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fishnart

Need Your Opinion

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I started painting baits as a hobby and now sell a few. Only by word of mouth and FB. I stay busy enough but not a ton. I sell a few at shows in the off season. Consequently I don't keep a huge supply of blanks on hand. Started doing that in the beginning and ended up not selling a lot of certain baits. Have learned what sell and what doesn't. So now what I do is if the customer is looking for baits that I don't have I suggest that they go to the websites of my blank co's and pick what they want and then they can order it and send it to me or I can order it for them. What this also does is support the blank co, instead of me ordering a couple crankbaits, the client will hopefully go on there and see other baits he wants and maybe purchases more than he originally wanted, I do, it's addicting lol. There have been only couple of times where once I mention that they don't call back. Not sure if they are offended for some reason, don't have time or what ever. But they have seemed to be very interested prior to me mentioning that. Plus its cheaper, if I order it I should add into the price of the blank, shipping, my time and anything else. They order it and they pay for the bait and shipping.

So my question is do you guys think this is asking too much? Do you see any problem with this that I'm not seeing? It could be just coinsidence

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Look, the ideal thing for a buyer would be to come to you and see exactly the bait, with exactly the color scheme they want, at a price they want to pay, ready to rock and roll. In other words - instant gratification. That's not realistic but it is what it is. Some guys will want your baits and will be willing to order blanks and send them to you, accepting the delays involved. Some will not because it is a complication and delay in gratification. It's just the nature of the beast when you deal with customers.

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I like the instant gratification aspect. If I see something I like and it suits my needs, I'll probably buy it. I would never purchase a blank, spend the money to send it, have someone paint it and pay to ship it to me. If you have figured out what sells, then buy that blank, the overages on the others can be sold on ebay, CL or hang on to them if that size bait is needed. Just my .02.

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Bob hit the nail on the head. My suggestion to you is to do what makes you happy. Customers can really bog you down with requests. They will eat up every piece of free time that you have in life to make them what they want. I have known guys that made 30K a year painting baits. But they are constantly in the shop EVERY week. I use to take orders and request for baits. But one day at the ramp I had a customer ask me why I was out fishing instead of working on his order. I thought he was kidding but he was not. Since that time I only make baits when I feel like it. I make them the colors that I want. People can buy them or go somewhere else. I love making crankbaits. It is a wonderful enjoyment for me. I won't let anyone ruin that with their expectations and demands. So do what makes you happy.

Skeeter

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X2 on blueticks comment.

I would have told the customer that I personally check out the baits I make for quality control purposes. You pay good money for a quality bait that you expect me to backup. So I do periodic quality control. If you just want a bait without warranty just tell me. Oh by the way why aren't you at work???

I saw a sign somewhere that said basically "Price for item-$$. Price for item with complaints, badgering or nit-picking - 5 x $$. I thought about getting that and putting on the wall in plain sight.

Its one thing to be a good customer but one that crosses the line is one I would deal with ONE time.

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maybe i missed the point...maybe not...but i'd maybe try to shoot for a happy medium.

i mean, this is america...people are used to getting what they want, when they want it, and lots of it. if i'm looking for something in particular....if i can order it online for 10 bucks or buy it now for 15....chances are good i'm buying it for 15....even if that item isn't exactly what i want (with in reason)

obviously, do what you want to do, what you can afford, and what makes you happy with the side business, but as far as selling baits....i wouldn't give them the option to go online and look around...i'd have a photo album of all the blanks and color patterns you're able or willing to do....i'd keep a small stock of best sellers and colors and a stock pile of split rings, hooks, eyes, etc. on hand so all you need to do is order up the requested blanks...for anything above and beyond the best sellers, i'd have them fill out an order sheet, and have them pay for it when they submit the order. that way the sale isn't lost. all you have to tell them is a general time frame as to when they can expect their custom bait(s). it still doesn't solve the idea that "you can't sell it if you don't have it"...but imho its better then letting a customer go home and think about it and have the wife talk him out of it. :teef:

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What Skeeter said!! I paint 6-7 patterns and I paint them well. If you don't like the price or the wait then go to somebody else. You want the Sitka Gear customer not the Walmart super saver shopper.

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skeeter. your post made me chuckle. its the truth about what you say. i also have had that statement thrown at me.fishnart you will need to reach a happy medium. that usually takes time. . i do musky baits. guys are incredibly fickle..thick skin and long hours will be the norm. once your passion becomes a monetary adventure.

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