Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wholesale Catalog

I now have a new page on my blog about wholesale purchasing. There you will find my brand new catalog!!! It features some of my most popular designs. I am so excited to be venturing down this path. Please note the prices listed in the catalog are for wholesale purchase by brick and mortar shops for resale to their customers.

My retail customers will notice prices in the wholesale catalog are lower than what they may have purchased an item for. Why is retail more? One of the biggest reasons is the time involved. Wholesale is quick with little time investment for me. Retail requires a huge investment of my time and resources sitting in my booth at various events around the area.

I use a pretty standard formula to determine my prices that uses 3 things: time, overhead and materials. Add these together for the cost of an item. Double this number for wholesale. Double the wholesale figure for retail.
Time: I pay myself a modest hourly wage. I use a timer to see how long it takes me to make an item.  This can range from 10 minutes to several hours.

Overhead: This is 33% of my time. Overhead includes a myriad of things. The creating of tags and ear cards, cost of office supplies, studio expenses, marketing, vendor fees, booth equipment, and many, many more costs that I incur in the operation of my business.

Materials: This is the actual cost of the materials used in the making of an item. I try very hard to buy things on sale and in large quantities to keep my prices reasonable. When I bring home a purchase of supplies I figure out the cost per piece.

Here is a simple example: Let's say it took me 1/2 hour to make something and my rate of pay is $10. That is $5. Plus overhead of 33% is $1.65. Cost of materials is $5. So the cost of this item is $5+$1.65+ $5 = $11.65. The wholesale price is then $23.30 and the retail price is $46.60. That means a "profit" of $34.95 on this item. I put profit in quotes lest you think I am getting rich on all of my profit - not going to happen! I am just happy to cover all my expenses.

In the retail world many businesses will charge much more than double of wholesale for the retail price. Often in a shop they may take the wholesale price they purchased the item for and as much as triple it for the retail price. I have seen this on some of my own pieces.

I may also add into the wholesale  price the cost of working with a sales rep (usually 15% of the price). I will also look at the retail price and consider how it relates to similar items I have in stock and what I think someone would pay for it and adjust (up or down) accordingly.

Does your head hurt yet from all this math?! Luckily you can leave all this to me and just enjoy shopping and wearing my beautiful jewelry instead!

Friday, December 7, 2012

This Weeks Work

I have been making these bracelets for many years and they continue to be very popular. I sold out of them at my last show so made a few more for this weekend. They feature furnace glass or cane glass beads (the chunky multicolor beads) mixed with an assortment of colorful glass beads and silver accents. The toggle clasps all have a small handcrafted silver dangle for a fun attitude.

This shimmery grey necklace started out very differently with a large zebra jasper pendant, but I was not happy with the way it was looking so I took it in a different direction. Instead it is 3 strands of grey and shimmering grey glass seed beads with a delicate crystal dangle. This has SOLD.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Exciting and Scary

Yesterday I met with a wholesale rep who wants to represent me at stores through out western Washington!! She said she picked me because my jewelry is unique, I have a nice variety, a good price point, and am a local small business. How flattering!

Thinking about all the various aspects of this is a bit overwhelming. I left the meeting with a list of homework assignments. Things to research, things to ponder and things to create.

Much of my work is one of a kind so how do I combine it to make it easier for a store to order from me? Which items and styles should I choose to start with? What samples should I provide to the rep and how to package them? What will be my polices on payments, orders, returns, and shipping? What will be my minimum order amount? If successful will I be able to keep up with orders?

I will need to create a wholesale line sheet, wholesale price sheet, a leave-behind post card or sheet (someday a catalog, but that is for the future), order form, packing slips, invoices, new tags, and a contract.

Luckily I have a few artist friends who have traveled this road and they are willing to share info with me. There is also a wealth of info on the web.

My goal is to have all of this figured out before Christmas so that I am ready for my rep to begin marketing me in January. My rep - that has a nice sound to it! So much for down time this month!

2013 looks to be an exciting and scary year for Beadware!!