With everyone I coach, I tell them they need to set up their wholesale system before they even consider approaching their first retail buyer. Even if you are on the fence about selling wholesale, you still might think about what you are gonna say (or do) should a retail buyer approach you at a craft fair or holiday booth and ask if you wholesale your products.
I’ve heard horror stories from producers who decided to just cut their retail price in half (before doing the research) to come up with a wholesale price for buyers. BIG MISTAKE! First, your wholesale price should never be determined as a percentage of your retail price!! Second, you can catch yourself in a losing situation by pricing your unique products at a loss just to sell wholesale!
That is just one example.
Even after you have your pricing in line, there are other areas that you may not have considered before wholesaling. (PS. If you do not have a copy of my Wholesale Quick Start Guide, I suggest you sign up for my free weekly newsletter and you will receive the Guide for free!!)
Wholesale in a Box lists some good guidelines to follow when setting up and using appropriate wholesale terms:
Do’s and don’ts for setting terms and deciding how to maintain them:
- DON’T set unnecessarily rigid or strict terms in the first place.
Don’t throw in a bunch of terms for good measure or to “seem professional.” Set terms that you think are simple and important and feel necessary. That way, when it comes time to maintain those boundaries, they feel intuitive and important to you…
- DON’T use legalese.
Sometimes makers write their terms in a severe, off-putting, confusing, aggressive type of language. Yes, it’s important to have clear terms. But it’s also important to state those terms in a way that is human, friendly, and approachable.
- DO maintain your boundaries in a friendly way.
I’m not sure why, but when people maintain a boundary, sometimes they do so in a way that sounds frustrated, snippy, stern, or condescending. Remember that no one can make you violate a business boundary without your permission — and so you can maintain your boundary and uphold your terms in a way that’s cheerful, kind, and warm. And that difference in tone may likely be the difference between losing the sale and gaining a stockist for the long term.
- DO use your emotions as an early-warning sign.
Anger, resentment, and fear are indications that you may need to set or strengthen a boundary. Sometimes it’s a boundary with a specific person and other times it is a general boundary between yourself and your business. If a store owner’s request makes you feel scared and frustrated, it’s likely that a warm and polite “no” is in order.
Good tips and good advice!