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Online Stores

Lesson 11 from: Sell Your Products to Retailers

Megan Auman

Online Stores

Lesson 11 from: Sell Your Products to Retailers

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

11. Online Stores

Lesson Info

Online Stores

I do want to talk about those online stores partly because they are becoming big players in terms of buying and they can certainly give you some opportunities. So there are three things that we see here one our online only stores stores that air just operating online and those range literally from amazon dot com tio you know, the baby's dot com or divers are common in all those places down two stores that are really run by solo preneurs just like you guys one person who decided you know I love products I love maker's eye lovecraft I'm gonna put together a little online boutique and I'm in a cell from there, so we've got that huge range in online stores what we're also starting to see now is being emma's brick and mortar that's all of our out on the main street stores, anything that's got a physical presence, we're starting to see a lot of those small and midsize stores move into e commerce on their websites it was kind of ah, a slow go, but I think even where you get teo, what I would ...

call the older buying crowd, the people who have had their stores for twenty or thirty years someone some marketing professional they've hired is saying you guys need to be selling from your website this is really important, so you're going to start to see more of this and this is important to know that that's happening because we want to make sure that we've got a little bit of pricing consistency happening here so this is where setting your msrp starts to become really important and remember that's our manufacturers that's you guys suggested retail price and it used to be in the past that I didn't set an m s r p I was pretty okay with my stores you know kind of being in that two point two to two point three mark up somewhere in there but now that I'm noticing that mohr of my stores more of my brick and mortar stores are adding these online shops the next generation of my line sheet is definitely gonna have msrp is on there because I want to start to build that consistency with my stores now I'm not the kind of person who's going to go out and really police that I'm not crazy about that partly because I don't believe that those bargain hunters those price searchers I don't think that they're my customer and I don't think that for most of us there are customers so they're not necessarily going to go out in comparison shop to see if they can find my necklace for five dollars cheaper but I don't want someone who is necessarily selling my necklace for twenty or thirty dollars cheaper because that and that starts to really build that inconsistency so it's important that you're aware that this is happening just so that you know that suddenly even with your brick and mortar stores you may start seeing your products online in a lot of different spaces the other one that I think it's really important to mention here because they are becoming big buyers in especially in the trade show world are the flash sale and daily deal sites so this is going to be our one king's lane are fab it's going to be there some smaller ones to brickyard buffalo there kind of a smaller not quite of the scale of one king's lane but so these they're gonna be the sites that they're going to dio you know, members only time sales, deeper discounts um but for the most part many of them are buying so one king's lane you know, they might actually be buying product outright um so they are important to understand and not all of them I would say function the same way. So I remember tiffany you mentioned you did a flash sale site and it was not your customer. I made a lot of money really quick, right? The bandito them for sure. And so, you know, for from that standpoint, I didn't see a lot of return later on down the road from doing it right and that's I think one of the things that's really important to understand is that because I also did I work I just had one complaint I want things like how is that it's fantastic I actually I had a great experience working with them and the same thing I made a lot of money very quickly but my understanding coming into this was these people are going to become my repeat customers they're not there that they're more the bargain hunters but I also knew that this hits my audience it's the susan's who are opposed to my price point right it's my interior designer customer but who's like not quite ready to spend that much so I knew this was going to hit my people it absolutely did itjust didn't hit the people who were going to buy consistently at that full at that full price and this goes back to the same thing that I talked about with those other big stores is you're going to get contracts they're going to set terms and you have the flexibility to negotiate with that for sure s o I know with one king's lane because they do sales with artisans typically they do ask for a discount off of wholesale but you don't always have to give it I know people who didn't I actually did because my margins are good and I knew for one little sail I could do it and I would still be profitable so I did give them and just count off my wholesale um but again, you can negotiate some of those terms and you can see what works for you now when we're talking about these online stores, we have to talk about a tricky little thing which is drop shipping so in drop shipping someone puts their prat your product on their website when they get an order, they send it along to you you packaged that up and send it to the customer, but I feel like something else for your whole self rice to that, but that does not feel like another agreement that we talked about in with brick and mortar stores that maybe we did lineman feels like consignment, right? Exactly so none of the risk is with the stores now there's less risk to you guys in drop shipping than there is with consignment because typically you can make the product after it happens, but it becomes