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Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first? (Read 3,214 times)
 
Chris Gunsolley
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Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Jun 3rd, 2016 at 1:43pm
 
This topic pertains to the thought processes you believe your potential customers go through when considering the purchase of one of your bowls. I'm assuming there's some sort of (often subconscious) hierarchy of criteria that are considered by the customer. Under this assumption, let's say someone approaches you and may be interested in buying a bowl...

In beginning to narrow down which of your many bowls he or she may be most interested in, what criterion do you think they are generally taking into consideration first?

For example, do you think they have a size in mind, then they compare what's available in that size?

Or, do you think they have a price they're willing to pay in mind and they're firm on that, so they may simply see what's available at that price, and perhaps even consider a variety of sizes and forms as long as it's that price?

Or, are they simply looking for that gut feeling that one of your bowls 'speaks' to them, or creates a want desire, and the bowl that they ultimately decide upon could ultimately happen to fall anywhere on the spectrum of form, size, or price? This is kind of like saying "whatever catches my eye" and price isn't an object.

If there are any other strong possibilities I've neglected to mention here, please do mention them. Perhaps first and foremost people have a form in mind, type of wood, or something else I'm not mentioning altogether? If you think so, what is it?

If you don't mind, please offer the reason(s) you believe potential customers consider what you've named first. I welcome you to share your experiences that support this. I also welcome you to share a general overview of the thought process from initial consideration to the actual purchase, that you believe your customers go through.

All insights and opinions are tremendously appreciated. Thank you.
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« Last Edit: Jun 3rd, 2016 at 2:03pm by Chris Gunsolley »  
 
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Lee Watermann
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #1 - Jun 4th, 2016 at 4:12pm
 
That's a good question. From what I have seen they seem to like bowls that are unusual and in the 7 to 9 inch range. Also, all gals will feel the inside  wall of the bowl even if they don't buy. I have not sold one salad bowl size. I have been getting away from bowls and sell a lot of "ring and earring boxes with finials, ring stands and mills.
Cheers
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Ron Carrabotta
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #2 - Jun 5th, 2016 at 4:27am
 
Chris,

My wife and I recently did a show where we sold 16 pieces ranging from $65 - $250.

Only 2 of the pieces were bowls, both were in the 6" - 7" range, one was natural edge and the other was bark edge and embellished with gold leaf.

The rest were either hollow forms or basket illusions. 4 of the hollow forms were burls, 2 were NIP.

In my limited experience, the unusual sells.

Also sold a few bird house & pendants but the clientele at this particular, juried, show were more interested in the medium to medium-large pieces.

We have pretty much gotten away from making bowls unless the wood is "special", we did have several requests for "yarn" bowls, and we will definitely be adding those to our inventory when we do the show next year.

RC
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Lee Watermann
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #3 - Jun 5th, 2016 at 5:37pm
 
Ron, good going. If I may ask,  what was the cost to enter?
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Gary D Baker
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #4 - Jun 5th, 2016 at 7:15pm
 
I just spent quite a bit of time typing a response.  What I wrote was considered spam.  This will probably be the last post I make on this site.  This has happened before and I've never written anything that could possibly be regarded as spam.  I did not reply for myself, but to try to give back to this site.  The site has helped me in the past ... but ....

If you would like to read what I tried to post, please pm me and I will send it to you.
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Ron Carrabotta
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #5 - Jun 6th, 2016 at 5:26am
 
Lee,

It was a Fri- Sat event, entry fee was $125.

RC
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #6 - Jun 6th, 2016 at 7:29am
 
Gary D Baker wrote on Jun 5th, 2016 at 7:15pm:
I just spent quite a bit of time typing a response. What I wrote was considered spam. This will probably be the last post I make on this site. This has happened before and I've never written anything that could possibly be regarded as spam. I did not reply for myself, but to try to give back to this site. The site has helped me in the past ... but ....

If you would like to read what I tried to post, please pm me and I will send it to you.



I'm not sure what would cause such an alert. Please either PM or email (if you have the problem sending a PM) and I'll look at it and see if I can figure out what is going on.

Edited:
A thought just occurred to me, and mind you that I'm just guessing at this point, if you double click the post button fast enough the forum software thinks you are speed posting. Do this often enough in a certain time frame and the software will think you are a spammer. I've this happen once before when a person was editing their post. You gotta be a extremely fast typist and proof reader for this to happen or maybe you are copying and pasting your post and accidentally posted twice. The idea behind code this is to prevent a spammer from posting the same message on multiple boards in rapid-fire session.
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« Last Edit: Jun 6th, 2016 at 7:58am by Ron Sardo »  

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Ed Weber
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #7 - Jun 6th, 2016 at 8:34am
 
