the potential buyer. Something along the lines "There is an interesting story to this shot ... just after I took it a pod of whales surfaced and this was the last shot in my camera,now what a fantastic shot that would have been" Give the buyer something extra to take away with the picture ,even if it total CRAP. Keep the conversation short,because the longer you talk the less likely you are to sell,believe me the buyer will be already half way ther to buying,you are just pushing them in the right direction!

OR

It could have been just one of those events where Joe Public were not buying ( obviously from your point ). Give it another try and see if it improves

All the best

Zuiko
5th July 2011, 09:53 PM
John,

You are quite right when you say people were complimentary about your pictures,so I will also be polite on what I see before( your set up ) me on a computer monitor,but before I do I also had a look at your blurp book so that I could get a feel for what your were/are about.

You really do have some landscape/seascape cracking shots in your book,so why were they not on display. The ones on show in your gazebo wre of trees and these do not inspire a sale,no matter how they look.

I think that your fundamental mistakes were :

1. The whole layout was wrong. Your 'Cracking' shots should have been up there on a multi row frames,displaying some of your best work from your book.

2. You tried to be a photographer but you appear to ave missed that you were there as a saleman of you prints,not as the photographer ( if you get my drift ). I can talk all day about my photography but if I am selling I take on the saleman's persona,because I want the SALE !

3. Yes you needed some sort of banner to attract people to the stand.

4. Don't mix Arts and crafts with photographs - they rarely mix. The sortof people who would buy your prints wouldn't necessarily buy the other. It could even put some people off.

In summary:

Its about presentation ....

Its about ...... about you and your ability to ensure that the potential buyer walks away with your picture - create an interest in the shot,make a story around it for the potential buyer. Something along the lines "There is an interesting story to this shot ... just after I took it a pod of whales surfaced and this was the last shot in my camera,now what a fantastic shot that would have been" Give the buyer something extra to take away with the picture ,even if it total CRAP. Keep the conversation short,because the longer you talk the less likely you are to sell,believe me the buyer will be already half way ther to buying,you are just pushing them in the right direction!

OR

It could have been just one of those events where Joe Public were not buying ( obviously from your point ). Give it another try and see if it improves

All the best

Thanks Phil, for such a detailed response. There's lots of pertinent observations and good advice in there, together with the other posts commenting on my set-up and I intend to carefully consider all this information over the next few days to help me plan the way forward and hopefully make my next event more of a success. Thanks again, your advice really is appreciated.

Zuiko
23rd July 2011, 09:39 PM
Well, the experiment continued today with a summer fair held as a fundraiser in the grounds of a disabled care centre. I did a few things different this time but have not yet by any means made all the changes/improvements I feel I need to. Main thing was the layout of my gazebo. This time I had three side panels up to prevent the distracting view right through and hopefully keep the customer focused on what was happening on my stall. I also arranged the table so that it ran the width of the gazebo at the front forming a counter and separating my space from that of the customer. Debbie was chatting to one of the parents at the school where I held my first stall several weeks ago. She didn't know Debbie was my wife and mentioned that she found the layout of the card stall very off-putting - she described it as feeling she was "walking into a trap." If one person feels that way then I'm sure many others must do too, so lesson learnt.

The question is, did it work today? Well, I'm not sure - the event was quite poorly attended and footfall past my stall was rather sparse. Other stallholders felt the same. Those that did stop seemed happy enough to take a long look at what I had to offer, appearing more relaxed and less edgy than at the previous events. However, I sold no prints and only 7 cards. Total takings of 10.85 didn't even cover the pitch fee of 15 so it was a bit of a disaster really. At least I'm not exactly building up a tax liability! :rolleyes:

It may be that my products are just not attractive or good enough. Perhaps there is too much competition, not enough demand for this type of product or my prices are wrong. It's possible that I've chosen a business model which just won't work. I really need some better attended events to form a clearer picture and I have another 6 booked between now and the end of the year. By then I will have implimented more changes and should know if this is worth pursuing or not.

Chevvyf1
24th July 2011, 10:01 AM
John, I fear it is "recession & stay at homes". If you sold 7 cards for 10.85 you cannot be overpricing! Your brave doing 6 more and I hope you sell mroe in each of them!

I have a big green lidded trunk by my front door - its really for the chidlrens "bags with spare clothes/raincoats/wellies" BUT I have a few boxes of cards in it and a TRUSTY box for locals who stop by, if we are out ! - the Bee with its tongue out is doing very well from the "Latest shots" box ! 50 a week is a good average - but no Site fees!

Zuiko
24th July 2011, 12:54 PM
If you sold 7 cards for 10.85 you cannot be overpricing! Your brave doing 6 more and I hope you sell mroe in each of them!



Maybe I am offering the wrong products or they are not good enough, whatever the price? I get lots of complimentary comments but are people just being polite? They're hardly likely to say "These are crap" to my face!

