Are You Thinking About Consigning Your Products?

Consigning your products is a personal decision for each professional craftsman or artisan to consider.  Personally, I tell folks to avoid it!

If you do consign, your generosity will often be abused. And you are entering the world of bookkeeping nightmares, with he-said, she-said, and “I have no idea what happened to your inventory”, when it comes to getting paid. Not to mention scuffed or otherwise un-marketable inventory that you are asked to take back.

Retailers will often ask you to consign merchandise, especially if he or she senses “NEWBIE”!  This fills their store with products, and makes it look more robust or prosperous, without tying up cash.

Consignment is always good for the store owner, as you are paying for THEIR inventory. You could easily tie up thousands of dollars in slow-moving inventory if you use consignment as a primary market penetration strategy, to multiple stores.

And look at this from the store owner’s perspective.

They did not pay for your inventory. And even though your stuff looks nice, if it sells, they WILL need to then pay for your inventory. So if they sell your consignment booty, they really only get a fraction, in terms of cash flow.

On the other hand, most of the rest of the store inventory is PAID for, so their cash flow benefits to the tune of 100% when a sale is made.

In our experience, when you consign your line, you usually do not get a premium location… more likely, a narrow back aisle in a dark corner.

Developing a Consignment Agreement

If you do consign, you should require a signed agreement, with clauses regarding the percentage and frequency of payments to you, responsibility for breakage and “shrinkage” (shoplifting or employee theft), and how often you will update inventory.

Since the retailer exerts the only protections and control over your products while they are in the store, he or she should be responsible for losses of any kind, just like with other products in their store.

Of course, expect normal wear and tear (e.g. scuffed labels) and you may need to replace those periodically, on your dime. Of course, if your goods are in the store that long, then consignment in that store, or for that product, may not be a good idea.

When you consign, submit a complete list of inventory consigned, including the retail price per unit, and the allocated prices and percentages  to both parties.

Keep a copy of the agreement and inventory list with the buyer’s signature, for your records. Of course, you need to update the inventory list (and get a signature) EVERY time you re-stock.

Just like any other payment system for your wares, be sure the store is a good fit… zero or minimal sales on a store shelf benefits no one in the long run.

To learn how to do consignment right, order my mini-guide:Consignment Done Right

CONSIGNMENT DONE RIGHT!: How to Consign Your Products to Shops, Protect Your Interests, and Get Paid!

In addition to the PDF instructional materials, I am also offering the three agreements in an editable Word document as well. Your download link will include the consignment ebook AND the editable bonus agreements.

Let’s take a peek at what else is in this eye-opening resource:

  • Why consignment is usually a bad idea!
  • The FOUR situations where consignment is almost always a good idea!
  •  How to protect your goods (and your pocketbook) while in the hands of a shop owner!
  • Bookkeeping and inventory control!
  • And much more!

Order your own copy today for $15 — instant download — including editable agreement forms.








Create: What You Love or Best Sellers?

I managed a consignment woodcrafters co-operative in the late 1990s.  Since I find wood crafts so intriguing, I loved being surrounded by and selling the beautiful, often one-of-a-kind, creations designed by our woodcraft consignees.  And I enjoyed sharing the uniqueness of these pieces to the customers who visited the store.Create What You Love or Best Sellers?

On the other hand, I got frustrated with some of the artsy attitudes and comments I received from my consignees when I asked for more of this or that product that had sold out:

“Oh, I don’t have any more of XX wood to make those anymore”

“I am tired of that product and don’t want to make anymore”

“That is the last of my stock on that item and now I am making XYZ”

Occasionally, I could talk the craftsperson into making more of the best selling items, but mostly, I and my retail customers were just out of luck!

Of course, the last thing I would want to do is stifle these talented artists, but then, we were running a business ….

The Arts Business Institute has addressed this issue in their article:

Design What You Love

Many artists and makers are highly tapped into a niche market, creating work that fills the wants and needs of their chosen target audience. They gravitate towards their bestsellers, and expand their collections out from those popular designs with an eye towards increasing sales volume. It might be said that they are making what inspires their customers…..

But what if you truly want to make what inspires you, rather than what you believe someone else will want to buy? Do you have to design for an audience?…

If you create only what inspires you, it is very possible that customers will love what you make. What is it about your handmade work that others respond to? Listen to feedback and understand why people purchase from you. What you are making could very well resonate with others, as well as satisfying your creative spirit. Rather than designing for the audience, you will be learning why your work has found an audience. Then, you can use what you’ve learned in your marketing plan, and in speaking about your work

The Arts Business Institute presents a wonderful solution to the issue.

I believe this is why galleries do so well with these type of products as they attract the perfect audience an artisan needs to share, sell and grow their business.  Of course, it may take awhile to find the right venue, but persistence is needed to find the perfect outcome for your creations!

Generate Quick Sales

With new products — whether you are a new company or just developing a new line within your company — you want to generate sales as quickly as possible.  Once you get your products in a few stores, you create interest and sales data to help you continue to snowball your sales.

So what is the best ways to generate quick sales?

