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Read Thread: Response from Speedball

Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319977 by terrio
Dec 6, 2008 10:18am
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What if all of us--every time we went to Micheal's--asked for Speedy-carve?

It would make no difference at all. The days when stores listened to customers' requests are long gone; the person you ask won't even know who to forward the request to. All they care about is the computer totals of how many sales they get for a product, and unfortunately those tallies told them that Speedy-Cut sells better than Speedy-Carve -- because it's cheaper and most customers don't know the difference.

It really doesn't make any difference to me whether Michael's offers Speedy-Carve or not; I'm perfectly happy to order from stampeaz.com. Saves me a drive to Michael's. But I truly believe that Speedball ceasing production of Speedy-Cut would be better for everybody, especially Speedball! They would sell more of their more expensive product (Speedy-Carve), Michael's would sell more of their more expensive product, their customers would be happier, and their customers would become repeat customers. And we'd have happier newbies here, since we wouldn't be getting these messages from them asking how to keep the carving material from crumbling while cutting.

Perhaps a better ploy would be to try and educate the teachers. If we could convince them to quit subjecting their students to Speedy-Cut and to use Dollar Tree erasers or Nasco Safety Kut instead, Speedball would have that much less incentive to cease making two products and concentrate on making just one good product.
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320035 by Kirbert
Dec 6, 2008 10:30am
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It might not make a big difference to Michaels, a big chain. But it will matter to a small mom/pop store trying to keep your business. Of course, the response I got when I requested MasterCarve was for a bulk order... she just couldn't afford to stock it until some larger interest in the product was seen. Which is where educating teachers to use the better product would come in. I have told the store a few times that that there is another carver here in this town and the less than favorable points of the bad stuff... I think it just took here too long to sell the bad stuff... she seems to be softening to me, though... the more I shop her scrapbbok store. Personal relationship is going to make a difference for the smaller stores... Michael's won't care diddly squat. They have too many things they offer to satisfy one sticking point.
EMMM
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319778 by knit wit
Dec 6, 2008 10:33am
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if we had the email address we could All email and request Speedy Carve!
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320044 by Eeny Meany Miney Moe
Dec 6, 2008 10:36am
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... she just couldn't afford to stock it until some larger interest in the product was seen.

Bob's Law: "There cannot be a demand until there is a supply." Just exactly how was she expecting to see interest in a product she didn't carry?
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320047 by Tucson Trickster
Dec 6, 2008 10:37am
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if we had the email address we could All email and request Speedy Carve!

Visit speedballart.com and use the "contact us" feature.
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320051 by Kirbert
Dec 6, 2008 10:46am
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Y'know, if I operated one of these craft stores I bet I could generate a substantial customer base for stamp carving products! Instead of hiding the various products in irrational locations (Michael's has what Speedball stuff it does carry on the opposite side of the store from the rubber stamps, and Hobby Lobby isn't much better), I'd set up a display promoting carving your own rubber stamps as a craft. Have all the products -- gouges, razor knives, carving rubber, starter kits, etc. -- right there on one display, along with one hand-carved stamp (chained down) and some examples of the images stamped. A title across the top declaring "Carve your own rubber stamps!" And, here's a revolutionary idea, have this entire display adjacent to the store-bought rubber stamps and ink pads!

When I think of how many "crafty" people stroll through craft stores just browsing and how many of them would probably leap at the suggestion to try carving, it astounds me that the craft stores aren't already doing this. The entire "scrapbooking" craze could benefit from hand-carving stamps.
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320051 by Kirbert
Dec 6, 2008 11:04am
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Bob's Law: "There cannot be a demand until there is a supply." Just exactly how was she expecting to see interest in a product she didn't carry?

Yeah... that's the point I tried to make with her in the beginning, telling her that I could also let folks outside of the city but in the area know that it was here and she'd definitely sale it... but coming from someone she hadn't seen often enough, it didn't make an impression. She's shooting for quick turn-around and got burned on a bad product, so she's thinking twice. I understand but I don't agree with her logic cause it's not my store.

