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  • Setting up with no help and no idea

    I don't know where to post this. This is my first day on the forum so please forgive me if I'm in the wrong place.

    I'm setting up a craft business, have a name, have a plan, but I have no idea where to get stock from. Well I'll explain, I'm working from home (not ebay) and therefore have no premises and it seems a lot of people I'm trying to get stock from won't sell to me because of this.

    How on earth do I go about getting craft stock to sell if no one will sell to me!

    I want to go to a trade show but these are also hard to find. Now maybe I'm just looking in all the wrong places or relying on the internet too much but any hints or tips would be soooooo gratefully appreciated I can't tell you how much...

    Have emailed Business Link for help, not sure if they cover this side of things.

    Thanks in advance if anyone replies
    Claire

    Craft kits for children for all levels visit me at: www.daisybellecrafts.co.uk

  • #2
    Hi, not sure if I will be any help to you, I have recently started an handmade stationery business and I know finding suppliers can be difficult. I recently found out that two of the suppliers I used anyway when my cards were just a hobby offered trade prices. I never saw anything on any of the literature from them or their website, fortunately someone on another forum let me know and once I asked and proved my trade status my costs have dropped in price. I was lucky that someone shared the info with me. I know I wouldnt let someone know who my suppliers are as it has taken me some time to research and find them. You may find the same.
    You dont mention exactly what type of supplies you are looking for, Im guessing it is general craft materials. There is a show I know about which is trade only, but as far as I know it is only on once a year in February at the NEC in birmingham. I cant post urls yet but the show is called craft, hobby and stitch and you and find it on the NEC website. One of the things I do is look at the exhibitors list for these shows, they often have the website of the company and a bit of info and you may be able to find suppliers that way, how strict they are on who they supply I dont know but it cant hurt to ask.
    Apologies for any typos in this, Im most of the way down a large glass of red wine and my typing tends to get a bit erratic.

    Hope I have been some help, Im sure there are other people on this forum who may be able to help you furthur.

    Paula

    Comment


    • #3
      Morning Paula,

      Thanks so much for getting back to me. I know there is another trade show in September but I'm wondering how I can prove my Trade status when I'm not running a business yet and don't have premises *sigh*

      I totally understand why it's difficult to find suppliers, if everyone knew how it would be too easy but not having premises is proving to be a real problem.

      Still, onwards and upwards, the prospect of solving this problem and getting my business up and running is still infinitely better than thinking I might be stuck in my job for the indefinite future.
      Claire

      Craft kits for children for all levels visit me at: www.daisybellecrafts.co.uk

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Daisy View Post
        I'm setting up a craft business, have a name, have a plan, but I have no idea where to get stock from. Well I'll explain, I'm working from home (not ebay) and therefore have no premises and it seems a lot of people I'm trying to get stock from won't sell to me because of this.
        I can't understand why they wont sell to you working from home. I work from home making candles and all my stock gets sent to the house. The only things I have been asked to provide to prove my company status is either an invoice from/to Candles by Lisa or a business card with my company details on it.

        Working from home shouldn't stop you getting trade discounts. Are you registered for Tax - this may be a stumbling block if you aren't.

        See if the invoice/business card approach works.

        Hope this helps.

        Lisa
        Bowed Over
        Handmade Dog Collar Accessories
        www.bowedover.co.uk

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree, you have to have proof that you are an actual business and not just jo public saying you are. Some of the companies i deal with wont deal with internet only shops, they say they are trying to protect the bricks and mortar shops more because they have a lot more overheads and are often undercut by internet shops who have less overheads. Some of the companies i deal with also dont like me to sell their items in my internet shop even though i have a bricks and mortat shop also!!!

          Hope this helps a little

          Heather
          www.craftyaddicts.co.uk
          for all your cardmaking and scrapbooking needs!!
          www.craftyaddict.wordpress.com
          craftyaddicts blog site
          www.heatherbees.blogspot.com
          My personal blog
          http://twitter.com/craftyaddicts

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks guys. I'm not trying to set up an internet based business so that shouldn't be a problem. I explain to them in my emails that I have not started trading that I am looking for products to sell and what I intent to do with them. In most cases I'm not asked for proof of trading they are just not interested because I don't have a shop, grrrr.
            Claire

            Craft kits for children for all levels visit me at: www.daisybellecrafts.co.uk

            Comment


            • #7
              Are you just e-mail them. If so give them a phone. A more direct approach may be needed and they wont find it so easy to say no on the phone. E-mail is fantastic but nothing beats the human touch sometimes.

              Good luck.

              Lisa
              Bowed Over
              Handmade Dog Collar Accessories
              www.bowedover.co.uk

              Comment


              • #8
                It was my next course of action. I'm from the email boom era and sometimes forget there is a phone for communicating with!
                Claire

                Craft kits for children for all levels visit me at: www.daisybellecrafts.co.uk

                Comment


                • #9
                  Can i ask how you will be selling your supplies if your not going the internet option or bricks and motar?

                  I started off last October and like you i had no premises, i have however set up an internet shop which opened the flood gates to getting wholesale suppliers.

