Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Creators' Beat

For those that create and sell Art, Ceramics & Potters, Glass & Stained Glass and the Woodworking crafts we have some good news.

It is very unusual that as president and CEO of our company I write anything about how we make decisions or why we do what we do at our company but because of the importance of what I am about to announce, don’t worry it’s good news, I felt a complete explanation would go a long way in answering all the questions I know will arise. It would also probably significantly reduce the emails I get. I have to apologize in advance for the length of this but it is necessary.

For many weeks now we at New Creations Consulting, LLC the parent company of The Hand Made Product Directory and other web sites, have been working, designing and testing a new element to the family of services we offer. For many months we have been receiving inquiries from a significant group of store owners who were looking for another viable venue to market and sell their products. The overwhelming majority of these requests have been from those selling items that come under the categories of Art, Ceramics & Pottery, Glass & Stained Glass and the Woodworking Crafts.

What these folks were looking for was something different than the normal venues that are usually seen online. They didn’t want to abandon their existing stores but wanted something a little more specialized that actually helped them market their creations. As we all are aware, the vast majority of selling venues only provide the selling platform and do very little to no advertising and marketing. Their normal thinking in this area is that it is the store owner responsibility to being in all their own business and customers. Some talk like they are doing otherwise but in reality they aren’t.

Based on our conversations and correspondence with store owners combined with the fact that the majority of those interested in these types of services mostly fell into some very specific categories, we have developed what we believe is a very viable method to meet these needs. One that we believe is workable from our side and very usable and inexpensive for store owners.

We didn’t want to develop another mass market selling venue like we are all familiar with. What we wanted to do was combine the good points from all the other good venues without the downsides some have. This isn’t easy in that there are many good venues around but the fact that they are reaching out to a very large mixed market they had to design their venues to meet the average needs and services this large group of sellers wanted. As such, it makes it virtually impossible to meet many of the specific need certain store owners needed.

Most of the selling venues we can all think of when we are talking handmade or handcrafted products are very good sites and we are in no way putting them down in any way. They serve a very viable market and provide a very essential group of services. Like I said before, what we wanted to do was take the good elements from all of them and at the same time attempt to meet as many of the specific needs of a specific group of sellers.

Neither do we expect nor did we want to develop an entity that would be an actual competitive entity to these other selling venues. We wanted to develop a venue that would act as a supplement or adjunctive venue to allow certain types of store owner the ability to better market and sell their creations while still pulling sales from their existing online stores.

What we were hearing from store owners was what they wanted in a venue was a combination of a place to sell their creations, a marketing company to assist them in selling their creations, a place where they still maintained physical control of what they made but without all the hassles of maintaining a web site. Add to this they wanted a place that was in tune with their specific niche and the problems involved. Basically what was wanted was a combination of a normal selling venue, a consignment type of venue and a specialized selling venue. Not an easy formula to fill to say the least. Oh, and many had concerns about unwanted items showing up on the venue that didn’t belong and an relatively easy way to submit and list their creations. After putting this all together, it was clear that we had a very complicated prescription to fill.

So with all the above said, here is what we have developed. Like I said before, we are addressing a specific group of sellers and store owners and not the mass handmade or handcrafting market. What we have developed is a selling venue called Creators’ Beat. It is an invitation only site. Only those that create items that fall into the Arts, Ceramic & Pottery, Glass & Stained Glass and Woodworking crafts will be able to show and sell their products at Creators’ Beat. Because of who and where we will be marketing the site, not everyone who applies from these categories will be approved either. Anyone in these categories may request a review but we will be very selective about inclusion on the site.

Our marketing of the site is not only going to be towards the general shopping public but also to additional specific groups and individuals whose specific interests make them likely candidates for purchasing the types of creations shown on the site.

To maintain the quality of Creators’ Beat, the entire store registration and submission process will be handled off line through a special email based set of forms we have developed. Another reason for this is that it eliminates the need for setting up secure sign in forms and systems that would just increase operating costs. It also allows for the human interaction necessary. Our goal is to assist listing stores in the areas of product description and the graphics as well as the other selling aspects. After all, what we all want is to present on line really top notch saleable items. Poor product description and poor photos probably cause more customers to walk away from a sale than any other reason.

Our goal is to draw shoppers who are looking to buy great pieces from talented and creative people. Bells and whistles on a web site will not do this. Being able to find what they want as quickly as possible and buying it as easily as possible will. Having a good search feature and a quick check out is the goal.

A quick word about the check out process. Although I personally am not a big fan of PayPal. It has many issues that I will not get into here, but it is without a doubt the most widely accepted payment processing entity around. Even corporations have accounts with them these days. Anyway, will be starting out using PayPal for payment purposes. We hope within a short time to also add Google Checkout.

Since what we have developed is what might be called Low Tech in today’s plethora of selling venues, it will require more human involvement, labor from our company standpoint. Although there are no registration fees, no listing fees, no setup fees and no monthly maintenance fees we will be charging a 10% commission on all completed sales. We feel that this is very reasonable considering what we are offering.

If you feel your store or creations would be good candidates for inclusion on Creators’ Beat, visit This Page for instructions on how to get started.

David Meier

President, CEO

New Creations Consulting, LLC

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