Another way to make your products more appealing to gift shop buyers is to make sure that your items fit the particular store’s motif.
Like I have said before, gift shops are all different. Some specialize in a particular type of item or theme, such as western products, local items etc. Most gift shops have a theme of niche line of products. Make a thorough checking of each store you visit to make sure your item compliments products already of the shelves. For example, intricately made jewelry would probably not sell well in a candle gift shop, whereas, candle holders would be an excellent fit.
Another ‘kiss of death’ when selling to gift stores is product(s) that look too homemade. When I worked for the Woodcraft Co-op gift shop, I sold some beautiful handcrafted wooden pieces. Some were so unique they were priceless. I was very surprised at customers visiting the store who told me that their son, husband, uncle etc. could make them the item I was selling for less money!!
If your item is too ‘homespun’ looking, guess how it will be perceived! For example, if you are making a simple sewn craft item that is a copy of a gift your grandma made for you, it is not likely to be a good bet for a gift shop. It may be cute, but if it looks too homemade, a store is not likely to buy it.
The same principles apply to packaging: if it is too ‘homespun’, it probably will not interest a gift store buyer. Having a friend to take a hard look at your packaging to see if it looks like it would fit into a gift shop’s current inventory, can be very helpful. Often we have our feelings and ego wrapped around our items and a second opinion can give us great insight!
For the next couple of weeks, we will be looking at other reasons beyond your control as to why buyers may not be interested in buying your handcrafted gifts.