Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

When do buyers buy?


#1

I am new to the forum. My wife and I are jewelry designers (new to
the business) and were planning to make a trip back to the US in
January (we live abroad), but were hoping that someone could give us
some advice about buyers. We would like to know what time of the year
is the best time to approach retail stores. Are there a few specific
months when most stores choose their new jewelry and is January a
reasonably good time to approach stores?

We make fine jewelry and will mostly be approaching stores in NYC
and the surrounding area. I know there are shows in NY in February
and July, but I imagine that stores are looking/buying at other
times?

Also, regarding consignment, I have read alot of posts on this forum
and others that advise not to consign jewelry…ever. But we have
found that most stores in NYC will only take fine jewelry on
consignment. Does anyone have any recommendations on this issue?

I have a million questions since my wife and I have a very steep
learning curve right now, but I’ll try to be patient and post more
questions at a later date so as not to overwhelm everyone. So thanks
in advance for your help.

Brian Prestia


#2

Brian,

January is when we look to restock after Christmas. Pieces might not
be as glitzy as those we want for the fourth quarter. But it really
depends on what market one is in. I’m an hour outside of NY, I might
be able to suggest some names to try in this area, depending on what
your goods are, if you drop me a line.


#3

Brian,

Sears, HSN and other networks finalize their lines between June and
September of each year, orders are being send to the factories in
asia latest by the first week of October for production for the
holiday season.

Mark


#4

Dear Brian,

Having worked with buyers (meaning corporate and gallery buyers not
retail customers) for the majority of my designing career, I would
advise against trying to sell them anything in January.

The primary selling season is the pre-Christmas season. Up to 97% of
all jewelry sold is sold between late October and New Years day, so
approaching the buyers so close on the heels of this extremely
stressful time would be a bad idea.

The February JA show in NYC is the least attended of all the JA
tradeshows. While at Tucson in Feb. buyers get the gemstones they
have special or stock orders for. You might get some independent
galleries to take on additional stock in September/October but in my
experience that will be only as consignment through the Christmas
season. Although if your consignment sells well, they may buy from
you in the spring.

Most buyers are looking to re-stock their departments for the
upcoming Fall season from May through the end of July. This will also
be when they have “open-to-buy” dollars on their books. No wonder the
JCK show in Vegas is the first week of June and has a 3 year wait
list for booths.

Expect that for you to make a sale the buyer will ask for additional
stock on consignment sometimes from 30-50% of the dollar amount they
spend with you. Have a comprehensive consignment contract with an
inventory (list of goods left with the buyer,) prepared and make sure
they sign it. One other bit of advice: Buyers hate cold calls! Call
ahead and make appointments.

Good luck!

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228


#5

I can only speak from my experience…

I worked with a very good friend who designed fine jewelry. She
tried making appointments, going on the road, and it was difficult.
She got the impression that owners/buyers didn’t want to be
disturbed in their stores. Many asked what trade shows she did and
mentioned that they might see her there.

She now exhibits exclusively at JCK (design center) and JA. She
writes enough orders at these two shows to keep her busy throughout
the year. I don’t know if this makes her incredibly lucky or talented
or what… But, my point is that I think sometimes it’s better if
they (the buyer) come to you. They are ready, they are looking they
have already set the time aside to shop.

I don’t have a high end line, I work almost exclusively in Sterling,
gemstones and pearls. I exhibit at the Philly Buyer’s Market and the
California Gift Show. These shows run 2ce a year. Once in the
winter, once in the summer. The winter shows have a much bigger
attendance rate. Don’t know why, just know if I’m gonna skip a show,
it’ll be summer, 'cause I do much more business in Jan/Feb. Sometimes
I write Christmas orders in Jan! Maybe it’s easier for them to leave
their stores in Jan 'cause it’s slow? Who knows…

Just my 2 cents.
Good luck,
Amery
Amery Carriere Designs
www.amerycarriere.com


#6

Hi Amery

She writes enough orders at these two shows to keep her busy
throughout the year. I don't know if this makes her incredibly
lucky or talented or what... But, my point is that I think
sometimes it's better if they (the buyer) come to you. They are
ready, they are looking they have already set the time aside to
shop. 

Can you expand on the order process at wholesale shows a little? I
had thought that an exhibitor had to have a ton of items ready to
ship when they went to a wholesale show and quite a few weeks
afterwards working themselves to death to fill orders. Now my
impression is that you have to have a reasonable amount of "samples"
to order from and that the orders are written staggered out
throughout the year. In other words, it doesn’t sound half as scary
now. Is this how people get their work in catalogs as well? (Sorry, I
hope I’m not being pushy, but you are in a great catalog and I had to
ask eventually).

Thanks
Kim


#7

Kim…

Can you expand on the order process at wholesale shows a little? I
had thought that an exhibitor had to have a ton of items ready to
ship when they went to a wholesale 

Oh no, yikes! That’s why I like wholesale shows. I couldn’t figure
out how much or what to make if I did a retail show. That’s one of
the many reason why I haven’t done one yet. But, I digress…

When I take orders I have my calendar with me and I figure out right
then and there when I will ship. I make a schedule. I usually tell
them that my turn around time is 4-6 weeks. I then ask them when
they would like it shipped. If it’s July and they say Nov 1, I say
"great" and I write it in my calendar right then and there. If they
say, oh I really wanted it in three weeks, I have an opening that
night, yadda yadda yadda… I can look at the schedule, see what I
have going on and then say “yes” if I can squeeze it in. This way,
I’ll also know in advance when I’ll have to call in the
reinforcements (I don’t have a real staff, just a few "on-call"
people).

quite a few weeks afterwards working themselves to death to fill
orders. 

I usually do that too, because I tend to say “yes” a lot for rush
orders! But, I do keep a certain amount of castings, beads, chains
etc… on hand so I can do that. That way it’s just assembly for all
the “rush” orders. But I really try to space them out so I can keep
my sanity or just in case something life-related comes up.

Is this how people get their work in catalogs as well? 

Yes, the catalogs do shop the wholesale shows. Many people have said
to just send samples to catalogs, which I’ve done. But every catalog
order I’ve ever received has come from them finding me either
through my rep or through a wholesale show. To my knowledge,
Sundance doesn’t shop the Gift Shows (maybe NY???), but some of the
others do. There are so many catalogs out there that you’ve never
heard of that shop the general wholesale shows.

Amery Carriere Designs
www.amerycarriere.com


#8

Hi Amery

Oh no, yikes! That's why I like wholesale shows. I couldn't figure
out how much or what to make if I did a retail show. That's one of
the many reason why I haven't done one yet. But, I digress... 

Thanks so much for the on wholesale shows. It was
exactly what I needed to know. I guess a tentative plan for me would
be to complete 3 or 4 retail shows next year. I want to spend time to
know exactly who I am trying to sell to and then set sites on a
wholesale show. I did look at the Rosen show in Philadelphia. It
seems to be around 3k to exhibit. Kinda steep, but the steady work
throughout the year would be well worth that. I’m liking that
concept. I did notice a particular exhibitor who does this show and
maintains a fine gallery representing himself and many
internationally known artists. Someone who has achieved what I want
to achieve! One thing that is disappointing about the wholesale scene
is that it doesn’t look too easy to preview the show before applying,
as they are only open to qualified buyers. Looking hard at the
exhibitor list does provide a lot of info though. There is one large
wholesale show on the East Coast that has a mentor program. I am
looking into that as well. Exciting stuff!

I did go to the bank today for a merchant account and cc machine so,
I’m feeling like quite the professional already.

Thanks again
Kim