Sell Your Products to Retailers

Lesson 16 of 31

Creating Order Forms & Wholesale Policies

 

Sell Your Products to Retailers

Lesson 16 of 31

Creating Order Forms & Wholesale Policies

 

Lesson Info

Creating Order Forms & Wholesale Policies

Then the next thing that we need after we've got our line sheet oren approach stores is an order form and again, this is a case where we need something different if we are approaching stores online versus if we're doing a trade show, so if you're doing a trade show, you absolutely need a physical order form you want to go kind of old school and you don't worry about it too much go to your office supplies store, get a two part order form I didn't do this but printouts and labels with your business information you can stick him right on there. I know plenty of people who this is how they write orders in a show I personally would like to have my own order form because this lets me put my wholesale terms and conditions on the back lets people sign it and it gives us this opportunity to basically have now what becomes an informal but still their contract right terms on the back we write the order I've got an authorized signature here it also makes me feel a little better about collecting cr...

edit card doing that authorized signature makes you feel all good um I get mine printed there were printed in two parts carbon copy really easy use staples dot com I just uploaded um get it printed they're not very expensive, so if you're doing a trade show this also makes you feel way more legit than this right it's a little nerve racking this is good because we get to talk about terms and conditions this is also really helpful because it gives you some level of protection so if something happens and and these terms aren't followed and you need to deal with that having a signed form with these terms when conditions gives you a little bit more protection as we know that's something that we do want to think about yes uh so when you're taking on credit card information is that because you're going to build them later? Yeah do you ever sit there with a square and swipe no so typically that's a great question so typically with wholesale when you're writing an order at a trade show they want youto to charge the credit card when the order is ready to ship. Okay, now you can decide in your policies if you want that to be different like if you're getting stuff manufactured and you're doing a first time order you are probably gonna want to charge the card before you manufacture right? If your materials are super expensive, you're gonna want to charge the card maybe thirty days before so that you can buy the gold orb of by the really expensive materials my materials or not that expensive my turnaround time is easy, so I charge the credit card a time of shipment so what happens is when you go to a trade show, you'll get one of two things so you can see here on my order form I've got information for customer who is ordered by an order number this is my little trick estimated ship date when I'm taking order a trade show estimated ship dates so if I'm a couple days early a couple days pass because I got a lot of stuff going on I told you it was an estimate so I don't feel so set in stone about that they're shipping in their billing now most of this information at a trade show ah buyers actually just going to give you their business card or give you a sticker with this information and I staple it or stick it right to the line sheet so it's very rare that I feel all of this out but then I've got a space down here to take a credit card. Some buyers are going to give you their card right on the spot copied down the information you're going to charge at the time of shipment. Others will ask you to please call the store and get the card before you ship and that's pretty common too so I would rather they give it to me they're the show because then I don't have to play phone tag for a few days to get their order out but some people understandably so I don't want to give that information out for something that's gonna be charged down the road so uh so yes, so let's talk about what else is on essence? Where are you talking about it? I like to do one that doesn't have item numbers on it. If you have a small line sheet without a lot of options, you may replace this blank field down here with actual product excuse so monica shayla, this could be you guys you know you have, uh, kind of a small amount of information so it might be these item numbers and descriptions are actually filled in you might also have a line here that says minimum quality quantity so if they have to order sixes or twelves or whatever that's going to fit in there, the prices are going to be pre pendant pre printed and then they're just going to fill in how many they want and what the total is. So if you're linus small absolutely do that and it will make ordering easier. My line is not small think everyone was everyone else your lines probably not small, so this is better because you just fill in everything and then as I mentioned at the bottom total up authorized signature, you do want this on file if you're charging a credit card so even if they don't give you the credit card there I've got that authorized signature so that when I call for the car later they've said yes do the order so again, this is where you know trade shows pretty much the only time we're taking orders in person if you're not doing a trade show, you don't need this yet uh what you then might want to think about is ordering online now if you don't have an online platform there are certainly ways that you can set up online systems to make it easier so you can create notjust all talked about that uh you know, taking your pdf and just making it editable so that they could take this and fill it in um you could also use something like woo forms so woo forms is a company that lets you like auto generate forms so then you could just send that as a private link to your buyer and they could fill in their order filling their products hits and now something like that you can actually set it up said it could also take a credit card if you wanted teo it does integrate with stripe um so you could do that again my buyers are not the most tech savvy so I haven't been in a hurry to move on to this I just let buyers toss stuff in the body of an e mail and then I put the e mail and we move on our merry way but it's something that I am going teo as they move forward