I've been too busy taking video orders to read the newsgroup lately, and just
now managed to read enough to see what's been going on.
WHEW! I thought I was the only one causing video controversy around here...<G>!
About Burt's post, although my initial reaction to it was also strongly
negative, I think we need to keep some perspective and not "cut off our noses
to spite our faces". He seems to have really misunderstood us and jumped to an
erroneous conclusion based on his experience with some other groups of people.
He also was wise and decent enough to apologize and seems to have our interests
at heart (as well as his own, of course). He definitely has produced some
terrific videos from which we can all learn a lot. And none of us have gone
through life without making any mistakes. So I vote to overlook this faux pas
and concentrate on the good work he has done in making these videos and how
much we can benefit from them instead.
Now I really could use some advice.
By now you're probably all aware of the video controversy that I inadvertently
caused. I'm turning to all of you to help me figure out what to do about it.
First, a little background.
The video swap is what got me into this "video mess" in the first place. I
needed to buy a video in order to participate in this swap. In the past,
although I had planned on buying some of these videos, (I admit--mea culpa) I
didn't because they were becoming available through my guild library and I
could borrow them and see them that way instead. I considered buying them to
have as reference anyway, but it was not high on my priority list but rather
was put on the shelf for "some day" in the future.
I teach craft classes and have a small business selling craft materials--both
in my studio and lately over the internet. I considered selling these videos as
well, and when I needed to buy a video for the video swap I decided this is as
good a time as any to put in my first order.
At about the same time, I read a post from someone online who said she really
wanted to buy these videos but couldn't afford it. Since I was already planning
to order the videos to sell in my studio, I thought it would be a nice gesture
to offer them inexpensively to my polyclay ***friends, so that some of them
could get some videos that they wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. I thought
this would benefit everyone--the clayers would be more likely to buy some tapes
rather than just rent them, the artists would get their percentage of the
sales, the video company would get its percentage, the vendors of polyclay
supplies would have increased business from all the clayers who would be
anxious to try out all the wonderful techniques--it seemed like a positive move
Well, I had no idea what I was getting myself into! The response was
overwhelming. I spent the entire next 2 days and nights online just answering
all the email. Then I started to get negative feedback from some pc vendors who
were upset because I was "undercutting" them by selling the videos so cheaply.
I had started out feeling good about doing something nice and ended up feeling
like a criminal and fighting off depression.
I had no intention of hurting anyone or stepping on anyone's toes. I thought I
was helping out a few friends (which turned into an avalanche)! A majority of
people who ordered videos did say that they wouldn't have bought the videos
otherwise--so I don't really think I took the business away from the PC
vendors. But I don't want to make any enemies here. I depend on the PC vendors
too and many of them are my friends. I would never intentionally hurt them.
Now I have to decide what to do. What do you think? Should I stop offering
these videos altogether? I'm thinking of offering them at these low prices
through this week and afterward at 20% off of retail. Does that sound right? I
figure the vendors can't be too upset at that. They might not choose to, but
they could offer 20% off of their merchandise if they wanted to, right? I think
that sounds reasonable.
I'd love to get some advice and input on this.