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Retail orders?


#1

Hello i’m new here and hope you can shed some light on the industry.
i too am interested in being a jewelry designer, hopefully a
successful one. I have a few questions about the business. Any amount
of would be so helpful and I thank you all in advance.

*How many units/items does a retail store order the first time around
from an unknown designer (1000/2000). Once established what is the
average order amount?

*How many times a year does a store, like Neiman Marcus order from a
designer? Or does it depend on demand?

*How long are you given to fill an order?

*When approaching the buying departments of boutiques with more than
one location (like Fred Segal) do you send a press release/kit to
only the flagship location or to the individual store locations?

Thanks all
barbara


#2

I hope you wont find my posting too pessimistic but I will give you
my experience.

  1. When I first began designing and manufacturing my line of jewelry
    I was told over and over that new designers are notoriously known for
    their failure to deliver. While retailers are excited to discover new
    talent, they are cautious when working with first time designers. My
    opening orders were for small quantities. After I was more
    established I was able to set my own minimums. But first time orders
    were not huge.

  2. My experience with Neiman’s, Saks, Bergdorf’s etc. was that they
    are now all gearing up to 100% consignment sales. In addition to
    that, stores like Saks expect vendors to pay for pages in their
    catalogues at $25,000 per page.

  3. Buyers usually look at least four times a year, for each season
    of the year, they of course are 6 to 9 months ahead or even one year
    ahead.

  4. I ask for 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. But often I am given more
    time than that, as I am working with catalogues, museums ect. months
    before expected delivery.

  5. All ordering depends on demand. And in this market demand has
    slowed down considerably.

  6. As for approaching buyers, contact as many people as you can.
    Individual boutiques, department heads, anyone you may have a
    connection with. But be forewarned. You may be rejected A LOT!

  7. As was already said, buyers are wary of new designers, the
    economy is down, etc.And, if you do get big orders do your homework
    before hand. How will you produce large quantities? How long will it
    take YOU? Be realistic with your promises and pricing, I priced an
    order for 400 gold pendants when gold was $275 per ounce, but by the
    time I manufactured the pieces for delivery gold cost me $375! I’ll
    now build gold price fluctuations into my pricing.

  8. It is a tough market out there but I wouldn’t give it up, so my
    last wish for you is lots of luck!


#3

Hello Barbara, I too am a jewellery designer. I think one thing that
I have learned is that retail stores only take small quantities of
work, say, no more than 10 pieces. The three things that they look
for are quality, price and originality. You need to be aware of the
mark up most retailer want which could be anything between 40 and 150
percent. Choose your outlets carefully. Build up a personal
relationship with the buyer. Get to know what they like and what they
don’t like. Keep an eye on current fashions in jewellery. A question
the buyer will always ask you is “Do you have any new designs?”. You
would probably need between 10 and 30 stores to make a reasonable
profit. I always send out a mailshot to the shop, telephone them in
a few days to make an appointment. Listen to what the buyer has to
say. They often make very helpful (but not always easy to take)
comments about your work. I hope this helps Best wishes Richard


#4
 Be realistic with your promises and pricing, I priced an order for
400 gold pendants when gold was $275 per ounce, but by the time I
manufactured the pieces for delivery gold cost me $375! I'll now
build gold price fluctuations into my pricing." 

Hi Dawn, Could you please go into a little bit more detail as to how
you actually go about doing this? I’m curious, and I’m sure an awful
lot of others would be, as well! (I can’t even begin to count the
number of times that I’ve sold a piece, then gone to reinvest in the
materials for another one like it, only to learn that the cost of
raw materials now exceeds the selling price just received. How do
you go about ascertaining the veracity of your prices’ tracking,
over time?

Many thanks, Doug Douglas Turet, GJ Lapidary Artist, Designer &
Goldsmith Turet Design P.O. Box 162 Arlington, MA 02476 Tel. (617)
325-5328 eFax (928) 222-0815 anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com


#5

Hi Doug,

(I can't even begin to count the number of times that I've sold a
piece, then gone to reinvest in the materials for another one like
it, only to learn that the cost of raw materials now exceeds the
selling price just received. How do you go about ascertaining the
veracity of your prices' tracking, over time? 

One way is to weigh the piece after it’s made.Record & save this
figure. Then divide the price of gold by the weight. eg. Gold at
$300/oz, item weighs 10 dwt., total cost of gold in the item $150.
This assumes that the piece is made of all gold . Be sure to add any
fabrication charges you paid for the metal as well.

When the item is sold sometime in the future, assume gold has gone
to $400/oz. Now the gold cost in the item is $200. The percentage of
cost increase is 25% (200 -150 =50, 50/200= .25).

The selling price of the piece should be increased at least 25% of
the current gold cost. Better yet increasing it 25% of the selling
price gives you additional profit on your labor.

Dave