Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mystery Bags and Clearance Bins

As a crafter I tend to go through craft phases. A few years ago I found beautiful stone skull beads, in bright cherry colors. I couldn't help myself but buy them and make a ton of jewelry. Though the jewelry came out cute, I learned that jewelry making just wasn't for me. I had no real passion for it. I managed to sell the majority of it, but as my plush toy business grew so did the direction of my craft show booth. So the jewelry made its way to the back of my studio closet, and no longer to my craft show table.
Earlier this week I shared my craft show booth set up on the Etsy Fort Worth team blog. In that post I wrote about my booth set up and how I engage my customers with a fun Spin-a-Prize wheel. The prize wheel idea came to me at a show, when I was walking towards my booth and I thought to myself "wow, my booth looks like a carnival booth." I started to think of ways to play up the carnival booth idea but not loose my brand focus. Since my brand motto is "Creating Adventure" I thought how can I create adventure here in my booth for my customers. That's where the Spin-a-Prize wheel came to mind. Everyone loves to take a chance, and win a prize, especially if you are guaranteed a prize.
Then came the question, "What can I give as a prize?" I started to think about products I already make, obviously I couldn't put in full size plush dolls in every bag. I could however put in full size plushies that had been in my inventory for a LONG time and hadn't sold. But what else? I started to clean out my studio closet and I found products that I no longer make. Perfect!
By putting these discontinued products in the mystery bags I no longer have to put out a clearance basket. Clearance baskets are great, but sometimes they just get passed up. By ditching the clearance basket and using Mystery Bags I've engaged my customers sense of adventure and curiosity. They can't wait to spin the wheel and see what bag they will win. Once they have their bag in hand, they can't help but rip it open to see what's inside.
I have to admit, I forget what is in each bag. I tend to draw all the bags, and blindly fill them. Every now and then when the prizes are a little on the girly side I'll make sure that the bags look girly, so that a little boy wont be disappointed when he wins something pink and glittery instead of something green and scarey.
A Spin-a-Prize wheel may not work for everyone, but offering a mystery bag might. Fill it with your old clearance items, discontinued products, slightly imperfect pieces, or even something brand new that you aren't sure you want to add to your product line. Mystery bags are a great addition to your craft show booth, and will help you clear out your closet.

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