Folksy Ltd

Approaching a shop for the first time!

(CaraLily) #1

After a lot of umming and ahhing I have decided to approach a local gift shop to see if they would like to sell any of my pieces. Its a scary jump from making things from my garden studio and selling over the internet - to approaching someone face to face!
I’ve put together a selection of pieces along with a price list (at RRP - is that the right thing to do?)…
I would LOVE to hear from you if you’ve been in this position - any pointers greatly received as I’m going to meet the owner tomorrow morning!!
Thanks in advance, Cara x

(Camilla) #2

Hi Cara. There are lots of tips on our blog that might help you. Cat from Howkapow wrote a whole series of posts about selling to shops, so hopefully there will be some useful information on there. Good luck.

(Karen Ellam) #3

Hi Cara

I can’t really help with any advice, but I just wanted to wish you all the best for your meeting tomorrow :grinning:


(Renphotographycouk) #4

Do not cold call and straight away present them with your pieces. Go in and ask if they taking on new artists/crafts and if so if you could arrange an appointment with the manager. Or who is responsible for taking on new sellers.

Most of them do sale or return and expect the shops takes around 50% commission.

Also you will have to sign a contract. Make sure you are happy, and do not be desperate and sign anything just so they take you on. Go home and think about it.

Bare in mind that some places (like florists and church halls) have high humidity, so the stock will be pretty much damaged afterwards. Best to stay away from places like that.

Good luck.

(Stonewarebirds) #5

Good luck - i offer a new shop 10 birds on sale and return but I insist they buy after that, but that’s because I am confident they will sell and if they don’t it’s usually because the way they are displayed. You really need to be clear what you want to take away money wise, then you add their sale and return, or they can add whatever they want if buying them outright. If sale and return is a 33% add 50% if its 50% you need to add 100% to your take home price. Hope that helps.

(CaraLily) #6

Wow - great advice, thanks everybody! And thanks for your support Karen :slight_smile:
Having worked in a shop I know how awkward it can be when someone turns up unannounced and thrusts their product at you (saying that, I nearly did that myself but a friend reminded me its best to call and inquire to see if they’re even looking for more products first!!)
Thankyou renphotographycouk - I would probably have signed far too quickly, just at hearing they would want to stock my work! - and stonewarebirds, It’s already got me thinking about my work getting a bit ‘lost’ in the shop as it is full to the brim with lovely things - I will have to think about my own display and see if I can make it stand out from all the rest! - It’s amazing how protective you get over your own work isn’t it!
Thanks folks, I will keep you posted on how I get on tomorrow morning!

Here are my pages if you fancy a look:

(Minerva) #7

I would also add…discuss what happens if the items are damaged or if there is theft / fire etc. Definitely know your prices upfront. Also be prepared to answer any questions about discounts for bulk orders etc or negotiate if there is room for it. The more prepared you are, the better.

I’ve tried calling, emailing and walking into a shop to speak to someone. All methods are ok as long as you are polite and take ‘no’ for an answer gracefully. They might remember you and contact you later. Emailing is good as you can think what to say, how to say it, save the draft, look at it again later and provide photos or links to your shops. If they don’t have a site, then I would call to ask.

Walking into a shop has the advantage of the owner/manager seeing you and your work in person. It would be a good idea to figure out, if you can, what times are busier in as it’s best to avoid them or talk to the manager directly.

Good luck!!

(CaraLily) #8

Thank you for your advice Minerva - I read your message just before I left to meet with the shop owner.

Well, I was really nervous but when I got there I was thankful for the great advice you have all given me. I showed the owner my products and gave her a pricelist with product shots attached. We spoke about wholesale and SOR and when asked which I’d prefer to use I said SOR as it is the best option for the both of us - If my products don’t sell, she won’t have lost any money and I will get my products back. I was expecting to have to wait a day or so to hear back from her but in our meeting she said she really liked my products, thought they would fit in really well with her shop and would like to stock some of them! Yipppee!
I know I will not be making as much money by selling via a shop than I can with my own folksy/facebook pages but I feel it is a great way to get my products seen by a wider and more local community. Word of mouth can be a wonderous thing!

Many thanks again for all your advice! :slight_smile: