tom gray on tue 23 apr 96
My wife & I have a pottery shop in Seagrove,NC. We are considered the pottery
capital of the United States as a result of having the only continuous pottery
community for approx. 200 yrs. As of this writing there are approx. 80 potteries
in this small rural community in the center of North Carolina.
80 pottery shops means a lot of publicity- regional & national. It also means
that everybody that has a gallery- craft shop- or corner of a drugstore devoted
to craft items- etc.- comes here to buy pots wholesale as a result of all the
publicity. Many of these shop keepers think that they will be able to make their
fortune from the sale of craft items- esp. pottery. The point here is we are
innundated with sales pitches & marketing schemes. Granted- some gallery & shop
owners do very well- some extremely well. Some do have the capacity to keep us
very busy- some too much so- but most give up within a year or so for a variety
of reasons. We have heard so many pitches that we can very often tell by their
sales pitch whether they will be sucessful or not.
In the last couple of years- we have been hit pretty hard by a new group of
marketing wizards- the web-page creators & on-line gallery owners. Well- we do
plan on having a web page up very soon- more as a resource for people
traveling/vacationing in North Carolina than a way to market our pots on-line.
And as far as the on-line gallery owners go- they have been a very
unprofessional lot for the most part. They usually come in here pretty much
unprepared- with nothing but a concept. Although I have become somewhat computer
literate (begrudgingly at first)- I want to see & hear more than a concept
before I express a modicum of interest in their new enterprise. Most of them
have left our shop knowing full well that we will probably not work with them.
Although I have been extremely leery of on-line marketing schemes- I have found
one gallery that has put together a very mature package. They are very
professional- much more so than we are- & have developed a brochure that I am
envious of. They seem to be prepared to deal with a potentially international
market & have thought through the many problems that I would consider
insurmountable. As soon as we can gear up to take advantage of what they have to
offer- we plan to do so.
If any clayarters are interested in a new sales arena- I highly suggest you
e-mail these guys & ask that they snail-mail their brochure to you. They can be
reached at "firstname.lastname@example.org".
In addition- their commission is only 30% & they will make all arrangements to
have your stuff picked up & delivered!