An editorial by Ryan Jones in The Crafts Report (November 2011) brought a fascinating TED Talk to my attention. Dan Ariely explains how "framing" different options can influence purchasing decisions.
Quoting Ryan Jones, editor of The Crafts Report, "Some people wonder why they should bring along some higher-priced items to a craft fair, especially if it's unlikely they will sell them. But, framing means that your highest-priced items can be a sales tool ...". Listen to the TED Talk by Dan Ariely to learn more about this concept.
I recommend listening to the TED Talk all the way to the end because it explains the logic behind why we artists should always have a big show stopper piece of artwork in our booths or in an exhibition to sell the smaller items. After the video, take a look at an example about how I am trying to apply this reasoning for my Judaica.
Here is my practical example.
Right now I have a Seder plate for Tu Bishvat in the exhibition DO NOT DESTROY at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. The price places this work outside the average consumer. My aspiration (or wish come true) is that a museum will buy this work for their permanent collection.
Two weeks before the museum exhibition opened, I contacted the museum gift shop about selling some of my Mezuzot. Each mezuzah is priced at $175. That may put some people into sticker shock compared to the usual gift shop item, but it is a real bargain for the labor, preparation, skills, and design in each mezuzah.
At the same time, the mezuzot are affordable examples of my work with an environmental message that can be used every day.
Everything is relative, and there are many factors that may influence the purchaser's decision including the perceived value of the artwork in the exhibition, and the validation provided by being included in the museum exhibition Do Not Destroy.
Keep this strategy in mind for your booth or next show. While the masterpiece of the show may or may not sell, it may be a prime factor in selling the other work.
I sold seven mezuzot during the show.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Assiyah, Yetzirah, Beriyah © 2011 by Harriete Estel Berman
(Above photo) Close up view of the center of the Tu Bishvat seder plate. If you shine a light on the center of the seder plate it reflects a Star of David on the ceiling(shown below.)
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Assiyah, Yetzirah, Beriyah
Artist:Harriete Estel Berman
DIMENSIONS: 6” ht x 24” w x 20" d
If you are interested in viewing the design, and fabrication of this Judaica TuBishvat seder plate, CLICK HERE to view an entire album on Flickr with step by step photos for this work in progress.