Summer is the best time for attending art and craft fairs. There are thousands of them throughout the United States, and each one attracts many customers who have money and are eager to spend it.
One of the features of art and craft fairs is that many times customers want to negotiate prices to get the best deal possible. If you’re not prepared to figure out a price that works for both you and the customer, you may find the art fair to not be as profitable as you had hoped.
But negotiation can be hard, especially if you aren’t used to it. There are some lessons, though, that can help you become an expert and ensure that you leave the fair at least a little richer than you were when you got there.
The following are 7 tips from negotiation experts:
- Treat Everyone with Respect: This is perhaps the most important rule to remember. Sometimes customers can be difficult - and even insulting - but that doesn’t mean you get to reciprocate. When a customer offers you such a low ball offer for your product that you feel completely insulted, just calm down and remember that they obviously like your product or they wouldn’t be offering you money for it. If you treat the person with respect they are more likely to want to do business with you.
- Be Confident in Your Product and Help the Customer Realize Its Value: Your art or crafts obviously have value and it is your responsibility to help the potential customer realize that value. Play up the benefits, but don’t be pushy because people will not want to be around you, let alone want to purchase something from you.
- Set Realistic Prices to Begin With: This means that you need to know the true value of your art or crafts and mark the price accordingly. Yes, you should absolutely ensure that the price you set is going to give you a profit, but if you mark the price up too high people won’t even bother trying to negotiate with you.
- Set a Target Price and Stick to It: You need to make money if you’re going to stay in business. This means that there could come a point in the negotiation when you reach your “target price.” This is the absolute lowest amount you will accept for the product. It should still leave you with at least a little profit, but at the very least it should not be less than cost, meaning that you at least make enough to cover the expenses it took for you to make the product in the first place. For example, if you spent a total of $50 to make a product, you should, again at the very least, be getting $50 for it, preferably more. If the customer offers you $45 you need to say no and stick to the price even if you lose out on a sale.
- Be Fair: Your customer wants the product and they’re willing to pay their hard earned money to get it. That should count for something. In an ideal situation, both parties in the negotiation should feel that they got a good deal. Being fair to the customer - and fair to yourself - should give you that fine balance and allow both of you to walk away happy.
- Be Confident in the Price: This goes along with Rule #3, but it’s a little different. People want to get your product at the lowest possible price. Explaining to them that your prices are already reasonable allows you to control the negotiation in such a way that the person won’t try to lowball you too much. If you are confident in your price at the beginning, it is likely you will be able to come out of the deal with more money than you would be if you allowed the customer to set the terms.
- Be Willing to Walk Away: This is the absolute best thing that can strengthen your position in a deal. Yes, it’s true that you might not get a sale, but if the customer knows that you are completely willing to walk away without selling them anything, they will try harder to find the right price. Don’t be so desperate to do a deal that you end up making a bad decision and letting your products leave for next to nothing. And in many instances, the other person is simply bluffing and wants to see your reaction. Once they see that you are walking away from the deal they just might be willing to pay closer to what you want.
Did these negotiating tips help? What other negotiating tips do you have? Please comment below.