A large part of selling your collection requires working with buyers, especially in the start up of a new business - you will be required to showcase your collection and liaise face to face. Read on for tips on working with buyers.
THE BENEFITS OF SELLING THROUGH A STORE
Selling your work through a store, whether a physical store or online can be a through a store, whether a physical store or online, can be a major step forward to getting your work to a larger customer base, as well as freeing you from the time needed to sell directly.
Selling to a prestigious ‘name’ can be a huge PR and press boost and, in addition, an important ‘foot in the door’ in introducing yourself to other stores.
HOW SHOULD I APPROACH THEM ?
• Telephone or email the store to obtain the name of the person responsible for buying products for the store. If by telephone, make sure you note down their name and title correctly.
• Send a press pack in the post with a covering letter specifically addressed to the buyer, asking him/her to look at your work and if you could arrange a meeting to show your work in person
• Telephone after a few days to ask if he/she has received it. Unless prompted otherwise, do not irritate them by asking their opinion of your work when they might be in the middle of something they consider more important.
• Follow up with an email if no news after two weeks. It is often useful, if it’s a larger organisation, to telephone the buyer’s office or the reception and explain your situation, you might find the buyer has been on a business trip for 2 or 3 weeks – so be patient.
• Buyers are very busy people and do not be disheartened if you do not hear back at all – not everyone is courteous enough to send a reply, even a short ‘it’s not for us.’
I HAVE THE MEETING WHAT DO I NEED TO PREPARE?
• Prepare all the details that a retailer may ask. The wholesale price, your retail price (if this applies), lead times, how many you or other retailers have sold. In addition, have to hand information on the materials and techniques used and be prepared to show information and proof of safety standards, care instructions and the provenance of any primary materials subject to ethical standards.
• Make sure all your samples are in perfect condition and any labeling and packaging is too.
• Be clear on the number of items you can produce over a given period; if you are prepared for others to make all or some of the work, have an idea of the quantities this extra help would give you.
• Analyse the strong selling points of your work to this particular retailer. Does it fill a missing gap in the store for a product item they don’t stock, or offer a new material or technique they don’t feature? Does it fill a price gap for a particular product?
• Finally, decide on the lowest price you are prepared to drop down to and make sure you stick to it.
To find out what the retailer is looking for and tips on what to do when meeting a buyer view the rest of the article here.
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