Home Sales Pt. 2.

IMG_1849 It takes me about a week to get ready for a Sale.  That includes cleaning up, getting the pots all dusted and priced and everything set up.  I could probably do it in 3 days if I worked really hard, but I just work along and get it done.

I get wrapping paper from the local newspaper.  They sell me end rolls of newsprint for $3 and that's really enough for two sales.  I buy bags from a local janitorial supply house.  I get the 1/6 bushel brown paper bags in a 500 bundle.  That lasts me a while.  Of course you can recycle newspapers and bags for use if you wish.

I mail out my post card announcement about 2 weeks in advance (if I've got my act together).  I design the frontside and backside on Photoshop and then upload to the printers.  Currently I'm using OvernightPrints.com but there are other good services out there.  It's good to have a map and all your contact info on the card.   I like to have some sort of action shot or pot in use image on the front as opposed to the standard pot sitting on a graduated background.  Make the card interesting, it will get folks out to your sale.  Many people collect them too.

Three or 4 sales a year may seem like a lot for some folks.  I think two is ideal.  One in spring and one in the fall.  I have talked to potters who say they like to keep it to one day also and keep the hours short.  That way folks come during that time and the 'buying energy' is high.

Usually we'll have a pot of coffee on in the morning and something baked.  We've tried having more food over the years but it seemed like most folks were not too interested in hanging out long and eating.  In the fall we get hot apple cider on and that's always a treat.  Some potter's have a big spread or even an opening night event.  If that works for you then go for it.  Sarah and I are talking about doing something a little more fancy for out Holiday Sale this year.

I am set up as a small business so I do collect sales tax (and I pay it back to the government).  Some folks just try and hand me the exact cash amount and look at me funny when I tell them there's tax.  Hey, it's the way I do business.

I always put my very best work out.  I do have a small area where I will put out some seconds and some things that I've marked down.  These are always on a table in the back.  Some folks have learned where that is and go there first.  There are some good bargains there.  Still I think it's important to put the very best work out and keep the seconds to a minimum.

I always introduce myself to folks who come in that are new and make them feel welcome.  Return customers are always excited to chat it up with others and talk about the pots.

The return is quite good on Home Sales.  Expenses can be minimum and there's no travel involved.  Income can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars for a weekend.  Of course there are many factors involved but in my opinion a Home Sale is the very best way for me to sell my pots, connect with my customers, and contribute to the local economy.

I'll have a bit more in Part 3.