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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Decided not to do it... Thanks for all of the good advice!
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Decided not to do it... Thanks for all of the good advice!
beachin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 180
From: Louisiana (right now)
Posted: 2005-01-21 12:42 am   Permalink

I have been contacted by a guy in Florida who says he wants to buy my work wholesale. I quoted my rock-bottom prices to him, and he's still trying to drive my prices down further. (He wants to markup the items %125) Bells and whistles started to go off, so I did some research on him. He sells to the floral industry, and said he contacted me because "Tikis are so hot right now."

Here is my concern and the reason I need advice. His website proudly displays the work he has done to reproduce original vases. He has shown an interest in my work, but I get the feeling he is only buying one set in order to cast a mold and reproduce them.

1) I don't do molds or casting
2) I don't want him to!

Should I trust my feeling and just say no, or write to him about my concerns. I can give out his web address to those of you who can help. I'm just not about slandering anybody trying to run a business.

Times are desparate for me (we lost our home and our car a few months ago) and I hate to turn down work, but I get a really dirty feeling about his reproduction business!

Thanks for any help! Kimberly

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[ This Message was edited by: beachin on 2005-02-04 18:49 ]


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Satan's Sin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 729
From: Imperial Beach, CA
Posted: 2005-01-21 08:47 am   Permalink

A retailer marking up your product by 100% (or so) for what you sold it to him for is not at all unusual. Surely you, as an artist, have noticed that when you make a deal with a gallery they're going to take at least 50% of what they sell your item for.

As to how to prevent him from making a mold of your items, I have no clue. A letter or contract forbidding him from doing this would be probably be worth nothing. Of course, if he bargins you down to a rock-bottom price, it might be cheaper for him to buy all the subsequent items from you as opposed to making them himself.


 
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beachin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 180
From: Louisiana (right now)
Posted: 2005-01-21 09:02 am   Permalink

Thanks for your reply.

I haven't yet seen such a high markup. Around here, they charge a 25% fee on top of my sale price. The highest we have around here is 50%. The market is low in Lousiana, though, so I wonder if that is standard in Florida.

I am definately going to register all of my pieces for copyright now, but this guy has already shown me what he wants. He wants me to be a factory, rather than an artist. That's not something I want to get into. I have too much going for me as an artist...lots of publicity and commission work...to change my career now. He can probaby find a high school graduate to agree to pour molds for him.
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Benzart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10364
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2005-01-21 12:26 pm   Permalink

The standatd marku is 100% to 150%. If you are going to sell wholsale you have to be prepared to sell at 1/2 of whatever you think the Retail should be. For a lot of artists it isn't worth it. It depends on the volume of work you produce and the volume they purchase. To get the wholesale price the buyer must be prepared to purchase a large quantity. If this guy only wants a few pieces, then he shouldent get the wholesale price. But if he is ordering like dozens of items, then yes, you should be able to make it work. Hope this helps.
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Raffertiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 31, 2003
Posts: 1527
From: L.I.
Posted: 2005-01-21 4:41 pm   Permalink

If he wants wholesale prices sell to him by the gross.

 
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beachin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 180
From: Louisiana (right now)
Posted: 2005-01-21 7:27 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-21 12:26, Benzart wrote:
For a lot of artists it isn't worth it. It depends on the volume of work you produce and the volume they purchase. To get the wholesale price the buyer must be prepared to purchase a large quantity. If this guy only wants a few pieces, then he shouldent get the wholesale price. But if he is ordering like dozens of items, then yes, you should be able to make it work. Hope this helps.




It does help. He only wanted to order 6 pieces total, so that isn't really making a wholesale order. Also, my philosophy when I went into business is that I want to be an artist, not a factory. I don't do molds because that would stunt my creativity. I'm not knocking mold work...I've seen some awesome stuff here. I just want the freedom to create every time I go to the studio.

The other thing is that I don't have the time to do the quanitity a wholesaler will want. I run my own business and stay up late nights to market my art, so I can spend weekends in the studio.

I'm glad to know about the standard markup. Louisiana must REALLY be a depressed economy. I didn't realize. I've been spoiled in that I haven't had to do that kind of business yet. All of the work I've sold has been at my solo shows and by commission. I guess when I start working galleries, etc., I'll get into the whole markup stuff.

For now, I'm just a girl trying to make art. Every once in a while my shelves get too full and I have to sell the stuff so I can make more. That's really all I want to do is make art. This selling/marketing stuff is for the birds!

Point me to my studio and I'll make tiki's all day long, and smile while I'm doing it!
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beachin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 180
From: Louisiana (right now)
Posted: 2005-01-21 7:30 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-21 16:41, Raffertiki wrote:
If he wants wholesale prices sell to him by the gross.



