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DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
788
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
In the odd event that there will be craft shows this fall, I started thinking about what sells and why. In the 2 areas of the country in which I have participated in these shows - NE Ohio and NE Mississippi - it seems that "attractive" selling price, i.e., low low, and the overall attractiveness of the pen is what sells. I've never much cared for SlimLines, but since they can be offered at a low selling price, i.e., less than $12.00, they sell. They do not not seem to generate to lot of either repeat of "upgrade" business. To this end, I have had better success with BHW Streamline 7mm Flat Top. The top center pen in the photo represents such a pen, without the center band, and even slightly longer and with more girth than the SlimLine on the left. I believe I have found greater success at shows when offering something that doesn't look like a pen made from a kit - but again the selling price must be attractive. A BHW Streamline 7mm made without the center band seems to get a lot of comments like: "That certainly doesn't look like a kit pen."

So, by checking the dimensions of related pens from different suppliers as found in our IAP Resources, I discovered that most any SlimLine is dimensionally similar - not necessarily exactly the same as, but similar - to BHW's Streamline 7mm, CSUSA's Roadster, Father Sing, and more. So what's the point? A chrome Streamine kit from BHW will cost you about $8.00, the Father Sing doesn't come in Chrome, but it does come in Rhodium for a little over $8.00. A Chrome SlimLine can be had for as little as $1.50 to no more than a couple of bucks. The photo shows a progression: far left a basic SlimLine in Bacote, top center in green dyed Boxelder Burl, with a low cost clip substituted, bottom center same in Cambodian burl, and far right, same in Paduk (sp?).

Now, I've been able to sell pens for north of $100.00 but, most were back in the $25.00 range which had a cost of materials of $12.00 or more. I've can use a SlimLine as a base, and my $25.00 has a cost half or what it was in the past. If you're at a show with a bunch of bargain seekers, you still need to sell pens, if for no other reason than to recoup costs of the show. I can offer the pens in the picture for the practically the same price as everybody else is getting for their plain SlimLines.

As always, idol thought from a ramblin' ole mind. All thought always welcomed; constructive thoughts are appreciated
 

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mick

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Messages
2,546
Location
Decatur AL, USA
Don, to be brutally honest with you, you're under pricing yourself by quite a bit. I can't speak for Ohio but I do shows in MS, TN,AL and GA. I use the "fancy" slimline hardware in Ti Gold, Black Ti and chrome. Good durable finishes. Same nice woods I use in my more expensive pens with a CA just as nice. These sell and I can actually make my expenses most of the time from them. I sell mine for 30.00 and have never had a problem moving them at that price. I've sold other high end pens for as much as 200.00 and customized one of a kind for as much as 350.00.
I don't say any of this to brag but to point out your work as more value than your placing on it. You probably work just as hard on the slimline as you do on other pens.
I do agree with you about location and I'll add types of shows. I try to apply to art shows where possible and higher end craft shows. I DON'T do shows with buy and sell items if I can help it.
This may sound crazy but at most of mt shows aren't what you can call "walk around killing time shows " These are shows where people pay to get in and are coming to buy a gift or to treat themselves. Here the crazy part. I love being set up next to someone with expensive art, we'll say paintings, with a 500.00 price tag. They stop and look there and then here I am and I've got some really nice"pocket art " for a tenth the price. Believe it or not I've had it happen.
Anyway value your work, it's worth it. BTW the modified pens look great and something like that always sells!

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DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
788
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
I appreciate your comments. Best show I've ever had was the Little Italian Festival in Akron, OH. Had a lawyer buy a nice El Grande fountain pen for $125.00. Several of his partners came by as a result of him, and ended up selling 8 more El Grande fountain pens. Not so fortunate here in MS. Have had no success with high end pens, and in one show reduced prices to just a few bucks over my cost with little success. Guess I need to find the shows like you attend. Would love to move some pens.

Thanks for reply.
 

mick

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Messages
2,546
Location
Decatur AL, USA
I appreciate your comments. Best show I've ever had was the Little Italian Festival in Akron, OH. Had a lawyer buy a nice El Grande fountain pen for $125.00. Several of his partners came by as a result of him, and ended up selling 8 more El Grande fountain pens. Not so fortunate here in MS. Have had no success with high end pens, and in one show reduced prices to just a few bucks over my cost with little success. Guess I need to find the shows like you attend. Would love to move some pens.

Thanks for reply.
125 is a great price point for that style pen at least at most shows. I don't do many el grande style pens but I price my jr style pens anywhere from 95 for a Jr Gent up to 150 for the Jr Statesman. It's just a matter of finding the shows where you can get similar prices. Good luck and if we ever get out of this mess keep looking for those kind of shows.

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