If you have never wholesaled your products, maybe 2017 is the year for you to start.
With wholesale, you produce one large order (vs. onesies or twosies), ship and collect your money from one customer rather than several.
But, I know that lots of people don’t like the idea of selling at wholesale pricing (approximately half of retail). But consider the following ideas from The ArtsyShark:
Looking from one direction, you might wonder “Why should I wholesale? Why give away half the money I could make?” Now stop. Think about it for a minute. Would you actually have made that money? Would that customer in a shop on the other side of the country have ever found your work if it hadn’t been in the shop in the first place? Probably not. Having your work in shops gains you exposure to tons of potential customers who otherwise would never have even heard of you….
Instead of having to convince 20 people to buy your thing, you only have to convince one person – the store manager or buyer. And, unlike an individual customer, who is unlikely to buy the same piece of art again and again, store buyers will. Every few months (so long as your pieces are selling in their shop, to their customers) they’ll place another bulk order….
The good thing about production for wholesale is that buyers don’t expect you to ship their 100-piece order the next day. You get to set the time frame in your policies – depending on the industry, standards range from 1-2 weeks to 6-8 weeks or more….
One thing I have learned over the years is that selling wholesale or retail only is not the best option. Wholesale buying has it’s seasons. Typically, when the wholesale orders dry up for the season, the retail orders are just coming into full swing.
Over the years, I, personally, have found this to be a good balance.
When I first started wholesaling (and sales repping), I did not anticipate the ‘dry’ winter months of no orders. We spent too many days ‘eating beans’ before we realized the different seasons and how to balance between retail and wholesale to sustain us during the low wholesale or low retail cycles.
For example, we do a good business with our retail customers for Valentine’s Day. On the other hand, no matter what I tried, I couldn’t seem to interest my buyers in any of my products for February sales! (You may see different results in your area.)
A good mix of retail sales (on-line is our preferred venue) and wholesale sales may be the best option for you as well.