Discounts are Never Worth the Trouble

Dicsount

 

My pal Donna posted this and when I saw it, I just knew I had to write about this in my Lessons Blog here for you.

This has actually been quite the hardest lesson for me to learn. I want to be NICE, I want to HELP so I try to “do someone a favor” and discount the item I am selling or making for them. The problem with this, I have noticed something….

It bites me in the ass!

The most recent experience is an item I was making for someone who gave me a possible contact to another connection. I thought how nice that was and she said to me it was a joint gift and so I thought, “Hey why don’t I give her a discount for giving me that connection”

Funny thing is, the connection never bought anything. IT did not end up a sale. It did not end up with another referral that ended up with a sale. So why the hell did I give HER a discount. Maybe that sounds harsh, but the reality is that I marked MY item down for NO REASON whatsoever. I did so “Out of the niceness and kindness of my heart”

I wish I hadn’t.

It never fails to me that the people I try to give a discount to or help out, end up being the worst pain in the asses to me.

A $100 item I discounted for this person at $60 has already cost me. I even sent a sketch beforehand to approve (which I do for all my clients) and she did not understand I found out, though she approved it, but now of course doesn’t like it and wants to change it. So now I need to reinvent the item. Which is now costing me more money than the agreed price.

The other problem I run into with discounts is the argument I get afterwords. It’s like they forget I am trying to help them out. I could not believe someone I THOUGHT (being the key word here) was a friend decided to argue with me when I reduced the price of the item for her. She said “Well, if you can discount it that much why don’t you just sell it for that much in the first place?” 

First I was stunned that she did not see the niceness of my soul. Then I wanted to go smack myself like I had a V8.I thought” I too have thought this about things on sale”

When I tried to explain I was doing her a favor she battled with me. Then asked for MORE off the price!! I said no, she didn’t end up buying and I put the price BACK to where it was and left it there. After much argument on this issue and others we sadly ended up not being friends. True colors seems to show when money is involved.

The other thing we do is give a discount after they even AGREED to pay that price! WHY?!?!?!? Stop selling yourself short!!

The thing I do too often is toss in a fascinator. I need to stop doing that. If they didn’t ask for one, stop throwing away $10. If I added that up I gave over $2,000 away in fascinators last year alone! Money out the door.

Then I saw this post and nearly fell over again. Hell to the yes…..

Discount Self Love

 

Do not lower your OWN self value by lowering your price tag. Too many times as Work at Homers, Entrepreneurs, Self Made Business guys and gals we , without realizing it sometimes even, are lowering our own value by lowering our price tags. OR sadly, not even charging the right amount in the first place.

  • Charge the value of the fabric or item itself
  • Add any elements or extras you did
  • Remember to input the TIME it took you to make…THIS  IS YOUR VALUE
  • Now charge that cost and LEAVE IT THERE
  • STOP DISCOUNTING. STOP LOWERING YOUR VALUE
  • VALUE YOURSELF MORE

Why is our time any less important? It is not and we need to stop forgetting this and start adding our value in.

“But if I did that the price would be too high and I can’t sell the item for that cost!!”

Then, you are trying to reach the wrong market for that item (try other areas, groups, venues, etc), or you might need to learn to do it different or  faster (Take lessons on Craftsy, or You Tube, or local school or college) , or change what item you are making (stop trying to sell shirts no one is buying and make a different type of shirt or start making skirts, or make them with your own fabric that YOU create, or whatever, just Be Different).

If you don’t want to change, then you need to stick to your guns.

YOU ARE WORTH IT!!

“So, that means I should NEVER discount anything?”

No that is not what I am saying.

Just like clothes in your closet if you still have that item over a year, you need to get rid of it.

  • Donating it to a worthy cause, get a receipt for the value of the item, and take it off on your taxes the following year. (I do this a lot and it has worked well for me)
  • Or, that could mean having a flash sale and lowering all the prices for those items online or at a vendor show. (Also once a year, I do this and sometimes I make more money this way.)
  • Offer a cash discount only at shows. It makes it easier than having to figure up taxes. If they pay with cash, there is not interest charged on my square and I don’t have to pay the tax.

Can I gift items?

Sure. Gift away. But realize those gifts may not come with the response you desire. Those people you gift are NOT obligated nor SHOULD feel obligated to reciprocate.You can ask if they will, but gift with the intent of a gift. Not an expectation.

What about Bartering?

