by Alana Jones.
(Mooroolbark Victoria Australia)
Seeking the advise of experts:
Can anyone tell me what the best way is to sell your creations wholesale; how do you set up your pricing etc? I haven’t really done wholesaling yet and need your advice.
I am excited as I have had a store ask me to send through a wholesale price list, but would like to know how other businesses set up their wholesaling to shops.
Sparkling Dragon Designs
In my experience many shops expect 50% off your retail price. I personally cannot always afford to do that. So mostly my wholesale is at 40% off my prices and I have about 10 shops I wholesale to at the moment. Have a couple passed me up as they wanted the whole 50% sure. But I have to do what works for me as well and have confidence that Situations that match me will come along ad they did. So you have to do what works for you. If you can do 50 do 50, if you can only do 40 then do 40. In the end it has to be worth it for you as well as the shop.
I’ve done wholesale for a few years now, this year I actually chose not to and have passed on any new interest. Simply because they do expect 50% off your retail price, which leaves me little profit, sometimes no more then my labor and material cost. One suggested I simply up my retail because she felt she could sell my pieces for more then I was charging, which may have been true in her boutique, but not so much in the other venues I sell in. My advice is to only make available the pieces you can make a decent profit on with the 50% cut. You could even consider creating a “boutique line” that is higher priced to ensure you get your cut. I think selling wholesale can be profitable, just make sure your best interest is being looked after before that of the shop owner!
by: Michelle B.
The above comments are packed w/good advice and what Laurie said about possibly finding or creating a line that you sell wholesale vs. your normal items is definitely one of the ways to go since boutiques/stores usually expect a 50/50 price cut.
Once you decide on what items you’re willing to sell ‘wholesale’, you should then communicate to the boutique/store what the wholesale price is you’re willing to sell to them for, what the approimate retail value is (example: from $1.00 up to $10.00 retail)and then let them know if you have any of these items in your store or online shops what the price is you’ll be offering them at. This way, the boutique/store doesn’t out price you and then get customers complain when they find your items online or locally for less that what they did at the boutique/store you wholesaled to.
Good luck – this can be tough, but also very rewarding!
Wholesaling Your Jewelry
Wholesaling your jewelry is definitely something you have to really think through cautiously and carefully. I have had both positive and not so positive experiences. What I learned from the not so positive experiences has really helped when I work with shops now. Most importantly have a contract – if the shop does not provide one there are definitely some good ones you can find on the internet that you can tailor to you and your jewelry. Second, make sure that every time you bring work into the shop you have some sort of invoice or form that lists your specific work that you and the shop owner sign. I always provide one copy for me and the store. Make sure they have a way of listing for you what has sold when they pay you that you can cross reference with your inventory list. That way when and if you decide to end your relationship with the store you can make sure that you have a correct accounting. Finally, there is a wonderful program online for a minimal cost that provides a price worksheet where you can enter in the materials used, the cost of materials and your time and it will tell you what you should ask for both Wholesale and Retail! I believe it is by Eni Oken. Good luck!
Aloha just wanted to say mahalo for the great advice given here. I too have been doing wholesale as well as consignment for awhile now, and have had both positive as well as not so positive experiences. There has been times that I’ve had to discontinue my relationship with a merchant for the reasons listed, mishandling of my products, items gone missing and just not being able to really be on the same page when it came down to accounting. I love the idea of having your own contract, and may be a coded system for inventory so that it’s easy to tract. If any of you have info on such on link programs I would truly appreciate the link. I’ve created my own, and thought it was simple enough for the merchant, but in the past they complained that they were to busy to keep up, and they would just have a written slip of sales with no real description. This would was not enough for me, I was not able to track what items sold, and had to eventually pull my pieces. I’m much more discerning now with places that I choose to sell my work at, but any help you offer would be greatly appreciated. Mahalo PK
by: Dianne Culbertson
I set my prices so I can give 50% of retail. Most of us do not price our work high enough, it is one of the most common mistakes we make. It took a burst of courage but when I set up my prices that way both retail and wholesale sales went up quite a bit. I use the Jewelry Designer Manager Pro edition and it really helps me figure out what I should charge. Before that I was undercharging quite a bit. The best of luck to you!
Wholesale or Consignment?
by: Lisa W.
I am hearing some confusion between wholesale and consignment.
If you have to keep track of what you give to a store or gallery because you are responsible for taking back what doesn’t sell, and because you have to keep track of their payments to you for what does sell, then you are doing consignment, not wholesale. In consignment, the merchandise is yours, but the location and sales staff are provided by the shop. The shop and the artist each share a percentage of the sales price. There is certainly a lot of record keeping involved, and the majority of the risk belongs to the artist, since she owns the piece until it is sold. There are all kinds of issues to be aware of (shop goes out of business/foreclosure, jewelry is worn, damaged, not displayed, damaged in shipping, etc.) Many people seem to be successful with this arrangement, but having a carefully worded contract and keeping good records is vital.
Wholesale is a direct and complete sale, usually at about 50% of the retail price, and in quantity, to a retailer. As the wholesaler, you set the terms: how long it will take you to fill an order, what the minimum acceptable order is (either the minimum # of pieces or the minimum amount of money you will accept, such as a $500 minimum order), how you expect to be paid and when (check? credit card? COD? full payment before shipping? within 30 days of receipt of merchandise? deposit?). This should also always involve a clear contract so that both parties know and accept the terms of the agreement made. In this case, you sell your pieces to the store at a very reduced price, and make up for smaller profit by requiring quantity purchases. Quantity requirements also protect you from shoppers trying to buy your jewelry at 1/2 price. The store will not be returning unsold pieces to you, since the store owns them. You will still want to keep good records, but there is no back-and-forth trading of goods and money, so the record keeping should be more straightforward.
Try googling some phrases like “how to sell wholesale jewelry”, etc. There is a lot of good advice out there. Good luck!
Only one experience – here’s how it went
I have only had one wholesale experience, and for me, wholesale was not the best selling strategy.
I was approached by a small gift shop owner who specializes in handmade in a tourist town. Good shop traffic, nice handmade shop, the opportunity to make several same items and have them purchased outright. Sounded like a great plan!
For me, what kept this from taking off was that she really needed pieces that tourists would purchase, which meant less expensive – but she also wanted to maintain high quality – Swarovski, sterling findings, etc. I bought in bulk, to lower my per-unit component cost, and took nothing for labor, but I just could not get my wholesale price down to the customary “cost x 2”. I think that it might have worked, if I was working with plated metals and glass vs Swarovski, but it was impossible to maintain the expected quality at a wholesale price. Like the other poster, I barely broke even.
I think to be successful in wholesale, you have to really consider what kind of product you can create at wholesale price formula of “cost x 2” and still make a profit. For me, I wanted to keep my higher quality product, so this wasn’t gong to work.
Only 50%? Lucky folks!
Here in my corner of Europe the mark-up is x2.6 to x2.8, I was even quoted a 300% mark-up a few years ago! 2.6 means that the retailer wants 62.5%!!