5 Steps To Wholesaling Your Craft

 

Justine Smith of Etsy Selling

This is a guest post by Justine Smith, an Etsy Success story who took her experience selling online and turned it into a full time wholesale business. She loves making jewelry stocked in shops around the country but her real passion is helping handmade sellers reach their potential with both selling online and wholesaling their products. 

 

5 Steps To Wholesaling Your Craft:

1.  Be prepared to succeed

If you go into wholesaling with the mentality that you may fail, you will fail. In one month I landed 5 retail accounts because:

  • I was proud of my jewelry
  • I was determined to see my work in stores
  • I needed more income in order to continue my reign as work at home mom extraordinaire. :mrgreen:

One question you should ask yourself first is “Do you really want to wholesale?”.

It’s serious work but if you love your craft and don’t earn a decent income from your current sales, I’d highly recommend giving wholesaling a shot.

2. Do your homework

I didn’t do my homework and I learned quite a few hard lessons. Here’s the gist of it:

  • You will need to organize your products and select between 20-50 pieces to wholesale.
  • You must have (or order) enough supplies to make at least 4 of every wholesale piece you offer.
  • You will need a line sheet template which you will use to add photos, pricing and descriptions of the products you have chosen.
  • You will need to gather a list of stores that sell items in your category. Start by looking up  a local company and gathering some names from their website. You should aim to try your area/state first before venturing out further.
  • Develop an email pitch where you will outline your achivements and accomplishments in regard to your business. You should always be sure to include why your products would be right for their store in order to give it a personal touch. Add an additional line requesting an appointment for the stores in your city.

3. Pound the Pavement

Email as many stores as you can, every day for a week. Some may respond within an hour, some a day and others could take weeks to write. You should also aim to follow up no sooner than a week after your initial email in order to remind them of your company and ensure the email gets opened.

4. Get Ready

While pounding the pavement you should also be:

  • Crafting:  Stores will invite you in based on your linesheet but your orders will be based on the goods you put in front of them. The more you bring the more they buy.
  • Getting yourself ready for in store meetings. Other than your items, be prerared to bring paper and pens, order forms, a copy of your linesheets (professionally printed in a binder) as well as a quick list of prices for your own reference. You will also need confidence so gather some up before you walk in.
  • Getting your production area ready by organizing materials in order to quickly make the bulk order once it’s received. The faster you deliver the order, the quicker you get that big paycheck.

5. Line up a Babysitter

Normal time frames for delivering a wholesale order is 2 weeks from the order date. If you have products that are time consuming to make you will need to set aside enough time each day in order to fulfill your order(s). If you can’t afford to hire care for your children, work when they sleep or enlist free family support in order to get everything done.

 

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Heather Allard

Heather Allard is a mom of three kids + one big rescue dog. She's a wellness buff, an essential oil educator with dōTERRA, and a self-professed “entrepreneur to the core”.
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17 Comments

  1. Fezelry Jewelry Desings

    Awesome post! I tried the wholesale thing a while back but realized I was not quite ready! This post gave great tips and a gentle nudge for me to give it a go again. My private client base is solid i have had some really good press and now I think I am really ready to branch out and do it right this time! I’m gonna get cracking!
    Thanks! :o)

    Reply
  2. Justine

    That’s awesome! Let us know how it goes

    Reply
  3. Trish Voss

    Thanks Heather and Justine.

    I haven’t quite got to the point of wholesaleing, may be the lack of confidence not sure. Maybe I will start to rethink this after the holidays. It is so hard to start selling online that in person seems to be the best way for me as I have already experienced. Thanks so much for all your wonderful information and your newsletter that I get it’s great.

    Reply
  4. Susan Morrow

    I’m just about to take a plunge into approaching shops, so this is a great post – thank you so much for sharing your advice

    Susie

    Reply
  5. Trudy Miller

    Okay, I really want to win this, so here goes: I subscribed to your blog, I tweeted, I put this on facebook, and now I’m off to blog about it!!! Woo Hoo!!! This is a wealth of information for the entrepreneur!! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  6. Ros

    Today’s post is just up my ally. I worked in sales several years ago for a wholesale company which helped to prepare me today to run my own product based business. Justine listed very important points–be prepared, organized (materials & products) & have confidence when meeting your potential customers. It’s also true, the more products you have to show customers, the higher the chance of a bigger order. I’ve created a product catalog, but wanted to learn more about line sheets. I will research Justine’s recommended link on line sheet.

    Thank you for an informative post.

    Reply
  7. Jessica

    That last one is so key, and could be taken beyond just a babysitter to get as much help as possible. When I’m working ’round the clock to meet a deadline, nothing beats knowing I can pull dinner out of the freezer, and that the rest of the house is clean, even if my office is a mess. For me, preparing before hand with some extra meals and hiring someone to clean the house make meeting those big deadlines so much less stressful.

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Jessica – great point! Last summer, I wrote a post called 7 Ways For Mom Entrepreneurs To Save Time, Money & Sanity and it’s along those same lines – preparing beforehand to save time, money & sanity later. 🙂

      Heather

      Reply
  8. Cynthia ~ The Diaper Clutch

    Great information! thanks for the post! Thanks for providing the many useful resources! I will definitely be subscribing to Justine’s blog!

    Reply
  9. karen

    You always get my ass in gear with you posts. Thanks Heather! Great guest post.

    I signed up for her e-mail updates, became her fan on fb and following her on twitter.
    I’m going to stalk her, like I stalk you. 🙂

    All her ideas make sense and in reality, they are all ‘no brainer’ type of points but it’s getting organized and implementing them.

    Now you got me to act….like switching my blog.
    You kids must be the most organized kids with you at the helm. lol….

    Thanks again!
    Karen

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Karen,
      I’m glad you enjoyed Justine’s post – there are some great pointers in there for anyone wholesaling any kind of product.

      Hmmm…not sure if my kids are super organized but I *do* try to teach them to ACT instead of just sitting around waiting for things to happen. 😉 I guess that carries over from the blog. LOL.

      Heather

      Reply
  10. Justine Smith

    Thank you so much to both of you for the comments. I’m glad for the mistakes I’ve made because it teaches you better coping skills and also gives you loads of tips you can share with others!
    ~Justine

    Reply
    • Lillian

      Hi, I just came across this article, and am wondering if the site, etsy biz blog, is still up or is it under a new name, Create Hype?

      Thanks!

      Reply
      • Justine

        Hi Lillian

        The site is now Create Hype, which is a weekly tips email for creative sellers. There’s TONS of wholesale info on the site.

        Hope that helps!
        ~Justine

        Reply
  11. Beth Andrus

    Great post and useful tips. Confidence is so important. And having the proper tools, like a professional line sheet, really helps. Thanks for the information.

    Reply
  12. Sandy Dell

    Great information on selling wholesale. Preparation and attitude is critical to success. You address both of those very well. I wish you all the success with your line of jewelry.

    Sandy Dell
    ‘GiftRepSandy’
    http://www.sellingtogiftshops.com

    Reply
    • Heather Allard

      Hi Sandy,

      Glad you enjoyed the post – I’m going to surf around your site a bit later. I was *just* looking for a gift rep for a few coaching clients of mine. 😉

      Have a great day.
      Heather

      Reply

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