Working Through Wholesale Obstacles

Selling wholesale creates a whole new set of rule and obstacles.  Your sales materials are different, your shipping methods may change, billing your buyers are not the same …. a whole new set of skills and resources are require to work through wholesale obstacles.

But it is not impossible!  And once you are set up, you can use the same Working Through Wholesale Obstaclessystems over and over again.  But you need to be prepared before you approach your first retail buyer.

Dear Handmade Life outlines some of these obstacles in their recent article and few that I want to share here:

14 wholesale obstacles for handmade lines — and how to move through them:

 You don’t have a line sheet.  If you don’t have a line sheet, and if you’re reaching out to independent store owners outside of trade shows, you have two options….. Option 1: create a simple line sheet from scratch, using a program like Powerpoint or InDesign to do your layout…. Option 2: use your existing website, Etsy Wholesale page, or wholesale shopping site as the online representation of your products.

You’re not sure how to connect with stores. If you don’t have any stockists (retail store buyers) yet, my main suggestion would be to start with reaching out to a local store or two. The feedback and confidence you’ll get from local connections is often very valuable. If you already have a couple of stores you’re working with, then I recommend creating a list of shops you love around the country. Start with reaching out to a handful via email or package and gauge which store types seem most interested, so you can build on that. Followup is key! Store owners are busy, so don’t forget to circle back with them….

 You have wholesale accounts but they don’t place multiple orders.
Not every store is going to place multiple orders with you, but …  Be in frequent touch; send samples of new products for free; offer to provide any missing packaging or marketing materials; make it easy to reorder and provide display materials to make that a no-brainer; … In other words: take care of them and they will take care of you.

You aren’t sure how much to make your wholesale “discount” (or retail markup). …If you have a quality, handmade product with a compelling story or production method, then your retail price should usually be 2x your wholesale price. … If your product isn’t handmade, with a compelling story and production method, then stores may want a 2.2x or 2.5x (or more) markups. Are the exceptions to both of these rules? Absolutely. Every store and every maker has different costs and realities so ultimately, you have to do what’s right for you (within acknowledgment of what’s reasonable) — even if that doesn’t work for every store.

You don’t know whether the store owner should pay for shipping or you should.  The easier you can make it for a store owner to place an order (in terms of low minimums, free shipping, easy process, etc.), the better, for getting new orders. But you never want to offer more than you’re able to swing financially. … Regardless of what you choose, the most important thing is that you make your policy clear before the wholesale order is placed.

You are not sure what your wholesale minimum should be. … The key thing to keep in mind is … don’t create a high minimum just because you think you’re supposed to. …The lower you can place the entry point, the lower their risk is. Which means that a lower wholesale minimum is usually good when you are starting with wholesale, as long as you don’t make your minimum so low that you’ll resent the sale (or not profit from it.)

Excellent list of ways to remove wholesale obstacles.  I highly recommend you read the full article.

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Inspirational Quote about Valentine’s Day

Today’s Special Valentine’s Day QuoteInspirational Quote about Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14. Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus, Valentine’s Day is now recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
~ Helen Keller

Valentine’s Day is typically thought of as the day for lovers.  True, but I think it is also a day to talk about love in it’s many forms.

Helen Keller’s profound statement causes me to stop and realize that love comes from the heart.  It is not necessarily anyone person, anything we can see or touch, but the spot where our deepest desires lie.

So, can we spend this week thinking about our deepest desires?  What makes us get up in the morning; what causes us the deepest joy; what ‘completes’ us in a deep way.

Many of us will automatically think of a love one, but I challenge you to think about yourself, your creations, your business and see where the deepest joys lies within you.

 

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Sell to Big Box Retailers Free Webinar

As you probably know, my e-guides and trainings specialize in helping you start selling products at wholesale, starting with independent stores, and moving up from there.

Unfortunately, my expertise does not extend to selling wholesale to the big boys. As a result, I have searched for years to find that person who can help you jump to the next level.

Karen the perfect person to train you in this next level of wholesaling:Sell to Big Box Retailers Free Webinar

Karen Waksman is a Manufacturer’s Rep turned Author, Speaker and Consultant. She has sold millions of units to the World’s Largest Retailers and now dedicates her time to teaching Entrepreneurs like you, how to market and sell their products to Major Retailers, Online Retailers, and Catalogs!

If you have a product that you think would be perfect for big box retail stores, you will absolutely love this upcoming webinar called:

‘How to Sell Your Products to Big Box Retail Chains’ 

No sales experience or existing buyer relationships required!