As for being brave, I just think I've got to give it a fair try - no other alternative really. Need to keep evolving my presentation until I find the most successful formula. I might also switch the emphasis more towards mounted prints. If I sell 100 cards I'll make about 90 profit - I only need to sell 8 12x8 mounted prints to make 100. While sitting for the long, lonely hours yesterday I thought of a way to display my prints far more visably than in a browser with a couple on easels in the background, so I'll give that a go next time.

If you sell a lot from an honesty box at home, Chevy I assume you get a lot of passing foot traffic. That just wouldn't work wher I live, unfortunately, but it's a great idea. :)

Chevvyf1
24th July 2011, 01:00 PM
Maybe I am offering the wrong products or they are not good enough, whatever the price? I get lots of complimentary comments but are people just being polite? They're hardly likely to say "These are crap" to my face!

As for being brave, I just think I've got to give it a fair try - no other alternative really. Need to keep evolving my presentation until I find the most successful formula. I might also switch the emphasis more towards mounted prints. If I sell 100 cards I'll make about 90 profit - I only need to sell 8 12x8 mounted prints to make 100. While sitting for the long, lonely hours yesterday I thought of a way to display my prints far more visably than in a browser with a couple on easels in the background, so I'll give that a go next time.

If you sell a lot from an honesty box at home, Chevy I assume you get a lot of passing foot traffic. That just wouldn't work wher I live, unfortunately, but it's a great idea. :)

John, most Peeps drive and stop by here, but we are also near Tesco Express ! But some Peeps just come to browse through my latest shots, during their daily walk once a week *yes We are in a 5,000 homes; big sprawling village 2.5 miles out of Winchester City :eek: ...

... and we are very well known in the Hampshire area ... for our Christmas Lights :D :eek: *yes

ps our Winter Electric bill comes in Securicor Vans ... :mad:

meach
21st October 2011, 02:08 AM
I'm not sure whether this will help you (or anyone else for that matter) but as an alternative approach perhaps, I'd like to share a recent experience. I recently returned to my home village (picturesque but already done to death photographically) after 25 years away. One night I noticed my local coffee shop and newsagents looked rather nice reflected in the duck pond after dark so I took a shot just for myself really. When I mentioned this to an old mate of mine from schooldays (non photographer) he scoffed at me - until I took a 6x4 print into the pub to show him (two versions - one with a full moon I'd photoshopped in from another pic). He was so impressed he decided to do "market research" on my behalf to see which version people preferred. This culminated with one guy liking it so much he instantly asked me if I'd produce a canvas print for him. I got a 24"x18" done at Tesco (cost 20 - half price till the end of this month) took it in the week after and asked him for 25. He gave me 30. But - once people had seen the finished product we took orders for two more before we left the pub, and as the guy let me hang on to it to show around we took one order in each of the next three pubs we visited. Now, 60 isn't going to change my life but it more than paid for our night out and we had a lot of fun - and a few days later my friend took the photo into the coffee shop in question and they not only loved it but have agreed to put it and any other shots I have of the village on their wall and sell them for me (nothing like pressure - it's the only one I have so far!). And they're planning an evening art exhibition soon.

I think my point is rather than spending money (and time) on a stall perhaps it would be better to try and come to an arrangement with outlets local to the shots you have that may be amenable to displaying them for sale on your behalf? Less profit per sale perhaps but more sales over time and less time and money invested.

And just in case anyone's remotely interested - here's the shot in question as it looks from the front when canvass wrapped. Not a patch on the work produced by Zuiko - so if I can shift mine so easily....

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Norton_Forge_2.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/39850)

Chevvyf1
21st October 2011, 06:52 AM
Meach I utterly agree with you ! ... Then there is the added fun, as you say, of interacting with your community !

Maybe you should print some postcards for sale in the coffee shop ? even pubs ? or print some shots and insert them in 3 flap cards with a front aperture ? (from craft creations online or local craft shops)

meach
21st October 2011, 11:47 AM
Meach I utterly agree with you ! ... Then there is the added fun, as you say, of interacting with your community !

Maybe you should print some postcards for sale in the coffee shop ? even pubs ? or print some shots and insert them in 3 flap cards with a front aperture ? (from craft creations online or local craft shops)

Strangely, producing postcards was the original idea - until the guy requested a canvas mount. I now plan to produce postcards and different size prints/canvases - but I need more pics first!!!

Zuiko
21st October 2011, 02:01 PM
Paul, I'm not surprised that picture is in demand, it's superb. Plus, it adds the unusual element of being taken at night to a strong local landmark. I'm glad it's taken off for you and hope it leads to greater success.

You make a good point about selling through local outlets rather than the work and expense of a craft stall. I was keen to explore the potential for a stall but, in my case at least, it has not worked. I've got several already booked for the run-up to Christmas so I might as well do them, at least these are all indoors so I don't need to set up a gazebo.

My main focus at the moment is getting prints made and framed for my exhibition in February. When that ends I will potentially have 40 framed prints (assuming I don't sell any :rolleyes:) and that will give me plenty of stock to tout around local shops, cafes etc.

meach
21st October 2011, 05:18 PM
Thank you John. I think you're right to carry on with the stalls you've already booked, and who knows what will happen - especially as Christmas is approaching. Then it might be time to assess the project and decide the way forward.