something that I think it starts to get a little bit unmanageable because now you're doing this, you're basically doing the work that you would do selling online retail at your wholesale price point. So you're going to get asked by stores more and more and more especially if you're doing trade shows, especially if you're reaching out to these online stores do you drop ship or should you drop ship and, you know, I brought up that piece about how a lot of the brick and mortar stores are starting to get into the online website and some of them are starting to not, I think, intentionally, but starting to almost become drop shippers, they put things on their website, it sells out customer wants it, they call me up. They said, can you? A special custom piece? I've always said yes in the past, so I say yes, and then after I say yes, they asked me we send it directly to my customer, so because of that, I've actually started to change some of my policies. So the first question is, will you be paid more than that? Your wholesale price? So one of the things that I've started to dio with one exception, which would be those flash sale sites, is my drop ship fee, my drop ship prices higher than my wholesale price. So that's one way that I'm that I'm starting to tackle that typically my general policy is that I don't drop ship, I don't want those relationships because what I don't want is an open ended agreement weren't any time I might have to like, oh, crap, I gotta pull us together and sent out for that customer now, but that's kind of a pain I'm already managing that on my own website, I don't wanna have to. Go into that relationship with three or four or five other stores as well, so typically I would say I have a kind of like consignment my party line is no, I don't drop ship but I will make exceptions you also want to see if you're paid a drop ship fee so you know, when I did the sale with one king's lane they they paid for shipping so they send you the premade shipping labels but then they also gave me of drops fifty I think it was two dollars a product, but basically it covered the packaging of the things so you could negotiate a drop ship fee in there thinking about who pays for shipping and how our returns handled so one of the nice things about doing a deal with like one king's lane is it's all sales are final, so I was happy to send out product because I knew I didn't have to worry about were things going to come back? Did I have to deal with exchanges? What's done was done. Um how long do you have to complete a shipment? So I've seen places where they've said can you drop ship and every order has to go out within twenty four hours? No way not right like first of all, I'm here in california for seven days so that they wanted that to happen it's not happening right now um you know, on your own retail website you can communicate those things hey guys, I'm gone, I'm travelling, whatever you know, even if you're not like me and you don't travel to teach you're thinking about doing a trade show you're gone for five or six days there too, so you know if you have more time to complete shipments that's okay, but even if you're not traveling, if you don't have the product in stock, you have to make it so you really want to pay attention to that? The other thing is, is the agreement open ended? Where is there a finite end date? So someone's like let's drop ship forever? Never, never! I really love the way that works with something like one king's lane it's a five day sale no was a three day sale you five days to ship from the end of the sale and that it is done and I can move on with my life worked really hard for five days and then I was like let's go shopping well, that money so for me that that's more likely say yes, I'll handle drop ship agreement because it's got a very fixed and date those open ended ones again it starts to feel like consignment, right it's all no risk on the store puts all the work on us and then also thinking about what is the expected order volume if it's going to become a huge money maker, someone is like I'm going to start selling ten necklaces everyday for you are one hundred necklaces every day. I don't give a hundred, I couldn't put my assistant wait make that work, you know? If it starts to get a volume that makes sense for you, then it it might be a good relationship. So those air, all of the things that you're going to need to take into account if you get approached for drop shipping. So I would say this one tends to be a little bit more fuzzy than the straight up. No, I dont consign on ly because that online piece is becoming a bigger player in the wholesale market. Any questions about that? Yes, sheila, timeframe is five to seven days. Is that enough time for the customer and receive their product? Understand if we are what's too long, this is what manageable yeah, five to seven days is probably not unreasonable, but it's all going to depend on the store. So oh, certainly a type of store that prides themselves and we get product at the door in twenty four to forty eight hours is going to say no way. Okay, you don't wanna work with you in five to seven days, but you can say no. I can't work with you if it's twenty four to forty eight hours. So it goes back to that same thing obvious. Absolutely negotiate the terms and don't be afraid to walk away if it's not the right fit for your business. So I had situations. Um, I've done this scenario before online and I ran into areas where it was confusing because they had never seen my product yet. They're handling the customer service, but the customer is still looking at me going hey, this is coming from you what's going on kind of a thing. And so it was it was very it was a real sticky situation. I don't know that I would prefer to do it this way again, but I was approached by another online retailer that has a distribution, so they wrote her from you every two weeks. The orders come in, you give them how much you can produce and then it's sold out once it's sold out kind of thing and then you send it to their distribution and they ship it off and they handle customer service yeah, that's fantastic, because you're