Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tips for selling your work wholesale.


Photo Courtesy of awesome photo-grapher Randymir.
etsy.com
(I bet he sells wholesale!)



Part a.
It is not uncommon for stores to seek out artists on Etsy. If I were a shop owner it would be the first place I'd look. If you do get a request for prices and such in your Etsy convo box here are a few simple things to keep in mind.

1. Your wholesale price does not have to be half of your shop price. It is *better* business if your Etsy-retail is equal to shop retail price but many store owners understand that we undersell ourselves online. My wholesale on my accordion books is $3.50 and my etsy retail is $4.60 and people do order them.

2. Always set a minimum first purchase, i.e., I have people buy 15 pendants for their first order or 12 accordion books, 6 journals.... (this has gone up as my work has become more valuable).

3. My prices are set both for wholesale and bulk discount, if you don't own a shop but want 30 of my pendants you are welcome to them. Who you sell to is up to you, a tax id or state license number is an important thing to get if you only want to work with retail.

4. If your shop wants a custom order tailor-made and you don't feel as though you can resell the line make them pay upfront in full, before you buy materials and start working. Never make anything that is not marketable to your audience without payment first.

5. You can run a wholesale "sale" through etsy by, 1. Creating a reserve listing for the buyer or 2. Allowing them to "buy" their items directly from your shop and sending an adjusted invoice. You will have to pay full etsy fees if you do the latter but often it is worth it to allow your shopper to "choose" their inventory.

6. Please never ever consign via the internet, never ship without full payment (shipping included) and don't undersell yourself. Make sure you get a decent minimum purchase, you don't want to spend hours putting something together and only make $5.00. Additionally if someone wants a sample, make them buy it and then credit their purchase towards a wholesale order. This is good business, shows you are professional *and keeps you from being ripped off.



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Part b.
If you are ready to seek our retail or consignment shops there are a few things to keep in mind as well. Firstly I really encourage that you only consign with shops that look reputable and that are in your area. Make sure they pay a minimum of 50% to you (many do 60/40, 60 to the artist) and sign a contract with your inventory on it and method/date of payment. I dislike consignment, it is risky but it can be a great way to start out. If you can, use the consignment shops as advertising for your Etsy shop, put tags and business cards on everything!


Onto wholesale....
To catch the local market you can call and make appointments to meet the buyers or if you're bold and silly like me, just drop in. I have spent many days walking around with a basket of accordion books and popping into stores unannounced. I made sure they looked beautiful and curious and was able to sell many from the basket right on the spot. Some shops are really open to this while others were quite put out by my intrusion. I say go for it but don't be offended if people dislike your approach and if you want to be professional call ahead and schedule a time to be seen. Be sure to approach shops that sell like-minded items, you want it to be a good match and not a waste of time.

What to bring to a meeting with a buyer:
1. You can print out Poster of your work and bring in a collection of samples for them to order from. Know your time frame (how long it will take to fill) and set a date for delivery when the shop owner/manager is in (never leave your product with a clerk). You can also bring enough inventory for them to choose on the spot (depending on what you make). Do what ever you can to make your work presentable; jewelers box, baskets, velvet displays.... You want to show them what it will look like in their store, all lovingly displayed.

2. Have a price sheet. Some designers offer breakdown by quantity or product line. Have it typed out neatly and keep it simple, give them only the information they need and nothing more, confusion often kills the sale. If you can, put a few photos of you work with your prices, it gives buyers a visual if they want time to think it over.

3. You can offer a discount for outright purchase vs. net 30. Net 30 is a term stores use when buying, it means they pay you 30 days after they receive your product. This is very common and don't let it concern you (if you've picked a reputable shop). I usually give 10% off the order if they buy outright, this helps close the sale and puts money in my pocket immediately.

4. Be confident. Stores need you as much as you need them. Go in knowing what you want to sell, how much you want to sell it for and what you'll take as your bottom price. Don't haggle but do offer the retailers a few options. If you're willing to cater an order to their shop ask questions, finding out what they want is the best way to close a sale.


