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View Full Version : N West Crafters - Botany Bay ?



Works-in-Wood
24-04-2008, 04:18 PM
Hi all,

I've been approached by the above, and for those of you South of Lancashire - it's a c1855 converted cotton mill selling stuff over 5 floors. Anyway, as I've never even been there and didn't even know they did crafts, I wondered if anyone had ideas of what the place was like/chances of selling Woodwork and Turning there.

Chris.

swirlyarts
24-04-2008, 05:28 PM
Did you get a letter this morning? Cos I did too!! I have no idea what it's like as I have never been there but apparently you have to pay to get in! To a shopping place!!!! It's apparently about 6 for membership and it lasts a year.
Just found their website - I might go along and have a look and see what it is like.

Might help if I put the website in! http://www.botanybay.co.uk/

Works-in-Wood
24-04-2008, 05:42 PM
Where did they find your details from Swirly ? - they got me from Made in Lancs. I wonder if they've got problems/doing a big promotion, or what, anyway - I've got an appointment tomorrow pm.

colourart
24-04-2008, 05:43 PM
I've been a couple of times, when I lived in Yorkshire. Its a great treasure trove (sp?) of crafts and I loved going to visit of a Sunday afternoon, its was kinda day out. The crafts are very diverse including furniture. On the few times I went it was plenty busy and stall/shop holders didn't have to be there all the time because people would pay through tills which are on the different levels. I wish we had somewhere like it down south. I'd definately be interested.

samantha
24-04-2008, 05:49 PM
I had a card spinner in there for about 9 months. I took it out at the end of 2006. The rent for a card spinner was 30 per month, but they charge a 15% commission for every sale that goes through their tills. If you can man your own stall and accept payments then you don't have to pay the commission.
I would say think very hard before committing yourself. You sign up for a minimum of 6 months - 3 months and then 3 months notice!!! They do get quite a few coach parties going through the place, but I don't think many people buy a great deal. I didn't even cover my rental costs over the 9 months I was there.
I wish you plenty of luck if you decide to sell your crafts through them.

Works-in-Wood
24-04-2008, 06:35 PM
Yup - those figures are about right - 15% commission + rental of 92 pcm for a 5' wide x 5' deep x 5' high space + pay for their bar coded labels. If stuff sells, I reckon break-even is about 27/wk sales, if it don't - a fully signed up black hole for 26 weeks! ( oh, + a 70 mile round trip to re-stock)

swirlyarts
24-04-2008, 09:26 PM
They must have got my name from Made in Lancs too. Have you been signed up for the PAD (preston thingy) too through MIL? Seems they were pretty busy before funding went!!
I might go and have a look at some stage - you'll have to let us know how you got on. I will say one thing though - it's a heck of a lot cheaper than Oswaldtwistle Mills were going to charge!! And with them you had to be there full time too! It was a workshop space too but...

urbtaf
24-04-2008, 09:49 PM
Be carefull, I trade on Bury market and have known a few traders that have been in botony bay. I think there is only one who has been happy with the sales.
On the same theme Ive had cabinets in antique centers and art galleries over the last 3 years, they did a small profit for the first 2 years but this last year they have all lost me money, I think the problem is that people more and more need to be sold an item rather than just pick it up and pay for it. I know our jewellery is what people want and the price is right or we wouldnt do so well at Bury, but I do have to work very hard these days to close the sale.
If you really want to have a go at botony I would try to get a shorter lease deal out of them, if they think you will do allright what have they to be scared of?

Focus on Life
24-04-2008, 10:06 PM
I met a couple of crafters at the Heywood Craft Fair who were mentioning Botany Bay too but I only caught part of the convo, it sounded like they did OK but I've also heard of people being put off about paying to get in - I've driven past it tons of times but never been inside either

urbtaf - just gonna PM you about Bury market - thanks :)

Shaz x

Shipbuilder
25-04-2008, 08:31 AM
I live in Lancashire & have been to Botany Bay a few times, but never tried to sell anthing there. I have, however, put things in Bygone Times, Park Hall & Samlesbury Hall. Only success has been one sale at Samlesbury Hall, but they have now stopped accepting "new" items. Most of my recent sales have been USA or Hong Kong with the odd one in UK. The overseas buyers (several of whom have become regular buyers)found me via Ebay, but I have had to stop using Ebay because I don't want to display my name & address on the internet although I don't mind my customers getting it prior to sale.
Bob

samantha
25-04-2008, 09:14 AM
I only live 3 miles from Botany Bay, so it was my obvious choice when I was looking for somewhere to sell my cards.
You do have to restock when they are closed normally which means before they open at 10am or after they close.

