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Wholesaling Best Practices

Lesson 3 from: Sell Your Products to Retailers

Megan Auman

Wholesaling Best Practices

Lesson 3 from: Sell Your Products to Retailers

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

3. Wholesaling Best Practices

Lesson Info

Wholesaling Best Practices

There's a quick question that bouquet is asking about adding products to other line so what is too big is there yeah so there what I would say is it gets to be too big for two things one if a buyer has trouble making decisions so if they're looking at your line and they're like oh god, I don't know that's tough now granted, if you're strong in kind of the sales department, you could actually get over that um but the second thing is if things start to get redundant so if you see like, people are either going to buy this one or this one but they're probably not gonna buy both that to me says too many products when you start to see that redundancy it's going to be different for every industry, so I've heard people say like, if you're selling greeting cards, don't even get in the game so you have, like, two hundred cards I think that's a little high probably start with, like fifty cards and that's okay, but I think my entire product line is maybe only one hundred and fifty scuse there's an...

other number glossary on three guys excuse few stands for stock keeping unit so that's the item number that's the specific product that we're dealing with, so I think I'm somewhere around like one fifty there, so it really depends on on the product line that urine but what I would say is that at some point if you keep adding, you have to subtract that you can't add forever and the best way to make those decisions is honestly on what sells so when you get started, you know, feel free to bring in what feels like maybe a little too much product because you're going to give buyers choices, you're going to see what people gravitate towards and then you can go back through your line at the end of your one and say, you know what? I sold none of this product like let's pull it out yeah, um how many excuses to start with when you first started selling so I think I probably started with maybe forty or fifty that seems kind of high you'll see what we can we get two pictures of my booth, you will see it's pretty sparse and in terms of kind of my line, I still have a lower number excuse than a lot of people so there could be some range actually we'll talk about that cause we're needs shale is an example because I know that you are only have to excuse right now so do you have a specific question about that or weaken weaken dive into that then all right, so the next one is do you have a range of prices in your product line so think about what is the range between the highest and lowest price in your line? So we're strongly on page for the workbook we're just we're just diving in here, so this is something that's also really important because stores are gonna want a diversity in product line our product price because you're not always going to sell the three hundred dollar necklace, sometimes you're going to sell the sixty dollar pair of earrings, so thinking about do you have enough range in your prices? Now, some of this is going to change when we get to the segment about pricing because you might just build in more range into your existing products when you learn howto price properly. But thinking about now you are most of your products clustered into a similar price point that's not really ideal for a store, they're gonna want to see that range. And I know we've got actually think all of you sitting in front of me, my kind of struggle without where everything kind of tends to be the same price and so we can talk about how do you go ahead and really expand on your line to figure out how to hit those other price points? So part of that could be through just adjusting your prices, so if you have a lot of different types of products, but the price is I'll feel really close together it might just be about expanding your prices, taking the high end and moving it up um but it might also be designing new products at a different range I think lindsay that's kind of what you're trying to do is that you wanted a different price range right with this new airline so that helps because it's going to bring you in a different audience in a different price point and I personally this is not same for everyone's business but I know that I personally would rather sell a few more expensive pieces than a lot of less expensive pieces because again it's all about that kind of volume game right? So same amount of work but no less work to sell higher prices in my head that all made sense this's we're gonna actually so look there's shale is so you right now have two items in your line right that are the same price exactly. So when you're thinking about selling two stores have you just been thinking here's my wand here's my one have at it? Yes so when I'm selling two stores were in one retail store and it's either the dark roast or the medium roast whole beaner ground okay and that's I wanted to do really like lean and and skinny started outside just offered just too okay and I think that's not a bad place to start particularly in your product line where you're never gonna have maybe more than like ten to twenty excuse like you're not going to be this crazy person who's like here's my seven hundred different types of coffee right that's insane but one of the things that you can think about is how can I take what I'm doing and expand so that there's different ranges so I know that you have on your website you can get the free sample but maybe in the store