Hello- You have brought up two very good points about selling your
items to a store. Its a big step and its an adventure.
I have been selling my work to shops for years. I have found that
walking in and meeting the owner/buyer first informally is of great
help. Occasionally that informal meeting has turned directly into a
sale but more often than not it gave me a feeling for the store and
the owner. If they are willing make an appointment right then to
bring in your lines. If not try to nail down the best times to make
one later. I always leave a business card and I always carry a small
sample case too. Don’t forget as a jeweler you are your own best
billboard. Wear those WOW pieces when you go gallery hopping.
A few dos and donts. Never approach the owner expecting a sale. Never
do first introductions on weekend, show openings or when the store is
packed. Do go after lunch. Be friendly. Be interested in their stock.
Ask what gems sell well for them. Ask about price points. Ask what
jewelery moves for them. In short make the owner comfortable.
As far as getting paid. I currently work on a cash on the barrel
terms. I dont do consignments at all. Why? Because I believe that if
a store owner like my items well enough to offer them to their
customers then they should buy them out right. Period. That works
well for me. Be sure to work out whatever selling terms you are
comfortable before you meet with a store buyer. And for goodness sake
get EVERYTHING in writing.