Selling Your Crafts at Other Shops and Outlets
If your crafts business involves creating unique handmade craft items, or even raw craft materials, you may want to investigate the possibility of selling your products in other shops and outlets.
Selling your crafts at other shops and outlets can work well in two ways. Firstly, if you already have a shop or retail outlet of your own, expanding into selling at other shops and outlets can help you increase your customer base and try out selling in other areas without massively increasing your overheads.
Secondly, this method of selling your crafts in other shops can work as a way for you to sell products without necessarily having your own shop. If costs are tight in the early days of starting your crafts business, then it may be prohibitive to have a shop of your own. In order to test out the market, see what sells and what doesn’t, and build up a customer base, selling your crafts at already existing shops and outlets can work out very well.
What Types of Shops Would Sell Your Crafts?There are many shops, craft centres and other retail outlet that specialise in having products from a variety of craftspeople and artists, so customers get to see work from a wide variety of people. Some are locally based, showcasing work from crafters in a particular area or region, whereas others are nationally based.
Although some shops have a craft slant, you’ll also find that other shops often selling handmade crafts products on behalf of crafters, but that the rest of their stock isn’t necessarily craft-based. For example, some health stores, especially the independent ones, have craft items too, or local shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels, tourist information centres, farms that have diversified into craft centres or restaurants, or independent town or village shops often have a mixture of products on display.
How To Find a Suitable Shop to Sell Your CraftsIf you’re interested in exploring the possibility of finding another shop or outlet in which to sell your work, then you may need to do some homework in the process of finding somewhere suitable.
Asking around at local craft events, such as shows and exhibitions, is one good way of finding a venue by word of mouth – and also of sharing the word that you’d be interested in marketing your goods in this way. Checking through the Yellow Pages or business directories could unearth some relevant shops or outlets to try or asking business organisations if they know of anywhere relevant.
This is one area though, where cold-calling – either by phoning or visiting places – can work really well. If possible, it’s a good idea to take some examples of your crafts with you, a brochure or leaflet if you have one, and business cards that you can leave behind.
The shops will appreciate seeing exactly what items you typically have available for sale and may agree on the spot to take them. Even if they don’t already operate on such as a basis, it’s still worth a try as they may be inspired by the idea and have a go at it.
How Does Selling Through Other Shops and Outlets Work?The actual process of selling through other shops and outlets can vary. Sometimes a shop or retailer will ask to have your stock for free, and then take a commission of any sale. On other occasions, they may purchase your items outright and then sale them on themselves. Or, they may charge you a small fee for the privilege of being able to sell your products through their shop.
Whatever the deal is, do be sure to read through any terms and conditions carefully and ensure it will work out as a good option for you. For example, if one retailer wants to take a big commission out of any of your sales, then you’ll need to consider whether it’s a good enough offer for you to take up. If you’ll end up losing money, or having to have a huge amount of sales to make it worthwhile, then it may be better to go elsewhere.
Whatever you decide to do, trying the option of selling your crafts via other retailers and shops is definitely a good sideline to explore. Even if it doesn’t bring in heaps of extra sales, at least it could raise your profile on a local or national level, which is always a useful aspect.