not into that drop ship agreement there. Still placing an order yeah, at the end of the day they're placing an order you know, you're getting the money and you know, net thirty that sixty I don't know what your terms are with them but you're getting you're getting the order and then you're getting paid and it's not this one toe one were dropped shipping starts to get crazy is it? You know, we talked about that picture of the advantage of wholesale over retail is that it's not you, teo every single customer it's you to a store to all the customers so in that agreement where you're sending to distribution center that's fantastic because it's you toe one space and then they fan and a yes and that's what we want because that's the power of wholesale and I'm also wondering if you can't no, I didn't you know, I didn't realize how they worked as just approached individually by different ones I'm like, oh you're your model sounds great, right? I'm sure maybe some of these other ones will ask you to drop ship first, right that they have that option right? And you could negotiate that as well. Exactly and that's what I really want you guys to come out of this understanding is that just because they present you with certain terms or certain systems doesn't mean you have to say yes, you can come back and say I would like to work with you but on ly on these terms and you can go from there so don't feel like you have to let them be in the driver's seat well, I guess we should ask this because people chat room and actually both you and I know what does drop ship means yes, a drop ship literally means that you someone else takes the order they send the order to you you send it directly to the customer you know, people were asking the champ yeah, yeah so that's what that means in a very literal sense so let's see l l s v design asks does doing flash sales make your retail stores upset since since the prices are so much lower or do you sell items they don't sell in their stores? That's a great question, so there is a potential absolutely to make your retail stores unhappy if you do too many of them, so my recommendation would be few and far between, you know, I'm not running a sale on one king's lane every weekend I would not want to for the record again, we're back to like that's a lot of work, but you do one occasionally that's going to be okay? One of the other things that I did is I was kind of careful about how I sort of promoted it, so I actually didn't do a ton of marketing of my one king's lane sale to my regular audience who I might typically try to drive either to my website or to my retailers so I you know, I think I did some postings on facebook mostly because all the people that they knew me in high school suddenly thought I was really awesome but I was like one king's lane I've heard of that uh but but I didn't do a ton out like my mailing list or things like that because I did want to protect my stores so at the end of the day if you're only doing them sparingly it was three days people had three days to buy most of the time they're walking into that store and they're discovering product and they wouldn't have seen me or known about the young ones from one king's lane anyway and speaking of one king's lanes whims eases asking with one king's lanes can you put a cap on the maximum number of items you can produce within five to seven absolutely that's a great question so with most of these flash sale sites you have the option to say this is my inventory and that's really fantastic so you know they might give you ballparks they might say this is typically how many items we wanted but you know, for one came clean for me we had a range of products and we put you know, caps on every single one, so I knew kind of what I thought I could have reasonably make in five days. I didn't pre make a lot of inventory because I just didn't know how the sale was going to go, and I would I would recommend that, like, set up numbers so that you're not pre making a ton of stuff, and then you're not sitting on inventory that suddenly you've premade you've bought any of those things, and now it's just sitting there, it didn't sell, so make sure your negotiating like, okay, I know I have five days from the end of the sale, this is how much product I would feel comfortable selling, so absolutely, you consent those terms. One more there's ah, love danielle is asking, I've noticed a trend happening with online only, or at least those who have approached her where they want you to sell online, similar toe, etc but want fifty percent of the sale. So it's like wholesale pricing without the volume, do you consider that there's value in that does essentially making wholesale prices? But without the volume, make any sense? No, I honestly don't think it is I mean, that's the story of the long answer is that I think it's it's slightly more complicated, you know, if they're a store that can give you numbers that would indicate that there is going to be some volume, then it might be a good relationship. So if they say, look, these are I don't want to just know about their traffic because traffic is not sales, so they're going to say, yeah, these these air, how many unique visitors we get a month or a day or a year, it doesn't actually matter to me because I want to know if they're selling product, so, you know, a better question could be, you know, in my products category, what do the you know, where the average sales preventer per month so that you start to get a sense of maybe what the volume is? If it turns out it's going to be a lot of volume, it could work, but if it's just going to be that trickle of sales, just like it is in your etsy shop or just like it is in your own store, it does not make sense to give away. Right now, we're not giving it away, but it does not make sense to sell a wholesale price. When you're not getting the volume for me host, you get the wholesale price because you ordered volume that's the whole idea.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Sample Order Form and Wholesale Terms
Trade Show List By Month
Trade Show Packing List
Private Facebook Group Access
Store Prospect List

