Whether selling crafts in person or online, eventually every customer will want to know the same thing – “How much?”. Interested customers when shopping in the real world, otherwise known as offline, have the ability to ask you how much something costs. Internet shoppers are left with the option of putting the item in the shopping cart to hopefully see a price, sending you an email, or leaving.
It’s that third option that is the worst possible outcome – leaving your website without making an inquiry or purchase. And in these circumstances, you’ve probably lost that customer forever. Remember on the Internet, reputation is everything and you don’t want to do anything that causes people to question yours.
I find it surprising to feel the need to even bring this topic up; but, I’ve been to several websites recently where the prices of the hand-crafted items being sold were not clear. In one case, the artisan asked people to email her a request for pricing – yeah, sure, not gonna happen. I suspect this crafter had read somewhere that to build up clientÃ¨le one needs to build up a mailing list – trust me, holding your prices hostage will not build your mailing list.
There’s nothing wrong with requesting anyone wanting special colors, sizes, or bulk quantities to email for more information. But, requiring a customer who is purchasing what amounts to an ‘off-the-shelf’ item to email for pricing is a poor solution.
I have seen some artisans running their sites through email, using a simple non-shopping cart driven website. It worked well based on conversations I’ve had with the artisans on forums and what I saw reviewing their sites. The key to their success was that the items for sale were accompanied by well-written descriptions and clearly identified prices.
Force me to ask and I’m gonna assume that the price varies based on who’s doing the asking and will most likely be more than I’m willing to spend. Maybe it comes from not being Paris Hilton rich, but I want to know the price of something before I buy it. I’m just funny that way.