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Old 11-22-2017, 06:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default What are you selling and how?

I have an interest in the marketing end of pens as to what people are selling and how they are marketing them. We have been dabbling for about a year but seem to have found a groove that keeps us busy enough.

Would be interested to hear what kits you have moved in the last thirty days and how. Shows? Word of mouth? Retail stores? Friends? Etc.

We do not do shows or events just niche marketing on a small basis as my 15 yr old son does most of the turning and I help with the marketing. We both have limited time as it is only a hobby. We find what we think is wood of interest to a group and then tell them our story about it.

In the last 30 days we have moved about 24 cigar pens and 3 Wall Streets. We like the nicer platings. The cigars were a larger order then a follow up order of more. Still have to turn five of the cigars but the order is there. We are going to back off for a bit because of holiday, family, and school. But we have a potential thirty pen triton or Wall Street order that is nibbling at the bait.

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Old 11-22-2017, 10:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Pre-holiday is the number one time to sell pens. Business always slows down after Christmas.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default What are you selling and how?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thewishman View Post
Pre-holiday is the number one time to sell pens. Business always slows down after Christmas.
I looked at your website. You have some really sweet pens there.

I am sure what you say is true. We have not been through a full years cycle so we have a lot to learn. I donít think any of our sales have been holiday related yet.

Last edited by Talltim; 11-22-2017 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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We do craft shows in the fall (Oct-Dec).We do school and church craft shows and have been successful at it for a number of years. We are generally the only pen turners at the shows which helps us.

We sell a broad range of types of pens as well as sewing related items and bottle stoppers. We do wood, acrylics and deer antler blanks. We also pour some of our own Blanks in acrylic.

Craft shows have a limited price point as compared to an arts show.

Best of luck with your enterprise.

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Old 11-22-2017, 06:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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30 Caliber Bolt Action pens have been good sellers for me ... burl and/or antler; some with acrylic.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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30 caliber bolt actions sell very well. I don’t advertise, just word of mouth and referrals from happy buyers. Gearshift pens in carbon fiber also sell very well if you find a group of car nuts.
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I do mostly "art" shows, but not too many. I like the mix I usually see at those type of shows and that I'm not always at the high end of the prices like I did at "craft" shows. I started out (about 10 years ago) selling mostly pens and a couple other things like keychains. I still do pens and I like doing them, but they aren't big sellers. They get a lot of looks and a lot of "ooohs" and "ahhhhhs" but at a good show I'll sell, maybe, 10 pens. Best seller is the PSI Vertex, hands down. Followed by the Sierra/Gatsby/etc. I also make $5 pen boxes that people seem to like. Things on my table now (in addition to pens) are keychains, ice cream scoops, pizza cutters, bottle stoppers, seam rippers, and salt & pepper grinders. What people buy varies big time from show to show. One week they'll love grinders, the next is keychain week.

In the last couple years I've been turning bowls and they've become quite popular. This year I added platters which do ok, too. I really like turning these items and since I normally turn "found" green wood (free) I can make a buck on a decent size bowl, esp if I don't value my labor too much.

Bottom line is that I believe it's necessary to offer a variety of items in a variety of price ranges.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Deer antlers

I am new at penturning but almost all of my sales have been deer antler and word of mouth sales. I have only made slimline, mostly Comfort pens without the rubber grip, and bolt action pens. It looks like the bolt action pens are going to be the best sellers. I get my supplies from PSI.
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Old 11-30-2017, 02:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I completely agree with what Turncrazy 43 said. During the summer I sell photographic prints on canvas and do quite well at art shows, with entry fees ranging from $200 to $6oo. By the time October rolls around People simply are not interested in larger “wall hangers”. They are looking for gifts and I have to reiterate Turncrazy’s point about craft shows in high school gym or church basement venues not supporting a terribly high price tag. I am not ready to compete with pens in the larger , high end shows, and, at my age, am not sure I want to. I look at a nicely done (but not spectacular) ProX pen that can sell on Etsy for $125. At $45 I am probably over priced in the small craft show market. Nevertheless, I like to turn pens and the physical effort to haul them around is a small fraction of the effort required for photos on canvas, so I keep going.

A more direct answer to your question:
Bolt action at $35, Cigars at $35-40, Slimline at $15-20, Cabalero’s and Vertex at $40 and Euro’s at $20-25. The one I do not seem to move as much as others are the Sierras and continued to be puzzled as to why.
Best of luck in your endeavors!
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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My wife owns an art gallery and part of the reason she wants me to get into this is that she wants pens for a mid-price-point item to offer. So, once I've developed some level of proficiency, I might be able to sell some things. My biggest concern, however, it that PSI seems to be so concentrated on weaponry these days. Revolvers and guns and tanks and bullets... Sort of not what I'm into, really. I hope that the market is bigger than that.
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