like I said switch to an online shopping cart and of course if you have that online wholesale shopping cart then you don't need the order form you can just go ahead and and move forward all right, so back of that order form is my wholesale policies and you're wholesale policies are the last thing that we're going to talk about before we get into those lines she critiques because those do come to play in your line she so we're going to talk about getting those squared away and then we're gonna look at some line sheets so the first thing that I want you guys to remember and if you're following along in your workbook we're gonna answer all of these questions starting on page twenty two so go ahead pull those out because here's the thing about wholesale policies they are different for every business and every industry and you control them you get to be in charge especially when we're working with those small to midsize stores you got to say this is what works for me they might come back you know like kelly said, you know I might ask you for a different minimum they might come back and ask and then it's your discretion if you get to change it but ultimately you are in control and you're gonna make the best decisions for your business so lead times that's the first thing and lead time now are we talking about vocabulary again so that's how long it typically takes for when the order is placed two on the order shipped lead times are going very greatly and what you have to figure out is how long would it take you to make a typical wholesale order? How long would it take you to make a typical wholesale order if you're working on more than one at once because that's gonna happen? How long does it take you to order and source materials? So if you've to order materials and it takes them a week or two weeks or four weeks to get to you before you can even start making you want to build that in and you want to build that in so that you're not paying to rush these things you don't have to pay to expedite shipping because you promised someone that you could turn something around in two weeks one really you can't sew and it's also going to depend on industry so I know ceramics because you've got an entire making drying, firing, glazing firing again process ceramics had to have a longer lead time eight weeks if not working on a very specific production calendar where they're scheduling out in advance you know a lot of times with jeweler's four to six weeks is pretty typical I've dropped mine down to three to four because I do have a production assistant who works for me so I'm able to turn things around a little bit faster over estimate your lead times don't underestimate them so if you think like two to three weeks make it three to four because it's better to turn things around faster than he said then take longer so especially in the beginning if you feel more comfortable saying hey it's four to six weeks say four to six weeks you could always change that lead times become actually less important one you're doing trade shows because typically at a trade show you're going to schedule orders so what happens is you know buyers have to budget right? They only have so much money they can spend each month they go to a trade show and they do a lot of buying they don't want that all at once so at a trade show they're not gonna care about your lead time you're going to sit down and you're going to schedule a ship date something it works for both you and them they're going to say you know I'll say how you know when you want this in the store they look at a calendar and say, you know what august is already really full of jewelry let's do september one and then you could look and say oh, you know I'm booked up for september one or I'm gonna be out of the country you like that happens to me all the time I'm gonna be out of country let's try sometime or fifteenth. Perfect let's do that. But when you're dealing with, you know, sending out those materials and they're gonna be ordering kind of at any given time, you want to give them that reasonable lead time. Now, this is different if you're dealing with manufacturing so years a little different, caleb, because yours is a, you know, a product that has an expiration, it's consumable, so you're kind of turning things around. But, monica, you guys have a situation where you don't want to be telling people we have a four to six week or we have whatever lead time because what you're doing then is your losing the opportunity in your case to kind of buy quantity for the fabrics and kind of turn things around. So kelly was talking about how in clothing there are very specific order by dates and then ship dates, and so I think with you guys, that's probably going to make more sense going forward, figuring out this is our seasonal collection, these air, the fabrics, thes air, the colors that are available, you know this, so it could be like, this is, you know, fall twenty fourteen, spring twenty fifteen here's our order by deadline here's when this collection ships and they can get it to ship within a range so it starts shipping february first and they can get anywhere from february first until you know april first and then after april first if they want something and it's still available, then you can fill in order, but if you've already sold out of that manufacturing run that's it it's done so you can definitely play by those rules and you should because you're manufacturing and that kind of makes things a little bit different and actually I did pull your line sheet up we'll come back and chrissy get later, but I didn't pull this up because I had noticed that you were kind of dealing with these this high minimum order of one hundred events and switching to that kind of system means you could actually lower that minimum order because now your batch ng a lot of orders together so you can let stores come in and a lower quantity and still order in the volume that you want to order in because you're dealing with a lot of stores that makes sense yes, awesome. All right, so let's talk about that minimum opening order um so when you're setting a minimum opening order, you actually have two choices you can set a dollar amount or you khun set a number of pieces and so the way I like to decide which is better is I like to play the worst case scenario game so if you said a minimum number of pieces what's the lowest dollar amount someone could order so let's just say that I decided my