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View Full Version : Selling Below Retail Online -- Is Vizzon.com the Answer?


hairballsdotcom
11-11-2001, 10:33 PM
I've thought often about wholesaling my prints, but dreaded the thought of setting up new pages on my retail web site or even a separate web site to accommodate wholesale traffic. I receiving an email ad from Vizzon.com stating they do not take a commission, the buyers & sellers work directly with each other AND the membership was currently free -- I liked this Idea! I posted one print just to get a feel for the set up. I'm just beginning to see the possibilities.
This thread is to chat about the possibilities of using Vizzon.com for online sales. I will invite Vizzon to join us here to talk about the service they offer and to hopefully give us some insight into their expectations for the future. If you're not familiar with Vizzon.com PLEASE go to their web site and brush up on the basics, that way we will all be on the same page as we start this discussion.

CarlyHardy
11-12-2001, 01:24 AM
Thanks, Lori Lee. I am always looking for new ways to market. Any site that can offer flexibility and really low rates would be of interest to me! I'll check out the site.
carly

Sumafra
11-12-2001, 03:07 AM
Thanks Lori Lee. I have already joined but haven't had a chance to list anything yet. Looking forward to seeing how well this site will work for us.

11-12-2001, 10:28 AM
Hi Lori Lee.
Thanks for the invitation to chat. I will give a short intro, then check back periodically to reply.
Vizzon.com started out 2 years ago as a private site formed by a group of self-publishing artists in Colorado dealing with me and several other brokers in the east. It was a fast & easy way for the artists to show us their latest work, and for us to communicate.

This fall we decided to greatly expand, both on the seller side (artists, publishers...) and buyer side (galleries, resellers, framers...) This expansion has 3 phases: improve the technology & software (now underway); expand the content through recruiting artists and publishers; and lastly, agressively recruit new buyers into the marketplace.

We are still working our way through the numbers, including memberships and fees. We need to be big enough to be viable, yet still remain somewhat distinctive and exclusive in content. The membership fees (which are not being charged while we recruit artists) are meant as a filter - professional buyers in - general retail public out. Our focus is exclusively sales and communications with professional (read wholesale) buyers. We encourage a lot of give & take on pricing and quantities, although we enforce no rules on either. (As a self-publisher, I sell retail until demand falls off, then move out the remaining stock at steep discounts - this works for me, may not for others.)

Anyway, enough of this. I appreciate your consideration and comments. We are still feeling our way through some of this, and we will gladly consider your comments and suggestions.

kks.

shelewis
11-12-2001, 01:40 PM
I too have joined Vizzon.com. I have only listed 4 pieces so far, and the listing process is fairly easy. I am curious how long it will remain free to list with vizzon. Being an emerging professional artist, I cannot afford to pay for listings, but would be happy to pay commission instead. I'm beginning to wonder if listing online really will help my sales, but at the very least, it's a good place to showcase my work and hopefully get some new leads.

Paula:)

hairballsdotcom
11-12-2001, 05:12 PM
Hi [email protected],
I'm so glad you've joined us here. I have a couple of questions and many more to come.

-- 1 --
As I was listing my first print, I was surprised there's no field for "Suggested Retail Price" and fields for "Quantity Discount Price".
So in the "Minimum Quantity" field I put
    One (prints can be mixed for quantity prices)
and in the "Price" field I did this...
    $35ea Retail   6up/$21ea   12up/$19ea

Does it make sense to do it this way?

-- 2 --
Since I've already changed my mind on information I listed with my first print, how do I change it?

-- 3 --
When I added my description, none of the punctuation would show up. I notice puncuation on other artsits descriptions -- but in the preview, it did NOT show up on mine. So I added line breaks between sentences so it wouldn't all run together.
Is there an explaination for this oddity?
AND can you allow more room in the description field? I found it VERY limiting.

Kathleen -- This is EXCELLENT -- I'm so glad you're here to talk to us!!!

11-14-2001, 09:01 AM
Folks:

- Using narrative text in the pricing is correct. Some sellers have rather lengthly pricing details.

- Description field has been increased to 250 characters.

- Punctuation will now appear (it was being stripped out for security reasons, no longer a problem)

- We are working on an editing program, but for now e-mail change requests to us. Or, if it's a major change, add a new listing and ask us to delete the old. (The editing programs are top priority)

- Any fees that may be put in place will be in early 2002 at the earliest, and will NOT be retroactive.

- We struggled with no fees/commission structure, but decided to go with a membership fee structure. Pricing in the wholesale market is not firm, but changes during negotations. There's no simple way to calculate a commission unless we are involved in every transaction. Membership fees act as a filter to keep the retail buyers out, and professional buyers accept the fee as a cost to access good site content.

- Fees from the Artist viewpoint are tougher to justify. There's plenty of free listing sites available already, so what differentiates us? Actively recruiting and involving professional buyers (who tend to buy in numbers) in the marketplace is our priority. While we have buying members now, in January we will begin a major push to expand this area of membership.

- All of your suggestions are appreciated and will be considered!

kks

hairballsdotcom
11-14-2001, 11:14 AM
Thanks Kathleen -- glad to hear the description field has been expanded a bit and that there's punctuation.

