Justifying worth and value systems:
I recall going to one major online wholesaler and browsing all of what I refer to as “shell products”. While browsing the blank products, I came across a popular shoe shell that I was pretty surprised to see. Not giving the type it resembled, the brands that utilize it have been on the market a good while (several decades). They go for a decent amount when logos and design are applied but what caught my attention was the actual cost of the “shell”. At the time of the research, this popular “shell” was only; get this, $1.99… That’s it?
So, how does this translate to your store? Well, as a designer, you can find some really great bargains on your shell products. You even have a little access to explore your design on some of those major shells we shop. So, although it might’ve only cost $1.99, some work is about to be put into this shoe that justifies its new worth. When it’s completed, a few people will need to get paid, which also includes the designer. (More on justifying worth and value systems to come. So, stay-tuned)
Weird questions & Teachable moments:
When I started my online store, I recall one potential customer asking that if they had decided to purchase something from the store, who would get paid? Seeing as that I enjoy answering questions that segue into deeper discussions on processes and functions, I was delighted. First, it allows for knowledge-and resource sharing of what goes into the products we buy. In this case, garments.
What I did find remarkable at the same time, is the nature in which the question was asked. Do you really care of what my compensation is, being a black woman-owned business first and are you seriously considering a purchase? Or just jiving with me? I later learned it was the latter…
Case-in-point. When you’ve gone to the store, have you or ever heard of anyone approach a salesperson or business owner asking about their compensation? Sooo, how much do you get if I purchase this item from you today? Honestly, I’ve been in many-a-store and never heard it asked of not a one but all of a sudden, you find yourself on the receiving-end of what sounds like random slights or weird questions. I could understand if it were a commission question but it's not.
You can tell the difference between support and being facetious. When you’ve been around and seen some characters in your life, you know what it is. No matter who it comes from, at the end of the day, either you support the business and are intentional about making a purchase or you’re not.
Because I’ve learned the value of flipping slights into teachable moments, here’s a quick snippet of how price ratios would work if one is seriously interested in learning the how of merch-pricing. At least the next time you consider making a purchase, you’ll have greater insight into the compensation part…we determine that part.
Here’s another Random:
Have you ever been asked, “can you redesign this for me?” Then when you do, and present the redesign, they never purchase what they requested? I honestly couldn’t pull that one up like a been-there asked-that moment before. Can’t ever recall a time going into a store and walking up to the salesperson or business owner asking if they could “redesign” a product for me?
Unless it’s a seamstress or tailoring sort of situation, but who does that? In otherwords, what was being implied to me was, I don’t really care for anything you have in your store, so design me something specifically. Smh—Ikr. Sensing another teachable moment was on the horizon, I found another opportunity to educate on how designs are applied to our products in a mini-demonstration. It was also an opportunity to demonstrate the processes involved in creating design and strategic application of that design on the garment.
So, I took my time to explain it but after awhile, the interest in my demonstration appeared to be waning. Finally, once the product was redesigned according to specification, sent out for purchase that was it…they never inquired back or purchased it. It was literally what they asked for. But I kinda knew already they had no real intentions on completing the sale, just wanted to see the extent of my have-it-your-way customer service maybe?
So by summing up the experiences, here’s my take:
“Narrative-flipping is essential when dealing with questionable situations. Even in the event you’ve gathered that someone is not valuing your time as you would have liked them to, there’s always an opportunity to flip that slighting randomness into a teachable moment. That’s what works for me. It’s important to stay bitter-free in these ecommerce streets and that’s how I tend to roll in my lane. You should too. That way, you’re not allowing perceived negativity and slights to take you to places you don’t need to be.”
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