there is like you can buy one, you get by one or you can buy both together so then that's a different price point so that becomes like a little package set okay? And then maybe there's also like a smaller sample thing maybe there's a a gift set where they could buy like it's like coffee and a mug and something else and so you work with you work with a company I know you know, like free for your work so I know you like working with other, you know, other people is really important. Part of what you do is so like, can you partner with someone's that it's like the coffee in the mug said or the way you really thinking about just how you can play with all those different things just to create a little bit more variation and range in your line and that's also going to help you appealed to different kinds of retailers too, so there's a specific kind of retailer who is just going to want coffee on the shelf but there's another kind of retailer who was more than happy to sell coffee but there might be more of ah, they may be more of a gift or or boutique type of thing, so then they're gonna want a few more options whether it's the two back together, whether it's with the mug you know, thinking about kind of what what ways you can expand, we'll help just give you that different range of prices so that you're not packing boxes and boxes of coffee and then for some businesses that's okay, if that's what you want to dio that's, okay, but I have a feeling that that's not what you want to dio, right? You just don't wanna pack boxes of coffee all thatyou wantto haven't become this brand and this experience and so adding in those other options is going to be really great for you. Yeah, I'm so I started doing farmer markets in georgia, right? And so what I do, we have a single cup of ice and me have coffee, and so because I was just selling the packaging and I was like, well, everybody's not buying the whole beans like, you know, so I just started serving like the single cups is that an idea of what you're saying in that price point is four dollars for ice coffee or yeah, zito yeah, I got that. Absolutely okay, yes. So you want to think about, like, what makes sense then to translate into a store? Okay, so wolfram right? Yeah, no harm's heart if I told you that you look like the weight of that. Uh, so, you know, a story might not actually sell like the single a cup of coffee because they're not gonna, you know, brew in the store. But there are ways that maybe they can look, even if it's just a single sample set that stores compels that people want you, they want to try before they buy, so if they can come in and they can spend four dollars on a sample said that they could go home and like through one, you know, in their cure egg with that little special thing that you get so you don't waste all the little k cops, you know, that's great, they can go home, they can try it, they can decide that they love it and that's the kind of product to any time that you've got that kind of single use thing, you can usually get a mop, but our profit margin than you can on something like that so that that little single thing might actually become instead of it being a loss leader like you're doing here where you're saying it's free you can have it I'll send it to you you're not making any money it could actually become a thing that you make more profit on because people are used to paying more for a single serving than they are for an entire bag of something okay think about it you know the same thing applies like potato chips you know you you violate its not like you know it's like a ninety nine cent bag and you get like four chips or you can spend like right dollar fifteen get like the big bag exactly so it's the same kind of principle so and it is and it's kind of like people are paying a little more because they just wanted they want to try it and they're going to pay for dollars or five dollars for the example because it's still less than paying fifteen dollars for a bag of coffee that they're not sure they're gonna love okay sounds good awesome yeah on the chat plastic here's one day during prince wants to know what if you're selling the same product that has the same value across the board like greeting cards yes so actually we're gonna we're gonna skip for a minute glad you asked me oh greeting cards are a tricky one because absolutely if you sell greeting cards they're all going to be about the same price you could do. You know you might have a green card and then you might have, like a box set of six that's gonna give you a different price, but ultimately you're going to be really in that one range. So this is one canoe to one canoe to have worked with me and my wholesale academy class. I love them. They're like the stationary world's darlings because their growth has been just explosive in the last couple of years, and one of the reasons that I firmly believe that their growth has been so good is because they realized selling two dollar greeting cards is a grind. Give us a lot of work, it's awesome and they love it, it's what they do, but you can see how they've taken that same aesthetic and they've expanded it out into other products. And so that is always my recommendation. Eating hard designers is you're already doing great graphics, great images. What can you pull them out too? So maybe it's prince it's. Certainly, I think everyone in the green card world should be developing a calendar because that's pretty standard to me, you're doing the calendar, but maybe you have other things that you love so maybe it's tea towels maybe it's wrapping paper thinking about how you could take that same graphic sensibility, you know, maybe it's t shirts like if you're doing