Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wholesale and Consignment: How to Score (and Avoid a "No")....

I found this post over at The Leslie n Crews Collection. While I personally don't do much wholesale and no consignment, I found her post interesting and thought it may help others out there. Read on....

i am pleased to announce that the leslie n crews collection will soon be featured at:
-the clothes' rack boutique (blacksburg, va)
-Trendy Shoppes


i am really excited about the opportunity to express my work with these fine merchants and venues. i even brought my own little bohemian-looking basket to display my greetings in for the clothes' rack (pictured above).

i decided to share this with you all and hopefully you too will be inspired to explore possible avenues for your craft and your products! sure it seems a bit nerve-racking at first (and i will be completely honest with you, i still get butterflies when i call or walk into a store for the first time and give them my pitch), but you have to remember three important things. these three things, if remembered, will definitely help give you the boost of confidence you need:

-you have an excellent product, and you know it.

-you will go far but you need a venue with which to open up to the world.

-the merchant has the go get it! go get that wholesale or consignment deal! :)

so how do you avoid what seems like an inevitable 'no?' i posted a few tried- and- true tips in a forum thread on etsy, but felt it would be best-preserved here.

Clever Comebacks... Stay on your Toes!

I am sure you all have had this issue, time and again, trying to figure out what to say to someone trying to tell you 'no' or is seriously trying to avoid a direct yes. You may be surprised at how what you say (and more importantly, HOW confidently you say it) will direct the outcome of the meeting with a potential venue. First of all, remember to tell yourself: You have a great product. You KNOW it will sell, you just need the space. They've got the space. so go get it!So here are some clever tips to help you, and some possible scenarios (they have ALL worked for me):

Merchant/ Customer: "Why would I sell/ buy them? Its something I could make myself!"

YOU: "I thought the same thing about that cup of coffee I smelled driving by Starbucks this morning; but I knew I didn't have the time to go home and brew my own!"

Merchant: "So if I pay $X to you for this (item), then that means I have to turn around and sell it for $Y. No one's going to buy that at that price!"

YOU: "People, everyday, buy the same thing for nearly the same price(if not more) that's NOT handmade, that's MASS-PRODUCED and that ISN'T supporting local businessmen and women like you and I. But those that DO choose to loyally support your store would definitely be interested in purchasing at this price."

Merchant: "...But I just don't have any room around here for it--- this place is a mess!"

YOU: "I understand, and I'm not asking you to go out of your way. I brought a basket/display case/ stand with me and ALREADY arranged them for you!"

Merchant: "...Thanks anyway, but I really don't think that's what we need right now."YOU: "I understand; I just really like your shop, and wanted your store to be the first to carry it in this city/street/section of town. I felt that I would see if you would want your venue to be the next place for me to direct my personal customers to purchase my products."Merchant: "...and people really buy these things?"

YOU: "I currently have a customer base in x,y,z states/ cities/ towns, and everyday people internationally visit my site and let me know they like my products. I have already sold Xamounts, and anticipate even more sales with the coming holidays."

Merchant: "Well I'll see... I have to talk it over with (other owners) first...."

YOU: "I understand that completely. Here, allow me to leave a few samples with you to share with them, and my card. May I schedule a follow-up meeting with you to go from there? Also-- is there anything particular patterns/ colors/ items that are popular with customers in your store? I would be happy to custom-make a few for you all."

Merchant: "But what makes you think they'll buy them here if they can go down the street to X's and get them?"

YOU: "Well I really like the look and feel of your store, and these products aren't being carried by X. In fact, these are the latest designs. I felt I would bring my freshest items to you first."

Again Confidence, CONFIDENCE CONFIDENCE!!! :)

EVERYTIME I said the above, I left with a consignment arrangement or wholesale deal with check-in-hand. Also, my motto and favorite quote, I am not sure who originally said it, but it is so true: "Fake it 'til you make it".

Good luck; hope this helps!

And thanks Leslie for letting me copy your post!


jill said...

great post, I have always sold my product wholesale, and it is never easy to get your foot in the door and convince them that they need your product. The more you do it the easier it gets, but confidence is key, they wont believe in your product if you don't.

Anonymous said...

thank you all sooo much. i have added a link to directly from my site. thank you all again! :)