Holiday Sales Mistake #2: Mystery Prices at Craft Shows

Yesterday was the first post  in our series of Holiday Sales Mistakes you might be making. Today is the second post as part of the 6 Days of Handmade Business Holiday Giveaway. That means you'll be getting blog posts like this one for six days (until Saturday), PLUS a chance to win a Maker Business Tool Bundle (scroll to the bottom to enter!). Hey, your business deserves a gift too! ;)

I am going to just to the chase today and tell you what seems obvious, but is overlooked more times than I care to count. And that's having obvious and clear pricing at craft shows. There are TONS of booths I walk by where prices are nowhere to be found. 

On occasion, when I see people who appear to have take the time to tell you the prices, the way they have decided to advertise pricing is super unclear. 

Why you need to make your pricing obvious and clear

1. It Makes People Feel Cheap

When I go shopping at a boutique, one the things I hate most is asking what the price is on something. Why? It feels like I am asking because if it's too expensive I can't afford it. If I was a fancy rich lady, then money would be no object and I could just grab anything off the rack and pay for it.

Now, no one actually thinks people who ask for the price are poor (I hope not!). But being a customer you just always feel awkward doing that. So don't make people feel awkward and cheap!

2. People Could Think Price is Negotiable

Conversely, asking for prices can start a conversation with the vendor about pricing that might not be in your favor. You know when I often have to ask for the price? At a garage sale right before I see if I can get the price down.

Having hidden pricing can give the impression that the price is not set in stone. That sort of discussion of price is one you definitely don't want to have!

3. Your Relationship is Starting on the Wrong Foot

There is advice that floats around in job hunting circles that tells people to refuse offers of water or coffee during job interviews because then you've "taken" something from the prospective employer and now you "owe" them.

It's a little silly and extreme, but kinda true. And the same goes for your customers.

When they have to come up to you and ask a question, you've inconvenienced them a bit. You're decision to have mystery pricing has now made them put forth some effort they probably didn't want to do. Or has perhaps led them to believe this is not a professional shop with appropriate signage. Just like a garage sale.

4. It Saves Your Breath

Very quickly at a show you will start feel like you are answering the same questions over and over again (hint: if this happens signage or materials that address these are VERY helpful! And probably needed). If you are answering the question "How much is this?" OVER AND OVER (not just occasionally because there is always a crop of people who never read anything and pay attention to nothing) then you probably need to do something about how your price is displayed and labeled. 

How to Label and Display

Your options are going to vary greatly depend on your product. It's understandable that most people are not going to be able to individually label products with a price, but that really is preferred plus signage (in case the labels fall off).

Most people will just opt for signage. And that's fine. Just make sure:

  1. Your sign is BIG and not getting lost in the display
  2. You have multiple signs (people don't see so well) if possible
  3. It is very obvious what items are part of specials and which items are not. Visual cues are huge! Don't assume people know the difference between bath salts and a bath bomb. Make these distinctions clear by either grouping them or color coding (blue stickers = part of the special).

Alright...I know you guys have dealt with this a lot. What things have you found helpful for advertising price for your products?