For those who might not want to ask a store owner what their yearly
or monthly jewelry sales are, here is another approach. What you
really are looking to do is to avoid overstocking a store with your
precious merchandise and to make sure you are represented in a
balanced way. Knowing hard facts are most useful, but an owner or
manager could be just pulling numbers out of their hats in order to
So, let the store know that your expectation is a certain rate of
return on the merchandise you provide. For long term consignment I
want a minimum of a 10% monthly turn. In other words if I give a
store $1,000 in merchandise, I want to see a minimum of $100 per
month in sales with a bump up in sales during the busy season,
whenever that is. But knowing if a store is doing $1,000,000 in
jewelry sales as opposed to $50,000 is key. Perhaps they could
support $2,500 ($250/mo) in merchandise or even $20,000 (yippee!
$2,000/mo). The point is that you need to know how much to give
them based on facts and figures that you are willing to discuss.
You also plant in their mind that you expect your work to sell
consistently (monthly), not yearly.
A 10% per month sales figure gives me at least a 1.2 time turnover
in sales, not great, but it is a good starting point. If you have a
50% increase in sales over the busy season you raise that to a more
respectable 1.6x turn. A good store would perform more in the 2x
yearly turnover and up in my books.
Discussing your work in this manner will allow a store to look at
the history of what they have sold, look at your work, decide where
it fits into their scheme and give you plenty of ways to learn more
about each other.