Consignment Retail is a store that sells handmade goods for a fee. The fee can be a monthly fee or a percentage of each sale when your item is sold. The owner of the store arranges the products in such a way that it looks like a lovely Hallmark Store or a Boutique. The items are on display & are appealing to the shopper. If I send in my aprons, they may be displayed in an area that has other Kitchen items & my zippered pouches my be displayed next to purses.
Here are some details about my experience.
I was in a store that was too far me to visit & hand deliver my products so I mailed them. I was charges a monthly fee & I had paid for a few months. At first I thought this was a great idea. I thought it was great because I could make more than if I was charged the percentage per item. But after I only received a check for selling 1 item, my heart sunk. I waited & waited. Nothing.
So I paid again for another few months, nothing! At the end of May, I had her ship my things back to me.
My conclusion on the experience:
I had already paid, so it didn't matter to the store owner if I sold anything or not.
I never saw any promotion about other vendors on the stores FB page.
Only the store owners items were promoted.
Here are some questions to ask (which I didn't, but will because you learn lessons from mistakes)
Do you use Social Media?
If so, will you be promoting my items on your Social Media Outlets?
Do you have employees that will run the store if you are not able to make it to the shop that day?
Okay, let's move on to shops that charge a percentage per item they sell.
I am going to be real honest about this. I hated the thought of this idea. Why should they get a percentage of my craft. I now understand that I am wrong in my thinking. I still have my reservations about it but I am beginning to understand how this can work in the favor of the crafter.
I have not gone this route yet, but I am considering it.
Stores that I have talked to ask for a percentage anywhere from 30-40% of the retail price that it is sold for.
I shy away from those numbers because I tell myself I am doing just fine selling my items the way I have been selling them for a couple years now!
After my experience with the store that charged a monthly fee & no motivation to sell the products, a store owner that is getting paid thru getting a percentage of each item sold may have a little more motivation to work it!
Again, ask the questions from above & get your information. Watch their Social Media sites for yourself & check out their traffic, even ask for references so you can get some feedback on their shop!
Don't sell yourself short.
Sure it was disappointing that the shop didn't work out! But I had a ton of product just sitting there & it wasn't moving! I was going to stick it out for the year, but as a small biz owner, that was my hard earned business money getting blown to the wind & it wasn't bringing me any back. That is a problem considering my business is cash only & I will not go into debt over it! EVER!
I also knew that even though my products weren't selling, I chose not to believe that my product was priced too high or it was not well made or it was flat out crap! Those were lies & I warded them off.
What have your experiences been with selling Wholesale or Consignment Retail? Share in the comments!