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This is the first course I have bought. That's how valuable it is! I have a wish list of courses I dream of owning, but alas I'm on a 'starving' artist budget. I wish I had more time to watch all the free courses on CREATIVELIVE. I WISH I could 'save' a once for free watch time. they aren't 'conveniently' timed. And there are reasons I don't buy w/o seeing what the course entails vs. cost etc. I might buy more if I was able to do such. There are so many I am interested in but time constraints for watching it or catching a re-run are really prohibitive. I won't buy 'blind' and funds are limited. So I must be selective in choosing what to buy. It has to fulfill multiple requirements for me personally. Perhaps others have this dilema and CL could work on that. Or hey, maybe everyone just has more $ than they know what to do with. That said I am astonished that there are only 2 reviews that are lukewarm at best. This course crosses over so many platforms that whether or not I am ever intending to sell to retailers (which I have zero interest in) it is jammed so heavy with idea's and info on how to expand your mind and creative thinking processes that it's inspired me into action!!! My brain is on fire. Thank you Megan! I'd shave my head to own everything that Sue Bryce has taught. Megan is in that league of sharing insider info that is impossible to put a price on! I was only able to listen to a small percentage of Megan's free class, but it was enough to know that it was pure GOLD! Such Inspirational and visionary idea's are dense in this course. I also have sitting next to me two bags of coffee from one audience member! I think Creativelive is the #1 most amazing source I could ever hope to find and I still can't get over the steller excellence of the team that runs this. I live 4 hrs from Seattle (on a good day) and crave to be in an audience...but I love watching from my forest hideaway! The glitchiness in streaming during this course was annoying. I have broadband and multiple browsers to avail upon but there's something afoul in the air possibly because each browser had issues. Either audio was not working or visual was not working. I had to open 2 browsers. One for hearing and one for seeing. I hear from other brick and morters that make me think it is/was statewide. I will put the blame on Century Link because that was the common denominator. I'm following through on that one. They have been quirky ever since they took over Qwest. I'll end with major kudo's for the fantastic offerings that CREATIVELIVE has given to creative's everywhere! My life was changed when I stumbled on this tremendous opportunity. I am so forever grateful!

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This is the perfect class for me! Was looking for this kind of information about doing trade shows and getting in to retail stores and found driblets of info here and there online. But, this is the whole deal and real deal. I think Megan is an AWESOME teacher and find her so easy to connect with. I love that she is funny and engaging and she clearly cares about the studio audience. She's a talented metalsmith and talented teacher. The information she gives in this course is so so so valuable. I feel like after going through this course and having it as reference I will be so ready and confident with taking my jewelry business to the next level. She makes it so approachable and breaks everything down. Thank you Megan!!


Absolutely fantastic! Meg's course was one of, if not THE, most comprehensive and educational pieces I've seen in a long time. The knowledge she shared was dead on, inspiring and very, very generous and gracious of her. Meg presented the materials very well and the added bonuses were...well, just awesome! I've followed her blog for a long time and now I'm a fan of her classes. I'll be taking/buying more! Thank you SO much, Meg and Creative Live! 10 out of 5 stars for this class! - Ronda

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