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Hi! I’m Lucy.
Chardonnay and vintage finds lover, founder of the handmade jewelry brand bel monili *and* your new guide to making your handmade business WORK online.
Selling your handmade items wholesale may seem like a challenging task. Today’s blog post is here to give you the guidance you need to get started!
Whether you specialize in crafting jewelry, ceramics, textiles, or any other handcrafted product, sharing your creations with a broader audience through wholesale can be exciting and rewarding.
Read on to explore the ins and outs of selling handmade items wholesale. I hope to provide you with valuable insights to help you navigate this path and grow your business.
Let’s get crackin’!
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Before delving into the world of wholesale, it is essential to establish a brand identity for your handmade items.
Your “brand” is what your customers will come to expect when they see items from your shop.
When you think of a brand, go beyond a logo! Branding includes your “voice,” what you stand for, and why you make what you sell.
Define your unique style, target market, and the story behind your creations. This will help you stand out in a competitive market and attract buyers who appreciate your craftsmanship.
Infuse your brand with a warm, personal touch that resonates with your audience.
Your customers may say, “I want what she’s having!” Your stockists will expect that the inventory you make will be similar to each other.
One of the critical aspects of successfully selling handmade items wholesale is maintaining consistent quality. Craft each piece with care and attention to detail. They can still be handmade and unique while maintaining quality.
Being a wholesale maker is different from selling one-of-a-kind items at craft shows. You are providing your stockist with inventory.
Each one should be as well-made as the other. Customers will expect to get the same quality item as the last customer.
To sell your handmade items wholesale, you must identify potential buyers (also called stockists) who align with your brand and who sell to your perfect customer.
Research local boutiques, galleries, gift shops, and online platforms that showcase and sell similar products.
Make a list of potential wholesale buyers who share your passion for unique, handmade creations. Engage with them and build relationships to understand their requirements and expectations.
You can also use platforms like Faire to find potential wholesale buyers. These platforms can bring your brand in front of hundreds of stockists. But they also charge commissions, so be aware of what you’ll need to pay for these services.
Speaking of getting paid – pricing your handmade items for wholesale can be challenging.
If you’re just starting your business, you might want to factor in the possibility of wholesale in the future. It will make pricing so much easier down the road.
If you don’t include wholesale in your pricing structure, you may have to raise your retail prices so you can still profit by selling wholesale.
Consider factors such as the cost of materials, time spent crafting, overhead expenses, and desired profit margins.
Research the market and analyze competitors’ pricing strategies. Strike a balance between offering competitive prices and ensuring you receive fair compensation for your efforts.
Pricing your products appropriately will help build long-term relationships with wholesale buyers. It will also help you make a profit! Wholesale pricing is lower than retail, so ensure you’re still making money when selling your handmade items wholesale.
Design a visually appealing and informative catalog to showcase your handmade items. Include high-quality product photographs, detailed descriptions, dimensions, and other pertinent information.
You can make one virtually using an app like Canva.
A professional catalog will make it easier for potential buyers to understand and visualize your products. It also allows you to easily talk with potential buyers. You can use the catalog to introduce them to your brand and eventually take orders!
Define your wholesale policies, including minimum order quantities, payment terms, shipping options, and return policies.
Clearly communicate these policies to potential buyers to ensure understanding.
Transparency is the name of the game! Being transparent and professional will build trust with wholesale clients.
Participating in craft fairs and artisan markets can be a great way to showcase your handmade items wholesale.
These events provide opportunities to connect with buyers, receive feedback, and network with other artisans.
Prepare samples, business cards, and brochures to distribute at these events, leaving a lasting impression on potential wholesale buyers.
Consider building an email list for wholesale, too. Give potential stockists the ability to sign up for your emails at your craft shows.
In today’s digital age, online platforms (such as Etsy) offer tremendous opportunities for selling handmade items wholesale.
Add wholesale information to your website or join established e-commerce platforms that cater to artisans and handmade products.
Optimize your online presence by incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and using social media to promote your products. These platforms enable you to reach a broader audience and connect with potential wholesale buyers from around the world.
Selling your handmade items wholesale allows you to expand your reach and share your unique creations with a more extensive customer base.
By focusing on developing a solid brand, maintaining high-quality standards, building relationships with potential buyers, and leveraging both traditional and digital platforms, you can embark on a successful journey in the wholesale market.
Remember to infuse your warm and personal touch into every aspect of your business, making each transaction a meaningful experience for you and your customers.
Getting ready to sell at craft markets and shows? Pick up my free guide, Market Must-Haves for Makers. It will make the process a LOT easier! I created an easy way for you to prepare for your shows.
After running bel monili (my handmade jewelry business) for 10 years, I launched Bloom in 2019 to create a community where handmade business owners could learn, grow, and support each other in this wild venture of small business ownership. Welcome to Bloom!