Why I No Longer Sell Wholesale (but Why you Might Want to…)
You’ve probably hear me say that I don’t sell my jewellery via wholesale.
What you might NOT know is that I have (I even had an agent for a while)!
I first sold Epheriell jewellery via wholesale back in (I think) 2010. I was lucky enough to have a shop reach out to me and ask if I sold my jewellery wholesale (because until that point, I hadn’t even considered it!).
Of course, after the initial ‘yay!’, panic quickly set it – I had NO idea how to go about selling my work via wholesale!
What followed was a mad scramble to educate myself about the process – to put together terms and conditions; to work out what my minimum order would be; to decide what pieces I would wholesale, and which I wouldn’t… and the list goes on.
I struggled to find clear, simple, actionable info on how to make this wholesale gig a success, and I muddled my way through that first wholesale order. To be honest, I muddled my way through the next few, too.
Eventually, I sorta got the hang of it, and I enjoyed selling to boutiques – it was nice to think of my jewellery being ‘out there’ in the world where new people could find it!
So – why don’t I sell wholesale any more?
One simple reason: I’m far too busy with my direct retail sales!
I LOVE the internet (in case you couldn’t tell) and my goal was always to build up my online business, selling direct to my customers.
So for me, wholesale was a stepping stone towards that ultimate goal, rather than the goal in and of itself.
Why am I telling you this story? Because I want you to know that everyone is different, and that even if wholesaling your work isn’t your ultimate goal, it can be an awesome part of the process. And if it IS your ultimate goal, then you owe it to yourself to work out exactly how to make it happen!
There are so many benefits to selling via wholesale.
- Earning bigger chunks of money in one go – and the potential to earn WAY more money WAY faster than you would building up only a direct-to-customer business.
- Gaining a certain ‘legitimacy’ and reputation for your business – there’s something special about having your work chosen and stocked in stores. Someone (the store buyer) has already assessed your work and decided you stand out above the crowd. And how cool would it be to walk into your favourite boutique (or somewhere like Anthropologie) and see your work on the shelves?
- You’ve heard the saying ‘it’s easier to retain customers than it is to gain customers’, right? Well, think if it terms of wholesale. Say you want to sell 100 pieces. Selling direct, that’s probably going to mean gaining almost 100 new customers… but if you sell wholesale, it might mean selling 25 pieces to just 4 shops… who, if you treat them right, will order from you over and over again!
- You don’t have to spend anywhere as much time on self-promotion via social media… because your stores promote and sell FOR you. That frees you up to spend more time – you guessed it – actually designing and making!
- You don’t have to drag yourself away from your family (or your bed) of a weekend to do markets. And, if you aren’t comfortable selling direct to people in a market setting, all the better. This is YOUR business – do it your way. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way.
- You don’t have to rely on online sales – which can be an absolute relief when you are building your business, and those sales are still few and far between.
These are just some of the reasons why I decided to create Wholesale Know-How.
I heard from so many of you that you were struggling to build an online direct-to-customer business, and I knew that wholesale could be exactly what you need to light that fire under your business and really get it growing!
But, since I don’t class myself as an expert in selling via wholesale (even though I have done it many times) I invited my friend Mel to teach this course with me.
She IS an expert – someone with around 10 years experience selling wholesale (she’s sold handmade cards, fabric, jewellery…) who currently runs a thriving wholesale-based handmade jewellery biz.
Register right here.
As with all Create & Thrive courses, you get lifetime access to both the content and the private course forum!
If after reading this, you know that selling wholesale is something you want to aim for, don’t miss it!
P.S. If you have any questions after reading the course page, ask below!
P.P.S. Yes, you can do this course even if you don’t live in Australia! It’s written to be applicable to anyone who wants to sell their handmade goods, no matter where you are in the world.