greeting cards that have really funny sayings on them, people might want those is a t shirt, right? Because that's really great and actually even some for you shall I see you making you know? All right, so if you're building this brand around something like for you, you could be selling coffee, but then you're trying to support these kind of, you know, these markets in cameron and people are buying the t shirt to that's fantastic. So really thinking about don't limit yourself to one product category, especially if you have that really strong aesthetic and that really strong graphic sensibility take it so lots of different products, okay, here's another one and this is more about, um, your recommendations around how to expand a line this person briar mix organic massage oils and lubricants and has three products and a few different flavors. Okay, I want teo wants to know if they should add more product types or different size choices who I would say probably a little bit of both it's a it's a little hard for me to say without seeing the actual kind of whole scenario, but I would say that you know, coming back to we were talking about with shayla so size lets people commit in different ways, so especially again with something where it's a scent you're not sure if you're gonna love it. If this case it sounds like you're not sure your partner's gonna love it. Um, being able, teo, just by a small thing, is going to be great because it's going to get people started on it, and then eventually they might well then want the bigger, and then the really big for the heavy users. S o that certainly becomes an option, but then, you know, if you have these specific flavours or sense and you want to apply them, like, what else can you apply them? Tio so if I love it so much here, maybe I also want it no in my shampoo are whatever so you can certainly I think in that case, go both ways, and I would say, do what? What feels better for your kind of, like, your creative process and your brand? So if you're like, I can't develop like six more flavors every month, like that's going to kill me, then play with that size variation cool, so I know that this is something I think maybe that monica, you guys I kind of have is this idea of like what I do if I only have one product so is this something that you guys are thinking about branching out to or talk to me about that a little bit yeah we actually are in the works and fabric has just been ordered for our second product on dso our tag is simply sweet and clean so really along the lines of just being out on the town with your kid and keeping them clean and feeling organized so the second thing is uh we're doing the diaper pad and if kids have a blow out what do you do with the soiled clothes so uh what bag for that and then we also have once we get our handle on that then we're going to be introducing a bib that also is more like a tote of the food and belongings with it so fantastic yes I think that's going to really help you guys just having those multiple products because that also helps really establish the brand on dh you can certainly get away with you know, one product that you sell a lot and you guys are the kids here so you probably know freshly picked and her moccasins and she's one thing and she and she really does it um but I think ultimately when you're trying to sell the store's having more than one type of product is always going to help you yeah, and so and again they don't have to be like totally new products bundles packages all of those things can really just help you vary price range and vary the type of product and it stores are always looking to increase their eighty s a t s is average dollars per sale it is one of the most important things that a store is thinking about so when a customer walks in not only do they want to make the sale but they wantto always increase the sale that's why if you go to a store until that little stuff by the register you see whatever you see in any kind of store you know he's seen at the grocery store but you also see it a j crew you walking to j crew and there's like a couple of money clips and I, you know, iphone case is right by the register because they're trying to increase that average dollars per sale so you khun bundle things and say yes, you can have single but you can also sell these bundles that's going to help them raise that eighty s and it's gonna be really valuable to a store. All right? So do you have the production capability for wholesale? So this is another important thing and this is where we're going to get to that one of a kind question is that you do need to evaluate whether or not all of your products are right for wholesale because sometimes they're not so what is the most that you could produce of any one thing you know if you really sat down to think about it like can you make a hundred? Can you make a thousand now here's the great thing about selling to stores and what we're going to talk about is that for the most part you guys are gonna be focusing your outreach on small to midsize stores, boutiques, calories, little places they're not going to be ordering in the thousands there won't even be ordering in the hundreds but they might order ten of something is that gonna work for you? Can you consistently source the materials? That's a that's a big question when you're thinking about wholesale because stores one that consistency they bought it their customers loved it they wouldn't be able to buy it again. There are ways we can get around all this but it's important to start to think about it and then are there things that are too labor time or cost intensive? So maybe you just don't have a margin on them at wholesale or you just