As for how they display this stuff in larger stores... I've often thought displays in several appropriate places would make the difference (you see it during holiday food sells in the grocery stores... why else would they put canned sourkraut near the ham in the meat department at the end of December?). Now, selling a can of kraut isn't a big deal, but some of these crafting products would surely bring in a lot more money if they'd just figure out the displaying.

Another law... there cannot be a demand until they SEE the supply.

EMMM
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320070 by Eeny Meany Miney Moe
Dec 6, 2008 11:08am
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Another law... there cannot be a demand until they SEE the supply.

"Moe's Corollary to Bob's Law"
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320070 by Eeny Meany Miney Moe
Dec 6, 2008 11:26am
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Warning: Retail rant

I've worked in a few big box stores and I don't know if Michael's is like this but this is my experience: the best way to enact change is to hit the corporate offices. In the stores often the employees have very strict guidelines on displays. Any deviation from a set pattern is considered wrong and against the established guide lines (as a creative person I got in "trouble" for unique displays that sold product because they did not fit the specifications. Never mind the fact that we had increased sales on these items because they were unlike the displays in all the other stores.

Every wonder why almost all big box stores look so similar? Because they are following the dictates that come down from "on high." It is obvious that the employees are the best route of communication between the customers and the corporate offices but all to often the corporate offices do not like to be given suggestions. They speak, the employees listen and that is how they like it. There have been many times I have seen employees asked for specific changes for months and corporate ignored them. As soon as customers started complaining, things started changing. It's tough as a clerk to tell a customer that you agree with their complaint 100% but you are powerless.

Not all corporations are like this. There are so many wonderful people on the ground and in the offices that work together and do great things, but in my experiences and those of fellow retail warriors we simply are ignored by those with a higher pay scale. Complain to the higher ups because too often the clerks hands are tied. If you aren't heard then seek another set of ears, someone will listen if you pester them enough.

end rant
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319860 by Kirbert
Dec 6, 2008 12:49pm
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fine art

I corresponded with people at Ranger Inks (makers of Adirondack® Dye Ink) - I think their training manager - and she was aware of letterboxing and I felt she kinda lumped our ink needs together with rubber stamp carving art. I'm sure 99% of their business goes to scrapbooking.
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320035 by Kirbert
Dec 7, 2008 1:52pm
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But I truly believe that Speedball ceasing production of Speedy-Cut would be better for everybody, especially Speedball! [...] And we'd have happier newbies here, since we wouldn't be getting these messages from them asking how to keep the carving material from crumbling while cutting.

I completely agree. I originally bought Speedy-Cut as a beginner and was happy with how easily it carved, which is one of the reasons schools use it. But it wasn't long before I found it crumbling, even before I was finished carving, and did some research with you guys and found out that my experience was a common experience.

The only way to let them know is for everyone sharing my experience to tell them directly.
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320056 by Kirbert
Dec 7, 2008 1:56pm
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I walk through Joanne's or Michaels or AC Moore's and see things on the shelves that I have no clue what they are for, or how to operate them. But they are new and shiney so people must try them. Especially if it takes no talent or practice to make them work.
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319759 by Kirbert
Dec 29, 2008 3:24pm
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Good to read! I just ordered (and received today) a Stamp Carving Kit from Stampeaz. A newbie carver, I've carved a couple of stamps, using white erasers and an X-Acto knife.

Speedycarve is the medium that came with the kit, along with Speedball carving tools (a handle and two nibs), and an instruction book that I haven't looked at yet.

Now's the time -- to order one of these kits, if anyone is so inclined. Where, before Christmas, the kit cost $13.99, it's now $8.99 and with shipping charges, is out the door for $13.99, for a savings of $5.00.

I have a couple of designs in mind already, and can see that I might be buying more medium in the months ahead, already!

Blessings,

hansenclan