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