Handling fee for small wholesale orders

I sometimes receive wholesale orders for 2 pieces. While it is
better for me to send a 2 piece order than not at all I was thinking
of introducing a handling fee for small orders. I would like to hear
what other people do.

Laura Cowan
Judaica designer and silversmith


Hi, Laura,

I am not very experienced at wholesaling, but I did “dip my toe” in
it for a couple of years. I had the same problem, and I liked my
solution. Instead of adding chrges for small orders, I took them
away for larger ones. I listed a schedule of discounts according to
the dollar amount of the total order, though you could do it by the
item as well. The price sheet was separate from the catalog, so
prices could be adjusted without reprinting. It could be laid out
comparably to what is in the Rio catalog, for example, though I just
listed one price (don’t remember highest or lowest) and the discount
set-up. The whole thing was very small-scale and “bush league”, but
it worked OK. The main thing I learned was that --wait for it,
nugget of wisdom coming-- to wholesale, you must work to maintain
relationshios with your accounts, and that means mostly
face-to-face. I really wasn’t ready to commit to that, being at the
same wholesale shows every time, travelling if necessary to shmooz,
etc, so the wholesale accounts faded out over time and I let it go.
Hope this is of some help!


Hi Laura,

My solution over the years is to charge NO shipping fee for large
orders and the cost of shipping is figured into each piece. Say give
yourself $1 per piece for handling and shipping. Also, if the
shipment is lost in transit, the retailer is responisble for tracking
the package. I, of course, make the claim, so insurance is very

When the order is for special orders or consignment, I charge for
shipping and handling even though the S/H is already included in the
price of the piece. There’s a lot of work that goes into putting
that one piece in a box and getting it on its way! In the case of
special orders, the retailer is responsible for paying for the item
and shipping, even if the customer decides against the piece.
Although, the usual disclaimer applies, if the customer finds the
piece unsatifactory to their specifications.

I hope this helps. Reba