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  • Selling to shops

    Hey there, I am new to the forum - although I have been visiting regularly over the past couple of months.

    I popped into a local shop today to see if they would sell some of my bead jewellery. I am going back next week with some examples etc and try and sell to them.

    My question is what is the best way of approaching it. my preference is that they take a percentage - but what percentage, I have no idea?

    Anyone got any experience in doing this?


  • #2
    Hi AmyE. I'm also new. I don't have any experience in selling to shops but am planning to in the near future. So I will be watching this thread with interest.

    I have been given a really good formula for working out wholesale & retail prices. My perfect scenario would be to sell wholesale (just make sure your wholesale price still makes you a profit). I'm more than happy to share this with you if you like. Perhaps PM me and I'll send you my template.

    I am also in the process of making a 'look book' which I will be taking with me when I meet the managers. In a book I once read (sorry can't remember who by off the top of my head) they mention that it's always better to make an appointment with the person who does the buying or with the manager, rather than just popping in. However, saying that, I went into a boutique once and asked if I could make an appointment and they told me to just come in any Friday and bring some examples. I suppose different shops have different preferences, but I would personally always try to be as professional as possible, even if they are a bit more relaxed.

    Sorry for waffling Hope this helps a bit.


    • #3
      Hi. I agree with Babushka about making an appointment. I have many years sales experience and I know that finding out who the buyer is and making an appointment is the best way of ensuring that time is set aside for you and you and the retailer will not waste your time. Taking along some samples as well as a selection of finished articles is a very good idea.


      • #4
        I sell my cards via sale or return with my local farm craft shop. They add about a £1 on to what they give me for each card to sell them. They don't sell loads but now and again I get a cheque. I took my cards with me in a display box when I went in to ask them about stocking them.

        I tried in some small local gift shops in town a while back but at the time they had too much stock but said they usually buy them and mark them up by quite a lot to cover their costs. They were a bit vague about the actual markup/selling price.
        Last edited by stallfinder; 17-06-2008, 02:18 PM.


        • #5
          Hi! I sell some cards at a Craft shop and they take 50%. It seems a lot yo me but it is better than the cards piling up at home. I get a cheque each month for what they sell. I am not cheeky enough to haggle so I suppose it is my own fault in a way that they take so much!!!!! Sue.xx


          • #6
            Thanks for all the tips! My meeting next week is with the owner so this advice is useful as I want to sound like I know what I am talking about - even if the reality is I have no clue!


            • #7
              Sharing with us

              Hi Babushka

              I am interested too to know your formula for retail and wholesale price.
              Would you please share it with us ? Thanks.
              Visit my shop:House of Cherilli
              Celebrity inspired jewellery


              • #8
                I think it varies from place to place, the shop where I sell my bath bombs takes 45% of the selling price, so she just asks everyone to include that amount when they price their items.

                "One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star."


                • #9
                  I am interested too to know your formula for retail and wholesale price.
                  Would you please share it with us ?
                  Mod edited - not UK Crafts related


                  • #10
                    I have my stock in shops and galleries where the commission ranges from 15% to 40% and I had one shop which actually bought stock, rather than Sale or Return and I gave her 25% discount. It is hard work, in that you need to be going in at least once a month to check that it's all clean and at its best and to change over the display , so best to have outlets that are quite close to home. And of course when your stuff sells at 40% more than you would charge you have to ask yourself have I got my pricing right? It seems many people want to say that they paid £50 for a necklace, rather than £30 . I know this is a whole new topic but the more I do this the more I realise how much time it takes to keep a business running- I reckon I spend 5% of my time creating and 95% of my time doing other business related stuff
                    Chris xx
                    My Website
                    My Blog


                    • #11
                      Formula for working out prices

                      Due to popular demand, here's my formula for working out wholesale & retail price.

                      But before I start, please just bear in mind that different formulas work for different people. And someone else might have a much better way for working it out. If so, please share There are lots of other websites & blogs where other designers share their own formulas, so it's always worth looking it up and finding one that works for you.

                      Here goes:

                      Cost of materials (don't forget to include any postage you paid when you ordered your materials) - This literally includes absolutely everything to the last headpin or jump ring.
                      Cost of labour (For instance £5/hr - so if a bracelet takes 1/2 hr, I get £2.50)
                      Anything else you may have paid for to make the piece, such as hallmarking, getting something specially made from someone else like a pendant, etc.)

                      = Total of above x 1.4 (wholesale price) - This will cover any overhead costs like your web fees, advertising, time spent doing cost comparisons online, networking, etc. etc.
                      = Total of above x 2.5-2.8 (retail price) - when I sell to family, I times it by 2.5 but on my site and when selling at jewellery parties & craft fairs, I times it by 2.8.

                      I do hope that makes sense. I have it all in a special spreadsheet (coz I'm a geek like that) so it works it all out for me. I also have a sheet where I make a list of how much things cost like beads or findings I use on a regular basis, so I can just quickly look it up without trying to dig out the invoice to see how much I paid.

                      Since doing this, I have been much more confident that I charge the right prices for my jewellery. So I am comfortable in the knowledge that I'm not selling myself short, and I'm not ripping anyone off either. So when I'm at a craft fair, and someone moans that it's too expensive, I don't get paranoid like I used to. Because I know that piece is worth what I'm asking for it. And they can go to a high street shop if they don't want to pay that.

                      Just expect for this to be quite time consuming though. But once you get into it, it gets much easier. I have a different tab on my sheet for each item, which has a ref number. And I include a picture of the item too to make it look fancy and easier to identify what it is.

                      Hope that helps.



                      • #12
                        Wow, thank you for posting that, it was really useful. I'm undercharging very slightly (e.g. charging £15 for what should be closer to £18) on some of my items but I feel a lot better now about my pricing strategies! I had been told that I was undercharging, but didn't think the market would value the items enough to withstand higher prices as they are costume pieces, not particularly appealing to all (I've had people laugh at me for trying to "sell plastic" for £20) and not designed to be such a considered purchase as with fine silver and precious stones.

                        Thanks again!
                        Help me out by entering my raffle for a custom art quilt:

                        Patchwork patterns shop on Etsy:
                        Illustrations and fabricy gifts on Etsy:


                        • #13
                          Babushka -thanks for that info - I may go a little lower than your calculations but it is a really useful system to follow.

                          KerryW - I just had a look at your jewellery and I love it! Some people are so cheeky!



                          • #14
                            You're both very welcome. I'm glad you found it useful.

                            KerryW your jewellery is so funky. I love it!

                            People don't take into account just how much effort actually goes into making something.

                            One lady at a craft fair once picked up a bracelet which was made of onyx, bali & sterling silver for which I charged £16 (in hindsight, I actually think I massively undercharged for that particular item). She looked at it for a while and said it was really beautiful, then she just threw it back on the table and said "I aint paying 16 quid for a f*&$% bracelet" and walked off. That was just so unnecessary but still made me very paranoid about my pricing. Since then I've worked it all out properly.



                            • #15
                              Just had to let you know the good news - the shop owner really liked my jewellery and has bought some of it.

                              I went in thinking sale or return would be what she wanted but she said that this was too complicated. She thought my prices were good - but when it came to her buying them she at first offered me a really low price (using her usual 2 1/2 x the wholesale price - working out what she could sell them for and the profit margin she would expect) which clearly was only just going to cover my costs.

                              But I managed to persuade her and I got the price I wanted for them - they will have their own shelf and we will see how they sell - if they do well she will buy more!

                              I'm going to get my mum to do some snooping and see how much she decides to retail them for!

                              So exciting! Fingers crossed they sell!