As a crafty business owners, we are always looking for ways to increase our sales. We typically start out with friends and family members and their friends as our customers. It can slowly spread to other customers, but SLOWLY is usually how that goes!!
Some people try FaceBook Marketplace, but I have found that people are bargain hunters and don’t want to pay much for your products. Side note: if you start out pricing your work low, it is harder to raise your prices and keep your customers. Other options are Craft Shows, Ladies Nights, ETSY and selling in shops.
Selling In Shops
Today we are going to explore the pros and cons of selling your handmade items In a shop. Typically, a shop owner invites local artists to sell their work in the shop to add a variety of products and can fill their shops without having to buy a lot of wholesale items to fill their shelves. They charge a monthly fee, keep a percentage of the total monthly sales or both. There are many reasons to choose this as an option and a few things you should consider before agreeing.
Selling your work in a shop will get your work in front of more potential buyers – you will be able to sell your work to a whole new audience!
You will meet and can network with other crafters – which can lead to learning about other craft shows or shops to sell in.
If you make and sell special orders, you may be able to drop off orders at the store for customers to pick up – no more meeting strangers in public or giving people your home address.
You also may be able to teach craft classes in the shop.
Some people feel that a con is having to pay rent or a percentage of their sales to the shop owner.
But if you consider how much you pay for a booth in a craft show, Ladies Night, Farmer’s Market, etc. it is comparable. If you bring in enough product to sell (knowing that you may sell 25% of the total amount of product you have in the shop each month) you can sell enough to cover these fees and still make some money.
Ask about the contract – some restrict where else you can sell similar items.
You are responsible for having business insurance.
The success or failure of you selling in a shop is your responsibility. Check out her shops before you commit – make sure she has customers, the shop looks nice, the products are on trend and that things are selling!!! I have had great and not so great experiences selling my work in shops! I left the ones that were not great.
Advertising that you are in the shop and what you are selling is strongly recommended. Post on social media the address to the shop and what you will have there. Share all of the shop’s social media posts and Events. If she has events – go and meet the customers!
Price your work and include a vendor number.
Restock your space as needed – keep it fresh and clean and easy to shop.
Keep the lines of communication open – ask when you get paid and how, what she wants you to bring and what NOT to bring, ask about the type of customers who shop there and what they typically buy.
Shop Owner’s Responsibilities
The shop owner should tell you her expectations -what types of items to bring, how often, how she handles sales and specials and what kind of events she does.
Typically, the shop owner collects and pays in the sales tax.
The shop owner pays the vendors.
The shop owner does some advertising.
The shop owner should keep the lines of communication open.
Yes or No?
It is completely up to you. But I urge you to do your due diligence and homework before you jump in!!
For information on promoting yourself dudring Craft Shows, click HERE