To attract wholesale inquiries on Etsy simply put "wholesale welcome" in your shop title, announcement or (as I've just seen suggested) in your tags. I have a photo catalogue on Flickr that brings focus to my line. I also have a standard reply that helps close the sale (well I did before I hired a distributor) and I am happy to send it to you via convos, just ask. (ps you can find your own distributor by going to gift shows and finding people selling multiple lines, if you need more information about this comment below and I'll write a new post later on).


Good luck everyone! Have fun with it and don't get discouraged, not all shops will buy from you but you may end up with a few stores that are a perfect match and re-order constantly.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Studio Shot Tuesday!


Many Many Slide Top Tins.... (I'm grearing up for the holidays?) I made over 300 of these yesterday, phew, talk about being covered in paper. :O)

Join our Flikr group Here and share or view studio shots and current projects.


Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

No More Bunny Photos!



Except maybe a few :). I had to share this one as it apparently got tagged for flickrs Explore section (where they list interesting photos from the past 7 days). I can't seem to find it myself but that is soooo cool, 'cause I was just sitting here thinking it was so back lit that I really missed the moment. Apparently I didn't :).

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Gone Completely Wrong~


There is nothing in me that wants to wake up to the sad words from a very kind customer stating that I made her custom album in the wrong color, with the wrong number of pages. Nothing. Adding to the stress of the major flub on my part is the fact that her wedding is in 1 week, in Canada. I can and will make a new album, two if needed, and I can and will find a way to get it there in time so that my error has no impact on her wedding. Whatever it takes, I know that I can fix this and I will but still, how could it all go so completely wrong?

Friday, August 24, 2007

A shout out for PDX


Some of my good friends here in Portland are participating in a Buy On Get One Free sale (bogo) in on Etsy this weekend. For a list of participating shops, there are some FANTASTIC artists here, please click below.

PDX BOGO SALE AUG 25th & 26th

I'm sure you'll find something amazing, go have a look-see (grin)!


For those of you who want info on my up and coming end of the summer sale please sign up for my mailing list (in the sidebar).

For now, go get yourself some summer bogos *and tell them I sent you if you do :)

Ryan *girl*

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Best Seat in the House~

It is not very often that it is warm enough in or my son sleeps in long enough for me to enjoy a cup of coffee from my deck. But I am here now, writing this post. It is the best feeling to start my work day with sunshine, fresh air, a cup of coffee and a few moments to myself. This won't last, I think I hear people stirring already..... but when a day starts like this it seems impossible that many things will go wrong.

:O)

(I'll let you know if they do!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Studio Shot Tuesday!

My cutting Table.

This photo is for the new blog and flickr group here that links photos of artists studios and or current projects. As you can see I am knee deep in scrabble these days and need to do some cleaning. To see comments on this photo you can view it on my flikr account. To join the group click the link above and or post your studio photo in your blog and comment below. No rules to what you can post, just no cleaning :O)

(sorry for the mess!)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mailing List!

(I swear I am not in any of those photos!)

Thanks in part to Andy Mathis and Jean-Marie, DaisyCakes Soap I have a new mailing list sign up here on my blog. (On the side bar below the tips) (YAY) I hate mail spam and will never put people on it that aren't interested and NEVER give away or sell your email addresses ever! Additionally I will only be sending out one every few weeks, containing blog tutorial links, new product announcements and/or blog hosted sales information. You can subscribe at the little inbox below and easily take yourself off the list by following the email link.

I feel so business like and professional :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

20,000 pictures!

Up until this very week I have shot photographs of each and every pendant listed in my shop individually. With more than 2500 pendants made and listed and an average of 8 photos per pendant that is 20,000 plus pictures in under a year. Yikes!

