Why Should I Wholesale?

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.



2 comments for “Why Should I Wholesale?

  1. Marion
    December 27, 2016 at 10:10 am

    I sell natural lip balms retail $4.00 and recently had someone ask me for me wholesale price she wants to buy 50 units. My products cost me $1.40 so retail it looks like I should be selling for $5.52 but that is too high. so I do $4.00. My lip balm is truly natural not fake natural like so many claim! so how do I sell wholesale and still make decent money too I like the idea of a sliding scale what do you suggest??? Please reply need guidance quickly

  2. December 27, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Hi Marion,

    The wholesale/retail price formula is not an exact science for every product, so I will try to give you some options:

    1. If you make 50 lip balms your price per unit might be less as you are buying materials in a higher quantity and making them quicker than making one or two lip balms (I am assuming that as I have never made lip balms, but know this works for other products).

    2. Take a look at your product costs in general. Is there somewhere you can cut? I ask this because I rep for a line of natural lip balms that wholesale for $1.40 and he is making money

    3. If your costs are $1.40 per tube, it would not be unreasonable to wholesale for $2.65 and let the retailer mark up to $4.95 — but if you do that, make sure to raise your prices via websites etc. You don’t want to advertise that you are underselling your retail outlets.

    4. If your natural lip balms are truly superior to most on the market, then package and promote them as high-end product. One way to do this is to call them something other than lip balm — which denotes an ‘average’ product. I also suggest you check out similar products in a department store.

    5. If you have time, sign up for my free ecourse on How to Price Your Products: http://www.selltogiftshops.com/. Or you can purchase it complete here: http://meylah.com/SellingtoRetailers/how-to-price-your-products.

    I hope this is helpful! Good luck Marion,


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