I have been having a debate with myself for about an hour now and got nowhere so I thought I would invite some opinions of others.
It is to do with samples. More specifically, to charge or not to charge.
My opinion on this has always been to charge for samples. When I first started, I did do free samples, just to get orders and it generally worked around 50% of the time. Once I got some orders I stopped doing it, mainly because there were so many people trying to get things done for free.
This has always been my advice to others - don’t do free samples, get even a reduced fee to ensure that the buyer is at least somewhat legit.
The thing is, despite the recent slump that we all know about, I got two reasonably large orders today. Both of these were orders I had done samples for back in March/early April. In general, I think I get 80-90% of the orders for which I do samples so my conversion rate is excellent on them.
However, during this slump, I have had at least 10 requests for free samples which I have rejected/insisted on an order being placed. When they refused, I wished them luck.
My debate is this. Most samples for my gigs would take me 10-15 minutes of work. Is it worthwhile to allocate say 20-30 mins per day to do samples? Looking at the stats (my usual decision method), it seems to be an obvious yes but on the other hand, I wonder are my stats that good because I “vet” the buyers by insisting they pay first.
Am I leaving money on the table? Is it not worth it to invest some time in free samples (in the same way I don’t get paid when I work on self promotion)?
Perhaps I just need to try it out again and see what happens but I would appreciate other thoughts on the matter.