I have *just* started developing lines of streamline prints, ones that I can replicate fairly easily and can relist, without loading up the camera, lugging around the light table and waiting for the sunshine :O). I have a funny thing about putting my absolute best forward and honestly it has been very hard for me to accept that my customers will be okay with replicas of an $11 item (its not like I am Michael Angelo). Japanese papers are very intricate and many of them I will never be able to duplicate, however I am looking forward to adding about 20 styles that can always replenish my shop without all the time it takes to get the perfect photo. For those of you who only want 100% one of a kind, the replicas will have "Because each pendant is made by hand they may very slightly from the one pictured in this listing." in each listing (or something to that effect). Much of my stock will remain ever changing which also satisfies my need for creating the perfect Etsy store.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Something Cheerier :) Or not?


This is my rabbit. He is the cutest thing that ever hopped in the whole wide world. He is so cute that all I want to do all day long is pick him up and cuddle him and squeeze him (gently). He hates this.
Really its all his fault for being so cutely irresistable, yet I am the one who suffers. I call him, "Rabbit, rabbit" and he runs and hides, I try to bribe him with celery and watermelon rhindes and he just flicks his feet at me, he is not a fan and will not be bought. Oh rabbit, I love you so, why do you taunt me with your adorable-ist-ness-ness? Won't you please come sniff my ankles?

Thank you!


A HUGE thank you to all who helped me yesterday! You thread bumpers rule! :) In total we raised $640 which is just amazing. Many people live on less than $1 a day, $620 can rebuild a home, help build a school or provide clean water for 60 families.

You have all done such an amazing thing to help me with this. I am so grateful!

I made the donation to Unicef Peru, I really hope this helps many many people!

Ryan*

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Peru.


As many of you know my husband is from Peru. We lived there for 6 months in 2006. Many people there are so incredibly poor it is astounding. Yet they smile, laugh, play, and so many of them would gratefully open thier lives and share what they have with you. There really aren't words to describe the selfless hearts of the people of this country, just watching how they live fully with no more than food and shelter made me a better person in a thousand ways.


Last night a large earthquake struck the central coast line of Peru. I am here, in the US and every piece of me aches to fly down and pull children from the rubble. I cannot do a thing right now but share this information with you and hope you will join me in sending aid and prayers to this amazing country and its people. I will be donating 100% of my shop sales today and matching that ammount from my savings in an effort to help. If there is something in my shop you've had your eye on please help me by purchasing it today. If you'd rather donate directly I'll be posting links of relief organizations as I find them. You can read more about it here New York Times

Donate to unicef Here
Donate to Direct Relief Here
I am so sad.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Spam Scam



HELLO,

I love to come and see the JEWELRY in person Unfortunatelly i am not chanced,Cuz am presently out of the country for now. I am in UNITED KINDOM, i just see the jewelry at craigslist and i love to buy it.So i deside to buy it from here, then i can come and pick it up when i am back to the state befor someone els buy the jewelry.i came to see my mum in UK she was involed in auto accident and that affected her brain. I am an international model, open minded person,and i will be very happy if you can be honest with me on this. i will like to know the price of the jewelry and i will like to know the method of payment.
Best Regard Brandy


_________

It does help that she is an international model and that she is openminded. Wonder which state? Poor mom and her brain.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Studio Shot Tuesday!


I think my favorite part of artist interviews are the photos of thier studios. I'm starting studio shot Tuesdays and inviting everyone with a camera and a blog or Flickr account to share Tuesday photos of your work space or what you are working on. You can join the Flikr group Here or add photos to your blog and comment on Etsy threads or on the weekly blog post. Have fun and NO cleaning! :D

Sunday, August 12, 2007

How To Make a Single Signature Book














This post has moved to my new typepad blog HERE.

Sorry for any trouble.

