tag: wholesale

Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

hello dear ones!  since our last shop help column was on wholesale, today we’re going to talk about consignment.  you may say, what’s the difference? simply put, when you wholesale your items, you sell them at a discounted price.  when you consign your items, you supply (usually a shop) with a product for free, and get paid a percentage of the sale when your item sells.  there are benefits and negatives to both, and we’ll cover all of them pertaining to consignment today.

multiply

generally, any exposure is good exposure, right?  one of the bigger positives to consigning your work is that you get to build relationships with retailers and get your work into new places around the globe.  it’s beneficial for the retailer to do consignment, because it’s basically ‘risk free’.  they don’t have to pay you until your items sells.  but what’s in it for you? consigning (especially when you’re new) is a great learning experience. usually, you’ll be able to receive feedback about what’s selling and what’s not and begin to understand what your consumers like the most.  you may even be able to go in and rearrange your display or at least ‘change things up’ frequently.  by replacing stagnant items with new creations, you can really test your market, a bit of knowledge that i find invaluable!

bird vase

now let’s touch on the negatives to consigning.  first and foremost, you create items, send them into the world, and have to wait to see if they’ll sell.  there’s no real security in the amount of income you’ll receive.  you’ll also have to keep up with what you have and where it’s at.  keeping detailed inventory sheets of what items you have that are waiting to be sold is a must.  you’ll most likely have (or should have) a contract with any retailer you consign with.  make sure to read it thoroughly and pay attention to the liability section.  who’s responsible if the store burns down or get’s broken in to?  what if the items are lost in the mail? it’s best to discuss these kinds of questions well before you have to deal with them.  finally, you’ll be putting a certain amount of trust in you retailer. it’s their responsibility to sell your items, keep track of them, and pay you in a timely manner.

nesting bowl set

so now you have it, the down side and the upside to consignment.  if you’ve decided it might be something for you, here’s some more info you should consider.  do some research and figure out just how much profit you’ll need to make off of each product.  most stores have a percentage they keep, so you’ll need to find out what it is and get to calculating.  one important thing to remember is that if you have identical items in your etsy shop and in your consignment shops, they’ll need to be priced the same.

post card easter 5

make sure that your items not only look professional, but that they are tagged professionally as well.  having a way for the buyers to find you is essential and will do wonders in promoting your work. try to be as involved as possible with your shop.  keep up good communication and if you’re local, make sure to stop in frequently to check your display and freshen things up.  as mentioned earlier, make sure you have a contract and read it thoroughly.  if you find anything you don’t like or don’t understand, make sure to discuss it.

bird egg linen tea towel on aqua

with home to roost, i have a few consignment accounts as well as a few wholesale accounts.  i like each of them very much for different reasons, and have built amazing relationships with both types of clients. consigning is fun and educational, but can take up bit of time, so be careful not to get in over your head. and even though you don’t get one lump some of money for an order, it’s kinda fun to get surprised by a few checks at the end of the month!

our little friends aqua bird giclee print

do you have any experience you’d like to share? i’ll meet you in the comment section!

resources & recommended reading: the ins and out of consignment, wholesale vs. consignment, advice for those wishing to do consignment

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Posted by in handmade, indie biz

etsy shop help

while wholesaling your products may not be for everyone, when done correctly it can be a great benefit and wonderful experience.  today we’re going to talk about how to get you started wholesaling and some things you should consider before you do.

twitter birds decal

let’s first talk about why you might be interested in wholesaling, and the difference between that and consigning.  wholesaling your product means you fill medium to large sized orders for another company at a discounted rate and get paid up front.  consigning means you send items to a company/store and get paid only as they sell your item.  there are benefits and negatives to both but the main benefit to wholesaling is that you get paid up front which leaves out a lot of the guess work.

sweet cafe 5×5 print

now let’s talk about the 3 p’s: products, pricing and policies. first of all, it’s important to have a number of items that you can easily make multiples of.  you’ll most likely have to reproduce the items you wholesale time and time again, so make sure your materials and your processes and uphold that.  products that have mass appeal and aren’t season specific usually do the best.

easter egg lasso necklace

pricing: you’ll have to make sure that your retail prices are high enough to allow you to offer wholesale.  your wholesale cost should be discounted enough to allow your venue to make money as well as cover the costs of your materials and your time.  pricing your products will be the trickiest task.  as your prices need to remain in line with your competitors as well as make wholesaling worth your effort.  many sellers offer their products at 50% off their retail, but for handmade artists, that’s usually not feasible, especially since many of us don’t charge enough for our products in the first place. also remember, that the venue may be able up their retail price which may help both of you out.

pretty in pink -free shipping- 5×7 art

policies: it’s important to come up with a set of guidelines and policies for your wholesale accounts.  outline what you expect, your shipping policies (who pays for what) and who is responsible for damaged goods.  whether your items get lost in the mail or someone robs their shop and steals everything, it’s good to figure out who’s reliable for what from the beginning. also outline whether or not you’ll accept refunds and or exchanges and the timeline and conditions for both.

peekaboo by schmooks

putting together an order form and general wholesale packet for interested retailers is a great idea and will further your professionalism in the industry.  having an outline of what you offer and their prices that includes an easy to follow order form will help the experience run smoother.

mini cup turquoise/green

benefits of wholesale: though it may seem a bit crazy to offer large quantities of your products for less money, wholesaling definitely has it’s benefits.  first off, if you’re able to put the time in, it’s a great way to up your total sales amount and therefore, profit.  having a few continuous wholesale accounts can do wonders for keeping you afloat during hard times.  it’s also a great way to get your gain brand exposure and reach many more potential markets.  being in a cute little shop in a big city will allow a completely different set of consumers find you goods.

rowhouses – limited edition screen print

now that you know more about it, just how do you land a few wholesale accounts? often, by simply putting a statement in your shop welcome, profile and/or policies section of your shop stating that you accept wholesale orders will do the trick.  if you want to be a little more proactive, you can research a number of potential businesses and simply email them and ask!  having a professional packet of your wholesale info will be extremely beneficial.  also, try not to mass email, but rather make it personal and let them know that you’ve done your research.  along with your packet, include who you are, your credentials (homepage hits, blog features and etsy sales!) and some photos of your items, then the waiting game begins! (don’t you hate waiting on return e-mails?).

glass reflections – flowers in a bottle fine

as mentioned before, wholesaling isn’t for everyone.  it can be time consuming and may not work with your particular business, especially if you only offer one-of-a-kinds.  it can also be worth experimenting with, so everyone will have to feel it out for themselves.

pastel picture frame from barn wood

do you have any advice on wholesaling?  what’s been your experience?

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