This was the newest question was posed on Flaming Hot by Susan Sheehan this week, “What do you say? What are your views on discounts? “
This is such a tricky subject for me, coming from a “traditional” retail background…my gut instinct is to immediately offer a discount if a customer asks for one, but over the past few years I’ve come to value myself, my time and my work more and that makes me realize that a discount isn’t always a bargain.
In the traditional sense of retailing, the markup is such that an automatic discount of 25% or so is taken practically when goods hit the store shelves or racks. In an artisan made world, it isn’t as easy to say, “sure, I’ll take 25% off that” or “if you buy X number of pieces then I can give a discount”. It isn’t any easier for me to make 100 pieces versus 10 pieces as it is for goods that are automated in their production. In fact, sometimes it is much more difficult. The repetitiveness of making one item over and over can be quite numbing. The uniqueness and handmade nature of our work is what makes it special.
The few times I have offered “wholesale” pricing, I have regretted it as it has led to a cycle of never being able to change my pricing with those customers or that buyer wanting ever more and deeper discounts which have led me to be resentful and angry with each order as my costs for glass, electricity, propane and other supplies have gone up and up and up.
With all that said…will I discount? Generally speaking no, I don’t, but it never hurts to ask!