Brandmade: Where to Sell
BRAND:MADE – WHERE TO SELL
Handmade is a great place to sell on many, many levels. As a Handmade stallholder, you get to meet other small businesses and exchange ideas. You have access to thousands of Handmade digital followers before the event, the market crowds during the event and plenty of online sales afterwards. One of our June stallholders had this to say:
“I just have to let you know.. by the time we got home on Monday morning we had 5 ACT sales go through online… By Tuesday night there were another 7… Then 2 more last night and 2 more today. Plus after you posted that pic of me on Insta I had 41 new followers… You guys are the gift that keeps on giving and I’m super grateful.”
In addition to all these benefits, Handmade is also a wholesale opportunity. We find that there are many shops, from small independent boutiques and museum shops right through to supermarkets and national department stores, that visit the Handmade Market. They’re there to see the beautiful products and chat to the makers. And they’re always interested in adding curated selections of Australian made style and produce to their shelves. Mostly, this is a great opportunity for small businesses. It’s a chance to spread the word about your brand. And it’s a solid income if you can secure a regular contract.
Embarking on your wholesale journey can be overwhelming, especially without the right advice. You’ll find that the people wanting to buy multiples of your products will tell you everything you want to hear. And most of the time, a relationship will be fruitful and positive. We have heard some stories that aren’t so good though. There are people who want to take a lot without giving much back. And there are shops that don’t do as well as expected. This can lead to struggles, late payments and ultimately, liquidation before your stock is returned to you.
It’s therefore very important that you secure the right deal for you to ensure you’re not a victim of poor management or bad luck. Some shops want to pay you a wholesale price for multiples on a regular basis. Others only want to pay you once your item has been sold. Both of these are viable deals if organised correctly. Contracts are arduous and uninteresting, but at the same time vital to the success of a retail relationship. You’ll need to make sure you’re aware of payment terms, risks and the background of the people you’re dealing with. A good lawyer and accountant can help, as it pays to have a professional look at the fine print.
It’s a cause for celebration when a big chain of shops or department store wants to stock your products. Being so visible to a wider audience is perfect exposure for you. But you need to weigh up the risks and rewards. Before entering into such a relationship, there are a few things you need to bear in mind. Large businesses are less concerned with your own commitments than stocking enough product in their stores. If you have a Handmade Market coming up and a large order to fulfil, can you do both? You also need to assess whether you can afford to make your products to sell at such a reduced price. Often, big orders come in with little notice and you need the wherewithal to produce enough stock quickly, or at least ensure that you have enough inventory at all times. A big contract such as this can often lead to expansion of your operations and staff, which can be very exciting. Are you ready?
HERE TO HELP
If wholesale is the next step for you, congratulations! If you’re a part of the Handmade family, your journey need not be an arduous one, as we’re always happy to chat to stallholders at the market about the deals on offer. You’ll need professionals to check your contract and finances, but we have a good idea of what’s going on in the world of retail so we’re happy to listen if you’re not sure. If you’re attending the market, make sure you chat to other stallholders as well – they have a lot of interesting experiences to share.
NOT FOR YOU?
There are many small businesses that don’t need or want to wholesale. Perhaps exclusivity is part of your brand, or you want to safeguard your work/life balance. Maybe you prefer the control of selling your products your way online, or you don’t want to take on help to build up your stock. Don’t feel any pressure to operate in this world unless it’s the logical next step for you. But if it is, with a little planning and a lot of research, it could be exactly what you need.