Retail Experience - Consignment vs Wholesale

So long story short, I got introduced to an individual that owns a retail store and they want to sell some of my work. Does anyone have any experience dealing with the retail side of things? If so, what sort of deal did you make with them percentage wise? Did you do wholesale or consignment? Any advice on this would be extremely helpful as it is intimidating and frustrating at the same time with initial numbers being tossed around….

While I’ve never done either I’ve had the opportunity to do a wholesale type agreement. My hesitation was that it would leech into the market I’m already in. This may be a bad way to think about things but I just wasn’t ready at the moment. I also wasn’t sure how their pricing would go and I didn’t want them to lower the price below items I was selling independently. I’m sure you may be able to agree on something regarding pricing however. On the consignment side of things that may be the way to go at first just to test the waters to see what items would or wouldn’t sell. Also, on the wholesale side, if things really start booming do you have the ability to keep up with demand?

It depends on your business model. Does this business operate in an area you are still planning to sell to? Is this something you plan on continuing to try and sell or are they putting a contract in place to where you can’t compete with them? My suggestion if you are wholesaling is to not compete as this makes a rocky business relationship. If you are doing this as a consignment it makes no difference as this is another venue to sell your goods.

If this will be a one off specific for the store and you won’t be selling the same pieces on your own, I would suggest you price you your time and materials with what you are comfortable with. You will likely need to establish a return policy if you do wholesale with a fee to recover your material costs at a minimum. You will have to leave enough meat on the bone for them to make money as they have the risk involved with taking up floor space.

Fulfillment models can work nicely if inventory concerns are there. The store can host your products and allow ordering and you fulfill it. You still need to setup pricing and fulfillment SLA terms.