Of the twenty-five or so photographs that I have on my booth walls, there are about four that I consider "slow movers." I'd really like to see these photos go, because I'd like to replace them with newer work, but I can't afford to just take them down and store them -- I have too much invested in them.
How do you all handle that situation in your own booths? Do you mark down the slow movers? Do you have a private "sale" some other way? I'm open to a variety of ideas. I don't want to cheapen the rest of my work, but I could certainly use the wall space that these four works are occupying!
Last weekend I sold a 24x36 canvas piece I'd been wanting to get rid of. It was printed on an old 6-color Epson and didn't quite match the smaller pieces in the booth printed on the 8-color newer Epson. I first displayed it at the Naples New-Year show and it immediately sold smaller ones, you know what they say, "The big ones sell the little ones". A woman stood in front of it just long enough so that I knew she liked the image. I went to her and explained it was too big for me carry anymore and would she be interested in it at a discounted price?
I had decided to limit my booth stock to 20x30s. It was an odd-ball to carry. It was $399 and she said, "Like what?". I said, "How's $275 sound?" She said she'd think about it and left. A few hours latter she came back and took it home. I still made a couple hundred dollars on it and my problem was solved.
Whatever it is you don't like, find some way to show an interested customer you love the piece but it doesn't work for you and you don't want it anymore. Make something up and make them an offer they can't refuse. It really isn't too tough. Just look for that special person.
Thank you, R.C., that's a great idea. I get so caught up in marketing plans and strategies, that I forget the simple and straightforward concept of simply paying attention to my customers, and customizing for the situation. Genius! ;-)
There is someone out there for everything you make.
Thank you, everyone, for your comments and suggestions. I like the idea that these pieces just haven't met their new owners yet...I'm not unhappy with the quality of the work, or I wouldn't even hang them on my walls in the first place. And each of them gets customer attention...they just haven't moved yet. I think I will slowly replace each of them over the next few months, and keep them on hand to fill a hole when a different photograph sells.
I appreciate your input!
I always carry extra pictures to shows. Put them in the van, put up something else, and bring them out when you have a blank space to fill.
I can't talk pictures, only sculptures, but there is always somebody for every-piece, you just haven't met them yet... I like Alison's idea about using them to fill empty spots. We have been going to shows since 93 and may have carried a piece for a couple years but have always moved it. We just have to find it's owner.
How about bringing them along but not putting them on the walls. You could have a portfolio of images you could show customers and point them to if they are looking for something like these images. I can't hang all the paintings I bring with me and will often pull out ones that aren't hanging for customers to look at. It's not unusual for me to sell one of these.
In case it makes a difference, these are canvases that I'm referring to. If they were small matted and bagged prints from my print bin, I wouldn't even be worrying about it, but these are different. I'm really hoping to find some marketing ideas that will help me move them.
Put them in a larger matte and raise the price. That always works in galleries ;-)\
it doesn't matter how much you have invested in them, if they've not moved in several years, it's time to change them one way or another. Think about how much your wall space is costing you and what that investment is. That wall space is where your sales come from and if you're hanging something that is killing space with no return, then you're shooting yourself in the foot. Take it out of the frame and bag it for the flip bin.
You never know when a slow seller is going to move. I sold one Saturday that I'd been carrying for a few years. It got a lot of attention, but hadn't sold. Last year I hung a piece that I had stopped carrying to shows. Somehow it ended up in the work I was taking, and it sold. It was one of my first photos done on canvas.
If I have an image that hasn't been selling, I will re-use the frame for something newer. Matted images are another story. I had a pile of them that I wasn't carrying anymore, from when I started 7 years ago. I put them out in a yard sale this summer and sold a bunch at reduced prices.