SusieQ
25-04-2008, 09:38 AM
I have always wanted to go there when I see it advertised on TV!!!! Give us all a rundown on it if you do go!!! Sue xx:D

photo-request
25-04-2008, 10:11 AM
I would serious think twice about botany. The set up is good and the people do come but alot moan about paying to get in, sales wise it took us three months to make a profit, they never usually ask for stalls it must be getting bad. I was on the craft floor, and it was ok, but it is a strange place, bygone times there sister mill is alot better and busier in my opinion. Alot of people do go in botany but tehre is a fast turn around in stalls there. i paid 82 a month plus comission. What they dont tell you is this is the time they go quiet, til july, sales drop then they pic up in august towards xmas. sept is best time to open a unit in my opinion, as its a 6 month lease, and that takes you to easter, so you get all the busy times in.

Have a look at bygone times it took us 6 weeks to get in profit

goldy1
25-04-2008, 01:15 PM
I had a stall at bygone and made a huge loss over 12months. A lot of my stock went missing too and I even got paid for other stalls items. Unless you can visit your stall on a very regular basis I would give it a miss.
Every time I went I would have to remove at least 3-4 items from someone elses stall and retrieve mine as I wonderd round. people pick things up and put them down else where as they wander and decide they don't want it.

Works-in-Wood
25-04-2008, 01:30 PM
Well, I've cancelled the appointment with them - weighing up the pros and cons, well there weren't any pros actually!
Thanks everyone for their input - most useful, everybody seemed lukewarm about it and especially swimbo.
The worst aspect was an 80 mile round trip either before opening or after they'd closed.

Cheers,
Chris

photo-request
25-04-2008, 01:45 PM
I had a stall at bygone and made a huge loss over 12months. A lot of my stock went missing too and I even got paid for other stalls items.

Just out of interest which hall were you in?? we are in bygone 2 and what did you sell. I find arthur very friendly there and helpful, i guess it depends on what your selling. I so hand made photo gifts and prints, and so far we have made 100 + every month there. But saying that this is my seventh month and i know it will now be quiet.

photo-request
25-04-2008, 01:48 PM
Well, I've cancelled the appointment with them - weighing up the pros and cons, well there weren't any pros actually!

Cheers,
Chris

Hi Chris, who was your appointment with?? i gave botany bay around 3 years always being told it was going to be made free and that large coach trips would come. Over the three years i made a loss of around 2 K The only reason i stayed was for advertising of portrait work etc, which made me money away from the site. My rent was 105 a month and i would break even some months and then some i would make 30 it is a big risk and i think you have made the right decision. I have found a cheaper unit though that does the same thing in lincoln let me know if any good for you.

Bea
26-04-2008, 01:02 PM
I've had a unit at Botany Bay for over 2 years. The turnover of stalls is indeed very high and if they are looking to fill their stalls (likely on the third floor), it's because you certainly can't make a living out of it and people get disenchanted. At Easter they ran a big campaign in the local newspapers. They have been trying to turn things round.
I'm sticking with it as I'm only 15 min away and I visit once a month.
My worst month was last year in January, I sold 12!!!! I was seriously considering leaving but I'm now putting a mix of clearance and stuff I sell on the web. I've also gleaned the odd customers from there, so I get a bit of advertising.
They've had a surge in stalls selling jewellery and cards over the last year or so, which is spoiling things as you can hear customers complaining about it.
I usually stock up first thing in the morning but it's interesting to stock up at 4pm and listen to customers. Or try and talk to other stallholders, all with the same story with low volume of sales.

goldy1
01-06-2008, 05:39 PM
Just out of interest which hall were you in?? we are in bygone 2 and what did you sell. I find arthur very friendly there and helpful, i guess it depends on what your selling. I so hand made photo gifts and prints, and so far we have made 100 + every month there. But saying that this is my seventh month and i know it will now be quiet.

I was in the far corner of the lowest level. selling crafts on one half and bricabrac on the other. Arthur was very nice but I felt that the place was not for me as I lived to faraway and couldn't visit on a regular basis.

Tip Top
01-06-2008, 08:11 PM
Botany Bay has had a big advertising push since Christmas with a voucher to pay 2 entrance on your first visit and then free for all year. I thought about going just to see what was in there as the only time I've been was about 7 years ago and I thought it was dire.

Personally, if I wanted to go shopping to somewhere that I knew things were handcrafted, I'd want to see the person who made it and not just pick it up and walk round with it.......

On another note, not sure why I missed this thread first time round!!:)

heavenlygirl
01-06-2008, 08:49 PM
I live right near Botany Bay as well and the entrance fee puts me off. The couple of times ive been I wasnt that impressed, and a friend of mine had a stall there selling her fused glass jewelry and stained glass items that she makes that are lovely but she pulled out after the 6 months as well.