minimum order was six pieces which if there ordering like kind of the average price of my line probably gets them to about five hundred dollars but if I said six pieces they could order six of my twenty dollar earrings and be done at one hundred and twenty dollars I am not dealing with one hundred twenty dollars wholesale order that is not does not work for my business so for me that's a good scenario but then if you set a minimum dollar amount what's the fewest number of pieces somebody could order so my minimum actually it's four fifty so if I said that what's the fuse they could order wolf they ordered three statement necklaces that's going to get them to four fifty but you know what if they put three statement necklaces in a case I'm not worried that they're not going to sell these three big necklaces in a case that's gonna look great right so for me that means it's a minimum dollar amount because I know that if they were three necklaces it's going to look okay to get that minimum but if they order a grouping of my lower price process priced pieces well uh that's still going to look great in the store you know, if they order a big chunk of earrings that's gonna be a great display and ultimately that's what your minimum order needs to be about it's about what's going to make a good presentation in the store what's going to have enough of an impact that people are going to gloss over your products now yes, we do want to think about things like we want to put ourselves so high that the small to midsize stores that we want to work with might not be able to take us on but for most people I found that that number is a little bit higher than you might feel comfortable with. There is also a you know different industries have different ranges so I found that in jewelry depending on your price point you might be anywhere between, you know, three hundred toe as high is like eight or nine hundred for an opening order they said I'm for fifty um I typically find though that most people actually ten toe open order in the six or seven hundred dollar range. So um four fifty is kind of there for my for my little guys um but in something like stationery that number is going to be lower, so if you're a greeting card person now I know a lot of greeting card people are in the probably seven seventy five to one hundred dollar range for minimum opening order I work with some stationery people I just I'm coaching with them and they'll tell you all day long that I fight them on that because to me seventy five hundred dollars even with cards that's not a great order it's not a great impression in the store so that's again where you can think about if I diversify my product line if I've got greeting cards plus some other products I can bump that minimum up to say two or two fifty and that suddenly feels like a more viable order um so you are going teo you know, kind of vary that based on industry you know, you guys had that one hundred piece minimum thinkit's probably little high um but I think it's also okay to go in your case to say, you know, you do have to order at least twenty you know, I think it's okay to kind of go up and have a decent number, but I think for the kinds of stories that you're talking about ah hundred pieces is probably a little high um, you know, lauren, I actually don't know what's super typical in the soap industry, but I would think you're probably looking at around that three hundred dollars price point somewhere in there uh what are jewelers that actually have been it two hundred it is waiting I know, I know I was thinking of bumping it up to three hundred but I mean, I don't think I'm in the four fifty range till you find finally fiddle with your prices maybe yeah, we could look at a little when we get to your line sheet kind of talk about that okay, where you at? Lindsay? I meant three fifty one fifty but I found like yeah, it was again like it did have one fifty I never got reorder right when I upped it was like, oh, no people reorder right and that's something else to consider too. So you know, I've noticed that any time I break my rule and let people in under four fifty, they tend to be those people who order around the three hundred dollar mark and either a they don't re order very often or be they tend to be more of a pain in the butt like I don't know what it is about those stores that are like really fighting me on that, but they I feel like those three hundred dollar stores are such a headache compared to my like seven hundred dollar stores the bargain hunted and have a store a version of the bargain hunter you are so right now this is the thing you could always set your minimum and relax it if it makes sense that's your discretion so for me saying for fifty clears out a lot of people especially at a trade show where there tend to be a lot of people who want to personal shop and some people will totally say no to this personal shoppers like you don't have you don't resell number if you don't have an actual store, I won't you do it I'm kind of like you want to spend four fifty I'm not gonna help you at all but you could buy it uh so that what four fifty is a lot of jewelry for personal shopping so that pretty much slides everybody out of that came but if I have a store that I know the store and I know they're super small, you know if I was talking to kelly and kelly was like, hey for fifty it's just not doable for me and I was like, you know what? I don't have anything else in the mission no, I like kelly she's awesome, I wouldn't let her slide in for three or three fifty you know I have a store in philly you know, the art star girls you might know they do the art starcraft bazaar, their store is super tiny they're really coming just do a little order I know you guys it's fine, I know they're never going to be a huge volume store for me, but I don't have anyone else in that neighborhood I like them, so I relaxed it a little so it can totally be your discretion but it's easier to start higher and we those people out and then give that kind of option as opposed to saying it's going to be one fifty or it's going to be, you know, two hundred and then deal with the frustration and again they don't re order because with that small amount of product in the store it's not going to sell, you know you don't want four bags of coffee sit on a shelf because it's not going to sell, you know you want, oh, shelf right? Like the type of guy you want? Ah, whole chunk of soap happening in