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Preparing Price Lists

Hello,

I’m just beginning to sell my jewlery. I have an interested shop,
and I’ll be meeting with shop owners next week to show them some
pieces, etc. I’ve done lots of homework on pricing, presenting my
jewelry etc., but have a question regarding price lists. I’m unsure
whether the store is interested in purchasing my pieces wholesale or
on consignment. Since my prices will vary depending on the method,
shoud I create two price sheets and bring them both with me (this
seems like the obvious answer)? Is it acceptable to provide one
price sheet with both wholesale and consignment prices on it? Should
I call the owners and ask so I know before-hand (our first
conversation was very quick in the store without a lot of detail)?
What’s the recommended way to handle this? I’m just getting my feet
wet and would appreciate any help!

Thanks!
Beth

Hi Beth,

I’d say that it would be to your advantage to either bring the two
different sheets or provide both price lists on one sheet. It will
allow them a side by side comparison and may even sell them on a
particular plan. One thing I learned early on in sales is to never
give the option of “no.” Put both price lists in front of them and
ask them which plan they’d prefer. You’ll be almost certain to walk
out of there with a new customer and not have someone who says “well
thanks for coming in, we’ll think about it.”

Good Luck!
Nancy Stinnett
Geosoul Arts
www.geosoul.com

Beth,

My strategy would be to take a wholesale price sheet and go in with
the idea of selling them some jewelry. If they want consignment,
give them a contract, ask them to read over it and get some names of
other artists that have consigned with them in the past and
currently.

When you give consignment terms you are issuing a credit, just as if
you were lending them money. This is serious business and they need
to know that you are serious and you won’t be easy to walk on.

Ask to see how they are displaying other work that is on
consignment. Ask if they ever put consigned work in backstock
(basically put it under the showcase instead of in it). Ask how they
would display your work.

The best consignment stores understand the needs of the consigning
jeweler and know that you can take your work anywhere. They know that
they have to compete for the best jewelers. If the store you are
going to doesn’t treat you with respect, take your contract
seriously or bristle at any question, don’t consign to them at any
price.

The worst stores know that a lot of young, inexperienced and hungry
beginners will accept anything, just to get their work in the market.
They’ll convince you that it’s an honor just to have your work in
their store. Don’t fall for it.

Never leave consignment work at a store on the first visit!
Research, research, research! It doesn’t pay to be too hungry.

Larry

Hello Beth:

My wholesale prices are my consignment prices however I add a few
more terms for consignment. The store is always responsible for
shipping costs- I ask for a UPS or Fed Ex account number before I
ship. The store must agree to send back any piece I may need
immediately if I have a another buyer for that item. In addition any
items that come back damaged they are responsible for the full
wholesale price. I have had items totally ruined by a store with
good intentions- for example one time a store put a pearl and silver
necklace in a “dip” and literally melted the pearls (when I send my
work I always send a very detailed jewelry care letter so folks know
how to treat the jewelry). If the store does not move a certain
amount of merchandise per month after 3 months I usually pull the
account. I only reserve consignment to stores that I know really move
my work. Its not worth sending out thousands of dollars of work
(retail value) to only get a puny $90 check here and there. Also I
work out a payment schedule. Sales from the previous month MUST be
paid by the 15th of the following month. I also must get a detailed
invoice of what exactly sold. If they just send you a check with out
any details for what exactly sold that is not a good sign that they
are very organized- and unorganized businesses usually don’t do very
well.

Good Luck,
DeDe
DEDEMETAL

Hello Beth,

I saw your inquiry about pricing. I would advise that you come up
with your bottom price. Don’t try and set the stores retail price.
Most stores markup jewelry today at least 2.1 or more depending on
their overhead. They [the storeowners] don’t want to have to deal
with your pricing structure. Just figure out what is your bottom
price and be happy. Let them set their retail. If they want to
handle your work on consignment let them put their markup on your
base price. You should have a talk with them though on how they want
to do it. Ask them if they can sell your work quickly and profitably
for both of you. If they don’t think that they can make their margins
from your wholesale prices they will either let your work languish or
choose not to carry it. They may be professional enough to give you
some pointers as to their price point for their store. You can them
possiblly make pieces to meet their client base. Better to know these
things than to leave a lot of things there and not have them push
your work.

Good Luck

Hi Beth,

You’ll get lots of response to this question and you’ll find even
more in the Orchid archives but … here’s my short
(-ish) and sweet answer. For the purpose of making a presentation,
you should only need ONE price list – a retail one. Your retail
prices will include your wholesale prices as follows.

First you set a wholesale price by taking into account materials,
labor, overhead AND a profit margin. From there, you calculate the
retail price of your pieces by doubling the wholesale price (known
as “keystone”). So, if you set a wholesale price of $150 for a piece,
the retail price will be $300, regardless of whether you sell it or
consign it to the account.

