I have received an email from someone setting up an online kids products business. She really likes my cloud cushions that retail on here at £15. She has asked if I would do wholesale. I know that shops normally have a mark up of 2.5, but there is no way i can sell them to her much cheaper than £10…also she is only selling online so won’t have the overheads. Do people think that is reasonable? Any advice on wholesale pricing greatly appreciated as I am eager to get into this market but don’t want to work for nothing!!
It sounds like you might be selling your cushions retail a bit too cheaply. I was going to have a look at them to see what they looked like but I can’t find your shop.
If you log out of the forum (click on your logo at the top right of this page), then log back in again, a clickable link to your shop should appear on every post you make.
Thanks for that…you should have a clickable link now. Let me know what you think.
Your cloud cushions are really rather lovely! And as Jo said, if you want to go the wholesale route perhaps you need to look at your pricing, with a wholesale price of £10 meaning a minimum retail of £20, which I don’t think is unreasonable at all for such a lovely thing.
On the other hand, you could just say to her that £10 is your wholesale price and then it is up to her whether she likes the cushions and feels she can make sufficient on them.
I’m glad you like them Helen …If i charge her anything less than £10 it’s not really worth my while, so think I am going to go with that…Thanks again
I hope you’re well? I definitely think you should up you’re retail prices, you’re work looks gorgeous on here and I can vouch that they look even more gorgeous in real life!
I’m good ta…How are you?
Thanks for the feedback and compliment, I think I will take another look at my prices and put them up a bit…
Are you doing any fairs with the run up to Christmas btw? xx
You definitely should! I’m well thanks, I’ve been on a mega knitting drive these past few months, lots more new things to go in my shop in the next couple of weeks! (just got to tackle the photography side!). I might do a fair around Xmas, but I don’t really do many anymore xx
Photography is the other thing I need to work on…alongside pricing. Look forward to seeing your new products and hopefully see you soon x x x
You’re photo’s are fab! See you soon lovely xxx
Well, I think £20 is more than fair. I’m not a sewer so making a cloud shape looks to me to be a lot more complicated than an ordinary square. And square cushions at £20 seem a good price to me, so I reckon you could even go a bit higher. It’s a psychological thing too. If a cushion is too cheap for the perceived work you start to wonder why is that? Is it not as well made as I think it is? Cheap fabric? I can see you’re using good fabric. The work looks good to me too, so there’s no reason not to up that price at least a fiver, if not more.
I’ve dealt with an online only outlet who wanted a wholesale price from me. I negotiated a price that was around 2/3rds my retail price at the time, and they sold my item at a higher price than I had it in my shops for. That was part of the deal that they didn’t undercut me. If it’s a brand new site with no visitor or selling figures they can’t really beat you down on price. They’re going to want some stock to fill their shop. You’re helping them at the moment.
I think we are sometimes too inclined to think that saying ‘no’ to something implies we are being inflexible, unhelpful or unbusinesslike…one of the things I have learned is that it is OK to say ‘thank you, but it is not viable for me’…The first time I was asked about wholesale I just couldn’t make it work and I felt really guilty at saying it was not possible and yet it was a perfectly reasonable buisness decision!! …Also - think
about your brand…do you want someone else having control of your work, let alone the possibility that they will sell them for more than you do?!..Again - personally I wasn’t keen to compromise my brand or my customer service…hope this helpsxx
Thanks so much for your feedback Jo. You are right the fabrics I use are all good quality and a lot of them are Liberty prints. It’s really good to know that you negotiated that deal with an online only company, and also you are right that this lady is only starting up. I have also just started making a range of poufs, that children loved at the craft fair i did at the weekend so i want to see if they are up for giving these a go on their website too… Thanks again Jo…ps I really love your work x
Very good point Maggie…yes it has got to work for me otherwise no point.
I am going to try and negotiate a deal with this lady though as I am eager to get my work out there more and try and up my sales. Thanks for your input and have a great eve xx
Maggie, it’s fine for someone who has bought your items wholesale/trade to sell your items for more than you do on your own sites. If you are drop shipping for them, which is how most of these online sites work, then you can add your own branding in the package and the customer can come direct to you next time because they’ll see you are cheaper. It’s if the wholesale buyer started selling for less than you sell for that there’d be a problem.
I agree with you about saying no though. I’ve had to turn down quite a few of these sites that are just starting up. If you say you’ll supply with them you effectively have to ‘park’ the materials to make the items you have agreed with them. Most times this is on the offchance that this new site is going to be ‘brilliant’ at marketing your items iand s going to take off and be found by the target customer, in the same way as Folksy needs to be found to buy from. There are loads, and loads of these handmade online selling sites aimed at a particular market around now. I think people think it’s easier for someone else to make the things and they’ll just connect up the buyers. As we all know, it’s not that easy to do in practice, and if you said yes to all the enquiries you’d have a ton of stock tied up with the possibility of selling none of it. Or you’d be giving away all your stock at knockdown wholesale prices to websites that won’t reorder and might need to sell your stuff off cheap when things don’t work out. They need to give you figures and reasons to sell to them, not just come asking.
It is a huge dilema as every part of the serious buisness person in you says wholesale is a good way to move forward, get known and be ‘out there’. It took alot of soul searching to make a decisive policy to say ‘no’ to wholesale. Having said that, when I made it I felt a great sense of relief and felt true to myself and my product. It was a good ‘buisness’ decision.
I had a good old rethink of my prices earlier this year so that I have both a wholesale price and a retail price, and I did that before I joined Folksy.
Folsky have written about this in the past and it’s worth looking into should you consider this as part of your business strategy.
Bethan, I know I am always a bit suspicious when someone wants something cheaper, but has the person given you a link to their new site. Or are they just wanting your cushion for a lower price. I have had these sort of asks and I usually say that the price is what it is, but if the potential buyer would like to order a bulk purchase, say 10, then I would be prepared to negotiate. Of course that depends on whether I could produce a high number of the specific item, and not feel like a sweat shop. Marg. x
You still need to make a reasonable profit, and anything handmade is always going to be more costly than mass-produced items. Have had a similar dilemma with cards, bookmarks and prints.
Like most, happy to give anyone a discount for bulk purchase, but there are lots out there of retailers and wholesalers who want to make a financial killing at the expense of the craft suppliers, and who add little, or no added value to getting involved.
Same thing happening between supermarkets and their suppliers, margins being squeezed all the time. Tread carefully !
It’s sensible to have a decent size minimum order for wholesale to put off the person who just wants a couple of things at a bargain price.