Tallbald

Justifying your pricing to customers in a Big Box Store world

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There is nothing wrong with a story. People enjoy being part of something. As a matter of fact, they are willing to pay for it.

The vast generic majority of people just want to make a purchase to make themselves feel good about something for a little while.

There is nothing wrong with capitalizing on that nature. This is business (If you're in business). Just help them feel good.

You are making nice products for a fair price, go ahead and give them the story. It gives them a more personal relationship with the product. They are more apt to buy the product if this is included in the price.

.02

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Boriqua   
6 hours ago, LumpenDoodle2 said:

I have a pair of winter socks I bought off ebay.    Apoarently, they were hand knitted by a grannie in Moscow, in pure Yack wool.   I bought them because they looked lovely and warm (and the grannie story tickled my liking of the slightly unusual).

Oh man that is a good one ... I am a sucker for a good back story and Yak wool socks knitted by a Grandma sitting on a stool in a yurt somewhere .. I would be owning me some socks right now and I live in Arizona. We dont even own long pants!!  :P

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Boriqua   
1 hour ago, Tallbald said:

I am not a professional photographer. I must use a small digital camera and the best settings available to me.

You can get better quality photos using a simple light tent. I posted one on the photography section and you can find HUNDREDS of different variations using different materials on the net and still use your simple camera. One of the things we are missing now is the in store experience. Any of you that were teens in the 60's and 70's remember what it was like when you walked into a leather shop. Man o man that smell. All the cool stuff hanging everywhere. It was most of what got me into doing this.

Now all we have is pix that compete with a thousand other pix and no sensory experience. Placing something you hold dear on a purple towel in bright sun doesn't help to tell your story and doesn't show me you value your work .. so why should I. Think about some props and a tent. Below is a not great pic. Kind of out of focus but I wanted a background that felt "expensive" and the black pebbled finish of my old portfolio kind of feels like that to me. Some Arizona plant matter and its half way interesting. Business is hard work and many fail and it has nothing to do with the product.

Sometimes I see guys that take pix on their dirty work bench with leather tools ... I think they are cool pix and say a bunch more than your towel. Perhaps a magazine cover depicting the old west. Try and thread your story through your pix.

Spanish%20Colt%201911%20Holster%201.JPG?

here is another I took in a similar setup. Its Cheap to make. As a single business owner you have to be the photographer, marketing specialist, fabricator and dishwasher. Of course a better camera doesnt hurt but there is a lot you can do to make your stuff shine before investing in expensive equipment.

4larry1sm.jpg

 

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cjartist   
1 hour ago, Tallbald said:

"This is a roomy and versatile belt possibles bag made of 7-8 ounce Hermann Oak USA vegetable tanned, single layer cow hide. The leather is dip dyed mahogany both inside and outside, with black dyed mouth stiffener and closure tab. I used the wet forming method to craft the front panel, and as I do with my belts and holsters, it's double row stitched with heavy rot resistant nylon thread. Stitching is brown. Tabs at each side of the bag body fold in as the cover flap comes down over the body to close, and the center bar buckle is solid brass of quite heavy construction. Solid copper rivets secure the buckle to the body, and a copper rivet supplements the flap tab stitching. The single piece belt loop is double row sewn to the bag back panel, and accepts up to a 1 1/2 wide, thick belt.
The leather is finished with conditioner, two coats inside and outside of acrylic leather sealant, and a hand rubbed coat of carnuba creme wax.
Dimensions inside are approximately 1 1/2 inch front to back, 5 1/4 inch wide and 5 1/2 inches deep. The leather is stiff with a bit of flexibility.
A good deal of time in this bag, but it was time well spent I believe. $150.00 plus Priority Mail.
Thank you for looking. Don ".

 

This right here should be handled slightly differently IMO.  Too much text that many will not read.  Pull out the highlights as bullet points.  Then follow that with some details about your methods for those that really want to know.

That last bit about "A good deal of time ..."  sounds to me like you are not comfortable with the pricing and are trying to justify it.

Nice looking bag, BTW.

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Tallbald   

Very helpful insights. I really appreciate the time in your answers. Yes, by mentioning the time I was essentially working to justify the price. I need to evolve.

I'm a retired Tool and Die maker and Registered Nurse used to specifically detailing processes, observations  and specifications in my documentation. My text probably reflects my career training and experience. Don.

Edited by Tallbald

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MADMAX22   

I personally like when all the specs are listed first or have a tab that you can click for just specs ( 277 thread, 1/4" vegtan leather, brown dye.....), I will skip thru everything else to get this. That being said I am a ex Navy mechanic/operator and spent many years dealing with just specs and procedures. Same thing when I go shopping for say a power tool. Could care less about the story telling me what I can do with it, I want to know the power rating, electrical requirements, blade size.... 

People seem to fall into different categories of how they perceive things and one trick is providing for a few of these categories. I dont want to read about how the leather item takes on feelings and love from everyday use (actually read that in a description once). Thats just me though. 

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35 minutes ago, MADMAX22 said:

I dont want to read about how the leather item takes on feelings and love from everyday use (actually read that in a description once). Thats just me though. 

I've been guilty of floral language in my descriptions, but if it works...............

In my previous working life, I had been known to use lines such as 'character', and 'patina of centuries' B)

Edited by LumpenDoodle2
Can't spell

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6 hours ago, Tallbald said:

I am not a professional photographer. I must use a small digital camera and the best settings available to me.

P3024185.jpg

 

This right here pains me, because that IS a really nice bag, but that photo...Ok, purple is an odd choice of background color, but the fact that it's easily identified as a towel just makes your piece look cheaper than it actually is.  Even just cropping in the image does a lot to help (because after all, you're selling the pouch, not the towel, why even show all of the towel?)  or if you just don't have a good background, using a freeware program like GIMP to remove the background and paint in something neutral works better than a busy background.  This literally took me less than five minutes to do:

Background1.thumb.jpg.37345d84583bec7066899d8fb3a3f24f.jpg

Not ideal, due to the table showing in the background and part of the pattern of the towel, but it's a step up.

Background2.thumb.jpg.2f4e29b59dc62ce4455419fdb9c25e9a.jpgThis 

This is a hot mess because I didn't take my time with it, but it still shows off your pouch better than the towel.  

Boriqua has some great examples there, and I'd definitely read up on his posts in the photography area.  

I'm not slamming you for not knowing how to do this, by the way.  It looks like you know how to do a lot of stuff and this particular area is a weakness, and one you can probably fix with just a bit of thoughtfulness and practice.  The fact that your work will look even better than it does now is a bonus!

 

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MADMAX22   

Character and patina IMHO are fine because its an actual description of something that actually happens and describes an outcome that is actually true for certain leathers so if someone thought the item would stay looking new forever they would be sorely disappointed with a vegtan wallet for example. 

That being said whatever works and whatever you can live with, its hard to have to many ideals when ya gotta feed the family. 

1 hour ago, LumpenDoodle2 said:

I had been known to use lines such as 'character', and 'patina of centuries' B)

 

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Light boxes are nifty and all, but you can get by with a half yard of some non-competing fabric.  The towel is nicer than the expanded steel it's hiding, but if you had a not-too-busy rustic swatch behind it, it'd set the piece off.

Amazon required plain white backgrounds, and that took some doing as there's shadows if you're not using a light box.  I just edited out the gradients to make it work and played with the light angle as best I could.

Here's a frame I'm selling and just threw it on a piece of ballistic nylon I happen to be making a bag out of at the moment. $7/yd and you've got a clean slate.  The broken edge on the top right is the box for the frame and is visible in the other pic I have posted with the listing.  30 second ad prep with natural light.

20170303_143616.jpg

Edited by JimTimber

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Tallbald   

Thank you again. Oh and Jim that is a beautiful 1911 frame. Excellent photo and the subject is just .....sex in steel (or alloy) grin. yes, I'm a firearm guy. And I love sewing. Aside from Bertha Jo my Cowboy 3500, one of my favorite machines is a 1934 Singer 209 hand crank tabletop model. I've done a little quilting on it in the past too. Don.

Edited by Tallbald

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It really was just a cell phone pic done as expediently as possible.  The blue does set off the bare 4140 nicely though.  If I was going to use the photo for anything but a gun forum or armslist ad, I'd get the lighting better.  I'd get rid of the shadows, or at least do something to minimize them.  You don't need a professional light kit by any means, but using some lamps with deliberate placement can do wonders.  Even your work light on the sewing machine could do a good job giving a highlight with your item placed on a backdrop swatch - no one would ever know you were doing the photo on your machine's table and it'd take less than a minute to set up and take down.  If it's too harsh, then put a sheet over the light or use a shopping bag (thin plastic) to act like a diffuser.  A lot of lighting for low-budget shoots is improvised and quite effective even if it seems cheesy.