don't want to spend a million years making them so seldom in wholesale that's okay to somebody give you guys two examples from my line so those of you who watched terrace antilles workshop may be familiar with these leggings already eso this past year I started doing leggings using some of my pattern designs and then I also did a clutch collaboration with a friend's so my fabrics she makes the bags right now I'm not wholesaling either of these pieces because I'm partnering with other manufacturers I'm basically buying them at wholesale it's just not an option for me right now I have other things in the textile line I have the scarves I have the pillows those I am wholesaling because I have a little bit more margin in them but for right now these are a no go and that's totally okay, as long as you know that you have the strength to say no because people are gonna ask you oh, I really want that sorry it's not available right now so that's okay too d'oh. Obviously if you're trying to build wholesale this should be the exception in your product line and not the rule most of my products absolutely. You can buy wholesale but it is okay to take a few things off the table without completely stopping, making them sell him in your sight all that stuff right? So those air just available retail on my website okay, so that's okay to dio from time to time for sure, yeah, is it ok to maybe offer those teo at wholesale but like at a much higher price point so like the retailers not gonna have much of a profit margin is they traditionally would if they mean if they really wanted it it's really not ideally any retailer is going to want to be able to mark up a least double, so if you can't do that it becomes a little less appealing and I know you guys have that specific problem we're gonna deal with it later it is important that we talk about that so it's not something that's really ideal for retailers and so in this case it makes more sense for me to just say, you know what? This is an online exclusive you can't get it through a store but you can kind of but you could also work on you know, if I wanted to wholesale the is the first thing that I would do is figure out how to get my margin down so that I can sell them at the wholesale price and make a profit wholesale so I would never try to cut the retailers out of the margin it's all about working back from my manufacturing call so let's talk about that one of a kind problem because it is actually completely doable in wholesale and not only that, but I actually think it could be a really strong selling point so one of the things that we're going to talk about throughout this class is that you need you want to help empower your retailers to make the sale right? You want your retailers to be able to say oh, you know what like let's let's get this sold us he had a new customer so if you make one of a kind products and you're one of a kind product is sitting in a store and someone walks in and they love it and the sales staff can say so the only one like it in the world if you walk out of here today without this you might never see it again that is a really, really good selling point right? Sales staff will love that because it's so much better than me like yeah if you come back tomorrow when it's gone we could just order another one for you that's now good sales staff isn't going to say that but it's really great for them to say hey, you know what? This is one of a kind this is great so this is a good example this is my friend caitlin she has a company called rebound designs and she makes these fantastic bags and clutches out of old books and for the most part she is actually sourcing these just drifting vintage people sent her boxes of books she has one line that uses the penguin classics so that's repeatable but for the most part it's one of a kind you can't get it but she can absolutely still sell this line wholesale, and she does. And so what you need to do is kind of figure out what are the kind of, like, common denominators within your one of a kind line and group things like that. So in caitlin's case, she divides the books up by size so you get small, medium or large purses, and from there, you know, that's, how the pricing is and then stores can say, you know what? Send me anything or they might say, you know, we like this particular color palette, no kind or kind of keep it and, like we want, you know, old school textbooks or we really want, like old romance novels or so they might kind of give her some guidance, but they're not going to actually know exactly what they're getting, so it becomes kind of part of the fun. So you want to kind of sell that up on the other cool thing that caitlyn has done in the past is when she did a trade show, she actually just had boxes of books they weren't made into purses yet, but she's had the boxes of the book covers, and so she would just let her stores, okay, I want ten purses. They would go through, they would pull the books that they wanted, caitlin would make a note, package him up and then she'll get home should make the order out of that. So if you're dealing with those kind of one of a kind like thrift id or interesting materials, you khun give buyers that ability to choose before you actually make the product. The other thing I always say with one of a kind is just to be smart, a little bit smarter, a little more flexible about your return policy so it's one of a kind, you never know exactly what you're going to get, maybe your it's, like one of a kind gemstones or things like that were going to send us to you, and if you don't love it, it's okay, we'll swap it out, so that really kind of helps the store just get over that concern off, like it's, one of a