Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Type of Customer/Consumer Are You?

1. Are you the type of person who can't wait to go buy the same thing your friend just bought because you think it's so cool?

2. Are you the type of person who hates big box shopping, where everyone and everything looks alike?

3. Are you the type of person who believes that the validity of an item is measured by how many brick and mortar stores that item is available in?

These questions are at the extreme positions of my thoughts today, but provide some insight into the mindset of potential customers.

Customers who want to buy exactly what their friend just bought aren't necessarily fans of handmade items. You see, handmade, by its very nature, is unique. Many items are one-of-kind. Others would be a limited run based on resources available, but certainly not available in the thousands or millions of identical items like you would find in a traditional store. If most crafters/artisans are like me, they don't want to make the same thing over and over. Once I finish an item, my creative mind is already thinking of the next thing I want to try, not thinking, "I can make that same item again and again!" Of course, if the demand is there, and it's selling, I would make it, but that is (or was) a story for another day.

On the other hand, if you hate going to the big box store, where everyone and everything looks just alike, no matter where the store is, handmade is for you! If you want that "just right" gift for someone special, Etsy has a variety of ways to find that special gift. My favorite is is the Etsy Gift Ideas for Your Friends. When you click on it, it brings up your Facebook friends, with suggestions of what they might like based upon their Facebook Profile.

The third question, regarding the validity of an item, can be a tricky thing. In the past, I have found myself in that camp of people. However, because I am a crafter, I also know that handmade can be higher quality than items mass produced. I find myself conflicted when I know I can get an item cheaper at the store, than paying for items at a craft fair, or online directly from a crafter. 

As I wrap up my thoughts for the day, I encourage you to define what type of customer you are, and start shopping accordingly. 

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