Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wholesale Discussion

With wholesale shows on the horizon, I thought it might be a good time to have a discussion on the topic of wholesaling pottery. I'm particularly interested in how fellow potter's approach it. Here's some key points to consider:
-Minimum $ amount
-Packing & shipping fees
-Minimum $ amount on reorders (do you have one? Are you happy to freshen a shop's inventory with just a few pieces i.e. an order smaller than you'd require for a new account?)
-Variety of wholesale items (how many pieces are on your price list?)

This topic is of particular interest to me:
-what items to wholesale? (Do you have certain items you will NOT wholesale? Do you have a "line," of items you wholesale that is separate from items you sell retail only? Should you keep it real and make what you make no matter if it's retail, wholesale or what?)


Michael Kline said...

Hi Emily,

I don't do very much wholesale anymore but I used to do quite a bit. One bit of advice is that you shouldn't offer anything for wholesale unless you are ready to make a lot of that item.

Another bit of advice is that "it's all about the net". Figure out your costs and try to base your prices on those. You can crank out the orders if you have them, but if you under price your production you will be just spinning your wheels. [ha, not a bad pun, huh?] Anyway I did this one year and barely broke even. Maybe the reasons I had so many orders were my prices!

I'll try to think of some other things that I may be able to pass on...I'll wait to hear other opinions.

Clay Club said...

Sometimes I think my work is too time-consuming to wholesale... then I think I should come up with designs that aren't as involved... then I think, "that's not me,".....
Great tip about net. The way to begin pricing is to start from the very begining at the "cost to make the good."

Michael Kline said...

There is a common misconception that wholesale = stripped down versions of serious work. In reality, galleries and shops are as diverse in their needs as there is in the offerings at the show. You will see all kinds of work at the markets.

Another thing about the shows is that exhibition galleries are there looking for new artists to show. So when you bring your best work and present it in a appropriate setting (booth) you are setting up the best possible outcome for not only selling the work you want to make for wholesale but also garnering respect and gaining exhibition opportunities.

Clay Club said...

you are wise. i will stick to my guns.