Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Open Houses - Tax and Shipping

I have been getting quite a few questions about what I do about tax and shipping at the Open House and how I price things.

First of all I don't price anything.  All cash and carry items are the price that they are in the Wish List.  My Bonus Buys which are mixed in with the Cash and Carry have their own sign.  There are no price tags on anything.  Many of my cash and carry items are even still wrapped in the plastic bags they come in.

The Super Sale items are not priced either.  I have a sheet that has a listing of all products and then it has what they originally cost and what the price at the Open House is.  How do I come up with the price of those items?  I look at what I actually paid for them (with discount out).  Usually at the factory store things are already at a huge discount.  By the time you subtract your discount you pay even less.  So you can still add a little to what you actually paid for the item and it will still be a pretty good discount offered to your customers at the Open House.  Sometimes you just have to pick a price that you know gives your customer a nice value but you are sitll making money on it. 

When someone is done shopping I then add up everything they bought.  I add in the tax but I don't charge shipping.  It's hard to charge shipping for items that are right there for them to take with them.  Do you lose money when you don't charge shipping?  NO!  Not only did I receive my discount when I initailly bought the item but then on that show I got the Hostess Dollars and the 1/2 price items.  So you aren't going to lose money.  Then when you sell an item that you are using as a Bonus Buy item - you got that at an even bigger discount and then when you mark it up a little at your Open House you will still make money.  It can get confusing so please leave a comment if you need something explained better and I will post that too.

You are following company guidelines when you are in your own home with your own customers if you choose not to charge shipping.  Please read the company guidelines on this policy though for further details.  This is my choice to not charge shipping at my Open Houses.  It's a benefit for customers to come to the Open House and they buy more because of it.  You do what you are comfortable with. 

This is all hard to explain so if you do have questions let me know and I will answer them. 

The dog in the picture is my bulldog Tucker.  I didn't have a picture that had to do with Tax and Shipping so I thought he would be funn to have on the Blog.


LHQ said...

Thanks for sharing Benno - i do alot of open houses and public events and people look at me like i am ripping them off when i charge shipping - i like how you handle this - thanks again, Gail H

martha said...

Thanks for reminding people that you create "shows" from your open house. I kept waiting for you to mention that, :-), 'cause we talked about that as we were listening to you at the Bee.

Do you do one big show or break it up to maximize the benefits?


Angie said...

Thanks for sharing! You said you do not price anything. How do your customers know how much your items are? (before they bring them to you to total their purchases) Do you have your cost lists laying on the tables?

Thanks, Angie

mjakeoby said...

I just finished my Open House just hours ago. I had use the Tailgating theme today. Kick off day for all football fans! Plus they can now order the lids for their NFL baskets.
I had over $900 in cash and carry and orders for $418 with 2 book shows. Not bad since I usually don't sell this much cash and carry. I tried something new with bundling items into a sale price for all and then if they bought X amount in the regular line or my cash and carry they could get the bundle with an additional % off depending on the amount. I only sold one bundle but there were a lot of people trying to figure out the money if they spent X amount. It was just another option that I had tried.
Might do again. Bundles were from $100 to $250 with 10% off to FREE depending on how much was ordered.