I love to barter. However, have a bartering agreement. I send items to models all the time. But the model knows they are to take pictures with those items and send the pics to me. The item they are gifted in a bartering agreement is payment for the pictures. Be clear. Write it out. Have it signed. Or don’t send it. Sadly, you will learn a few lessons there the hard way as I did. Some people want free shit. Some are willing to help you out by helping them. Make sure people have YOUR best interest at heart as well as their own. Then when you find THOSE people…HANG ON TIGHT. They are GEMS! GEMS I TELL YOU!

Bottom line————–>>> Value You. When you value YOU, you will stop the discounts.

Until Next time

Xoxo Trisha Trixie

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Vendor Show Craziness

So glad it was the last of my three sets of shows. Now this is not to say I won’t do any more because I will. However, I will be different and refined about what shows I do, how I advertise them and what I do and when. I was literally beginning to feel psychotic. I mean it. Crazed.

People trying to get in last minute, people trying to send replacements, people still badmouthing me from another show, and the race to advertise and send out press releases knowing full well that no matter what you do, some, or all of your vendors are going to be unhappy with you.

I have come to terms with a few lessons for myself and some tips for myself and others I thought might be helpful:

Do what you love.

When you stop loving it, it becomes work. I was not in love with the shows I was doing and how I was doing them so I changed the plan. Instead of going to shows, I put on shows. Then, I hated that too. So, unless it is a show I will like, no matter what, I refuse to do it.

Enjoy the Show

Sound redundant I know but I promise you it is not. There is a Lenka song called Enjoy the Show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7AGAe3WzMc

The whole point is to stop complaining, stop griping and stop worrying, just Enjoy the Show. I apply this to my life as well as to the vendor shows. No matter what happens, I decided on this last one especially to just enjoy the show.

Make Love not War

Some of you might understand the reference. My point here is to be happy. Make friends. Make connections. Get leads. Get contacts. Get leads.  Be happy about whatever outcome you get. Be Happy.

Stand Up Get Up Stand Up for your Right

Stand up at shows. If you have to get a cushioned mat or double up a towel to stand on do it. Sitting down at a show says tot he consumer “I am not engaged in your business”. Stand up, greet them, share with them a deal you are having. It makes a big difference. Also get out from behind the booth. Sit on the side or make your booth so you can be in front.

Put Down the Cellphone and No One Gets Hurt

So many times, sadly most especially NEW vendors or young vendors sit at a booth on their cell phones or smart phones. Again, if a customer walks by you and sees you on the phone, you are telling them you don’t care. Besides, not using it will save your batteries for when you need to use it to make a sale. Turn off your apps. Clear messages out. Put the phone down. If you are bored, bring things to do, or take time to talk to the vendors around you. Look at their displays. Network.

Learn from other Vendors

I have changed my booth and displays more than I can count. I do so because I learn from others by looking around at how they are displaying something ask ask them about it. If I really like it, I ask if they mind if I did something like it. Generally, most people are willing and desirous to share. This is also why it is good to put your cellphone down and engage in those around you. It will help you all be more successful.

Talk about your Brand 

Develop your 3 minute spiel about your brand. Don’t make them feel like they can’t get away. Don’t talk for hours. Just give them a few tidbits.  Share a deal. Answer questions. Ask them about their day, Ask them about the show. Ask them if they are looking for anything imparticular. At least , TALK. Don’t just sit there or stand there like a mouse. They don’t’ know your brand. You do.

The System

I have devised a new plan I am going to start implementing at all my shows from now on. I am going to adhere a sticker to my card or have special cards made per show that say the name or the date of the show. Why? Because then when someone calls me and says “ I got your card somewhere.” I can ask “Does it have a sticker on it or did it come with a special card?” Then they can tell me the date or what the card said and I can start entering it into a tracking system. This way I can see  these thing in my new system

Vendor Show Name

Date(s) of the Show

Estimated # of people attended (came to my booth) ( if you make a certain # of items to give as mini gifts then you know how many stopped by the booth once those are gone)

Sales per show

Referral by someone at the show?

Response afterwards

By capturing this date, I then can tell which shows I get the most out of. I am even thinking of creating a Google Docs form that asks Show Survey. How did they hear about it? etc.

Last show I made 30 gifts. They were all gone. So I know at least 30 people came to the show. Then we had stragglers before AND after so I would say about 50 people probably stopped by. I wish it was more like 100 but hey, at least SOME people stopped in!!

Shows are for Leads, Sales are Nice

Most shows were created to get leads. Get info, get contacts. Share your brand. Get your cards out. If you get sales, that is great. It is like the dessert after a meal. This is why creating a Feedback or Survey even if only for yourself, is a good idea. Then you can see where those leads are coming from.

