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  1. #1
    Full Member c4's Avatar
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    Question Can you help me sell this stuff?
    (This has been posted here with Haiko's permission)

    Dear affiliates,

    I am thinking of starting a new business and affiliate program for my step-father who makes really unique art (sculptures, tables, bowls) and we want to expand selling to Europe, North America and beyond.

    Too see what we want to sell here are some pictures that should give you the idea:
    http://www.phpjunkyard.com/work/pvene/table.jpg
    http://www.phpjunkyard.com/work/pvene/sculpture.jpg
    http://www.phpjunkyard.com/work/pvene/bowl.jpg

    This really is some unique work made out of very old wood (mostly about 300-400 year old willow tree and lime tree). Prices start at about $80 and go up to a few thousand $ (USD).

    What do you think? Can you make the sales pitch? Will this sell?

    The reason I am posting this is because we would have affiliates as the main traffic stream and I want to know if you people would be interested in selling this kind of stuff/joining affiliate program if we start it?

    I was thinking about:
    - developing a site for selling these products
    - starting affiliate program, probably at SAS
    - 10% base commission + performance incentives
    - datafeed with current available products
    - phone order tracking

    We have very limited funds to get started so I want to research our options.

    Any comments/ideas/suggestions welcome!
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Very nice stuff.

    Whatever you do and end up deciding, you should get a good domain name and at the very least set up a small gallery site just to get something out there. There are a number of different avenues available for marketing those types of goods.

    I have no idea from an affiliate POV - no familiarity, but do with a few other related areas, so no help for this question.

  3. #3
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    Nice stuff. But webwork is right, before an affiliate program - you need a merchant site that converts. That is step 1 and don't even worry about an affiliate program until that is up and running.

    Chet

  4. #4
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Wow! I can almost feel the wood. Beautifully conceived, designed and executed. Now you need an equally elegant web site to market it.

    How much for the table? What kind of wood is it? Dimensions puleeze.

    If you had an affiliate program I'd definitely be interested in joining.

  5. #5
    Crazy like a fox suzigeek's Avatar
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    Have you thought about Ebay? It sounds kind of tacky but me and my husband had artglass that we manufactured ourselves....we had a glassblowing studio and I thought I'd try ebay for some of our seconds that didn't have a venue....long story short we had alot of interest but didn't sell I was short on time and inventory and only ran a few auctions---BUT there is definite interest. Doesn't cost much to run a few auctions....Just a suggestion
    Suz~~GearGirl~~

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    On the cheap without a web site up yet you can do 2 things. Google "artisen" galleries and join a community of handmade artisens who for a small fee set up a gallery with "buy now button" with-in a site with traffic already....or. Contact Overstock's Worldstock department and apply to have OS hawk your beautiful hand made goods as they don't whack you for any huge fees. Immediately signup from my OS link to their auction site www.ecomcity.com/ads.htm and open a free merchant account and launch some auctions for each item. Those listings also show up in the OS main site at the bottom of many product categories ... http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2....GE=ENDECA&x=18 I noticed this as I'm updating my Native Indian page. You get an affiliate enabled work force already in place without the LS expense... LOL.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  7. #7
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    before an affiliate program - you need a merchant site that converts.
    Exactly. And with budget in mind, domains are under $10 and hosting - under $5.

    That is step 1 and don't even worry about an affiliate program until that is up and running.
    Agreed, and right off, getting crawled and into the engines for a headstart would be a good move.

    It's handcrafted goods, so technically any promotional avenues for crafts are open for it, including links from crafters who won't link to anything else, listings in ODP and specialized niche directories, etc. Of course, that's high end stuff, not budget low end goods, so there are opportunities in juried venues where they're "fussy" but that costs

    But on the cheap, just getting an attractive site up that gets into the engines (not fancy, just fast loading and attractive), even without ordering other than *maybe* PayPal, gets it rolling as a first step.

    Getting back to affiliate, continue to feel it out, but just maybe I would keep mention of affiiliate stuff off for the time being, in case the paranoia about it being a hindrance for initial crawling and indexing by Yahoo turns out to have any basis in fact.

    Get a little something up and you've got two links from 2 long-indexed, established sites in that very niche yours for the asking.

  8. #8
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    join a community of handmade artisens who for a small fee set up a gallery with "buy now button" with-in a site with traffic
    I can hook you up with some nice folks like that, some will know which "galleries" or online "juried shows" are worthwhile. Not all are. I don't know which ones, but they would.

    On the cheap without a web site up yet you can do 2 things.
    Meantime, I have an older, respectable but "neglected" gallery site for handcrafted decor sitting idle that's already got homepage traffic and no time for it, it just sits out there collecting dust (and Adsense $). If a "gallery" display page goes up it gets right into the index, then once a real site goes up all it takes is a link to the site and it gets crawled right off with the right anchor text from an optimized page.

    No charge of course, it's karma.

  9. #9
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    Aren't there some existing sites that will help an artist/sculptor sell their wares? Might that be a better strategy than creating an entirely new ecommerce site and affiliate program? Coincidentally, a friend sent me a link to one such site, http://www.boundlessgallery.com/ -- although that company doesn't seem to have an affiliate program. If you were going to create a site for this, why not make it more broad-based to potentially include other artists?

    Just some ideas.

  10. #10
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    Handcrafted goods and carvings can do well on the web. These appear to be one of a kind items. How long does it take to create a work? Mass affiliate marketing works best with mass produced goods.

    I would recommend building a gallery web site and use that to build up a name for the artists. You can probably find an artists co-op to help with the selling.

    BTW: There are several merchants in SaS that are selling things from artisans.

  11. #11
    Full Member c4's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting all. Some good advice here.

    Now when I'm thinking I should definitely try with an auction first. I'll probably try both eBay and Overstock and see if I can get any results.

    If that doesn't work I will try to find an online retailer (again at Overstock, and will check out the SAS merchants). That boundlessgallery looks promising too, although they do take high commissions (25%). This should me much quicker and cost-effective than starting my own business though.

    Thanks for the link offer webworker, I'll remember that should I decide to go on my own

    @Rhea - it's about 400 years old willow tree, the entire table is made out of one piece (it's not glued together!). Dimensions (without glass):
    Height: 53cm (about 21 inch)
    Width x length: 96 x 78 cm (about 38 x 31 inch)
    It's being sold for about $2500 next week ... unless I get a better offer


    Again thanks for all the suggestions, if anyone has anything to add feel free to post.
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