How Wholesale Changed Maker Businesses

This post was part of our FREE Wholesale Tuneup Series we did. And you can sign up for it now so you won't miss a thing. The series will be chockfull of advice and perspective from makers, retailers and consultants. 

But I realize some of you might still be on the fence about wholesale. I know that having a store "take 50% of your sales" can seem like a bad deal. It's not-- I promise. Stores work for that 50% for you (and if they don't you give them the boot!) and help you get a steady stream of sales that you do way less effort for (especially considered to other more labor-intensive ventures like craft shows). And everyone knows it's MUCH more cost effective to keep customers than to find new ones. Having a solid base of stockists is like having a bunch of repeat customers.

Don't believe me?  These #ahasmembers are sharing how wholesale changed their businesses.

Sierra Bailey of Manic Trout, Austin CHAPTER LEADER

Having amazing repeat customers is wonderful and is essential to long term business. When those customers are repeat wholesale accounts? That’s when it gets magical. Here is why I love wholesale: 

1. When you are selling in large quantities to wholesalers, you are getting larger payments instead of retail sales one at a time. So the energy to gain a new wholesale customer vs a retail customer yields a bigger payout. 

2. If your prices are set to properly profit from wholesale, you will profit amazingly from retail sales. 

3. The increase in volume per order gives you the ability to order materials in larger quantities for greater discounts. This lowers your costs across the board and means that your retail sales will also have higher margins. 

4. I would much rather get a large wholesale order together to ship than pack individual orders for the same quantity of product. It’s faster and more streamlined. 

5.  Having my jewelry in large stores has also brought much attention from press, new incredibly loyal customers, and other stores; gaining exposure for my brand in addition to profit and cash flow."

Chatti of Remy and Rose, Online Chapter Leader

Without a doubt, wholesale changed my business for the better. I enjoy building a relationship with all my stockists and knowing that my products are seen by customers across the nation (who may not otherwise know about my company). Wholesale also allows me peace of mind. My online sales goes up and down, depending on the season, but my wholesale account are consistent, allowing me to have some income stability.

Melissa of Print Therapy

"Wholesale has changed my business by allowing me to dream bigger. As a greeting card seller, orders can be quite tiny, monetarily, and it can be difficult to dream in increments of $4.50 orders. Although we appreciate every order, it feels impossible to see how our business can scale and grow, one card sale at a time. Selling wholesale, which allows for much larger orders, brings perspective and growth opportunity that retail doesn't currently afford us. It really gives me confidence to keep pushing our business growth, and I think that as a small business owner, that confidence is some times the hardest thing to come by."

Mei Pak of Creative Hive Co.

"It took some time for me to polish up my wholesale program. When I did, I hired my first two sales reps in the summer of 2013 and it took them half a year to familiarize their clients with my brand. Sales were slow at first, but in 2014, they helped make wholesale a full time job and income in itself for my jewelry business! They were a big part in helping me get into over a hundred stores. It was amazing for diversifying my income. 

Most people view wholesale as a way to make money and sales. But a nice side effect to wholesale is that it's also great for spreading the word about your business. From influential big box store buyers to members of the press and the thousands of consumers who've walked into stores that carry my line, I've exposed my brand to a large audience I wouldn't have been able to reach just from selling my product direct to consumer online. 

This word of mouth and brand awareness has helped me make consistent, daily sales without having to actively do marketing on my part. 

In addition to that, wholesale has helped me see how and where my brand and products fit in the marketplace. That's priceless information to have. I know more now about what brands to position myself with, who my products are for (and who they're NOT for), why people buy my products and how to improve my product design. All this helps guide the way I market my brand in the future."