20/11/11 ride report - biscuit guy leaves the X-Factor

Once again there was no ride for moi. On Saturday I was selling www.muddyground.com t-shirts to raise money for the Royal Alexander School, and on Sunday morning my kids were testing for Choi Kwang Do with the Ellis Academy, so a bit busy here at Muddy Towers. I had planned to go out Sunday afternoon but I've still got this viral infection so wasn't 100%.

Also my rear wheel is still being re-built by my LBS. Into the fifth week now, and it's a bit silly. Excuse being that the rim was out of stock, which may be true as I was there when it came in, so I can't be too hard on them. But my gripe is that I treat this shop well - free t-shirts and I never quibble about the price of things. They in turn treat me right, and I almost get priority treatment in the main. But I normally buy my wheels new from Hope, and was going to do again. LBS however have been at me for years to get a pro-rebuild as it is better. I gave in after dinging a rim coming down Snowdon. If I'd have known the problems, I'd not have - after all, how long does it take to order a new wheel these days? Ah well I should get it back this week and I'll report back on the subjective difference between a factory standard wheel and a pro-rebuild to higher tolerances.

Now, selling t-shirts. You're all keen to hear? Good. Let's say that if I didn't enjoy it, and get something personal out of the experience, then working a single hour at minimum wage at McDonald's would pay more. OK I'm lucky in that I break even, so can move on with new designs, but a profit I do not make. This is perhaps a reflection of the time that I put into it more than anything else, as when I do a show they sell well and people are positive about them. Also as I design the things my sales pitch isn't false and I have a story about each design, especially the bastard child that is the Spannerfish variant. [Finally people in general 'get' the notion behind that one!] But the more shows I do, the more I know and the better I get in terms of sales pitch and in setting up the stand. My stand is still a bit crappy, but it's getting there and a designer friend was impressed with it on Saturday.

Here's the rub though. If you want to sell stuff to men, it has to be oily or have a chip inside. Otherwise forget it. Also couples are a hard sell. They do the silent nod thing when one gets too keen. Women. Now women are good. They enjoy the feel of spending, and it always pays to be polite to them and engage in a pleasantry or two. Don't look at their boobs or backside. I sell 75% to women, 25% to men and none to couples. If I hadn't been to a few odd shows [I did a dog show once...] then this empiracal evidence would be missing from my arsenal. I did a cycle specific show a few months back and that was awful. Just men and you could see that they were able to make purchase decisions regarding oily bits but were lost otherwise.

So if you want to sell stuff, get out there and try different things. You may well find that what you intend as the target audience for your product actually has no interest in what you do, and that in actuality the people that buy your stuff, well you'd never imagine!

And the X-Factor? Another boring contestant who has had their personality wiped out to blandness leaves. Big deal, huh? I like the black lady, Micha-B or whatever but they've ruined her over time. She was brilliant when allowed to do things her way; the rapping, little laughs and the "huh-huh" thing she had going. As for the rest, boring. Really, that girl with the lovely hair ought to go and do commercials and stop with the singing. She depresses me.