Using Wholesale Starter Packs to Land New Buyers

We've noticed a huge trend on Etsy Wholesale: Starter Packs-- essentially putting together what you think would be a good typical first order for a shop. It makes a lot of sense since buyers don't have to guess quantities to buy or popular items, deal with minimums, etc. Starter Packs happen outside of Etsy Wholesale too, but they have especially taken off on there!

I asked our members to share their experiences with them-- both our members that are sellers AND buyers so you get different perspectives. Read on to see how Starter Packs can help you up your wholesale game.

(BTW, we did an interview with a member soon after Etsy Wholesale began... you can read that here)

Monster Dance Starter Pack image from Etsy Wholesale.

Monster Dance Starter Pack image from Etsy Wholesale.

How Do You Use Starter Packs in Your Business?

Jenn Jesse, Mod's Best Friend

Whenever I have my initial talks with potential shops, I provide them with my line sheet as well as my recommended starter kit breakdown. I explain that the kit is comprised of our best sellers given their type of shop and equals our minimum initial order requirement.

It's great because every shop has either gone with the starter kit I suggest, add more items to it, or adjust it a bit for events they may have coming up. Then when they place re-orders they've had a chance to see what does well in their shop.

Tricia Lee, KidEssence   

I started adding starter packs to my line sheet in December per the request of the Etsy Wholesale Admin. I first heard of them through Etsy Wholesale, but I'm now also hearing of them through a business consultant. I only had two started packs at first-- one with baby products and one with kids products. I just added another on the advice of the consultant with one listing each of my new 2017 collections, one for my baby blankets and one for my chalkboards.  I had a buyer ask me to put together a "starter pack" of just chalkboards only and I happily did that. It's great advice even for returning buyers who want your latest styles to easily reorder in just one listing.

Starter Packs should be carefully curated to help the buyer 1) meet your wholesale minimum PO requirement with the purchase of just one listing. I curate mine to include the most popular items from my linesheet that give a good cohesive look. I total the price of the starter pack to be a little more than the PO minimum requirement. Having a starter pack has brought more opportunities for me to make connections with new buyers.

You can also increase the purchase order easily that way since it's set to meet just above your minimum order. I plan on adding a few more collection bundles when I launch my 2017 dolls and crochet stuffed animals and lovies collections in the fall.  

Sami Jensen, florapothecarie

The first time I discovered the concept of starter packs was in the Makers Biz Summit. Clare Yuille of Indie Retail Academy spoke about it in her section on pitching and working with retailers. Such a great idea! I haven't officially added it to my line sheet yet, but I tell all new buyers about it and it seems to be working really well for me. I make natural + vegan skincare and have a diverse range of products, so I bundle my best-sellers (mostly facial care) into a starter kit. It's a great way to help retailers avoid decision fatigue and make it easy for them to order from you.

Amy Chin, Sassypants Design

I have starter packs in my catalogue. But I sell greeting cards, so it is simply a way for the buyer to eliminate the need to hand select each card. I actually refer to them as "collections" but I use them as starter packs for new buyers because they equal my minimum order. (And for first time buyers, I offer free shipping for them.) 

Jae Benjamin, Benjamin Soap Co.

I jumped on board when Etsy added this option and it has been great for us! We offer a soap pack with free shipping that features our best sellers.

KidEssence Starter Pack example on Etsy Wholesale

KidEssence Starter Pack example on Etsy Wholesale

What has Been the Buyer Reception to Starter Packs?

Tricia Lee, KidEssence 

They love the starter packs. They are an easy 1-click shopping opportunity that saves them time and money allowing them to get to other important things in their business.

Amy Davis, Monster Dance Designs    

While I haven't sold any yet, I noticed an uptick in my Etsy Wholesale traffic after I added them. Since EW doesn't rely on tags, make sure the tern 'Starter Pack' is in your listing title to be searchable.

Buyers: What Do You Think of Starter Packs?

Jae Benjamin, Benjamin Soap Co.

I'm also a buyer on Etsy for our retail store so I personally love that I don't have to scroll through pages of listings and I can easily add a starter pack that has a hand curated collection of each artisans products that we feature. It's worked out great for us and I've already had to restock products in just a few weeks of ordering!

Jasmine Dexter, koco & viking 

As a retail shop owner, I like them because it shows that the artist/maker is aware of what sells best. 

KidEssence Starter Pack example on Etsy Wholesale

KidEssence Starter Pack example on Etsy Wholesale

What's in Your Starter Pack?

Amy Davis, Monster Dance Designs 

I have two - one for my expanding popular Dinosaur design line, and one for my brand new State Constellations line. The pack is for one dozen each of my bestselling glass types - Old Fashioned and Pints. The buyer can mix and match their own designs from the specific line, or let me send an assortment with emphasis on bestselling designs.

Tricia Lee, KidEssence 

Since my products have a larger age range (newborns to 10 yr olds) I have two starter packs- one for babies and one for kids. Babies include our baby blankets, loveys and stuffed animals. Kids includes our dolls, stuffed animals and travel chalkboards. Both total a just above our PO minimum requirement. I also have two other packs for our 2017 collections that are open to new and returning buyers (baby blankets and Travel Chalkboards).

Do you use Starter Packs? Let us know your experience in the comments below!