As an artisan product producer, you’re probably already offering your products on a retail basis – either on a website, at craft shows, markets, or through word-of-mouth. There are potentially many additional venues that you could be targeting by offering your products on a wholesale basis. But how exactly do you do this?
Conduct Some Cheap 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 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 a representatives or wholesale accounts wanted ad at GreatRep.com
- Attend a gift show or expo and look for potential accounts or sales representation
- Hire a sales representative to market your product line
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 imply 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 your 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 on your products.
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