AlexLeather

Bulk order of 1100 luggage tags

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I've never sold in bulk before to any retailers. I work alone out of a spare bedroom and have no heavy machinery, cutting dies, etc. They asked if I do bulk pricing as they are interested in 1100 of my $35 luggage tags. This is my Etsy listing price.
I'd want to buy a leather sewing machine,  dies for the two pieces, a way to press the dies. And probably a way to neaten up the edges very quickly.

Does anyone have any advice for me?  Thanks.

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I'd reckon they'd be looking about a 50% reduction

Your extra outlay would be (minimum): sewing machine $500, Press & dies $500, edger machine $300 = $1300. Or $1.20 per tag. You'll need to put that out first. If you have funds ready thats ok, but if you need to buy on credit (credit card, bank loan etc) factor at least another 20% = $260 = $1560 = $1.42 per tag just for the machinery.

Get a contract if you are going to have to make extra outlay. Get a forward payment that at least covers the cost of the new machinery.  To my error I often did not and ended up well out of pocket when the client pulled out of the deal

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Down payment to cover your costs up front. Can't tell you how many times I've been approached for bulk orders that never happened when they found out they actually had to make a down payment.

Edited by Mark842

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I would ask for a 25 percent upfront down payment and they would get 275 tags in a mutually agreed time frame. If they agree and come through with that then get the equipment (sewing machine, thread, tag material, press, dies, edger, etc.).

kgg

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8 hours ago, AlexLeather said:

I've never sold in bulk before to any retailers. I work alone out of a spare bedroom and have no heavy machinery, cutting dies, etc. They asked if I do bulk pricing as they are interested in 1100 of my $35 luggage tags. This is my Etsy listing price.
I'd want to buy a leather sewing machine,  dies for the two pieces, a way to press the dies. And probably a way to neaten up the edges very quickly.

Does anyone have any advice for me?  Thanks.

As you have not done bulk manufacturing of this type and do not have the equipment I would recommend posting a picture of the product in order to get advise on the machinery types and advise as to how it can be done quickly. In order to keep the customer I would get someone with the equipment and expertise to do the job or many parts of the job and add in a percent to make it worth your while handling the job. Once you know how it all pans out then you can consider what parts you can take on with whatever equipment you then decide to get.   Here is one version that we make here in bulk and they require a lot more machinery than you mentioned.

DSC01112_94fa85b0-c4d2-49f8-9457-55f0b48f9251_large.jpg

DSC01165_large.JPG

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Much depends on the terms and conditions made by the company buying them, is there a time limit, what are their payment times,is it sale or return. As a small company we often think our T&C apply, but in reality its the demands from the large company that mean "take it or leave it, these are out terms"

You have a large startup cost and any machine failure could make a delay and lose you the contract

My first inclination would be to sub contract it out with you playing a large part on Quality Control and getting legal advice on making your contract with the sub contractor

You may well find the time limit makes it unobtainable and the expected price far lower than you think

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As its an etsy sale, agree delivery terms and price with the buyer before accepting the order.

The buyer pays in full BEFORE you process the order, I have sold bulk deals on etsy, negotiate the price with the buyer before you spend any meaningful time on the order.
If you dont have the machinery to fulfill the order in a reasonable time frame then get it made for you.

Good luck, hope it all goes well

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Sorry to be so negative , but ask yourself why they have chosen you to make them rather than far cheaper sources in the far eastern countries, they may well be genuine companies and even UK based but just make sure everything is OK before you make any commitment 

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If this is your only order, you might be best to out source the cutting (and possibly sewing) to someone who has a clicker to cut down on that cost and test the waters.

 If you'd been doing lots of quantity orders then I'd be cool to invest in machinery but otherwise it's a risky proposition, I do wholesale orders in those quantities but even then I insist the customer cover costs on anything "new" that I'm unsure if I'll ever use again.  If you're working in a bedroom then you don't have space for a "real" clicker and those hand clickers will take forever.

I'd also insist that your customer cover the hardware and probably the leather before getting started since you're looking at a considerable investment. 

 

Also, as others have said: Be Careful.  Most people who've tried to defraud me with an illegitimate order have wanted to order a large quantity of a single item without seeing a sample first.  Have these folks bought from your before?  Are they asking for a sample to see quality?  Did you give them a realistic timeline and were they ok with it?  

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I think Mike has the best advice! Yes, be REALLY careful! As a one-person operation, you can't afford to be cheated on this.

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19 hours ago, RockyAussie said:

As you have not done bulk manufacturing of this type and do not have the equipment I would recommend posting a picture of the product in order to get advise on the machinery types and advise as to how it can be done quickly. In order to keep the customer I would get someone with the equipment and expertise to do the job or many parts of the job and add in a percent to make it worth your while handling the job. Once you know how it all pans out then you can consider what parts you can take on with whatever equipment you then decide to get.   Here is one version that we make here in bulk and they require a lot more machinery than you mentioned.

DSC01112_94fa85b0-c4d2-49f8-9457-55f0b48f9251_large.jpg

DSC01165_large.JPG

Here is the note, no mention of a sample tag, or any details.

" Hello,

Do you offer bulk pricing? I'm looking around for luggage tags for promotional use for the brand Harper Avenue (backpacks and cosmetic cases). We would need 1100.

Let me know if you are interested.

