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Catherine Catherine is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5
Advise needed on selling through local retail outlets...

I have recently set up my business designing and making hand-made greetings cards and wedding stationery.
The next stage I am interested in is selling through local retail outlets, all of which are independent shops.
However, I have no experience whatsoever of the retail trade.

Has anyone any experience of the best way to approach small retailers with a portfolio? To phone first and make an appointment, to write in then follow up with a phone call and hopefully visit, or to call in on spec and ask to speak to the buyer? My objective is to get in the door and show them my work...

Which brings me to my second question... have no idea of terms, what kind of discount they would require, whether they'd be likely to buy from me then sell, or take goods on a sale or return basis. All seems a minefield!

Any help from those that have been there or who can point me in the direction of good publications on this, greatly appreciated!

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elena elena is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: north london
Posts: 178

I thought about you today i went to the dry cleaners and there where some cards for sale.

It said something along the lines of " original birthday cards by a local designer and the price "

If you visit small independant companies i would suggest you take a few samples and then just explain to the owner about your company.

Good luck
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Leslie Leslie is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1
congrats on being so inventive!

I work in a locally owned boutique and we are always interested in selling handmade goods from local vendors. people either stop in with samples during business hours or call to make sure the owner will be there. either way is fine with us. we sometimes ask them to leave a sample so we can discuss whether it is right for the store's image and/or price points.

We often ask vendors to sell to us on a consignment basis, meaning they tell us how much they want for it, we price it and display it in our store. Then, if it sells, we pay them their price. Your prices need to be low enough that the store can charge at least twice that amount for the items and have customers willing to pay that price for it.

hope this is helpful! best of luck!

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john.crocker's Avatar john.crocker john.crocker is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Wallingford, Oxfordshire
Posts: 61

I make my own cards as well so therefore i understand what you are going through at the moment. My advise would be to do all that you suggested in getting customers. On the mark up of your cards i would advise to get together a agreement for the sale of the cards. The shop would get a percentage of the profit but you need to make a profit as well so make sure the mark up is generous.

I would be interested in how you do on this as it is something that i may well consider in the future.

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