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DMCosta

Selling Your Items To Stores

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Hi Everyone, 

 

  I have a local cheese shop that is intersted in stocking some of my ceramic pieces. I intend on going this week in person, with some samples and to "talk business" further. Aside from galleries, I have never marketed my merchandise to a store or company before, I could use some advice. What should be the terms on the selling my pieces? Should the store buy the pieces outright or take a commision on what is sold? What sort of paper contract should be involved?

 

Your help is appreciated as always!

 

~Dianna

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I'm a big fan of having a store just buy things outright, particularly if they don't sell anything else on a consignment basis. Consignment has a lot of potential pitfalls for the uninitiated, doubly so if both parties are unused to the system. There's a boatload of information out there on how to go about pricing your stuff, including helpful threads in this forum.

Chris Campbell likes this

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I agree to go with wholesale rather than consignment. This cheese shop is used to buying product without the hassle of keeping track of consignment items.

Here is a link to my article on selling wholesale ... there are several other articles and links on my site.

Good Luck!!

 

http://www.ccpottery.com/wholesale.html

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It's much easier when the store buys the pieces than consignment.  I owned a wallpaper/paint store I had many room displays in it.  I would have painters come in and ask me is they could display paintings in them that were for sale.  I was worried about the safety of the paintings from small children, parents would come in and let them run wild.  My insurance agency told me the paintings  wouldn't be covered so I told any artist  they would need insurance.  I wasn't even taking a commission but they still expected me to insure their paintings.  I never had any paintings in the store but I did end up with a easy answer when I was asked.     Denice

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Do they want the items to have their logo on them?  If so, has to be wholesale, bought outright, because you can't do anything else with them if they don't sell.

Also, design needs to be agreed on BEFORE you make them unless it's an item you already sell somewhere else.  You don't want to make 2 dozen of something and take it in and have the store want to purchase 8 of their favorites and leave you holding the rest.

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Agree with everyone who says the cheese store needs to purchase the work wholesale, and should not be consigning it. The terms should be a 50% (give or take) off your retail prices, but their first order needs to meet a minimum size, i.e. a dollar amount or a minimum number of pieces.

 

My first-time order minimum is $500, but I know mine is on the high side. Lots of potters will go with $200, or somewhere in between. This is an individual decision.

 

Good luck ... hope you'll report back!

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Hi everyone, that's for all the great advice. I have some cheeseboard samples already made so I definitely wouldn't accept an order for 20 of an item without showing a sample. Also, I wouldn't be putting their logo on them so I don't think that's an issue as of now. Years ago, I made five yarn bowls for a store and when I brought them in, they wanted different types of holes than I made so I got stuck with them. So, I learned from that mistake. I'm going to go down early next week, I'll report back!

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I have never had an issue with consignment itself.  There are many times where consignment are right.  Most notable is a gallery setup, you never get wholesale for that and everything is cataloged and inventoried.  Curio shops and your average retail shouldn't be consignment ... it's basically giving them inventory that can break and shatter in 100 different ways from when it leaves your hands to when it gets back that you will never be paid for.  I have gone as far as to give a pro-rated return if they need to send work back ... ussually it's the amount minus the restocking fee which sometimes doesn't amount to much.  but we are talking wholesale, the most important thing is to have good predefined terms when you do either consignment or wholesale.

Usually, for something like a cheese shop ... wholesale.  The more custom you make the work ... the more restrictive the terms. 

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So after everything, I decided not to go forward with things. Mostly because even my wholesale price was too high for them. It seemed like they were looking to stock the store with $10.00 items, nothing that would be considered more "high end". I live in the metro area of NY, we have some of, or the highest electricity costs in the country. So, firing my kiln is expensive. In order to turn a profit, I have to sell my items at a good cost. Therefore, this shop wasn't the right move for me. Thank you everyone for the great advice!

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