Rue

Selling in a saturated market

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45 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

Another thing I would say, if you are going to sell expensive handmade things, you have to target people who have disposable income to spend on expensive things, gee, I wonder who that would be? :rolleyes:

You don´t "target " people, the musicians find you, not the oposite!

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7 minutes ago, christian bayon said:

You don´t "target " people, the musicians find you, not the oposite!

I think in most cases you are correct, that's certainly been my personal experience, however within the niche I have a niche in that I make art that is functional and can be played by pro players but also art that appeals to non professionals who may just want something cool to hang on the wall.

Of course what I'm eluding to is crypto currency and the many people who have it burning a hole in their pocket, people who do not want to convert it into fiat crap money and would prefer to do transactions using CC .

So within the market, not only is the product a "niche" but now the TYPE of money or means exchange you use is a "niche". Of course "they" are afraid of you doing direct exchange until "they" figure out how to get their cut of the action.

So when Rue asks about selling, not only is "who" you are selling to important, regardless of how they come to you, but also "what" are they paying with. 

Most of you people have been selling to people who come to you with fiat money, I have been TARGETING consumers who have disposable CC for years, I do not "target" the consumer, I target the type of "money" they use, for clarification.

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1 hour ago, jezzupe said:

Another thing I would say, if you are going to sell expensive handmade things, you have to target people who have disposable income to spend on expensive things, gee, I wonder who that would be? :rolleyes:

Set up an outlet in Dubai? ;)

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5 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Set up an outlet in Dubai? ;)

Ya,  it goes with the diamond encrusted rims :lol:

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9 minutes ago, lawrence furse said:

 When there are too many rabbits in the field they all go hungry.

Fiver uses his Sixth sense to feel the need to leave before that happens, Fiver spoke, only those who heeded the premonition did not perish.

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30 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

Fiver uses his Sixth sense to feel the need to leave before that happens, Fiver spoke, only those who heeded the premonition did not perish.

Watership Down,  I remember that book.  Great read.   There are always a few Fivers about but you don't know whether they are believable or not.

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18 minutes ago, lawrence furse said:

Watership Down,  I remember that book.  Great read.   Actually there are always a few Fivers about but you don't know whether they are believable or not.  

I suppose that acute observation will collapse their wave form and reveal their essence in an information probability matrix where that conscious agents interface will entangle with yours, therefore allowing your entropic energy state to sympathetically know that when you look down and see that the coin is heads in your hand, that you will know with 100% certainty that they have tails.

Furry rabbit tails

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21 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

I suppose that acute observation will collapse their wave form and reveal their essence in an information probability matrix where that conscious agents interface will entangle with yours, therefore allowing your entropic energy state to sympathetically know that when you look down and see that the coin is heads in your hand, that you will know with 100% certainty that they have tails.

Furry rabbit tails

That's not Virginia Burley in your pipe, is it?  :lol:

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21 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Making violins, professionally, and as your only source of income, is a very hard row to hoe. I have never recommended it.

If one possesses what it takes to become a professional maker, there are probably much higher income opportunities available within that talent and diligence realm.

Like what? An aunt of mine says the same thing, but her idea was to make high-end corporate conference tables, super high-end furniture and such. Oh! So if you have the skills you can just march right into that market?  I laughed but it was offensive too. You pretty much need a warehouse full of expensive tools for that. What else requires only a 4' x 7' space and a few sharp hand tools?

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On 2/9/2018 at 11:32 AM, jezzupe said:

I suppose that acute observation will collapse their wave form and reveal their essence in an information probability matrix where that conscious agents interface will entangle with yours, therefore allowing your entropic energy state to sympathetically know that when you look down and see that the coin is heads in your hand, that you will know with 100% certainty that they have tails.

Furry rabbit tails

?

 

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On 08/02/2018 at 8:01 PM, Rue said:

B. If you are a consumer of any similar product (ie. where you want something handcrafted and not mass produced) - how do you search for what you want?  How do you sort through the mass of items to narrow it down?

