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Becoming a wholesaler to jewelers


#1

I am wondering whats the best way to approach jewelers to see if
they would like to carry my rings. I have been selling only from my
website and I need to expand my customer base. I’ve been thinking of
seeing if some of the local non-chain shops would be interested, but
I’m not sure how to approach them. Should I just walk in with some
samples and ask them? Send them and maybe even a sample
ring? (Would be easier for me as I am shy.) I’d be glad to hear any
thoughts on this.

Thanks
Wes
www.titaniumconcepts.com


#2

I make my entire living doing consignment and some custom work, I
have been consigning stuff for about ten years with jewelers not so
much with craft galleries. For the type of work I do craft galleries
are not well suited they usually dont have a safe to keep stuff in
at night and the sales people are not eduacated in fine jewelry. I
once sent some pieces to a gallery and waited a whole year and
nothing sold so I called thinking that maybe they just were not
paying, I asked the sales girl who answered the phone what the
average price of the items they sold was and she told me that they
were real high end and that they sold stuff that cost between 50 and
one hundred dollars all the time. My work is 1000 to 3000 dollars
wholesale and they were trippling my prices. I had them return the
stuff immediatly. Do not expect the stores to buy the items from you
most of the manufacturers give real generous terms such as six
months no payment and full return or trade in on unsold merchandise
or buy ten thousand and get fifty thousand on memo. I just give it
to them and ask to be paid thirty days after it is sold so that if
it is returned for some reason no one is stuck with it. I have never
been truly burned I have had trouble getting my work back but I did
get it back and I have had some checks bounce but they eventualy
were paid. I think most people are pretty honest but in business
sometimes they have money troubles and you need to be patient. Only
once have I had to resort to drastic measures to get my money a
store that I had given about thirty thousand dollars worth of stuff
to was not paying and they told me nothing had sold, so I told them
to ship it back and that I would pay all shipping, nothing ever
showed up. I called and the owner would not take my calls, so I flew
out that same week and went to the store to get the stuff personaly
I had never met them in person so I just walked in to take a look
around and see if my pieces were still there, they had sold more
than half of them. I confronted the owner who by

sincerely Kevin Potter


#3

Wes,

The best way I have found to sell my work to retailers is:

1.Carefully asses the store for compatability with your product
(price points, style, quality of merchandise, calibre of service)

  1. Call, identify yourself and ask who does the buying. Make an
    appointment with that person for a showing. Call to confirm the
    appointment a day in advance. Smile when making the phone calls, it
    will shine through in your voice.

  2. If the buyer is not available, ask when they may be and call
    back then. Leaving a message generates a return call about 1% of the
    time.

  3. If you cannot speak directly, send a well written letter with a
    few photographs. Mark all photographs with your company name and a
    copyright mark.

  4. Drop-in or ambush sales with product in hand are rarely
    appreciated by a buyer. Though it is prudent to do a “drop in” and
    merely introduce yourself, have a few QUALITY pictures handy if they
    wish to see them, then make an appointment to return with product.
    This is also personally safer than carrying around thousands of
    dollars worth of goods constantly.

  5. Follow up on a semi weekly to semi monthly basis with those you
    have spoken with even if they did not purchase.

  6. When meeting have firm prices established, make sure your goods
    are well organized, clean and have promotional materials (photos, biz
    card, etc) available to leave with buyer.

  7. Always be well dressed when meeting for the first time(no jeans),
    have well manicured hands, and a genuine smile.

  8. Arrive 10 minutes early for any appointment but no more than
    that.

  9. Always follow a meeting with a thank you note even if a sale was
    not made.

  10. Be prepared for any and all questions, including if you are
    willing to do consignment. Have payment terms, return policy,
    delivery times, etc. well thought out ahead of time and put
    EVERYTHING in writing.

  11. Do not take rejection or critiques of merchandise personally.
    Listen and decide if it is constructive or if you are dealing with an
    ass. If the latter, thank them for thier time and end the
    appointment.

Since you are shy, practice your pitch in front of friends or tape
what you wish to say. listen to it, refine it and practice. Dont
rely on a hard script, but get to where you are comfortable and have
a personal style.

Last suggestions, have quality business cards/stationary done by a
printer. Computer printed cards look cheap. Your promotional
materials will be one of the first things to speak about the quality
of your product. Also, have appropriate displays/cases to show your
goods. Handle them like the handmade artwork they are. I have
"signed" jewelry boxes for each of my pieces when making a
presentation. Some stores wish to use my packaging, some dont, but
it is the impression that counts.

Best of luck! Mike Michael A. Gaines Distinctive Jewelry