I hate it when others say “That show sucked, I didn’t make any money. I didn’t even get my booth rent back.” Well, honestly, how do you know that? Are you literally saying NO ONE took your card. No one will contact you for business? You didn’t book a aprty? You didn’t hand out your card? You didn’t talk to anyone? Unless you can answer those with NO’s, then you really dont know. Unless you are tracking results and you can see that nothing came in from that show. Then guess what….??? You did get SOMETHING out of it.

You got experience. You made connections. You also learned, Don’t do that show again. lol. Seriously. Or maybe you know about the location. You learned if a location of a show is good or bad.

GIVE FEEDBACK/ SUGGESTIONS

AS Vendor Planners, we DO appreciate feedback. Honestly. If you are unhappy or you have ideas how to make things better, contact us, tell us. We want to know. If you don’t tell us, how can we be better?

No Gossiping or Back Talking

Please just talk to the Vendor Planner. Don’t go talking smack about them. We will hear. I also have been bad about this to other planners. In an effort to help another planner be warned from a bad vendor, I perhaps have spoke too openly about it. I am not perfect and after it was brought to my attention, I realized that sharing my thoughts openly may not be taken the right way. It could potentially make ME look bad and that is not what I want of course. I am not perfect. But I can learn.

Family Emergency

Please use Family Emergency if it really IS a family Emergency. I had six people cancel on me last minute. Now either there was a major crisis this weekend, or some people used that as an excuse not a reason. Most vendor shows clearly state no refund. We are not going to change that because it is or isn’t a family emergency. You are a big kid. Just state. You will not be able to be there. Or tell the real reason if you must say anything. Either way you are not getting your money back, so why lie?

Check the Address BEFORE the Show

The planner should have sent out an email of all the info. The map or Google directions or the address. don’t rely on Social Media, use the info the planner sent you in the email. In a place like des moines, there is Des Moines, East Des Moines, South and West Des moines and many of the addresses sound alike.

Be on Time

If you checked the address, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting lost because you SHOULD know exactly where you are going. Thus, you should be on time. There should be a set up time (s) and you should be set up BY the time of the show. If you are gonna be late, please try to let the planner know. It is not the planners job to chase you down.

Get Confirmation, then Mark your Calendar 

It is up to YOU to make sure you have been confirmed for the show and mark your calendars. Hearing “I forgot” lately however did not make me happy. The vendor could have at least tried to still attend my event.

Don’t Book too far in Advance: Replacements Not allowed

With a lot of vendors NOT allowing replacements, it is better for you to book only a month or two in advance, not a year. You will be out money and a replacement WON”T be allowed to show up.

………………………………..

I know that was a lot of info to digest but I didn’t want to forget to tell you things.

Please comment, send feedback or any other suggestions or questions you might have.

Until Next Time,

XOXO Trisha Trixie

 

More Vendor Planning Lessons Learned

When I did Vendor Planning years ago the market was such a different market. For one we did not have Facebook that people would expect to message you on and reach out to you. Honestly I wish I could turn off FB Messenger just for that reason. It is not a viable way or means of reaching out to someone as not everyone uses it and some people never look at it.

Also, back then everything was handwritten contracts and checks. Now I am happy that the internet allows us to use Paypal and Square to make that more seamless as I can’t even tell you how many bounced checks I would get or how many people would show up saying they would pay me on that day and then never would.

But still, even with those issues, I would rather be back in that time of Event Planning. I used to plan Weddings, Birthday Parties, Office Parties, Launch Parties and Vendor Parties. It was so different then. The people were different, the expectations we different, and for vendor events, the vendors were different.

Nowadays we have the younger generation of vendors who have entitlement issues expecting that they just show up, paly on the phone and people should WANT to stop by their booth and buy from them. This is not the case. You need to be proactive. Just showing up does nothing. Stand up. Greet your customer. Look ready to do business with them. If you are playing on your phone you are not prepared to meet or greet them and they often will just walk by you. The person next to you who IS engaged and proactive will end up then getting that business. That is not the vendor next to you’s fault that you don’t know how to get a customer or a sale.

Every vendor show I have recently done has allowed me to learn a new set of rules, ideas and thoughts abotu teh shows tht I want to share with you because I feel honestly, maybe people just don’t know these things.

None of these are a personal attack on anyone, it is merely lessons I learned and things for you to take note on.

Vendor Kids and Babies:

Having your child stop by, having them sit with you for the first hour, or the last, this I understand.  Vendor kidlets need to stay home otherwise. If your child is old enough to have their own mini booth or help you do sales, that is a different issue. I used to go to the Swap Meet at 8 years old and help my grandpops. Children get ancy,  babies cry, these are all human nature for their age. I understand about them being children.  However, a vendor show is not the right venue to bring them because it stifles that child in them. Even a 4 hour show is a LONG time for a child to have to try and be quiet, most especially a baby.