kind, you know? I'm not sure so that's another way that you could do that. So do us in the in the studio audience have any other questions about your product line thinking about where you're gonna go from here expanding? Yeah, is there a good website to go to for packaging ideas? Because there's so much out there, and if I'm going to bundle and take on the advice, I'm just thinking of what else I can do but still keep the coffee fresh and you know right food quality so I'm just I'm just curious yeah, we're toe look the whining, the one of a kind fine for me as I always know when I say it you line or you lean is like kind of a it's you elena there like that and they do a lot of food packaging like they have food packaging they've retail packaging so it's a great great place to start you also might just want to do a little like pinterest search you guys will hear me say a couple times during this class like, oh you maybe do something on pinterest because I'm a little bit of a pinterest addict so we'll talk about that but that's a no place that you might start um I also think teo especially as you start to think about volume you know it's okay to think about custom I think particularly in your case and you know anything for a lot of people who are thinking about packaging um you if you really are like you have a great relationship with the graphic designers you're thinking about that like, what can you instead of trying to say okay, I'm gonna fit this into an existing packaging what can I do that's custom that's really gonna help my products stand out so and I wanted to say something while we're on this kind of packaging conversation is that for some product's packaging is way more important than others so for our jewelers in the group stores are going to put it in their own boxes they're gonna want to use their own branded retail packaging so packaging becomes pretty much a non issue for you guys you know, for anna you might do a little bit of like some branded hang tags and things but you're probably also not gonna think super packaging I think I owe you guys over here packaging is critical s o we can talk about that more as well but it definitely you know depends on your product line as to how important packaging is there's just a quick question um about purchasing how purchasing wholesale limits your margin so there's a little bit of confusion in the chat and can you just expand a little bit on purchasing wholesale items and yeah so so basically when I was talking about how I am buying like the leggings and the bags at that wholesale price point they what I believed to be the final retail price what they're charging me is essentially the wholesale price so I just don't have the margin on that because they're selling it to me at their wholesale price so and that's particularly I think and that's particularly because I'm buying them from people who are our small batch manufacturers so if I was working with the manufacturer that was doing a huge volume for me like if I was ordering the leggings at a crazy volume I would certainly be purchasing it far less than wholesale price but because right now I'm I'm buying products in making them in small batches are made to order that's why they're selling them to me at the wholesale price so hopefully that clears that right? Thank you. All right, so let's talk about if you guys are ready for wholesale now because some of you are going to be ready some of your going to need to do a little bit of homework but that's okay um because no matter where you're at, we're gonna keep going through this process we're gonna walk you through, but I want you to sit down and kind of look at your line so think about, you know, do you have enough options that buyers feel like they have choices so you don't want buyers to feel like they have to buy everything or nothing? Can they pick and choose what they like in your line that's kind of your first question, but do you not have? Do you have so many products the buyers feel overwhelmed, right? We don't stress by yourself and again this number I know you guys want me to give you a really hard numbers here and I can't because it varies so much from industry to industry but you'll learn you'll get to see what works so you even if you have like five great products make a line sheet let's we'll talk about that another session don't worry I'm not going to be high and um but you know, start moving forward on those five great products because you could always expand later um and if you don't feel like you have enough products are you feeling excited? Can you sit down right now? You know as we go to break can you sit down and say, you know what? Like I'm gonna sit here and sketch for fifteen minutes I'm gonna come up with like twelve great ideas and feel like you can move towards a wholesale line pretty quickly because that means that you could be ready to go so I don't feel like you have to bottle that creative energy certainly take that creative energy and move forward and then the last question is are you comfortable introducing new or updated products at least once a year? So you certainly don't have to go season by season believe me, I don't it's super stressful, but at least once every year year and a half your stories are going to want to say see something new that's going to keep that momentum going so make sure you're prepared to think about bringing in something new shelly, you might be the one exception to that. Working specifically, coffee. But if we're thinking about how we can expand your brand, then you will probably still be introducing other things. Yeah.

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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