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Have any of you sold goods on iCraft before.? I just found out about them today. ETSY is too big and it's hard to get your foot in the door when you are new to selling online. iCraft says it only sells handmade goods and crafts, and no retail. If you have tried them how have your sales been? Thanks!
I have not logged in for a long time...and when I did I saw some very outdated posts and information about our company. Here's the deal: YEP! we've been in business for a very long time. YEP! Ray still works here (40 years) and knows his shiz! YEP! I'm still actively managing operations here (only 16 years)! YEP! We still have live people answering the phone, who are really nice and helpful! NOPE! We are not running our business the same as we did 20,10 or even 5 years ago! YEP! We are still a wholesale distributor, with an easy qualification process and a $30 minimum order (NOT $75). YEP! WHAT? We now happily offer RETAIL PRICING. We are adding new products every day. YEP! We heard your feedback and OTB will launch a new "better user experience" website this November, with many enhancements and it will be mobile friendly. Please contact me with any questions and I welcome the opportunity to respond to any comments or feedback, even positive ones. All my best firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.ohiotravelbag.com
Earlier this year, I was approached by a retailer who asked to feature my leatherwork in his shop. The retailer owns a well-known, independent gallery representing other area artisans. It's also located in a high-traffic shopping district. It sounded like a good opportunity and I agreed. After a few months, a change in the retailer's business model ended our partnership. But I certainly feel I learned a few lessons that I'll share here in case anyone else considers going down the "retail path." Lesson #1: Retailers take a big cut of the sales price. Retailers generally take a 40-50% cut of an item's sales price. This means you need to price your items accordingly. If adding 50% to the price of your goods is not feasible, then retail is probably not right for you. Also, keep in mind that your pricing must be consistent. You can't sell a belt at your retailer for $90, but charge $45 on Etsy. The customers will figure out the cheapest place to acquire your goods, and your retail relationship will come to a swift and inglorious end. Lesson #2: You should get a big benefit in exchange. Why do retailers take 50%? Because they're supposed to be providing value to your business. This value comes in the form of enhanced exposure, access to the business's clientele, joint marketing, and the value inherent in not having to file state sales tax returns, process shipping or provide in-person customer service. Now, 50% is a huge cut, so the retailer should be providing all of the above -- meaning, significant value to you. They should promote your goods via Facebook, broadcast email and other means. Lesson #3: Be picky. You don't necessarily need to partner with the first retailer that expresses an interest in you. Be selective. Visit the shop and look around. Would you shop there? More importantly, does the business cater to your target market? In my case, the retailer seemed to be a good fit for high-end leather accessories. They also featured jewelry and vintage home decor. But if I were selling holsters, I'd definitely find someplace else. Lesson #4: Build your inventory. Be prepared to meet demand for inventory, plus refresh your stock every 90 days. Your goal should be to establish a significant presence in your retailer's business. This means featuring a good selection of leatherwork. Different colors. Different price points. As an initial delivery, I provided 17 items. I've been told by other gallery owners that you should change out your stock every 60-90 days to ensure folks continue to see new stuff, whether it's selling or not. I hope this information helps anyone else who considers venturing into retail. I might also recommend the book, Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco, which gave me plenty of initial pointers on working with retailers. Best, -Alex
SeattleLeather posted a topic in SuppliersHello! So perhaps my first useful, actually giving something back, post ever! I was just talking to Weaver on the phone about some questions I had, and in explaining why their minimum "First order" for a new customer just went from $250 to $500 dollars the woman said it's mainly because they just launched a RETAIL WEBSITE. http://www.weaverleathersupply.com/ I searched and didn't see any threads mentioning this, so I figured I'd pass it along. A lot of people have discussed wanting to order this that and the other from them, but couldn't because they didn't have a tax id/business license. Now they can! They just kind of "did it" without any big notification as best as I can tell, so not too many people have probably noticed yet. She did say at some point in the not too distant future they will be implementing a Wholesale ordering site too, but they wanna square away the retail site first. So after looking through my catalog, and looking at the website, there is definitely a pretty good price jump. For instance 1 Master Tools punch I was looking at went from $51.60 to $80.00. Another tool went from $26.95 to $41.50. So it looks like it's about a 54-55% jump over their wholesale catalog. Sides seemed almost exactly the same jump. I only spot checked a couple items, so there MAY be some stuff that's a smaller increase. For the time being they have a 15% discount promo code on the website, so that helps. That said, most of the other brands of tools they carry there are comparable-ish to some of the other "main line" leather supply companies regular pricing. With those companies discount clubs taken into account, or just hunting around on Google, you can certainly beat their retail site prices. But their wholesale still seems pretty darn untouchable for a lot of stuff. More importantly than all the common stuff I guess would be getting some of the weird odds and ends they have others don't have. Such as their Master Tools line, which sounds pretty awesome. It'll cost ya more, but perhaps worth it for some of their items. Anyway, enough rambling. Check it out!