I understand there are issues and reasons why you can’t, but professional courtesy is to tell the planner your situation if you really have no one else or if the husband is away. It makes it easier for the planner to combat off remarks from guests or vendors.

Replacement Vendors: Even if you have everything covered with the planner, it is up to each new vendor to reach out and connect. Not only is it professional it assures you and the planner that you and they have everything ready for you and there are no surprises with tables  not being there for you. Another planner I spoke with this week said she doesn’t even allow replacements. I think this rule is something I need to adopt as well. This last show I had THREE replacements and one didn’t even tell me it was going to be someone else until they showed up.  As a planner, make it clear what you allow because this can get sticky. Believe me, I know.  I have had to deal with the aftermath of this situation since this last show because of it.

Toil Trouble or should I say Toilet: If you are at an event, don’t use wads of TP. Also, don’t use a vendors toilet for your Teet from the Seat time or (sorry to be so blunt) use it to take the dump of a lifetime. And if you clog it up, be mature enough to say so. A floor full of water and an out of order toilet doesn’t help the rest of the vendors, or the guests who are trying to enjoy the show. Guests have to go home to or someone else to facilitiate themselves, they walk out with the business they were going to give you. 😦

Be Prepared: Not every vendor or craft show has tables and chairs. It is up to you to have those items for yourself. Always bring them with you EVEN IF the vendor says they have one for you. Then in case there is a mishap, one doesn’t get held for you, or there is a miscommunication,  you are covered. Also make sure you have your tablecloths, swipe card and a back up if wifi isn’t working or if they don’t have it. Have receipt books, or use the new Offline Mode. It is up to YOU to make sure you have all the things you need for business.

Vendor Space: Abide to your vendor space. If you pay for one spot, don’t bring a load of stuff and push your way into another space. If you need to bring a drill and two men to set it up for you, then you might have too large a space for a small event. That style of setup is more geared for an EXPO not a small Craft or Vendor Show. Also, if you have to move things around so you can fit, please be respectful and put things back they way you found or at least let the vendor planner know. I spent a lot of extra time putting things back because vendors moved them around. Your booth should be able to set up and take down in one hour. Planners often have to pay for the extra time for set up and tear down and often that cost is nto relayed to you. If it was your $25 booth would have been, $50 or $100. Please be respectful of their time and respectufl of other vendors space as well.

Spot Reservations Special Needs or Issues: If you have a tall banner, a tall back drop, are allergic to scents, or need or desire any special access, please make sure to tell the planner of that ahead of time. Showing up the day of and asking to be moved creates hardships. It is better to know beforehand.

Not happy with your surroundings? If you say nothing then you are not allowing the planner to help alleviate the problem. Please be open with the planner and talk to them about your issues. If you feel like you are not being heard, SAY SO! Say “I feel like I am not being heard” Then we or I would at least say ” What may I do to help you feel you ARE being heard?” and then we can try to alleviate it. Please don’t drone on complaining. Complaining for the sake of complaining gets no resolution accomplished. No one ends up learning anything and then both parties feel frustrated and harsh words can be said on either side.

Also, please go directly to the person you have an issue with. do not go to your upline and complain. Go to the planner. If you are mature enough to have a booth and sell at a show, you should be mature enough to handle the situation on your own. If not, do me a favor, don’t come to my shows. Seriously. I expect vendors to be mature and respectful. I expect them to be able to handle their own battles. I expect them to get their own sales. It is not my job to sell their product for them. That is on them.

Lessons, Classes, Training: I realize some people don’t know how to sell, are just starting out, don’t know things like standing up at your booth looks better than sitting down, I get it. You may be uneducated when it come to how to run a great booth. I will try and have some suggestions and such on my blog, but also consider there are MANY resources at our disposal now and MANY for free. Google things, research, take E-Courses, learn from Kat Rocketship at Make/Break classes, or look on You Tube. go to networking or local seminars where they teach you those things. It will make a difference in not only how you present yourself, the brand you are representing or your own brand, but it will also change the amount and value of your sales.

I apologize if this post in any way seems snarky. I have tried to re-edit it as many times as possible. This last show wore on me so much that I seriously am thinking about getting out of the Vendor Market after my next upcoming show. The positive I got out it was the lessons I learned that I am trying to share with you. Perhaps I am not coming across the best in this post because it was quite frustrating to me. I am not trying to offend anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. I feel these things need to be relayed and said so others can learn from them too.

I wish you all well and hope these things are helpful to you in any way possible.

Until Next Time,

XoXo Trisha Trixie