Theoretical question, for an interesting chat? Or are you a dealer? Or  maker?

I will probably buy a violin this year for a sum which is large for me. One thing hits me strongly. 'Rue'? What is that? A name to rue? If someone like me is going to buy an instrument and they hang out on maestronet, v.com, and so on, we notice the names of the people who contribute. We read their posts, and get a concept (possibly wrong) for what kind of person they are.

If as a buyer do not hang out on forums  (or indeed fora), you still Google the name of the the propose maker or dealer thoroughly. Name recongition is key as a buyer. The guys you know from the net are way out in front, when it comes to picking someone to buy from.

So loads of posts by 'Rue' are a goldmine of publicity. Assuming you are selling instruments under the name 'Rue.' If you are selling under some other name, these posts are in that sense wasted. Your colleagues here probably know who you are. As a retail buyer, I don't. Perhaps ask the moderator to change 'Rue' to your real name or trading name?

Another point. I make websites for a living. I have seen several business fly because they invested in the website. One friend went from bankrupt to a very decent income indeed quickly because he did not balk at handing Google hundreds a month for a professionally planned advertising campain, and an hour a day tweaking his own site, and enough to pay a proper website maker, not someone who looks cheap (but like a cheap violin, is less of a bargain than you had hoped). Most of his competitors would say, 'there is no way I'd be such an idiot as to throw away thousands on a website', and yet they are wholly unable to joint the dots between lack of investment in marketing, and lack of sales.

Lastly, for most amateurs, teachers, and orchestral players I suspect, price matters.

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On 2/9/2018 at 12:04 PM, not telling said:

Like what? An aunt of mine says the same thing, but her idea was to make high-end corporate conference tables, super high-end furniture and such. Oh! So if you have the skills you can just march right into that market?  I laughed but it was offensive too. You pretty much need a warehouse full of expensive tools for that. What else requires only a 4' x 7' space and a few sharp hand tools?

I wish it were true, that I could work in a 4'x7' space.   I know myself and other professional makers invariably end up with one whole floor of our house taken over by expensiv  tools and wood, sometimes the garage, too.  You just keep adding things, and after every big sale you get something else,  more wood,   another handy tool,  before you know it you're tripping over things if you do'n't stay very well organized.  I have seen a few beautiful fiddles made on a wiggly kitchen table pushed into a corner-but that was only temporary until the maker had the funds to fill his basement up with benches, wood, and tools.

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21 hours ago, caerolle said:

Hi Rue, always great to see you are not a bugsickle! :)

...

Stay warm!

Carol :)

Your reply is very useful!  All replies are useful!  If they don't answer the question directly, they help answer tangential questions.  

Doing my best to stay warm.  It's been hard.  When -20 C actually feels warm, you know you're in the deep deepfreeze...

31 minutes ago, John_London said:

Theoretical question, for an interesting chat? Or are you a dealer? Or  maker?

I will probably buy a violin this year for a sum which is large for me. One thing hits me strongly. 'Rue'? What is that? A name to rue? If someone like me is going to buy an instrument and they hang out on maestronet, v.com, and so on, we notice the names of the people who contribute. We read their posts, and get a concept (possibly wrong) for what kind of person they are.

If as a buyer do not hang out on forums  (or indeed fora), you still Google the name of the the propose maker or dealer thoroughly. Name recongition is key as a buyer. The guys you know from the net are way out in front, when it comes to picking someone to buy from.

So loads of posts by 'Rue' are a goldmine of publicity. Assuming you are selling instruments under the name 'Rue.' If you are selling under some other name, these posts are in that sense wasted. Your colleagues here probably know who you are. As a retail buyer, I don't. Perhaps ask the moderator to change 'Rue' to your real name or trading name?

...

Along with age, I don't feel a need to divulge it all...speculate away! :)

...as far as 'Rue' goes...I liked it when I first heard it used as a name (Rue Mcclanahan).  I liked that it was also the name of a herb.  I like Shakespeare's phrase "rue the day!"...

But let's not stray too far off-topic - because the topic is very interesting, on many levels.

