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Customer Service Kiosk -- Questions for LE vendors.

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  #1  
Old 2015-02-28, 12:35pm
mikefrantz mikefrantz is offline
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Default Frantz Art Glass @ Bead and Button?

I have posted this into Customer Service rather than Shows and Events because it is a customer service project. Frantz Art Glass would like to paricipate at B&B.

And we would like to bring a large amount of Effetre and Messy Color to Bead & Button. We would like to bring out the new and also offer some of the old that has been gone for now and may never return.

For me to make sense of going to this show I need to know if it would make for a better show, or just a place to spend more money.

My decision to attend the show and bring over 100 different color (or more) depends on what those on LE who are going have to say to me.

I would like both positive and negative comments, and will decide if we will just continue to sell via mailorder or comeback to B&B after 5 years of our absence.

Thanks

Mike
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  #2  
Old 2015-02-28, 1:18pm
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This is personally my opinion:

A while back you posted about cleaning out drums of end pieces from rods. People asked you if you'd sell these at a discount via mail-order. And you answered that it really wasn't feasible.

I mention that because if you offered "odd" or special unique one time offer discounts, I would spend money at the booth even though I try very hard to deal strictly with one of your distributers since she's "local".

You'd have to offer something very specific for me to buy something I could come home to purchase. When I'm at Bead and Button, I try to spend my money on things or artists that are new to me, sellers who don't use Etsy or maintain much of an online presence. Or big pieces that I've been lusting for, for several months.

Also, because I do try to support my local glass supplier, I wouldn't buy general production glass. The most I'd do with common colors is buy by the rod if I was going to use it the next day. But since the show is half over by the time the floor opens, you're limited in that regard.

However, having a small selection of low cost glass (by the rod, or mixed bundles in 1/4lb sizes) and Double Helix would be a wonderful idea because you do have glass classes going. I prefer the option of bring my own glass colors if I'm not going to be in a studio if color isn't crucial to the outcome of the class. But again, it'd only be for Friday and Saturday class so the number of people here would be a very small number.

Last edited by SGA; 2015-02-28 at 1:21pm.
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  #3  
Old 2015-02-28, 2:40pm
mikefrantz mikefrantz is offline
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Default Rare Glass For Sale

Quote:
This is personally my opinion:

A while back you posted about cleaning out drums of end pieces from rods. People asked you if you'd sell these at a discount via mail-order. And you answered that it really wasn't feasible.

I mention that because if you offered "odd" or special unique one time offer discounts, I would spend money at the booth even though I try very hard to deal strictly with one of your distributers since she's "local".

You'd have to offer something very specific for me to buy something I could come home to purchase. When I'm at Bead and Button, I try to spend my money on things or artists that are new to me, sellers who don't use Etsy or maintain much of an online presence. Or big pieces that I've been lusting for, for several months.

Also, because I do try to support my local glass supplier, I wouldn't buy general production glass. The most I'd do with common colors is buy by the rod if I was going to use it the next day. But since the show is half over by the time the floor opens, you're limited in that regard.

However, having a small selection of low cost glass (by the rod, or mixed bundles in 1/4lb sizes) and Double Helix would be a wonderful idea because you do have glass classes going. I prefer the option of bring my own glass colors if I'm not going to be in a studio if color isn't crucial to the outcome of the class. But again, it'd only be for Friday and Saturday class so the number of people here would be a very small number.
We did offer some of these packs of short glass, we had about 10 or 12 of them for sale, they weighed around 14 pounds each and we sold them for $20 plus shipping.

Because Frantz mailorder discounts glass and for a long time has provided free shipping, we can not afford to bring common colors to trade shows and provide any discounts. So what I will do is pick the newest colors which you may not be able to find anyplace else but Frantz Art Glass. I will also look for some small lots of rare colors that have not been for sell for a long time.

Unlike a beadmaker selling their beads at Bead & Button who only need a few tables and will carry their beads in a suitcase, we have the problem of shipping 1,500 of glass to a show at $.85 per pound and then being charged $.85 for the show company to move my glass from the back dock to my booth. With the expense of a show as high as $10,000, it makes it hard to justify doing trade shows.

Mike
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Last edited by mikefrantz; 2015-03-01 at 12:34pm.
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  #4  
Old 2015-03-02, 1:48pm
Diane (clarus) Diane (clarus) is offline
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I hope you come to The Gathering in July!
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  #5  
Old 2015-03-03, 5:48pm
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Quote:
We did offer some of these packs of short glass, we had about 10 or 12 of them for sale, they weighed around 14 pounds each and we sold them for $20 plus shipping.

