Daily Wire Tip Nov. 11: Taking Orders and Payment at Shows

By on November 10, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
November 11, 2010

Question:

I purchased the complete Beginner Series, and really love making the jewelry. I am having a very hard time keeping wire in stock. You stated that you take orders for some of the jewelry, like the unisex bracelets. Do you have the customer pay a percentage when placing the order, pay for the whole item in advance, or pay when it is received?

-Cindy in El Paso, Texas

Answer:

Wow Cindy, to be making and selling your jewelry so quickly that you can’t keep wire in stock – what a wonderful dilemma! Yes, to be able to get an item like a bracelet or a ring to fit a customer perfectly, I take a lot of orders. When I take an order, I collect payment in full; in exchange, I pay for the shipping, which is a tax deduction if you have a business.

I would like to advise you never to make and ship an item, and then sit around waiting for the payment! If you take credit cards, you could swipe the card and then not submit it for payment until the item is received, but that too can be a challenge as occasionally a customer will stop payment on either a credit card or a personal check! The Wire-Sculpture Faculty and I talk a lot about taking orders, types of payment and how to close sales in our Definitive Guide – which really is a valuable tool for anyone who is serious about selling their work.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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5 Comments

  1. avatar

    Lee

    November 11, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Since I have been selling my handmade pieces (thanks mainly to Dale!), I have received requests to make a certain piece of wire-wrapped sea glass that I am displaying. I do not take any money up front since (1) the piece may not come out exactly as the prototype is and (2) as I explain to the customer, if s(he) decides that it is not suitable, I will sell it anyway. And since I only use surf-tembled sea glass the customer might choose a unique shape and, of course, I usually see something else to do with it that I like but, then, no two pieces are the same. However, the “puffy” hearts have been a big hit and customers ask for it to be done in a certain color and they come out pretty much according to formula. Thanks, Dale, for your wonderful videos. And Cindy, good luck with your new-found passion.

  2. avatar

    JoAnn

    November 11, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Hi,
    I always get at least half in advance on an order, but I will be getting the whole payment in advance from now on. I have had many people change their minds after i make them a special order. I’ve been able to sell the item to someone else udsually if it fits. Wow and I’ve been making jewelry for almost 5 years and I didnt know shipping was a tax deduction for a business! Thanks for the info!
    JoAnn

  3. avatar

    Jane Elizabeth

    November 12, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Congrats to Cindy! Occasionally I have the customer meet me at my studio and choose their gemstone center piece. I have taken orders with as little as 25% down but always get full payment before shipping…

  4. avatar

    Cindy

    November 15, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Thanks Dale for the info, I had a show Sat., excellent sells. I only took 2 orders. This show was a private show, friends and friends of friends. I took $20.00 down, in case I had to order supplies. I will have to see if they pay the rest after I make their order. Everyone loved the wirework and stated they had never seen anything like it. I will ask for full payment in the future.

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      November 15, 2010 at 12:45 pm

      You are welcome Cindy – glad I could help. (Congrats on your successful show too!)

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