Chris, it seems obvious to me what you're trying to get at by you post/questions.
The problem is, as usual, there is no easy answer. There really is no answer at all. The root of your question is what do people want to buy. There is no way to tell.
The variables are endless, not to mention every person is different.
You can track trends, see what others sell, get stories from other turners but none of that is constant and none of that can really help you.
This is something you have to experience first hand with your own work, otherwise you'll never know.
If I told you 8" bowl sell great and you show up with a table full of 8" bowls and they don't sell, then what? Whose fault is it that they didn't sell?
I've seen people try to sell things I would've used for kindling and others that price as if their lathe was powered by unicorn blood. Each one of these people would probably tell you a different story about what does or doesn't sell.
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« Last Edit: Jun 6th, 2016 at 8:34am by Ed Weber »  
 
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #8 - Jun 6th, 2016 at 6:36pm
 
Gary D Baker wrote on Jun 6th, 2016 at 6:19pm:
Ron, Here is the reply to the "what do customers want" question that was regarded as spam.  I wound up sending it via pm.  I'm including his response back to me which I thought was touching.  I turn 500 plus bowls a year and make 300 other items to sell. I don't really don't have this time to waste.


When it comes to turned items, I sell 99% bowls.  I do sell other things that are not turned.  I do only farmer's markets.  The most important thing that sells my bowls is drop dead gorgeous wood.  It doesn't have to be expensive ... but it has to be gorgeous, unique, and with something unusual about it.  Second:  It has to shine.  If it doesn't shine you might as well put it in the fire pile (not a plastic shine, but a deep, soft, luxurious shine).  Third, it has to be so smooth that it is difficult to pick up.  I often spend 5-10 times as much time on the sanding and finish as I do the turning.

Customers don't care if it is thin, if it has ornamental work, that the bottom may not be perfect.  Remember, you are not turning for the show and tell of your turning club.  Not turning for other turners.  You are turning for customers who are influenced (or not) by the total picture of what they see.  They need to have a love affair with it, caress it, hold it.  A few years ago at an outdoor show I had a woman in my booth who had spent several minutes with a small bowl.  She was probably in her seventies, dressed in clothing reminiscent of the Mennonite faith.  Not a person who you would expect to turn to me and say, "This bowl is so sensual that I have to have it."

What you make has to TOUCH YOUR CUSTOMERS AT MORE THAN A TECHNICAL LEVEL.  I don't think there is a formula that can help you quantify that.  I think you know when you've done it and you know when you haven't.  One thing that does help me quantify it is this:  If a piece that touched my heart today is still having the same effect on me a year from now ...  I hit the jackpot.  These bowls are actually never around that long ... because they sell.

Sorry for the rant ... I tend to get long winded.  I think that you build things that sell more through passion and desire for what you are doing than through analysis.  Make it beautiful with passion and desire .... present it with passion ... and it will sell.



If you are wondering, the software would have listed me as a spammer for posting the same text that you claim caused the problem, so the problem is not the text you posted nor is it the forum software.

The only other way I can think that the software will list you a spammer is if you logged on with one IP address then tried to post using a different IP address. If you don't know how to do that than that isn't the problem unless you are on some strange internet hookup.

I'm sorry you think you are wasting your time.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #9 - Jun 6th, 2016 at 7:05pm
 
Chris

I think your question needs to be asked for each selling situation.  I would expect the answers to vary sometimes significantly, and therefore generalizations across all situations won't be helpful.
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Gary D Baker
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #10 - Jun 6th, 2016 at 7:19pm
 
Thank you Ron.
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Lee Watermann
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #11 - Jun 6th, 2016 at 9:05pm
 
Ron, Very well said. If you have an affair with what you turn, it will sell. if you turn something like a machine it may never sell.
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Lee Watermann
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #12 - Jun 6th, 2016 at 9:11pm
 
Ron C, Thanks, just wondering about getting into higher end shows. The art shows are really expensive, like 400, around me but they do draw a different clientele. But to sell 400 to break even is risky and a lot of work.What your cost was for your show was not bad at all for your sales.
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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #13 - Jun 7th, 2016 at 5:20am
 
Lee,

Up in my neck of the woods, there is a "craft show", festival almost every weekend. We've attended allot of them just to see what is on display. Most of the craft shows are not worth our effort, IOHO, due to the low end type articles that are on display. These what we call the five & dime shows where it's rare for someone to pull a $20 out of their pocket. We avoid these.

You are correct, most of the juried shows run in the $400 range to participate. The upside of the juried shows is that there is usually an entrance fee and the people attending are more in the mood to buy higher priced items, knowing that everything at the show is hand made.

My $0.02

RC

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Re: Consumer Psychology: What do bowl customers consider first?
Reply #14 - Jun 7th, 2016 at 8:11am
 
CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY: What do bowl customers consider first?
Ed Weber wrote on Jun 6th, 2016 at 8:34am:
The variables are endless, not to mention every person is different.


Don Stephan wrote on Jun 6th, 2016 at 7:05pm:
I think your question needs to be asked for each selling situation. I would expect the answers to vary sometimes significantly, and therefore generalizations across all situations won't be helpful.


Now we've strayed into discussing the different types of shows, which is just one of the variables or situations that was warned about. (above)

While the type of show may have a role in potential sales as Ron C mentioned but now you're moving into the mind of the seller more than the customer.
Where should I sell my pieces?
Thais an entirely different discussion.
IMO
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