The FREE 90 Minute LIVE Webinar will be held on Thursday, February 22nd (various times shots available)

If you missed her previous live event in San Francisco, or even if you did, you don’t want to miss this FREE webinar.

Topics Karen plans to cover include …

  1. Understanding the Chain Store Market — You may have the perfect product for retail buyers. But if you don’t know what they specifically want – you will not get your products into stores! And you will waste everyone’s time. In this webinar, we will be discussing how to get a purchase order from a chain store.
  2. Preparing Your Case For Chain Store — Just because you identify exactly what retailers to go after, if you don’t present the right way, nothing else matters! These buyers are busy! Learn what to say to chain store buyers to get them to buy!
  3. Preparing Your Pitch — Who is scared to pitch? Most of my producers are! That’s why we take the person out of the equation and make it a PROCESS. I am going to give you that process!
  4. Multiplying Your Efforts with Chain Stores — We don’t want to win the lottery one time. We want to replicate over and over again. We want to leverage our results and get even bigger and better retail opportunities like my clients.
  5. Tips and Strategies on How to Get Started Selling to Chain Stores Today — We will also be covering how the buying process works at chain stores, what makes a chain store buyer say YES to your product, what NOT to do when pitching chain stores and tips and strategies on exactly how to get started today!

 ‘How to Sell Your Products to Big Box Retail Chains’

I watched her video last Thursday and found the information invaluable!  A couple of the tips she shared that even I didn’t know about ….

  • Why you don’t submit your products via the Vendors online website
  • What is the best strategy for developing your packaging for chain stores
  • How ‘Retail Factoring’ can help you get the financing for your orders.

Karen has taught tens of thousands of companies on the subject of selling to retailers … so be prepared for a powerful FREE event!

How to Sell Your Products to Big Box Retail Chains’  

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Best Email List Opt-In Options

I’ve read tons of information on-line on why to have an email list and how to write a good email, but what about how to get visitors to your website to sign up for your email list.

Artsy Shark offers some of the following options:

How do you gather email subscriber names and emails Best Email List Opt-In Optionsonline?

Your website should have an opt-in form, preferably popping up when visitors come to your website. That opt-in form needs to give them a reason to subscribe to your email campaigns … Here are some incentives artists have used to gain subscribers:

  • Subscribe to get an exclusive preview of your newest work
  • Subscribe to receive free shipping on first purchase
  • Subscribe to be invited to VIP events
  • Subscribe to receive invitations to your shows and fairs
  • Subscribe to receive a discount on first purchase
  • Subscribe to get a free download of your art to use as wallpaper

Other options to build your email list would include the following (that I have personally used:

  1. Offer a free report or tips sheet
  2. Offer a limited email subscription to an industry-related ‘How To” series
  3. Offer a list of industry-related tools

The options are endless, if you give it much thought.  In my case, I just needed to remember what challenges I faced when I first started in the field and what I wished I knew at the time that I know now!

There are plenty of email service providers to chose from and each supplies instructions and tutorials on how to use them — so I won’t go into that at this time.  But I will refer you to the Artsy Shark article for more information on where to place your sign up forms:

Where else can you place opt-in forms on your website?

A popup form is a nice start, but there are actually lots of other places on your website where you can solicit email subscribers. Here are some of them:

  • Place a subscriber offer in a colored bar that sits above the header at the very top of your Home page.
  • Put a subscriber link or form in a sidebar if you have that in your site layout.
  • Place a subscription offer on your About page.
  • Place a subscription offer on your Contact page.
  • Create a full “landing page” on your website for the purpose of attracting subscribers, telling your story, sharing your art, and extending your offers.
  • Got a blog? Ask subscribers to sign up through a link at the bottom of the article.
  • Or, place a subscriber request in the middle of a blog post.

Make sure to read the full article

 

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Inspirational Biz Quote from Rosa Parks

Today’s business tip is from …Inspirational Biz Quote from Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement, whom the United States Congress called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.  On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake’s order to give up her seat in the “colored section” to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled. Parks’ act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement.

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

No matter what your view are on blacks, segregation or the ‘black lives matter’ movement, Rosa Park and her actions in 1955 are monumental in exhibiting great strength and courage during a difficult time in history.

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa ParksWhen everyone else was following the status quo rules, Rosa was defining a corrupt system — putting herself in great peril in the process.

But one very admirable trait about her:  She chose to rise above her fear and act on what she felt was right and just.

How many time do we, as business owners, shy away from an action, creation or system because we feel doing the ‘status quo’ is safer?

Make a point to step out of fear today and dare to be different!

 

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