Of course, showing your new line to your current store buyers is the quickest way to generate sales.  If you line has already sold well in a retail shop, the buyer is open to trying your new products.  And, in some cases, they will ask you about your upcoming new product(s), so be prepared!!

But what if you are brand new to wholesaling …. how do you generate quick sales.Generate Quick Sales

My business associate, Don Debelak, with the One Stop Invention Shop, lists some excellent suggestions.  The first two are the ones I used when I first started my sales rep business:

Look for Small or Specialized Outlets

Small specialized stores can be a great way to get sales going, but it can be hard to find these stores. Specialized stores often have a loyal clientele who are willing to try new products and pay a higher price.

Sell Local

Selling local is the most common way to generate quick sales. You can personally contact store owners who may take your product on because it is a local product. You yourself can do in-store appearances, demonstrations or trials to get people to buy your product. And local news sources like to carry stories about local inventors (and producers) so you can easily generate publicity. Selling locally can help you cheaply generate interest in your product and build a history of sales to launch your product regionally.

I found both these options to be very successful in launch new lines. Smaller and local stores were most receptive to my new lines.  Small stores because they often wanted to have the newest products available and were not overly concerned about past sales statistics.  Local stores gave me a chance to display items on consignment or a buy-back guarantee, if necessary.  These local buyers also were generous with feedback on the particular line which also helped increase sales.

Here are some more of his suggestions:

  • Using Catalogs (reach a national audience with minimal expense)
  • Partner with Reps (wider coverage)
  • Keep Marketing Expenses Below 10% of Sales (keep costs down in the beginning)
  • Low Cost, Even Free Marketing Tactics (online reviews)
  • Networking with Others (social media)
  • Select Small Markets with Easy Communication (media suggestions)


Summer Reading

Currently, I am on vacation visiting with my cute little one-year old grandson, Dante.  My daughter and her family live about 240 miles south of me, so I don’t get to see them very often.

So ….. instead of a new article, I am going to post a series of mini-articles or Squidoo lens to help you learn more about wholesaling and marketing your products:

Happy Summer Reading!!

“Consignment Done Right!” eGuide

I just completed my latest digital product in the “how to sell wholesale” information niche.

The title is:

“Consignment DONE RIGHT!: How to Consign Your Products to Shops, Protect Your Interests, and Get Paid!”

Consignment Done Right!Whether you are just getting started in wholesaling, marketing through galleries, or considering consignment as a growth strategy (or you failed at consignment previously), this is THE guide for you.

If you own a copy of my original classic, “The Complete eGuide for Selling to Independent Retailers!”, then you already received a watered-down version of this ebook, in the bonus materials.

However, the expanded version now includes more information, plus THREE sample consignment agreements, instead of one.

Anyway, this focused consignment resource, along with the exhaustive sample agreemensts, is now available as a standalone at $17…

But for this introductory period, we are pricing “Consignment Done Right!” at just $10.

PS If you think consignment should be a simple process, you will love the sample consignment agreement that I developed over the years (one page, plus your inventory list). Four main clauses cover the most critical elements of a basic agreement. Good fences make good neighbors.

And if you are selling more expensive goods, or marketing through galleries or upscale shops, you will find two more detailed sample agreements to work with!

==> ==> Get your copy of “Consignment Done Right!” <== <==

My standard disclaimer… ALWAYS consult with your legal counsel before entering any agreement.

And remember, these sample agreements can save you $100, $200, or more in attorney fees. Just develop a rough draft, and let him or her edit for the savings… And you get this all for just $10!

Oh, I almost forgot the BONUS!

In addition to the PDF instructional materials, I am also offering the three agreements in an editable Word document as well. Your download link will include the consignment ebook AND the editable bonus agreements.

Let’s take a peek at what else is in this eye-opening resource:

  • Why consignment is usually a bad idea!o
  • The FOUR situations where consignment is almost always a good idea!
  •  How to protect your goods (and your pocketbook) while in the hands of a shop owner!
  • Bookkeeping and inventory control!
  • And much more!

On last option for you… if you have not yet purchased my classic eGuide on selling wholesale – then for a limited time the new and expanded “Consignment Done Right!” ebook will be included among the bonuses for a few short days.

After that, the consignment ebook will ONLY be available as a stand-alone resource.

Get your “Complete eGuide for Selling to Independent Retailers” below! (the expanded consignment guide will be sent in a separate email.)

==> ==> <== <==

Oh, and as an unadvertised bonus to my past customers, IF you are on my email list as a purchaser of the Complete eGuide, (or in my Mastermind group on Facebook), I will be sending you this updated version of my original consignment bonus… as a thank you.

If you do not see an email coming in the next day or two with your free copy, and you are a proud owner of the Complete eGuide, email me!

As with all my products, there is NO RISK to you, with a full 60-day refund privilege. If you don’t feel you got your 10 bucks worth, PLEASE ask for your money back. Unhappy customers make it hard for me to sleep at night. Give it a try, and if the value is not there, your investment is cheerfully refunded!

In the meantime…

Happy Profits!

Sandy Dell