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Forum Moderators: buckworks
Everything is worth something to someone.
Never trust a man wearing a better suit than your own.
A friend is not a friend if he asks for a discount.
Only fools pay retail.
When in doubt, lie.
I would never cheat people. But I liked the Ferengis, because they were unafraid to really enjoy being merchants. They liked their customers because they brought them profits but also they were just sociable people. They liked the very act of dealing, ya know? This I could get into. So when I became a merchant, I got in touch with my inner Ferengi.
I mean, compare that to some simpy, holy-gholy angel vibrating that you should consider adding statues to your store. No contest.
I read the mag because it does sometimes have good info about dealing with customers or organizing work and because the ads give me ideas about things I can make and let me know what is out there. But it also reassures me that the path I have taken, that is, to specialize in oddball things and items I make, is the right one for me. I don't want to sell what everyone else has and have my biz be all about undercutting the other guy.
Personally, I have found that advertizing in mags devoted to this niche does not produce a lot of sales. I think it is mainly good for getting one's name out there. I used to advertize in one of the known mags in the niche and gave up because it just didn't seem to make much difference, and because they were always months late putting out the mag and then it would be buried in the back of the rack at B&N. I don't think I ever got my ad money back in sales, at any rate. I know another owner in this niche who has had the same experience. I started advertizing in mags outside the niche, in sort of related but much larger niches, with a smaller ad (at the same price), and that has been a little more productive.
Have you found putting out a print catalog worthwhile? I tried it and it was a waste of money for me. Now I have decided to try it again, but with only a part of my products, which are very often sold through mailorder with low-tech catalogs.
Also, have you ever gone to one of the trade shows? I was thinking about going to the next one to scope out possible sources.