Selling crafts on consignment in brick and mortar stores is a great way to expand your business and make more money. It can be a little intimidating, though, to approach a store owner. So, how do you get your product in stores? Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to expanding your empire!
There are a few things that you should research out before you even think about selling crafts on consignment. I strongly suggest that you visit or do some online research for any store that you’re considering approaching for a consignment deal. At the store, observe what kinds of things they sell. Do you think your items fit with the aesthetic of the store? If the shop is more country cottage, your steampunk jewelry collection probably won’t fit. What kind of customers walk through the door? Do you think their customers could easily be your customers? You also want to research where the store is and what kind of traffic it receives, when you're looking to get your product in stores. Is the store you're targeting located on a busy street or tucked in a little neighborhood? You want to know if the store has steady traffic or if the customers are few and far between before selling crafts on consignment.
Once you’ve made a small list of stores in with which you could consign, send out some feeler emails to see if the stores are open to selling crafts on consignment. Sometimes this information will be on the “About Us” or “Contact” page, but not always. If it’s nowhere to be found on their website, don’t be afraid to send a quick email asking if they’re interested. At the very worst, they will tell you they aren’t looking right now but to check back another time. Sometimes it is easier to stop in the store at a quiet time and ask an employee if they are interested in selling crafts on consignment. If they do consign, get a card and follow up with an email. That’s not so scary!
Most store owners prefer to deal with vendors by appointment only. They are very busy, buy in cycles and don't want to be bothered when it is not a convenient time. Once you have a solidified list of stores to approach for selling crafts on consignment, call and ask for the store manager/owner or buyer. Let them know that you’re an artist looking to get your product in stores and also ask when it might be a convenient time to show them your stuff. Nine times out of ten they are the nicest people! Ask if there are any specific items for which they are looking. In general find out what needs they have. Also let them know how long your "presentation" might take. Keep it light and friendly. If they like what they see, they will spend more time with you. Also, the busier the store, the more often you will be interrupted.
Selling crafts on consignment is a great way to create another stream of income for your business. Approaching a store doesn’t have to be hard or scary. By doing a little research, you can narrow down a list of great places to approach and get your product in stores. Shop owners will be more than willing to set up appointments with you, they want your products and business. The more you do it, the easier it will get!
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