Thursday, October 4, 2012

New & Old Merchandise Analysis

New Merchandise


A couple other people at Maneki Neko Con had fake-fur tails, but we were the only ones with real tails. Ours were in line, price-wise, with similar-sized fake ones (fake ones tended to be longer). One of the two people who bought tails from us said that he liked the swivel, the clip on his other tail (fake, IIRC) was getting stressed where it attached and was likely to break loose soon.

The tails were hung along the top of one of the gridwall sections. Some were a bit of a reach from the front of the table, which discouraged petting. Not sure if that was good or bad.

Yarn, Patterns, and Knitting Needles

The new literature rack works well for patterns. I need to get some foam core and cut props for the uppermost tier, but patterns in the lower tiers won't need them. There isn't enough room on a 24' wide table to put the yarn out in front of the rack, but there may be on a 30" wide table.

Sold a beginner pattern, skein of yarn, and needles to one customer. Didn't get a lot of people looking, but I didn't necessarily expect a lot at an anime con, either.

I probably need to get some strips of velcro for the fabric display boxes - the velcro on the front edge is the hooky parts, so it can catch yarn/fleece.

Need to get more basic patterns from Sharon.

The supplier for the Suri Elegance lace-weight yarn also has "Paca Peds" sock-weight yarn. I may have to get some. It would be so decadent, but probably a good addition. And then I'd need some more needle sizes...

I probably should also pick up another ball-winder and swift to leave with the merchandise so we can wind yarn for customers.

Frogs and Sword Hangers

Sold none, which was a bit disappointing. But, Prairie State College had a pretty strict weapon/weapon-like policy, so very few people had anything weapon like, other than a few toy ray-guns. Fortunately, either the real and campus cops didn't notice our PVC pipe display "sword", or decided it was so obviously a prop as to not worry about. I suspect the latter.

Paracord Bracelets

Sold several of the paracord bracelets we'd gotten from Modelmaker, despite a report of someone else selling paracord bracelets for $2 (vs. the $7 for ours).

Old Merchandise

Pad and Book Covers

Sold the two notepad covers we had, and there was some rejoicing by me. I made them, in hindsight, about the time of the rise of smartphones, etc. They were machine-stitched, which doesn't look as nice as hand-sewing, but I think decline of demand is more a factor of them not selling. I won't be making more, except on commission.

On a related note, book covers have also been pretty slow to move the last couple/few years. I think this is directly attributable to the rise of e-books. E-book reader/tablet covers would be a good replacement, if there was any kind of uniformity of size, which there isn't. Not sure if I'll continue to make paper book covers.

Discontinued Pouches

A while back I decided to stop making the "chamfered" hard pouches, and "hybrid soft" pouches. We sold a couple/few when I first started making them, but they've been dogs for a long time. I've had them marked as on sale for a couple events now, but they're still not selling at the not-increased "sale" price. Debating if I want to cut prices on them a little more.

Another option is to use them when event organizers ask for donations for raffle/auctions. Usually I give a belt and/or small square soft pouch. Since there isn't anything actually wrong with the discontinued pouches, I think it would be reasonable to make donations out of them.


I think I've said this a couple/few times already, but I'm going to make more quivers Real Soon Now, dammit. I have some not-too-heavy black latigo, and somewhere between here and Colorado is a half-bison in a pretty tan. I think I'll make a quiver from each. The only question is completely open-top, or strainer-tops (holes for X arrows, X depending on quiver size).

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