Because Frantz mailorder discounts glass and for a long time has provided free shipping, we can not afford to bring common colors to trade shows and provide any discounts. So what I will do is pick the newest colors which you may not be able to find anyplace else but Frantz Art Glass. I will also look for some small lots of rare colors that have not been for sell for a long time.

Unlike a beadmaker selling their beads at Bead & Button who only need a few tables and will carry their beads in a suitcase, we have the problem of shipping 1,500 of glass to a show at $.85 per pound and then being charged $.85 for the show company to move my glass from the back dock to my booth. With the expense of a show as high as $10,000, it makes it hard to justify doing trade shows.

Mike
I'd much rather see odd lots and rare glass in very small quantities. I think you could get back with packing less, and making as much for greatly in demand. A Funhouse table. Another thing I'd like to see at trade shows would be, for instance, removing the 1/4lb limit that you have in the Funhouse for some things.


Ultimately though, again, this is hypothetical of what I'd like to see because I would still do what I could to support my LGS, which indirectly supports Frantz. If her glass sales drop, then the classes aren't enough to support the business. If the classes go away, I'd have to fly or drive ten hours to attend any classes.

(PS: Thank you for not putting the new Messy in the Funhouse btw. Frankly, I detest new glass being automatically shoved into that role. I don't usually buy more than a couple pounds at a time of any one color, but the 1/4lb limit drives me batty when it's brand new)


I certainly can sympathize with that. It's quite a mission to undertake. I am in Louisiana and we are going on an Alaskan cruise this summer. We were taking a few days to debate whether or not taking the Amtrak from Seattle to Vancouver just to visit your warehouse. I'd absolutely love to see what a significantly major glass distributor looks like. I have seen Glass Sorbet, Blue Moon Glass and Kittrell Glass (all in Texas) but nothing like what I'm imagining your facility to look like.

Have you thought about having Frantz days again? I think they were a thing before I came along and before you got sick.

Last edited by SGA; 2015-03-03 at 5:51pm.
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  #6  
Old 2015-03-04, 12:35am
Ravenesque Ravenesque is offline
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B&B in my opinion is becoming less about glass sadly. The last row that was all glass is not, the flame off was almost a no-go. I live nearby and I think I will miss it this year and go to the gathering.
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  #7  
Old 2015-03-04, 8:02am
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Quote:
B&B in my opinion is becoming less about glass sadly. The last row that was all glass is not, the flame off was almost a no-go. I live nearby and I think I will miss it this year and go to the gathering.
I gave up on B&B too. I wanted to go to the Masters class but here's the breakdown I discovered there.

Masters Class: Andrea Guarino and Lisa Fairbanks. Two days each, total four days $1200 roughly.

Corning Museum of Glass: Five days with Lisa Fairbanks... $800.

WTF, hell to the no. I have to fly to Wisconsin. I have to fly to New York. Hotels, same. Dates away from home, probably the same. It was a no brainer for me to turn down the Masters class when I started looking around and seeing what else was available.
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  #8  
Old 2015-03-04, 4:19pm
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Mike, there aren't as many flameworkers at B&B as there were when you were there.

If you want to invest the time/money in an offsite sale, you'd do way WAY better at the Gathering... every single person attending would be a potential customer. And I could stock up. Totally miss buying from you in person!

Think about it, tootsie?

*me*
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  #9  
Old 2015-03-16, 7:22am
greghumphrey greghumphrey is offline
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Never been in this section of the forums before, accidentally clicked. I will be going to the B&B show and the gathering. Probably buy about a hundred plus bucks worth of glass at B&B. Would feel guilty I wasn't doing much to help you make 10,000 to just break even. Particularly since you often have free shipping with over hundred buck purchases. I will also be at the Gathering and the chance to look at and buy exotic glasses would have me buying a lot. Also its really focused on lampworking.
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  #10  
Old 2015-03-17, 8:38am
mikefrantz mikefrantz is offline
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Smile Gathering YES, Bead & Button NO

I have my airline ticket to the Gathering in July, and no airline ticket to Bead & Button,.

I will be a vendor at the Gathering this year.

And why have I have picked The Gathering over B&B?

Seems like more fun than flying to Milwaukee.

Yes, with discounts each week at Frantz Art Glass and FREE SHIPPING, you might want to know how I can convince you to buy glass and take it home in your suitcase, well the answer is simple.

New colors, old colors, rare colors and lots of discounted glass.

As an added surprise I have some unique Lauscha that I am bringing to The Gathering.

