How to get a rep & what to expect

We do not know how to obtain a Rep. This sounds like the best
option for us. Can you give me advice as to how to obtain a rep?

Dear Donna and Tom (and anyone else out there who wanted to
know), One of the best ways is to go to a few stores where you
think your jewelry would do well and ask to speak to the owner or
buyer (usually the same person in small stores). Ask for their
help. Tell them you are looking for a rep and who do they like
doing business with. If the storeowner likes a rep, chances are
others will too and your rep will be invited in everytime he/she
calls. Store owners are always looking for helpful reps who have
products that help the store make money. That’s the person you
want as a rep. Some reps have more experience than others. Some
reps have their hands full already. Once you have a few names,
call them and interview them. You are going to be giving hundreds
of dollars of merchandise to this person and you need to be able
to trust them. The pay is usually 15% of wholesale. So, if a
necklace will sell at $100, you charge the store $50. Out of
that $50 is your materials, labor, marketing, profit and $7.50 to
the rep. The store owner can also charge whatever they think the
market will bear. If stores are consistantly charging $150 for
your $50 pieces(wholesale) and the stuff is SELLING for $150,
then you have wiggle room to charge more - up to $75. Another way
to find a rep is to hit one of the jewelry shows that they have

  • wholesale or retail. If you are in Reno (or maybe it’s Vegas)
    they have a couple of really good Craft shows there. Try to find
    a quiet time during the show to ask the sellers if they have a rep
    and if they would give you a name and address. Don’t do this when
    they are setting up, or have a customer anywhere near their
    booth. Just remember that it’s great to sit at home and work 24
    hours a day and not have to go on the road. The 15% will hurt
    each month, but you have to remember that without your rep, you
    don’t have any sales.

Good Luck,
kathi parker

This was a great eye opener for me and hopefully
will help some of you. We did not see how we could possibly
afford to sell wholesale AND pay a rep 15%. Then a fellow jeweler
had me take the following equation and boy was I shocked!

If you did shows last year, take all your show expenses (travel,
gas, lodging, entry and jury fees, food, gift donation to show,
etc.) plus work time lost (travel days, not able to work at show
days, etc.) and divide that by the number of shows you did that
year. This gives you an average. Now take the total amount of
sales from shows, less your cost and less the show expenses
average. Now figure out what percentage you actually made on the
items you sold.

In our case it was much less than wholesale less the 15% for a
rep and we get to stay off the road and have much more production
time, which lowers our cost per piece. Also if you do wholesale
shows you still have the expenses, plus downtime from production,
and this always comes up to more than 15% charged by the rep.
When figured this way, the cost of the rep is real cheap. That
is assuming the rep is doing his/her job and making big sales for
you. jb

J. Byers