My small business is constantly a growing, changing, work in progress. For the past year I have been getting serious about it and I have learned so much regarding the intricacies of selling online, finding my market, and helping my market to find me. There is so much to learn, it can be overwhelming at times. Today I want to talk about what my recent wholesale order has taught me.
Price for Profit //
To be able to sell wholesale you need to have your prices high enough so that you can sell at 50% of retail and still make a PROFIT. This is key. If you lose money selling wholesale, then there’s no reason to even attempt it. I reworked a lot of my prices a few months ago which enabled me to go wholesale. To be honest, I still am not pricing quite high enough and I want to go back over all of my prices one more time very soon. As a handmade artisan, I am putting my heart and soul into every piece that I make. I design it, make it, photograph, post it on the web, share it, market it, ship it.. it’s all me! I deserve to get paid what I am worth and if I truly believe I am worth $20 an hour or $30 an hour, then other people will believe it too! There is an amazing workshop that describes “Pricing for Profit” in depth and here it is – http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/etsy-success-the-art-of-pricing-for-profit-workshop/
Until recently I have always created whatever I feel like creating. Everything I made was different, unique, one of a kind. I make up a pattern, make up a new stitch, and just go with the flow. I love doing this because it’s so interesting and entertaining to me. But for doing wholesale, this makes things really complicated. I was lucky to get a wholesale client that had a really good idea of what she wanted and just let me have some fun with my color choices. But she wants 10 of everything she ordered. This has taught me to create a quantity of items that are the same. Looking at my stock now, I see that there are certain items that I want to offer in various colors, but the same style. Take my chunky cowls. I have started creating the same chunky cowl in multiple colors of this chunky wool/acrylic blend yarn. All the same style yarn, same pattern, but a different color. This makes it really easy to offer wholesale! As I’m doing this order, I have been going through my stock and deciding which items I can offer in various colors and sizes so that I can offer to sell them wholesale.
Wholesale Price List & Catalog //
Once things are simplified and I have decided exactly which products I want to make in quantity, I will create a Wholesale Price List and Catalog to make the process quick and easy for buyers! There is a really awesome website that was sent to me by Iris of SacredStoneMalas that totally walks you through the process of making what they call a “Line Sheet”. This site allows you to put in an abundance of data about your customers, every product with price and pictures, etc etc… it’s WAY COOL! Check it out here – http://www.indiemade.com/resource/selling-wholesale-retailers-why-you-need-professional-wholesale-line-sheet
Get Noticed //
This is something I’m still working on. I know I offer a high quality product that is worth every penny and even more. What I make is something that many people need and want, the market is there. I would love to continue selling wholesale to online retailers as well as local retail stores so I will be working on a plan to GET NOTICED. A blog is a great way to do it, advertising through other blogs, social networking, advertising locally – these are all good ways. Another thing to do is to go into local retail shops that my items would fit in with and bring them my price list and catalog once I have them finished.
Always improve, FLOW, and learn //
Do your best, but know that there is always more to learn. The market is always changing so change with it, flow with it, and do what you love to do because it’s fun and because you love it. Things can get overwhelming, but because I really love what I’m doing, normally I stay calm and take things as they come.
Any questions or comments? I would LOVE to know about your experiences selling wholesale!! 🙂