Are you a maker who’s ready to grow and scale their business? Have you set up an efficient system to make your products quickly? Have you sourced your materials at discounted prices, or in bulk, so you can sell at wholesale prices and still profit? If you answered yes to these questions, then you might be ready to approach retailers and sell your products at wholesale or consignment pricing. Selling to retailers means selling your handmade goods at lower prices, but usually at much larger quantities than when you sell directly to consumers.
Three questions I hear the most about selling to retailers are:
- How do I know if I’m ready to sell to a retailer?
- How do I approach and contact a retailer?
- Should I consign or wholesale?
Today, I’m going to help answer question #1. In order to help makers determine if they’re ready to sell to a retailer, I came up with a checklist of 12 items that you should have covered before you move forward. The checklist also features 8 additional tips that could be helpful, but aren’t necessary when selling to retailers.
Each item on the checklist features a question, or two, to help you determine if you can check it off the list. These two examples are what you can expect from the checklist to help you get prepared:
Wholesale Line Sheet & Order Form
Have you created a line sheet?
A line sheet is a paper catalog of your items with item numbers, pricing and minimum order quantities. Keep it simple and make it easy for retailers to glance at your line sheet and know exactly what they can order, at what price and how many they would need to order to meet your minimum requirement.
I often find that makers have a line sheet on their to-do list, but they don’t know where to start when making one. So I created a FREE line sheet template in Canva. Click here to learn about my free template and Canva (if you don’t already use this free, easy to use and handy graphic making software).
Fit & Style
Have you done research to determine if the retail location is a good fit for your brand and vice versa? Does the retailer already sell a product similar to yours?
Doing your research is important. I co-own a home decor store with my sister. Our store name is The Salvaged Boutique. The word “boutique” could lead someone to believe we sell clothing and jewelry. On occasion, we’ll receive emails and messages from small business owners looking to sell us their handmade clothing and jewelry. This is a clear sign that they haven’t been in our store and that they haven’t done their research. Remember, your brand is important too. You want your products to be in a store that aligns with your brand and business.
If you liked these examples, and think this checklist could be helpful, click here to grab it!
Once you feel confident that you’ve covered enough of the checklist to move forward, it’s time to start approaching retailers. I know this can be very intimidating and scary. No one likes to deal with rejection, but if you want your business to grow, selling to retailers could be the next logical step.
Would it be helpful to learn how to answer questions #2 and #3? Comment or send me an email and let me know!
Did you miss Kathy’s last post? Be sure to check out her introduction as Darice’s new small business blogger.
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Darice was founded in 1954, by Pat Catan, an entrepreneur from humble beginnings who valued hard work and dedication. Today, Darice Inc. is a premier manufacturer and wholesale distributor in the craft industry.