I did this on my back stoop.  Getting an interesting background that's not distracting is something I've been working on for a while.  When you make gun stuff, it limits where you can go publicly to set up a shoot without getting odd looks or negative attention.

IMAG0501.jpg

 

STI double stack 2011, not 1911. ;)  It's still for sale if you want it. :P

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Tallbald   

Actually I'm a revolver man but the STI is sure handsome. I see the frame cut now. Love the AR pistol also. Wow. Don.

Edited by Tallbald

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Thornton   
12 hours ago, Tallbald said:

I want to thank everyone here for the time they've invested in responding to my questions. I've read and re-read the comments and will digest them to see how I can utilize the strong points.

Below is a one-off belt bag project recently completed. A great deal of time was spent on this project to make it just as I envisioned. I priced it at $150, slightly above one of my holsters because of the additional time needed to craft it with the methods I chose. Target customer is the same category of person who willingly spends $75 on a well crafted billfold or small purse knowing that the purchase will last many years, develop a patina through time and should only need replacement due to loss or damage. It's not a Big Box Store item nor was it crafted to be such.

I am not a professional photographer. I must use a small digital camera and the best settings available to me. You see my description of this belt bag is lengthy, but the details are what I believe make my work worthwhile and set it apart from mass-made items. As an aside, my belts sell nicely at $75 for a two row stitched plain laminated one in the customers choice of color, thread and buckle, and my flap holsters have enjoyed a small following with significant praise given to the construction and execution.

"This is a roomy and versatile belt possibles bag made of 7-8 ounce Hermann Oak USA vegetable tanned, single layer cow hide. The leather is dip dyed mahogany both inside and outside, with black dyed mouth stiffener and closure tab. I used the wet forming method to craft the front panel, and as I do with my belts and holsters, it's double row stitched with heavy rot resistant nylon thread. Stitching is brown. Tabs at each side of the bag body fold in as the cover flap comes down over the body to close, and the center bar buckle is solid brass of quite heavy construction. Solid copper rivets secure the buckle to the body, and a copper rivet supplements the flap tab stitching. The single piece belt loop is double row sewn to the bag back panel, and accepts up to a 1 1/2 wide, thick belt.
The leather is finished with conditioner, two coats inside and outside of acrylic leather sealant, and a hand rubbed coat of carnuba creme wax.
Dimensions inside are approximately 1 1/2 inch front to back, 5 1/4 inch wide and 5 1/2 inches deep. The leather is stiff with a bit of flexibility.
A good deal of time in this bag, but it was time well spent I believe. $150.00 plus Priority Mail.
Thank you for looking. Don ".

P3024180.jpg

P3024181.jpg

P3024185.jpg

 

The third picture shows the inside of the flap. It doesn't look dyed. The construction looks different than the first picture. I love the pouch though.

Edited by Thornton

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Yeah, it's got a lovely form to it.  The rounded corners are really smooth.

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Tallbald   

Thank you for the kind words. I dip dye my leather with Fiebing's Oil Dye, diluted 50/50. The pouch is unlined and the inner side of the hide doesn't take the same depth of dye color as does the outer side. I use no pre-dye treatment on my leather, but do after dye condition inside and out with Lexol, and Resolene coat inner and outer surfaces. Wax is applied and buffed only on the outside. The different shade of the inside doesn't bother me and I do not view it as un-good. It's a different material characteristic that I view as deserving of accentuation rather that obscuring. Much as is secondary wood like poplar being used in furniture drawer construction while using walnut as outer, primary wood (used to craft furniture also). Thank you again. Don.

Edited by Tallbald

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Here's a tip that has worked for me. It's a tad ballsy and brash but you have to stick with it to the bitter end of their wallet. With my best poker face, I tell ppl they can't afford me and slightly turn to walk off. Before I can get 5 ft away, it never fails they ask what I mean by that? My reply is, my cheapest piece which I a leather bracelet is $65. My belts are $100, ranger belt $135 wallets etc etc. No one wants to be told they can't afford something. So they buy every time, even if it's a bracelt. I refuse to sit at my ship table for less than $50 an hour. 

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