Thank You

Mike Frantz
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  #11  
Old 2015-03-18, 6:01am
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So looking forward to seeing you again in ABQ, Mike!
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Old 2015-03-18, 5:19pm
Kendra Bruno Kendra Bruno is offline
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Mike, you already know how excited I am that Frantz Art Glass will be with us in Albuquerque...in a big booth filled with lots of glass, but we also get to see YOU in Albuquerque, too! Double excited!!!

Might need an extra suitcase for glass purchases this year! <3


Can't wait!
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Old 2015-03-21, 8:33am
chendrick chendrick is offline
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Mike, as a business owner I know trade shows are a big expense and need to be worth it to ship everything to and from. So I understand your questions about B&B. Sorry I won't be going to B&B this year, so if you brought all the glass I would miss you. Each year it seems there's fewer glass workers at B&B. As the economy is not that great I had to cut expenses this year and B&B didn't make the cut.

Have you considered the Glass Craft Expo in Vegas in April. At least there you know everyone is a potential customer. The only ones who bring rods of soft glass for the past 3 years is Wale Apparatus. Wale brings Effetre, Double Helix and CIM. They also bring many basic colors which I find a little odd, but they sell it. I too would bring the odds or colors only you seem to carry. They bring 3 tables full and sell out usually by early Sunday morning. ABR brings boro and a slew of tools and they rarely have any left after Saturday afternoon. Uroboros brings only clear rods and sells it only by the pound, but the said maybe they would bring some color this year..., but that may be wishful thinking to make the sales as they new I was a buyer I had 3 different salespeople attempting to make the sale. Of course I bought from them, but not like I would have if they had brought some colors. For a 3 day trade show the rods sell out quick since only 3 big companies bring it.

Dichro is incredibly popular here too in all it's forms, all size sheets and scrap bags. CBS brings their Firesticks, powders and small squares and it is usually gone by Saturday afternoon. Bullseye only sells membership to their video education and refer all sales to their website. Pacific Art Glass mainly sells dichro in all its forms as well as kilns from the classes.

There is a high demand for sheets of fusing glass which I also think you would also do well selling. KoKoMo Opalescent Glass is about the only ones selling full sheet fusing glass and it isn't Effetre. Wissmach and Spectrum didn't sell glass last year, just handed out small sample pieces and referred to their website.

Perhaps next year maybe you could consider this show. I think you would do well here. This show is just getting bigger each year. If you needed volunteers, I would be happy to help you as I am a local Las Vegan. I also think if Frantz Art Glass wanted to do classes, they would fill quickly.

I hope my info helps you out.
Cheryl
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Old 2015-03-21, 4:14pm
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Mike, sad to say it but you probably made the right decision. I teach Boro at B&B and am not quite ready to throw in the towel but my numbers might take the choice away from me. After several years of little or no Boro classes I tossed my hat into the ring 3 years ago....ended up with approx 10 students and was fine with that for the first attempt. Last year....over 35 students with two classes selling out. (beginner boro and a boro class for soft glass artists wanting to learn boro) Offered same classes this year along with 4 other shorter classes and....drumroll please..........THREE students! OMG!! Spent $$$ in advertising myself....promotion, etc, etc. Sad.......and not really sure what is going on. Any soft glass teacher out there having the same experience or is it just me?
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Old 2015-03-21, 7:39pm
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I have missed the option of seeing and purchasing glass at B&B.....I loved that option but realize times change. As to fewer lampworkers at B&B...I think that is true with the sellers, but I hear many lamp workers that do not vend wishing for supply options and sources at B&B. Perhaps it would s time to start luring them back to the show. I have gone for years and still manage to make the same level of purchases each year....now it tends to be more sterling and a few specific collector beads.
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Old 2015-03-21, 7:55pm
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So glad you can make the Gathering, Mikey - can't wait to see you, it's been way too long!

And I'm driving, so I can buy lots of glass, yay!
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Old 2015-03-21, 8:45pm
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Yay! Mike is coming back to the Gathering! Now I'm really getting excited! Glass, glass and more glass, and oh yeah, Mike!
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Old 2015-03-24, 7:54am
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This will be my third year vending at B&B, my experience is limited there so I won't give advise, just what I see. I hear the lampwork involvement has gone down from the glory years, but so has attendance in general. We're just not in a golden trade show era right now, ebb & tide.

The attendance my first year (two years ago) was down like 25% from the previous year, last year it came up a bit, and with the ISGB getting more involved there I've guessing it is back on an upswing. Again, ebb & tide, and for me so far each year has been better than the last at 'all' the shows I do.

-D
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