How To Deal with Card Rejection: Part 2

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Dealing With Rejection (Part 2 of 5)
Copyright © 2010 Kate Harper

Tip 1: Are you approaching the right market?

Once you put your creativity on the market, it becomes a business product. No matter how good or bad anyone thinks it is, if you are trying to sell your cards in the wrong places, no one is going to buy them. For a silly example: I would not start by trying to sell handmade cards to a liquor store.

-If you are selling scenes of California, don't assume anyone outside of California wants to see them.

-If you are selling pressed flower cards, start in floral shops.
Make life easy for yourself by setting up the best possible conditions. Talk to people and ask them where they would imagine seeing your cards.

Tip 2: Are you trying to sell handmade cards to a drugstore or in rural areas?

These are not ideal markets for selling handmade cards. Small towns and rural areas may not have a customer base for upscale hand-crafted cards. Instead, try urban areas or communities that make a significant investment in the arts.

When I first started selling cards, I tried to sell to all kinds of stores, even chain stores. I learned very quickly that many chains have exclusive agreements with one or two large companies.

Some chains who do accept independent artists often require that you submit card samples to their company headquarters, before any of their individual stores can buy your products.

When you are beginning, the best stores to approach are smaller boutique stores or independent bookstores.

Tip 3: Did you get feedback on "why not"?

It's important to get feedback on why the store doesn't want your card. You will probably be surprised that many times their reason for rejecting you has nothing to do with the quality of your card.
  • The store may not carry handmade items.
  • The store might be overstocked with cards.
  • The store doesn’t buy photocards, and that’s all you have.
  • They only buy cards certain times of the year.
  • The subject matter of your designs (animals) may not be what they buy (flowers).
Getting feedback can tell you if you need to change something to make your card more marketable. If you are hearing from several people that your card verses aren't upbeat, then maybe it is time to try new verse and redesign them.
Retail buyers are your friends. They can help you a lot by giving valuable feedback.
Asking for feedback can be uncomfortable at times. I recall talking to a store who decided to drop my first card line because it wasn't selling. "They are just too dark and drab, when compared to the other lines." I had never really thought about what my cards would look like next to brighter cards. I spent about 2 months experimenting with different ideas and analyzing how to make my cards brighter.

Because I received specific information about the problem, it allowed me to move forward and keep trying. Overall, my willingness to hear the truth about "why not" saved me time and the financial expense of printing a bad design.

10 Questions to ask when you're Rejected
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Part 1

Part 2
Tip 1: Are you approaching the right market?
Tip 2: Are you trying to sell handmade cards to a drugstore chain, or in a rural area?
Tip 3: Did you get feedback on "why not"?

Part 3
Tip 4: Is this just one person's opinion?
Tip 5: Are you taking rejection personally?
Tip 6: Are you willing to make adjustments?

Part 4
Tip 7: Have you thought about luck and timing?
Tip 8: Are you making weekly goals?
Tip 9: Are you in the waiting phase?

Part 5
Tip 10: Who in your life really wants you to succeed?

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

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