Wholesale tips for small vendors and artisans
At Early to Bed we LOVE to buy stuff from small companies and individuals who are making/selling unique products! I want to share some tips on how to make it easier for us to buy from you (and to help you sell to other stores too of course!).
1- Look at our website. Note what we sell and what we don’t. Save everyone some time if your product is way different than the products we carry (like, we do not sell gag gifts … peddling your gag gifts to us is not worth the effort).
2- Send us an email explaining your product and offer to send us a sample (if you call me I’ll just tell you to send me an email). We (and many other places) need to see something in person to inspect its quality, usability, and safety before we make a decision to buy it. If you absolutely cannot afford to send out free samples, offer us one at cost or a discount.
3- Send the sample to us along with wholesale info! It is frustrating to get a sample but no info on how much it costs or what the terms are. For us to take the time to have to send an email to ask those questions can be the difference between picking the item up and letting it fester in a box on the floor until we get a chance to email you for more info (which may be never).
Here is what we buyers want to know:
• What the wholesale price is
• What the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) is
• What the minimum order we can place is (either in dollar amounts or numbers of items) Low/no min order = a better chance that we’ll try your product
• How you take orders and payment (via a website, paypal, invoicing, etc). Make it easy for us! Give an email address or invoice for paypal or a website we can order on.
• How long it will take to receive the items once we order? (More than 2 weeks is trouble.)
4- Pack your products nicely and safely and get them to us quickly. We undertand delays, and if you let us know about them we can be flexible, but keep us in the loop so we know when to expect our goodies from you.
5- FOLLOW UP! Lots of times I probably would have picked up an item but the vendor/maker never followed up and I just do not have time to make all those outgoing emails/calls. And if we say “No,” listen to our reasons. Maybe we have a suggestion on how to make it safer or more sellable. Maybe it just is not right for our shop and I may even have a suggestion of someone else whose shop it might work better in.
6- Have high quality pictures of your products that we can use to promote/sell your items. I take pictures of most of our products, but if a vendor has a good looking picture I can use on my website, I can get that product online much quicker!
7- Check back in with us! Give us a month or three then email or call back. There have been many times when I might not have reordered an item until the vendor called and asked if we needed more. Don’t harass me, but do follow up.
The bottom line is the easier you make it for retailers to buy your product from you, the more you can sell (assuming what you have is awesome). We love small companies (we are one too) and we want to see you THRIVE!!
Hope some of you find this helpful. And hey, if you have a hot, sexy product you want to pitch me, email firstname.lastname@example.org