Monday, November 19, 2012

In Business: How to sell your work in shops - Part 2

Welcome to the second part of our new business series where we explore issues relevant to designer makers. Last week, Lily from frillybylily gave us some really helpful tips on wholesale from the designer's perspective. This time, it's the turn of the shopkeeper to provide some pointers. 

Emy from Brixi in Brixton Village describes her shop as "a curiosity shop selling old and new oddities." If you haven't yet checked it out, I really would recommed a visit as you will always find something to inspire the imagintion. Emy does a brilliant job of merchandising and the shop is beautifully laid out. Emy was one of the guest curators for our forthcoming Christmas Markets, helping with the difficult task of stallholder selection. Here, she shares her top tips for wholesale:

1.    Be Commercially Minded 
It is really important to approach shops with commercially viable, ready to go products. Although it’s often easy to see potential in a product, a small shop will not always have the time to spend helping mentor designers and getting work ready for sale. Be clear about the difference between wholesale and retail.  Most shops will take a commission of approximately 50%.  Be realistic about what your work could comfortably retail for.

2.  Face To Face
If possible, a face to face visit is always best.  There is only so much you can convey over an email or phonecall.  It’s vital for me to handle work in the flesh and get a real sense of what it is about. To meet the maker and get an insight into how and why the work is made, makes it much easier to sell.

3.  The Complete package
It’s in your interest to make your work as easy to display, sell and package as possible.  Really think through every aspect of a transaction.  Obviously every shop has their own way of doing things, but to show you have thought it through shows you are a professional outfit.

4.  Be Organised
When delivering work, make sure you are organised. Have a clear list of what you are dropping off, including wholesale prices. It pays to leave the retailer with as much information as possible. Most shops will have a contract of sorts, yet it doesn’t hurt to bring your own.  Be clear about terms – when and how you’ll be paid, in event of damage/theft etc.  Be armed with the right questions.

5.  Keep in Touch
Running a small shop is hectic! If a designer is organised about restocking it makes it much easier for the retailer. Keeping on top of restocking is important.  Check your sales, see what has sold, offer to replenish etc.  The more you are on top of things, the more chance you have to sell more.

1 comment:

  1. Great to hear tips from the shop perspective, thanks1