there, you know, same thing with you guys, you want a solid display, so you want to make sure that whatever you set your minimum order at gets you there, the other thing that you may or may not have isa per piece minimum. So does each skewer in your line have a minimum? I do not, and I don't advocate that for most jewelers what's he want a grouping rings ideo I do advocate it for rings thank you actually don't sell a lot of rings, so I always forget things they're not my favorite thing to make because I kate sizing s oh, yes, rings I would absolutely do a minimum per piece because, like, one size three, right? Well, also, because one ring is not going to sell and that's the same thing that we're we're thinking about here that first consideration is you have only one of something isn't going to sell for most other jewelry, earrings, necklaces, bracelets. They're going to mix it in a case. There's gonna be other stuff going on. One is probably going to sell. You certainly are not going to sell one of anything at wholesale. Good. First of all, because you have sizes. But even within those sizes, you're gonna want to set a minimum per piece because one sad, lonely cardigan hanging on a work, right? Yeah, you do that now. And you said for peace minimums, not per piece. Okay, just total order. Yeah. I think you're gonna want to go towards per piece, even if it's just like two or three of something because they're going to sell out it's just gonna start to look sad in the store. Okay. Uh, you guys are all per piece minimum over here. The same thing with greeting cards. You do not want anyone to buy one greeting card from you. At least six is usually on greeting cards that's pretty standard so they have to order six of something uh so that again you wantto pick one off the shelf and then it's gone you want to have that back stock um but you want to think about again what then inside your minimum order keeps a good grouping so you do want to say I'm in a mortar is ten pieces but then you have to order like six of everything that starts to get a little weird so think about how that makes sense you also should think about per piece minimum if you do have manufacturing restrictions so look even on my scarves the way I ordered that fabric would like scarves and pillows I can tell you one because it just doesn't make any sense for me so I do have a purpose minimum on those right now I'm just doing twos because I tend to deal with smaller retailers against you guys within each material you might say your minimum order is like six that way they've got a little bit of a set you know on display um actually this is something that I want to say you know, I was taking a look at megan eckman line sheet yes she's again so nicely sent it and that was the one thing I didn't see on hers that I would actually recommend she do is she selling these embroidery kits and I didn't see a per piece minimum, but I think this is the same case where something where you've got this one product one by itself is going to seem sad she puts a you know, a minimum order of six pieces that's going to sell better. The other thing that meghan could do, which would be really cool is so she's not selling the finished piece she's selling a kit, but she could give her store some kind of incentive if you buy twelve of this kit you gotta finish to slay piece twelve may not make sense to you making you do that math for yourself I don't know I don't know what it is I'm gonna let her do that one on her own, but you could give stores and incentive because suddenly now they've got the kids and the finished piece so she's giving them an incentive to buy more and then something they're going to have this great piece on display, which means they're probably gonna sell more because going to take up more room in the store so that's a great way to kind of use that purpose minimum that I think could really help with that line so the other minimum that you have to consider is a minimum reorder so after that first initial order, how much do they have to spend typically it's not going to be the same amount as when they're buying the first order, but you might decide that it should be. So do you want them to be able to just fill in, or do you want them to be able to kind of, like, make them restock the whole thing? So I used to tell stores that I had no minimum reorder because I wanted them to you will say to a customer, oh, you need that a little longer. Oh, you need this, you need that, I'm happy to send it. I'm actually shifting that policy because of what I talked about earlier, where I feel like stores are kind of taking advantage, putting it on their website or taking their customers to my website looking at it and then saying, can you send us one? And I say yes because it's always been my policy, and then the next question is, can you send it right to the customer? So I've now switched it, so I believe my minimum reorders now one fifty it's pretty low, but I'm saying, you know what? If you're going to get one thing like, just fill in a couple more pieces, too?

Class Description


Selling your products at local art shows and craft fairs is a great way to network in your community, but it’s not the easiest way to grow your business. Landing your products on the shelves at boutiques or other retailers is the key to success. Join designer, educator and wholesaler Megan Auman to learn how to navigate the complex wholesale market like a pro and get your goods into stores everywhere, by learning how to sell your products to retailers. .

Drawing on her own experiences selling her products, Megan will take you step-by-step through the terminology, policies, pricing strategies, product creation and even distribution methods that you need to successfully work with retailers. You’ll learn everything you need to know about the two parts of a wholesaler’s target market: the store buyer and the eventual retail customer. Megan will also help you navigate the tradeshow landscape. You’ll gain an understanding of buying cycles, finding the right shows, designing a booth, creating and promoting your tradeshow line, and preparing line sheets and catalogs.

Whether you’re an Etsy seller who’s ready to diversify their product line, or a long-time wholesaler ready to expand, this course on selling to retailers will give you concrete, easy-to-apply tools for using wholesaling to bring your products to a larger audience.

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