:)

You can find a slew of new tips and information so please do poke around if you stop by :)

&hearts
Littleput

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I can't cook


I recently posted a survey about why people read blogs and most common response was for the recipes. Well, I don't cook, not even a smigdity smidge. I've tried it and even thought it was fun but then I tasted what I was making and well, I am a lot better at peanut butter than pad thai. Yes, my wonderful son is growing up on organic frozen burritos, pasta, hard boiled eggs and sandwiches. I'd love to be a fabulous kitchen aficionado, not to mention one of those "dinner time" moms, but I'm not. I have accepted my fate as a pot boiled over and burnt rice kind of gal. And my son has grown quite fond of my microwave skills, poor kid. If I have you over for dinner I promise to order take out. :O)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Its Friday!!!!!

So I am going to share my new listing idea with you. The Littleput Top 10 . In an effort to cull some of the overtime I am trying new ways to list pendants with out re-taking each photo. I get shoppers that buy chunks of pendants and until now I've had no way to offer a bulk discount. I love the idea of sending a collection of my favorite so the package is a cuteness surprise. Who knows if this will sell but it sure looks pretty in my shop!

Happy Friday all :O)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Balance


There is a catch to running your own business and that is being consumed by it. I live, breathe and even dream Etsy. Finding a way to balance my life is my biggest challenge right now. My job never leaves my side, even when I am taking time away from my studio or my computer it is always sneaking thoughts into my head: Which orders need to be dealt with, did I sell any thing, did I not sell anything, what needs to be listed, shipped, cared for, made, re-ordered, replied to, photographed, repaired and so on. I am constantly on Etsy alert. This month I am forcing a slow down, I have to have more in my life then a few hours with my son and the rest given to the internet. I am doing well with my business and don't need to work all the time just to be on the top for the day :O). I am taking the first step by removing custom album listings for a while. I love to make them but the time involved in each one is time I need to give back to myself right now. I also need to balance business with creativity, something I miss out on a lot these days. I will be taking the time to make more of my own album and journal designs as this is my true love. I look forward to seeing if I can let go of my competitive side and relax my stride a bit, goodness knows I will need to be rested well for the holidays.

Ryan *girl*

Sunday, August 5, 2007

My family is growing....

Miles (kid) and I adopted a bunny foo foo today for Miles' 6th birthday. We went to get a dog after falling in love with some K9s we were sitting this week but there were no dogs that fit all our doggy needs and little cuddle butt here just needed to be mine, eh, Miles'. He comes home after he gets neutered and then you know this blog will be bunny nose 24/7 :()) Only thing, bunnies eat paper..... uh. Uh? I have some remodeling to do.

:)

Selling outside of the US to the US.


A few quick tips to (hopefully) help international sellers everywhere increase thier market.

1. List expected delivery time to Eu, Au & Us in your shop announcement, plain & clear for all to see.

2.Put your exact location, city & country. Like you don't know where Spokane is, we don't know where Kildare is.

3. If you've taken classes, recieved a degree or are teaching something be sure to put that information out there as well (a simple recieved my masters at blah blah can give you credibiltiy to the people suspicious of buying overseas).

4. Be sure to offer reasonable shipping, try to keep it honest & give discounts where possible.

5. Promote in your own country or near by ones. Do what you can to make etsy global.

6. Tap into your national & religious holidays:
A. It teaches people about your culture & a lot of us US people are culture junkies.
B. It will increase your local sales
C. If people have traveled there won't they be surprised to find a memory of thier trip in your shop, they will buy & will be back.


I hope this helps!

Ryan *girl*

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Todays Pendant Brought to you by....

The color orange :) I just love them so..... & especially this vertigo print, its sooooo warm and orange-y. I've been having troube keeping up with my pendant section lately but I am working on it todaaaaaaaaay.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A smidge about branding....


It doesn't take much to stand out and be original, especially if you have a good idea. My friend Lea Keohane & I are concocting ways to make her shop a hip happening Etsy spot. I've got a thing for funky packaging & extra cuteness (duh) and suggested she use boxes to make her very cool wares more even more vivacious. The addition of a "title" to her pendants (from "hand drawn art pendant" to things like "Her Heart is found") has really given them the spice they need.


Before


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Hand Drawn Art Pendant

After

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Be Still and Listen

Doesn't it make all the difference???