Wondering what you need to know before you start your wholesale business? We’ve got you covered! Today, Holly is uncovering 9 things she wishes she’d known before she dove into wholesale. This episode is basically a wholesale crash course where you’ll learn things like the basics of developing a cohesive product line, where to sell your products, and how to determine your pricing and profit margins.
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How to Develop a Cohesive Product Line
You want customers to look at your product and know immediately that’s your work without seeing your branding. You can do this by using the same color scheme across all of your pieces and investing in really great packaging/branding.
Where will you buy your products in bulk?
Have you determined your profit margins for your products? Are they sustainable for wholesale or just retail?
Where can you get pricing in bulk for the supplies you need (i.e., wax or containers for candle-making, affordable printing for cards, etc.) Set up wholesale pricing accounts with those companies
Where will you sell your products?
Here are some options:
Sales reps (kinda outdated, downsides and upsides to using them)
Online (Faire, Abound, Tundra, Handshake (Shopify), etc.)
In-person markets (NY Now, NSS in May, etc.)
Your Inventory plan
First things first, know that products take up a LOT of room! This is because you need to have enough inventory on hand to meet wholesale orders. How much should you have on hand? For stationery, it is recommended to have 75-100+ SKU’s to have enough variety for stockists to choose from.
Choose your inventory management system
I use Trunk (Cami does, too!) to sync across several platforms. It’s a total life and timesaver! I highly recommend it. However, if you *only* sell wholesale through a website like Shopify, you may not need a separate inventory system
Your wholesale marketing plan
You’ll want to be sure to check in with retailers regularly. Not sure what to say? Start by sending emails with new product offerings and ask what sort of products they’d like to see you offer!
Wholesale Pricing: What will your minimum order amount be?
When it comes to pricing, it’s important to remember that on average wholesale pricing is your cost x 2/2.3/2.5 = wholesale price. The retail price is usually double the wholesale price.
Wholesale orders are done in packs which are called “cases”, which can be anything you’d like but there are industry standards (more about that in today’s episode!).
Packaging is very important. Retailers like products packaged a certain way. For a comprehensive guide on product packaging, check out Episode 72: How to Win Customers Over with Your Product Packaging
With shipping, it’s all about trial and error. However, before getting started it’s important to note that it’s better to have larger boxes you can cut down than to accidentally order boxes that are too small for your product.