Folksy Ltd

Advice please on replying to a request for a 'bulk' order

(Joy Salt) #1

I’ve just had an email linking to one of my suncatchers and saying they would like to place an order for 20 and how much can I do them for.

I have a bit of a problem with this as I hate working in bulk as it’s boring. Trying to make everything the same when I normally strive to make everything different …

Also it takes me (very nearly) 20* as long to make 20 as it it takes me to make 1. There really is very little saving on time and none on glass and other materials.

Do I :

  1. Just say no, I don’t do bulk orders
  2. Say yes but the cost will be 20* the unit price
  3. Say yes and much against the grain, knock 10% off the total price - which will probably make me hate this design by the time I’ve finished

(Eileens Craft Studio) #2

do 2

Why should you be paid less unless it costs you less to make a batch of 20.

(Minerva) #3

Is this one off request? If yes, and you need the income and have the time, you could do it but give yourself plenty of time to complete the order. In between, you could do other things to break the monotony of doing the same 20 times.

If this is going to be a repeat order, then look at the profit you’ll be making. Otherwise, as you said, you will not be pleased.

Will they pay you upfront…or if items sell?

If you accept wholesale deals (one or regularly), will they help you professionally to make it worthwile - even if profit margin is not large? Will they be beautifully displayed in a busy spot? Will they be in a touristy area?

If they don’t sell, will you have to take them back?

So much to consider! :slight_smile:

(Emma Higgins - Printmaker) #4

I’d do option number 2 but I’d use the money to buy a special treat for myself as an incentive to keep going when it’s all getting a bit mind numbing.

I did the same last summer with a big order. I had my eye on a lovely blue dress and I bought it specifically with the money I made.

As Minerva said, it really depends on the time you have, it’s no fun working to a tight deadline but it’s flattering that they want to buy your products.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.

(Joy Salt) #5

Thanks all, I think I agree with all of you.

It is an easy enough design so that’s not a problem and it’s not wholesale, I’m pretty sure just someone wanting bulk for some special reason or other.

I will write back and say yes I will do it for 20* unit price but there will of course be a combined postage reduction.
And - I need several weeks to complete as
a. I’m away for a few days next week,
b. I need time to order the glass in as when I make all the same I need all the same glass so can’t just use bits of something else if I run short.

(Helen Smith) #6

In this sort of situation I might consider passing on any savings to me of shipping a bulk order, even if it’s only 19 x the 20p paypal transaction fee which I would save against selling them separately, it adds up to a bit of a sweetener.

(Shirley Woosey) #7

I’m with Helen because you can save a little bit of time and money on 20 all to the same person.
Only 1 paypal receipt, only one parcel to wrap and 1 trip to the Post Office.

But don’t do it unless you really want to Joy. Boredom some sets in for me and I don’t do bulk orders at all any more.
It’s just not worth it unless you really need the money.

(Jo Sara) #8

I agree about the boredom thing. I’d definitely way up the great feeling of making a reasonable profit for your time and effort against the rubbish feeling of being like a human conveyor belt.


(Joy Salt) #9

I’m going to ask
a. Why do you want 20 (Would hate to see them for sale somewhere at double the price)
b. When do you want them
c. Do you want them at the original price cos (otherwise I’m not making them)

I have done a couplle of ‘bulk’ orders - last one was some wedding favour hearts and I was really really pleased when I’d made the last one and I’ve turned a couple down - on the boredom basis.

If the answers are ‘good’ I’ll have a good think before saying yes or no. This is a hobby after all :slight_smile:

(Lizzie Gillum, Bedfordshire, Uk ) #10

I wouldn’t offer a bulk discount, if it won’t make it worth your while to do the work. After all, you’re in business to make a profit.
If you do decide to accept the order, do your sums and charge what it will cost to make the order - don’t under price. I presume they want to sell these on… you need to make your fair share of the order, or it’s just not worth it.

If you really don’t want to do it, then say no. It is your business. You’re the boss and you make the decisions. You can say you are too busy with other orders, if you don’t want to say “I don’t do bulk orders” - but there’s nothing wrong with refusing it because you don’t like to do bulk orders. Frankly if you find it such a drag, then perhaps you ought to refuse it!