If the account intends to buy your work, just tell them that your
price list shows retail/keystone prices, meaning that their cost
will be 50% of what’s shown. If the account wants your work on
consignment, you’ll of course ask what their consignment percentage
is. You should never accept less than 50%, which means that you can
get no less than your wholesale price. If the account happens to
consign on a 60/40 basis (rather than the more common 50/50), then
all the better for you since you’ll receive 60% of your retail
price.

In the (very) rare case where an account takes only 30% or 20% of
retail, you can offer to adjust your retail prices, if you wish; but
start with your regular retail (keystone) price list and proceed
from there. Hope this helps.

Beth

    If the account intends to buy your work, just tell them that
your price list shows retail/keystone prices, meaning that their
cost will be 50% of what's shown.  If the account wants your work
on consignment, you'll of course ask what their consignment
percentage is. You should *never* accept less than 50%, which means
that you can get no less than your wholesale price. If the account
happens to consign on a 60/40 basis (rather than the more common
50/50), then all the better for you since you'll receive 60% of
your retail price. 

As my first post I must strongly disagree. I do both wholesale and
retail. You should never tell anyone what to charge the retail
customer.

If you your self sell direct it should always be above what a store
would reasonably sell your item for. That way you never embarrass
your customer with a lower price, and that will end any further
sales to that store.

If you want to have a store stock your stuff, they need to feel they
are making money at it. As my Grandfather always said “If you don’t
make the boss any money he don’t need you.” But don’t give away your
hard work and talent. Sorry no clear answer.

Tim…

Great advice on consignment of work, Larry!!! Kudos!!!

Vic Davis

Hi Tim,

I was trying to keep my reply to (the other) Beth relatively short
and I see that I opened the door for some misinterpretation. I
carefully opened my statement with, “For the purpose of making a
presentation…”, and in that context, I stand by what I said.

If you your self sell direct it should always be above what a
store would reasonably sell your item for. That way you never
embarrass your customer with a lower price, and that will end any
further sales to that store. 

In principle I agree, but in practice it won’t work. If various
stores are pricing your work at anywhere from keystone to triple
keystone, are you supposed to sell your work to the public at more
than triple key? Uh uh. If you keystone your work to the public, you
are doing all that can be expected to keep things on a relatively
even playing field.

Also, keep in mind that there are differences between how a
one-of-a-kind/limited edition studio jeweler and a
multiples/production operation (including designer jewelers like,
say, Jose Hess or David Yurman) would handle these issues. I’m
approaching this discussion from the viewpoint of the former.

You should never tell anyone what to charge the retail customer. 

I have to disagree with this statement, despite the fact that I
don’t personally insist on setting retail prices. It depends on
circumstances and it depends on what kind of business you run. It’s
harder to set retail prices if you’re a studio jeweler, but it can be
done; after all, a store can always refuse to carry your line if they
don’t like your price points.

Every piece of jewelry I send to a consignment account is stickered
with an ID number and the keystone price. Some of my accounts use my
stickers while others don’t. Some of my accounts discuss their
retail pricing policies with me and others don’t. I’m aware that
some raise my prices by 10% or so. I accept that. If I discovered
that an account was using triple keystone prices, however, I would
pull my jewelry from that account. I work very hard to price my
pieces fairly and I don’t want someone else inflating those prices
beyond reason.

All this being said, I still believe that “for the purpose of making
a presentation,” a retail/keystone price list is the way to go.

Beth

My reply is only because I feel pricing is a live or die issue for
any business.

You missed my “reasonably sell” statement.

But if you have a price list, web store or site @ key or key + 10%
it’s an industry standard, and if a store feels they need 3 X cost
to pay the rent, just let them know my markup is keystone and I
publish it. No one else is that high, and your customers may get
angry when they see a lower price. I guess I don’t like anyone
telling me how to run MY business.

It comes down to what are your (any artist) needs, and what are the
stores needs. It’s a 3 part deal: 1:artist 2:store 3:retail customer.

The trick is how to make everyone happy, not an easy question.

Sorry, no easy answer folks. Unfortunately, “it all depends”

Tim…

My strategy would be to take a wholesale price sheet and go in 
with the idea of selling them some jewelry. If they want
consignment, give them a contract, ask them to read over it and get
some names of other artists that have consigned with them in the
past and currently. 

Great advice.

Never leave consignment work at a store on the first visit!
Research, research, research!  It doesn't pay to be too hungry. 

Even better advice!
Thanks Larry

Brian
B r i a n A d a m
e y e g l a s s e s j e w e l l e r y
Auckland NEW ZEALAND
www.adam.co.nz