As a current or future artisan product producer, you no doubt already
know about offering your products on a retail basis – either on a
website, at craft shows, markets, or through word-of-mouth.
But have you thought about the many additional venues you could be
targeting by offering your products on a wholesale basis.
Here’s how you do that…
Conduct Some Low-Cost Market Research
Once you decide to begin looking for wholesale accounts, try starting
with a few of your favorite places to shop. Do they carry products
similar to those that you create?
If so, you may have a shot at getting your products into the store.
Ask the store owner how they source new product additions and ask if
you may bring him a few samples and a price sheet. The worst thing
that can happen is you will get turned down – but, you’ll never
know if you don’t ask!
Other Ways to Find Wholesale Accounts
- Search for gift shops and retailers in your local area via the phone book or the web
- Check out your local Chamber of Commerce member directory
- Look in the local newspaper to see what local shops are carrying
- Add a Wholesale Application and Order Form to your website or blog
- Place an ad in your local paper that you are accepting new wholesale accounts
- Check out GreatRep.com and set up a profile for your business
- Place representatives or wholesale accounts wanted ad at GreatRep.com
- Attend a gift show or expo and look for potential accounts or sales representation
- Engage a sales representative to market your product line
(preferably someone who is already dealing with the customers you want to deal with)
It is important to evaluate your production costs before you decide to
offer your products on a wholesale basis. It is customary for
retailers to apply a 100% markup, also known as a keystone, to items
that they purchase wholesale.
If they are unable to do that, they may not be interested in
purchasing from you. Likewise, if you cannot clear a profit from your
wholesale price, it will not be cost-effective for you to offer your
products on a wholesale basis.
What if Your Production Costs Fluctuate?
This is a common dilemma for small business owners. You may not always
be able to purchase certain raw materials in bulk – so you’re
production costs may vary slightly from batch to batch. In order to
make sure that you are always making a profit with your wholesale
sales, it is best to calculate your per item costs for raw materials
based on the most you would ever pay for any of your raw materials,
including the associated shipping costs.
If you base your standard wholesale pricing based on the most you’ll
ever pay for your particular raw ingredients and packaging elements,
you’ll be able to maintain a solid profit margin at all times.
Best of luck with your wholesaling! Although the margins are much
lower than retail margins, the volumes can be substantial and half a
dozen regular wholesale customers can supply a steady side income –
and keep you busy creating new ideas!
To your success with spa products,