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49 minutes ago, John_London said:

Another point. I make websites for a living. I have seen several business fly because they invested in the website. One friend went from bankrupt to a very decent income indeed quickly because he did not balk at handing Google hundreds a month for a professionally planned advertising campain, and an hour a day tweaking his own site, and enough to pay a proper website maker, not someone who looks cheap (but like a cheap violin, is less of a bargain than you had hoped).

 

Hah, my website is about as archaic and amateur as it gets, and my clients don't seem to mind. Maybe it's even an asset, better projecting the notion of someone engaging in an archaic profession and working with hand tools. ;)

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ah that's what I need,  a website,  a build thread, and lots of posts...   got 2 out of 3 so far. 

 

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21 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Hah, my website is about as archaic and amateur as it gets, and my clients don't seem to mind. Maybe it's even an asset, better projecting the notion of someone engaging in an archaic profession and working with hand tools. ;)

My experience is the same with websites .   Of course you need one to keep your name out there,  but most sales come from word of mouth reference or just plain hustling, door to door,  conferences,  workshops, etc.  You just can't sit in your shop and think the world will come to you.  It doesn't work that way unless you have a nice downtown location which few makers like us can afford.

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2 hours ago, Violadamore said:

That's not Virginia Burley in your pipe, is it?  :lol:

Actually it's straight up Perique, the hard stuff :) it helps me contact my spirit guide in my sleep. Homer once said{ not the bucket} There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.CIMG9704.JPG.4659e95fcd3bdbe9410d538de061feb3.JPG

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1 hour ago, lawrence furse said:

My experience is the same with websites .   Of course you need one to keep your name out there,  but most sales come from word of mouth reference or just plain hustling, door to door,  conferences,  workshops, etc.  You just can't sit in your shop and think the world will come to you.  It doesn't work that way unless you have a nice downtown location which few makers like us can afford.

If you have enough business there is no point in upgrading the website. I will probably buy a violin from someone without any website. I am in the website business, and my own website is pretty bad, because I have enough work. I get it that many luthier's and those in related professions are not the type of people who want to put their energies into building a 'digital presence'.

The point I was making is different--it is that for those who are at a stage where they would like to build the business, which was Rue's question, a good website (not one where you spend a few hundred then forget it) can go a long way fairly quickly. That is not even because it brings loads of customers: it brings a few customers and they give the word-of-mouth process a kick start. That is my experience.  For those who already have enough work saying 'I do ok while neglecting my website' is often true, but risks being mis-interpreted as 'if you want to grow your business faster, a website which you  invest time and money and craftsmanship and ongoing maintenance in is unlikely to help,' which is certainly false. Look at the sites of the makers who charge big money, and most (not all) are excellent. That seeds then fructifies the word-of-mounth process, which no doubt remains fundamental.

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Several years ago I became acquainted with an amateur luthier, a retired history teacher who took up the craft as a retirement activity.  He had coaching from a local professional.  When he had made a few instruments he started going to local community orchestras, playing viola, and when he got introduced to other players he'd make a low pressure pitch to sell them a violin or viola.  His prices were less than half the prices of the instruments of the man who coached him.  He sold instruments that way and after a while word of mouth sent other players to him.  This never made him a living income, of course, but it paid for tools and wood which was fine with him.

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3 hours ago, David Burgess said:

 Maybe it's even an asset, better projecting the notion of someone engaging in an archaic profession and working with hand tools. ;)

There are still ppl who'd recognize it as an archaic static site from the 90s, but to kids it's a crap site they can't see on their phone.

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3 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

There are still ppl who'd recognize it as an archaic static site from the 90s, but to kids it's a crap site they can't see on their phone.

It pulls up fine on a phone, last time I checked.

And what could be better than retro and archaic for a violin making site? :P

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On 2/8/2018 at 12:01 PM, Rue said:

A. How do you establish a niche for yourself in this climate? 

You have to have a consistent high quality product,

A good snow shovel and a heater.

Evan Shivering

 

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