Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Cluster

I have been having the hardest time getting things remade after the holidays, but I really want all those designs listed so people can see everything that I make. A few days ago I asked my twitter friends what they thought about listing items as custom orders rather than already made. The general consensus was it is fine to have a mix of both in the store. I often list my mask as custom pieces since people seem willing to wait a bit for those, but after the twitter advice, I went ahead and listed one of my neck pieces as a custom too. I hesitate to add more as customs because I am afraid of the cluster effect.

This cluster effect has been going strong in the store lately. My most popular necklace has been flying off the virtual shelves just as fast as I can make them. This seems to happen to this necklace a lot. I will sell three or more in a burst and then nothing for a long time. This effect seems to exist everywhere. When we went to get out wrists tattooed for Christmas, the tattoo artist guessed that we wanted a "Z" because the last customer had asked for one. He explained that if the next person asked for a chipmunk, the next three customers would ask for the same thing.

I bring this up as the reason I am afraid to list more custom pieces. What happens when three customers in a row order custom pieces? How much of a time cushion should I add to the listings to prepare for the cluster effect? There are a lot of people who do almost all their sales as custom orders and I wonder if they exist in a state of constant chaos or does their time cushion allow them stay calm and carry on? I guess I'll find out pretty quick if I decide to go ahead and start listing more custom pieces.

1 comment:

. c h o k l i t . said...

I do wonder the same thing, and if I list something that's not yet made, I feel a looming sense of stress until I have it finished.

I do see some sellers describe as much as 4 - 6 weeks for custom orders. And last year I ordered a custom corset that took nearly 6 months to come.

All to say, it varies - and I think so long as you don't feel overwhelmed, you're good.