A friend of mine sent the following dialog to me between her and a customer at the ACC show this year. I thought she handled him very well and that this would be a good post for all of the subscribers to the Art Fair Insiders blog.
" I had one guy come in last year and wanted to know if he order in multiples, would I discount my prices. I explained that they were wholesale prices and no I wouldn’t discount them any more. He said he has 11 galleries, blah, blah, blah. So he gave me a $500.00 order and wanted net 30. I talked to the people on his reference sheet and gave him the net 30. Then he paid with a cc. Did not hear anything from him all year. I had 2 other stores in my booth trying to place an order when he came in with his groupies. He stood there explaining to one of them how he did not put my stuff in a prominent location in his store because I would not discount it and he thinks there is one piece left. I handed him a new brochure and said ‘Hi, Robert’...then he started. ‘All the artists that I buy from give me a discount, at least 20%’, I said ‘If you place a big enough order, I’d include a couple of extra pieces, but these are my wholesale prices’. Then he said ‘I don’t want to intimidate you, but I traveled to China this year and eliminated the middle man on things that I buy’, took the calculator from my daughter who was trying to write an order, and started punching in numbers telling me how much money he was saving. I said ‘Gee, Robert, I can’t compete with Chinese prices, I make all of this myself and I don’t have Children slaves working for me’. He started telling me how he was happy to help those parents send their children to college and I said ‘Excuse me while I take care of my customers’........cheesh what a jerk."