I'm probably really slow, but that hadn't occurred to me! *sends self to back of class* Thanks, Raffertiki. Sometimes the simple answers are right in front of you, but you just can't see the forest for the trees. That will help me answer his request.
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Feelin' Zombified
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1329
From: The Exotic Shores of Lake St. Clair
Posted: 2005-01-21 9:00 pm   Permalink

My concern would not be the markup, that part sounds on the mark. I would be very concerned however, about the copyright issues you mentioned. I've witnessed many deals that sound too good to be true or seem very tempting because it's a first "big" offer. When my record company had its' first breakthrough single, I received a licensing offer from a company in Holland that I had never heard of. I asked around and as it turned out, that company had a history of preying on small companies with a hit record. They'd simply take the track, re-release it and never pay you. I passed on the offer, of course, and within 3 weeks I had a legit offer from Polygram.

Don't be afraid to be picky. Don't be afraid to pass on an offer that makes you uncomfortable. You don't have to take it just because it's there.

-Z
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Thank God The Tiki Torch Still Shines...


 
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beachin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 180
From: Louisiana (right now)
Posted: 2005-01-21 9:21 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-21 21:00, Feelin' Zombified wrote:

Don't be afraid to be picky. Don't be afraid to pass on an offer that makes you uncomfortable. You don't have to take it just because it's there.

-Z




I have had the hardest time making this decision, but there are just too many negatives going for this guy.
1)He sounds eager, but shady.
2)I can't check up on him in Florida.
3)He only wants 6 pieces but wants them wholesale.
4)He's proud that he can duplicate original works of art.

I need the money BAAAD, but I don't want to bastardize my art like that. I just got international publicity this week through my community college, and I will just have to bank on that turning something else up soon.

Patience is the most difficult thing to learn in building a new business. As much as I don't like to admit that is what I'm doing, I spend more time on the business end of this job than the art end. I'm learning as I go.

Come next paycheck, I'll be writing the government with requests to copyright every piece I own. That won't stop the theives, but it will help me sleep better at night.

Thanks for the good advice, Z. You seasoned veterans are great to help a gal out in need!

Kimberly
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Raffertiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 31, 2003
Posts: 1527
From: L.I.
Posted: 2005-01-21 9:25 pm   Permalink

You're doing the right thing. You've made your decision. Don't look back.

 
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beachin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 180
From: Louisiana (right now)
Posted: 2005-01-22 11:37 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-21 21:25, Raffertiki wrote:
You're doing the right thing. You've made your decision. Don't look back.



You'll remind me of that when I'm crying in my coffee?
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Raffertiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 31, 2003
Posts: 1527
From: L.I.
Posted: 2005-01-22 1:56 pm   Permalink

Have you considered showing your work at an appropriate trade show? There are a few stores in my area that sell originals by artists. A place in Huntington, NY called Sedoni Gallery would stock your stuff in a heartbeat.
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Dancin' Lizard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 27, 2005
Posts: 137
From: Manchester, WA
Posted: 2005-02-01 4:43 pm   Permalink

I only remember a few things from my church going days. One of them was...

"When in doubt...don't do it"

It hasn't failed me yet. If you feel uneasy about this guy you've probably got a good reason to. Trust your feelings.


 
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beachin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 180
From: Louisiana (right now)
Posted: 2005-02-04 6:46 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-22 13:56, Raffertiki wrote:
Have you considered showing your work at an appropriate trade show? There are a few stores in my area that sell originals by artists. A place in Huntington, NY called Sedoni Gallery would stock your stuff in a heartbeat.




Hi! Sorry to be so slow on the reply. You know how it is. Life.

Anyway, I sure could use the leg up. My business is falling apart around me and it's becoming a losing endeavor. I did sell two mugs this month

I'm going to look up Sedoni Gallery and drop them a line. I know that this is the hard part of putting a business together, but the lessons hurt my heart.

It will all be worth is someday when I don't have to answer to the Corporate Gods and I can just be an artist, creating tiki at my whim.




right?

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beachin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 180
From: Louisiana (right now)
Posted: 2005-02-04 6:48 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-02-01 16:43, Dancin' Lizard wrote:
I only remember a few things from my church going days. One of them was...

"When in doubt...don't do it"

It hasn't failed me yet. If you feel uneasy about this guy you've probably got a good reason to. Trust your feelings.



Good words to live by. I don't usually trust my instinct, but this time, I think I'm going to stand firm on my original doubt about this guy. Something else will come along soon enough.
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