In a previous blog post business tutor Anna Campbell outlined some places you can sell your jewellery. In this post she gives you a step by step guide to success when approaching retailers
Selling in your local area or for prestigious retailers can boost your income and ensure more potential customers know about your business. This step by step guide has been designed to make approaching retailers feel less daunting. The secret? Do your research and be prepared!
It’s really important before you approach any retailers to do your research. Identifying retail outlets you think might be good for your products is your first step. Visit the retailer at different times of day to see how busy they get, the clientele type, types of jewellery they currently sell and their price range. You want to ensure your pieces will fit in with the products they already stock but still stand out. Be honest with yourself about whether you feel your jewellery will fit in and do well. There’s no point wasting your or the retailer’s time. If you think your work is a good fit then your next step is to find out who you need to speak to – the manager, buyer etc (just ask!).
Before you approach the retailer you need to be fully prepared. Practice giving a short explanation of your business and get some samples of jewellery ready to take. Taking samples is best but if you can’t, do ensure you bring some good quality photos of your work (colour printed or on a smartphone/tablet/laptop).
You will need to be ready to discuss pricing at your first meeting and the retailer will expect you to have done the number crunching already. For this you will need your wholesale item price and your retail item price. Check out this previous blog post by Melissa Hyland that goes into detail about how to calculate your prices and what percentage retailers will expect to make.
Get in touch
When you have done all your research and preparation contact them (either by phone or by going into the location) and ask if you can make an appointment. Some may be prepared to speak to you immediately so ensure you are ready to explain what you want and to show some example pieces of jewellery. If you can’t speak to someone immediately agree an appointment time and show up promptly. Prepare a brief few sentences about your business and get to the point. They are likely to be busy people and will appreciate this.
Show your prepared samples of jewellery and ask them to talk honestly about whether they will appeal to their customers. There’s no point in wasting your time if the location isn’t the right ‘fit’ for your products.
If you both agree to give it a try ensure you check the arrangements for your work e.g. is it sale or return (where you take in the items and only make money from sales), is it insured or do you need to cover it on your policy, how to invoice for your sales etc. Get it all in writing and preferably agree a contract (many retailers will already have a standard contract and terms, smaller retailers may not).
Deliver the pieces agreed and get a signed delivery note of the pieces you have delivered to ensure there’s no argument later about what was received.
If you need to invoice for sales do so promptly in the correct format; you don’t want delays in payment because you haven’t followed the retailer’s procedure.
Review how well your sales are going in the location periodically to ensure it is worth your while, whether you should change what you are selling, change your pricing etc.
We’d love to hear from you if you are selling in local retailers. Let us know how it’s going in the comments below.
Special Business Week offers
And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701*. This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place. This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.
And our New 8-week Online Jewellery Business Bootcamp will be starting on 27th January so if you would like more help with your jewellery business we would love you to join us!