                  One thing i found out is steer clear from retail shops offering wholesale prices as most (as you will find out) if your planning on selling the items on as you won't make any profit. I think these types of shops/sites are more for if your buying the supplies to use yourself, then it's a good way to get your supplies that bit cheaper.
                  Emma
                  Luxury craft supplies & magnolia Stamps - Sassy Crafts
                  Sassy Crafts Blog
                  My Blog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by EMEvans View Post
                    Can i ask how you will be selling your supplies if your not going the internet option or bricks and motar?
                    It's going to be more of a mobile craft shop, demonstrating and teaching techniques and or particular crafts. There are far too many really good internet shops out there to compete with. I will make my own kits up and demo them and if they like they buy.
                    Claire

                    Craft kits for children for all levels visit me at: www.daisybellecrafts.co.uk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      hi, as others have said I think once you get some paperwork to prove you are a business you should find it a bit easier - a good way to do this is to place a purchase with a shop you regularly use and ask them to make the invoice out to your business name - nothing illegal in that as you'll need business receipts etc anyway to sort out your profit and for tax purposes etc. Once you have a receipt from any shop in your business name (be it wholesale or normal price etc) you can then email a copy to your new potential suppliers as proof of your business status. Also make sure you mention during the call (or email) that you dont require credit terms and prefer to pay for things as you purchase them - they would be unlikely to offer a new customer credit anyway but it tends to put their minds at ease that you wont place an order then try to open credit account etc.

                      I know how hard it is to get a business off the ground - luckily I had an established internet business before starting my craft one so suppliers were not a problem but if you still cant get them arranged please send me a pm and i'll help if I can Good Luck with Business
                      http://www.funkyears.co.uk - unusual and sometimes downright weird jewellery :P

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FunkyEars View Post
                        ......place a purchase with a shop you regularly use and ask them to make the invoice out to your business name....

                        ..also make sure you mention during the call (or email) that you dont require credit terms....

                        ....I know how hard it is to get a business off the ground - luckily I had an established internet business before starting my craft one so suppliers were not a problem but if you still cant get them arranged please send me a pm and i'll help if I can Good Luck with Business
                        Firstly thank you for taking the time to read my post.

                        Secondly, wow, it's so simple but until you're told these things it's all about banging your head on a wall. Thank you for the fantastic advice. I have several friends that run companies that I have bought from and do buy from so I'm sure they would be more than happy to help. You must be telepathic, I found a fantastic company I want to buy from but they wanted proof of previous purchases or business reg number (?), so that solves that.

                        The credit issue is a very good one, I will from now on make sure I mention that I'm not after credit. As you say it will be very much pay as I go for what I order. Another very sound bit of advice. You should bottle this!

                        And lastly but by no means least, thank you so, so much for the offer of help with suppliers. That's MORE than kind of you. I am however, glutton for punishment that I am, going to keep on trying so I can say I did it (although I'm also not too proud to say when I beat so may bear this in mind )

                        Everyone has been so nice to me, why aren't there more people on this forum getting/giving support and generally enjoying the community!!! I'm off to recruit a few people.
                        Claire

                        Craft kits for children for all levels visit me at: www.daisybellecrafts.co.uk

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Daisy View Post
                          It's going to be more of a mobile craft shop, demonstrating and teaching techniques and or particular crafts. There are far too many really good internet shops out there to compete with. I will make my own kits up and demo them and if they like they buy.
                          I started off doing craft parties but as i live in a small area these were far and few between. I also managed to get a good handful of suppliers before i set up the internet shop so it can be done. The only thing the wholesalers don't like is if you say your going to sell them from home.

                          A little tip for finding the type of wholesalers your after is - find a product you like, go to the manufacturers website and work backwards from there.
                          Emma
                          Luxury craft supplies & magnolia Stamps - Sassy Crafts
                          Sassy Crafts Blog
                          My Blog

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EMEvans View Post
                            I started off doing craft parties but as i live in a small area these were far and few between. I also managed to get a good handful of suppliers before i set up the internet shop so it can be done. The only thing the wholesalers don't like is if you say your going to sell them from home.

                            A little tip for finding the type of wholesalers your after is - find a product you like, go to the manufacturers website and work backwards from there.
                            I've tried to work backwards and found a few leads that way but on the whole most contacts I've found don't like at home businesses or require trade status, which I don't have. I'm still enjoying working this out though, so it can't be all bad. I've started to look at my actual business and how it will work now not just concentrating on stock.

                            What did you sell at your craft parties?
                            Claire

                            Craft kits for children for all levels visit me at: www.daisybellecrafts.co.uk

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The same as i sell on my website, but i never had half the stock then as i do now.

                              As you said there are lots of internet shops (alot bigger than mine) and it's a very competitive market and due to minimum orders by wholesalers it's also proving to be very expensive. Many a time of thought of just quiting but thats not the sort of person i am.

                              Wish i had more time to do the parties and promote them but get a bit stuck as i have 3 children and no babysitter which again makes it very difficult.

                              You will have your ups and downs on your business venture but it's great fun and the sense of acheivement when you get your suppliers and sell your stuff is great.

                              You will have to register with the Inland Revenue within 3 months of your start date to avoid any penalties and that way you will also have your proof of your business status.

                              Hope it all goes well.
                              Emma
                              Luxury craft supplies & magnolia Stamps - Sassy Crafts
                              Sassy Crafts Blog
                              My Blog

                              Comment

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