On to more questions. The rest of you jump in here anytime.

-- 1 --
I'm curious as to what type of promotional campaign you're using to attract buyer? Email adds, print adds, direct mail?

-- 2 --
According to your Marketplace Statistics the membership is close to 1000 with a few more buyers than sellers (WetCanvas members -- you have to register with Vizzon.com to see the Statistics). Do you have a projected number for membership in 2002, or beyond?

hairballsdotcom
11-14-2001, 11:19 AM
More questions...

-- 1 --
A quote from your web site: "Participation is limited to professional Artists, Designers, Distributors, Galleries, Publishers, Retailers and others in the visual arts trade, with an emphasis on wholesale and quantity buying."
What range of "wholesale" prices and quantities might these buyers be interested in? To me 40% is a standard wholesale structure, but thats really deep for artists to handle...is a sliding scale (the more quantity purchased the deeper the discount) a good way to go?

-- 2 --
I'm considering having a line of note cards printed. Is it acceptable to list items like that? These cards will of course be from my original art. Would listing these be appropriate for the buyers you are attracting?

timelady
11-14-2001, 11:32 AM
I don't see selling wholesale as very different to putting items on sale or return with a gallery. Or am I reading this wrong? Basically, with my galleries they typically double the artist price though their take of the retail price is actually anywhere between 30-60% depending on their commission and it they need to add on VAT tax.

So if I were to list work with Vizzon would it be reasonable to put my price as my normal artist price? In other words, when I take a print (original print, not repro) to my gallery I tell him it's £30. He then prices it at £65.25 (my take, his take, plus sales tax) for the shop floor. So would I still list it at £30 with Vizzon when selling to their buyers?

For anyone intersted, my artist price is double my cost price (time/materials/overhead, etc.)

This is a new market to me, sounds really interesting!
Tina.

timelady
11-14-2001, 11:53 AM
Okay, signed up and looked around... another question re: original artwork.

I sell most of my work unframed if I'm not dealing with the gallery on a sale or return. Is this typical? Or would the buyers expect framed work? This is my practice mainly because I send a lot of work to the US and shipping a painting in a tube saves VASTS sums of money. We're talking around $15 for a insured tubed painting vs. $100+ for the same painting framed due to dimensional weight being used for shipping costs.

Just trying to work out my first few listings. :) I'm impressed so far, will probably email about the other advertising opps later.

Tina.

11-20-2001, 10:39 AM
Would the buyers expect framed work?
Framed and unframed is acceptable. You can put shipping and pricing in the descriptive text or pricing fields, or do two entries, one framed and one unframed.

Would it be reasonable to put my price as my normal artist price?
Yes, just note that that is your retail price, and that the wholesale price is negotiable, or other text.

What range of "wholesale" prices and quantities might these buyers be interested in?
For originals and giclée, very similar to consignment, with shipping and insurance extra. For prints and reproductions it varies. Corporate buyers usually buy 100-300, Framers and resellers ususally buy 10-50, Retailers ususally buy 1-5.

I'm considering having a line of note cards printed. Is it acceptable to list items like that? Absolutely, this is a great idea, and we will add it to the descriptive text on the website.

What type of promotional campaign you're using to attract buyer?
Undecided, we will focus on this in January. It will be internet based, as email and web access in essential for all members. Also depends upon marketing funds available at that time.

Do you have a projected number for membership in 2002, or beyond?
Our target is 2,000 total members by the end of 1Q02, with the majority to be buyers.

Thanks, kathleen

hairballsdotcom
02-01-2002, 12:39 AM
About 3 weeks ago I received a message from Vizzon. I have truncated the message.

Subject: Vizzon Marketplace Changes Are On-Line!
Dear Vizzon Member:
Over the holidays Vizzon has been significantly changed....our mission has expanded from a marketplace to a full-service Fine Arts Agency...exciting developments....expansion into Image Licensing, and our membership in LIMA...announcing the "Vizzon Portfolio System."...The Vizzon Team

About a week ago I went to check my single page, thinking it was time to add a lot more. Fortunately I didn't take the time to do that...

A few DAYS ago I got this message.
This is the complete message.

Subject: Vizzon Marketplace is Closing
Vizzon Member:
Due to the economy, it is necessary for Vizzon to stop supporting our marketplace. We will be focused only on our graphic design services and artist licensing activities. We are very disappointed that we cannot continue, and wish all of you the best in your endevours.
The Vizzon Team

I really thought this was a good idea. I had actually added "Vizzon.com" to my "utilize these potential sales tools" list for 2002. Expanding my online and local exposure is on the top of my list this year.

SO, I'm sorry to see them go.

Now I have to search, search and do more searching for options other than my own website, eBay and Art-agent.com!

shelewis
02-01-2002, 11:52 AM
I too was disappointed to get that email! I'm only glad we didn't have to pay for our page on Vizzon.com! But then, maybe that contributed to their not being able to continue!
Oh well, onward and upward!

Paula :)

hairballsdotcom
02-01-2002, 02:15 PM
Yes, it did sound like it was a financial problem. I personally might have been willing to pay a fee for the service -- but maybe others wouldn't have.

I think I will contact them sooner or later about their artists liscensing services.