Selling your crafts to a retail store is easier than you might think. Now that you have the product you want to sell, it's all about how to getting the product in the store. Whether you are looking at selling to small shops, which are more likely to buy things from someone independently, or you are looking at selling to a national chain, the ideas are still the same.
Assemble a business packet for your product. Include a business card, your price list and a brochure of your most popular work if you can afford it. If you can put a slideshow together on a disk to include in your business packet, that would serve as a brochure. Make sure that you include your website so that others can check out your full line of products.
Develop samples of whatever it is you are trying to sell. Make sure that you have enough of your crafts to show samples to every retail store you approach. Keep a wide variety of your crafts so that they can see the most commonly purchased to your wildest ideas.
Research the businesses you are interested in selling your product in. Sometimes, the places you may like the most might not accept outsider products. Some department stores have a very specific line of brands or items that they can sell, so it might be unrealistic to think you will be selling your crafts there. Consignment stores are the best retail stores to get into because they depend on their customers to keep afloat.
Mail out your business packets to the retail stores that you are most interested in. Give them a week to look them over then call them to ask what they thought. Keep in mind that many places won't give you the time of day over the phone, so don't feel rejected if they don't sound interested.
Visit the stores that you sent your packet to. Bring along your samples, but don't take them with you into the store. Wait for the manager to ask to see them. In most cases, you will be granted an interview to go over your product immediately. If the manager asks to see your samples, be advised that hauling in your samples in a cardboard box or garbage sack is tacky. Instead, invest in a trunk or a nice bag to carry them in.
Wear your items when you introduce yourself if you create a craft that can be worn. It looks impressive to see someone wearing the actual items you are trying to sell.
Keep signed agreements with you that state what you specifically want from the person selling your items. Don't be afraid to personalise the relationship by keeping in touch.
One tactic that works with a company might not work with another, so don't be discouraged if you can't get your products in every store you try.
Tips and warnings
- Keep signed agreements with you that state what you specifically want from the person selling your items.
- Don't be afraid to personalise the relationship by keeping in touch.
- One tactic that works with a company might not work with another, so don't be discouraged if you can't get your products in every store you try.