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.
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.