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Wholesaling advice

Hello everyone, I need some expertise for a request that I received
last week.

I received an email to see if I did wholesale pricing. I replied
that I could sale my pieces at a discounted price, but I would need
to know where my pieces were going to be available for purchase and
what they needed. I received quite a few emails back asking… how I
would manufacture the pieces, how much it will cost, how much would I
charge for each piece if they supplied me with the materials, and if
I could supply them with drawings and samples of the collection and
have it manufactured overseas.

This is a first for me. I am a little uncomfortable with everything.
They did not answer my first question about where my creations would
be sold. Everything sounds a little vague to me. I am only one person
and create each piece with loving and tender care. I do have a
slight problem with my creations produced overseas. The main item is
quality control. I would hate to have my name tainted with poor
workmanship and materials.

Can anyone suggest any for a newbie on this matter. What
to watch out for? Legal info.? Past experiences? Anything?

I do not want to be taken advantage.

Thank you for your insight.

I think my first reaction would be skepticism. I do wholesale some
of my pieces, and it is at a healthy discount from retail. But, I do
my own work. I farm out the casting, then do the finishing. I
someone wanted more than I could handle, I think I would rather
contract out more of the work myself and keep control over the final
stages than to just sell my designs for someone else to produce.
This is especially if my name was out there at risk. Just a kneejerk
reaction, for what its worth. Jim

Dear Rachel, you can research them on the internet to get to know
them a bit. Are they going to knock off your designs or are they
specifying the design themselves? If you are shipping your designs
and samples off you have no control over them regardless of legal
matters , if they intend to knock them off. Sue away but, if they
don’t live in the US forget it. Even if they do live in the US can
you afford to take them to court? Face to face is always the best way
to do business. If they seem to be an important client, then a visit
from one of you to the other is a good idea. Have a lawyer work up
some sort of wholesale agreement to present to them and they will
know you are not unprepared to protect yourself should bad things
happen. It’s all a gamble at some level. Sam Patania, Tucson

In my experience with overseas manufacturing, in the high tech
sector, I can offer the following adivice:

  • be very carefull whith whom you go in business with.

  • They usually quote big volumes, and don’t deliver.

  • verify that the company has real sales/distribution channels.

  • Be very carefull about sending drawings as they might just take
    them, manufacture the product and bypass you.

  • Quality control is a huge problem, even with seemingly easy to
    manufacture products. This problem still exists even if the company
    has experience in manufacturing your type of product.

  • Verify that the company does manufacture similar products, and see
    what market those products go into.

There are a lot more points to cover, but these should
be a good place to start.

Rachel: Giving someone you don’t know, who has expressed an interest
in manufacturing your jewelry overseas, sketches and drawings of your
designs is almost certainly not a good idea.

Anyone who has lived overseas can tell you that having another
person/company copy your designs is a MAJOR problem.

Also, you can talk all the legal mumbo jumbo you want to–contracts,
copyrights, etc., but its a lot easier said than done–after all,
how do you sue someone in Thailand or China?

My advice–proceed with caution! If this person is legit, ask for
references here in the States for other artists they’ve worked doing
the same thing their suggesting they could do with you . . .

Doug Dreyfus