Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wholesale vs. Consignment vs. Direct to Buyer

This is one of the big questions that's haunting me right now... Do I set myself up to sell my jewelry wholesale to a shop owner? Do I continue to accept consignment opportunities? Or do I forego all this messiness and decide that I will sell only direct to buyer?

The wholesale and consignment options obviously allow me wider selling opportunities. I'm not going to run out in the next few months and open my own brick-and-mortar store. So, offering my jewelry on wholesale and/or consignment terms means that I can have my jewelry in shops (potentially) around the world. It also means that I need to take a long, hard look at my prices. If I price a piece of jewelry at $100 retail, I better be able to make said piece in under an hour to make any profit. Of everything that I'm currently making, nothing meets that requirement.

Selling direct to buyer is a lovely, romantic idea. Being out on the road selling at different markets, cutting out the middle man (or woman), having the direct contact with the person who will be wearing or gifting my handiwork. I love this idea. I also love that I would get to keep 100% of the retail price. But, it cuts out a fair number of selling opportunities and possibilities. Which might make it harder to make a decent, full-time living as a jewelry maker. Not to mention that I'd have to start hustling a LOT more.

Unfortunately, there's nothing cut-and-dry about this decision. I don't necessarily have to choose one or the other, but I do think that I need to know which way I'm leaning before I just blindly wander into something. How would you decide?

1 comment:

Cherry said...

Hi Laura,
Have you considered auctions at eBay? You would have to be careful with product description to avoid returns. Good pictures would be helpful. Steve Henning, Best Consignment Shop Software