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Making to Sell, Part IV: Wholesale

Sarah‘s final post in her four-part Making to Sell guest blog series focuses on selling your work wholesale. Read her other posts here, here and here – thanks Sarah!

For those peeps with the capacity to ramp up production, or those making small production ranges from the outset, you might want to consider wholesaling your products.

Wholesale involves selling products to retailers in bulk at wholesale prices. Retail stockists then on-sell these items to consumers at a retail price. Wholesale prices are usually about half the recommended retail price (RRP) of a product or slightly less once GST is factored in.
The main difference between consignment and wholesale is that with consignment, products are created then sold. With wholesale, retailers will order/buy goods based on your ability to produce them in bulk. You don’t need to be a mass manufacturer to sell wholesale, but you do need a range of reproducible products. So if you’re a creator of one-offs or items that vary from item to item, wholesale will not be for you.

To get started, you’ll need a catalogue of your range and some sample products in case retailers want to see the real deal before they place an order.

So why sell wholesale?

  • Higher sales volume – Volume is the key word in wholesale. While consignment stockists may only take on a small number of your products, selling wholesale requires retailers to place minimum orders.
  • Sell with assurance – When selling wholesale, you take the risk out of producing goods because you create to order. You no longer have to fork out funds for production without knowing you’ll be able to cover your costs. 
  • Upscaling your making – Wholesaling makes you take things to the next level both business and production wise. It’s likely you’re thinking ‘creative biz lady’ as opposed to ‘creative lady making on the side’ if you’re contemplating wholesaling your goods.

Time investment – Medium to high. 

There’s much to think about when you start selling wholesale. The first port of call is creating a tip-top wholesale catalogue complete with fab product images, product details, wholesale process and RRPs, along with a wholesale order form. You’ll also need to work out your terms of trade including payment terms and if you’ll accept returns…

Financial investment – Medium to high.

When selling wholesale, it’s important to have professional looking sales and marketing collateral. So, in addition to investing in fab product photography, you also need to think about a professionally designed catalogue. Once again, make the most of your connections otherwise consider a pro for the job. It will pay dividends!

So there you go, making to sell in a nutshell… Hopefully,I’ve given you some insight into the various sales channel and how they might workfor you. Good luck!

Posted by: Tess McCabe
Categories: Advice and Tips, Starting a Business | Comments Off on Making to Sell, Part IV: Wholesale

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