Best,
Leigha

il_fullxfull.1803818368_ijx5.jpg

Edited by Northmount
removed site url

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An order like that is not to be sniffed at. 

Tread carefully Grasshopper

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8 hours ago, AlexLeather said:

Here is the note, no mention of a sample tag, or any details.

" Hello,

Do you offer bulk pricing? I'm looking around for luggage tags for promotional use for the brand Harper Avenue (backpacks and cosmetic cases). We would need 1100.

Let me know if you are interested.

Best,
Leigha

il_fullxfull.1803818368_ijx5.jpg

Good for you if they're willing to pay even half of your price.  My luggage tags are like $3.50 in quantity...

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@AlexLeather Leigha, I would answer them immediately and ask them what kind of details like embossing (logo and extra wording like Made in USA) that they would like. Putting up the customer page which has their contact section for the world to see may mean they get inundated with other offers now. I would also make contact very quickly with Mike Batson and get his help to close the deal if a deal can still be done. I am sure Mike will work with you to enable you to build up your business in this regard. Mike has a very large assortment of leathers as well as the equipment to do this sort of thing. Personally I think the price on veg and the burnishing and stitching should put the price closer to the $8.00 or a little more. Machines I would use would be a clicker press and the dies, a glue machine along the lines of this 992 in this link -

http://www.omacsrl.com/en/products/992-gluing-machine

and a burnisher and a good sewing machine.

Best of luck and .....Make contact NOW. Having a tag saying Made in the USA could be a good move for them considering that their page looks good and the product as well but I doubt that any is made there. Many sellers here like to hide where the products are made or like to give the impression that the are made here in Australia.

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@AlexLeather Leigha, I would answer them immediately and ask them what kind of details like embossing (logo and extra wording like Made in USA) that they would like. Putting up the customer page which has their contact section for the world to see may mean they get inundated with other offers now. I would also make contact very quickly with Mike Batson and get his help to close the deal if a deal can still be done. I am sure Mike will work with you to enable you to build up your business in this regard. Mike has a very large assortment of leathers as well as the equipment to do this sort of thing. Personally I think the price on veg and the burnishing and stitching should put the price closer to the $8.00 or a little more. Machines I would use would be a clicker press and the dies, a glue machine along the lines of this 992 in this link -

http://www.omacsrl.com/en/products/992-gluing-machine

and a burnisher and a good sewing machine.

Best of luck and .....Make contact NOW. Having a tag saying Made in the USA could be a good move for them considering that their page looks good and the product as well but I doubt that any is made there. Many sellers here like to hide where the products are made or like to give the impression that the are made here in Australia.

 

I'd be happy to look at it, yes natural veg would increase my price a little.  Also I don't burnish, so that'd be a finish step for OP to do. I'm still pretty confident that we could take it on if they're interested. Assuming the request is a serious order vs a company trying to compare prices. 

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Just my 2cts worth..I notice that their  company website is very careful to give no physical contact details, ( but is full of marketroid hype, such as their bags are  "inspired by LA" etc..and that the writer of their "blog" claims to be called Harper presumably of Harper ave :).. ...Puhleeeese !! )  their domain name is privacy protected, ( and has had many "drops" ) their return address is a fulfilment centre..No company or business details anywhere..is that even legal in the USA ? No way to know anything about them..other than they claim to make what leather items ( which resemble many other leather and canvas rucksacks all over the web ) are on their site..where are they made ? ..in which case ..one wonders why they need anyone else to make luggage tags for them, when they could buy leather ones out of China, India or Pakistan for under 50cts per peice ?

I suspect that they are looking for an outworker/ subcontractor to work for peanuts..or they would like you to work for the glory of being one of their suppliers..

Spend none of your own money unless you are paid actual folding money cash up front that would cover your outlay..all of your outlay, new machines etc etc ..including leather..

I would not touch it with a very long bargepole belonging to someone else..YMMV

 

Oh..and their TOS reads like they copied and pasted it from some big websites somewhere, paragraph per site..in "psuedo legalese".. it means nothing..( used to be called "flim flam" ) and they seem to have a problem deciding if they are their own bosses, or owned by a parent company ( unnamed ) ..They may even be "drop shippers" ..not suppliers, but someone drop shipping Asian leather goods..Used to be a lot of that going on..still is ..

Edited by mikesc

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31 minutes ago, mikesc said:

Just my 2cts worth..I notice that their  company website is very careful to give no physical contact details, ( but is full of marketroid hype, such as their bags are  "inspired by LA" etc..and that the writer of their "blog" claims to be called Harper presumably of Harper ave :).. ...Puhleeeese !! )  their domain name is privacy protected, ( and has had many "drops" ) their return address is a fulfilment centre..No company or business details anywhere..is that even legal in the USA ? No way to know anything about them..other than they claim to make what leather items ( which resemble many other leather and canvas rucksacks all over the web ) are on their site..where are they made ? ..in which case ..one wonders why they need anyone else to make luggage tags for them, when they could buy leather ones out of China, India or Pakistan for under 50cts per peice ?

I suspect that they are looking for an outworker/ subcontractor to work for peanuts..or they would like you to work for the glory of being one of their suppliers..

Spend none of your own money unless you are paid actual folding money cash up front that would cover your outlay..all of your outlay, new machines etc etc ..including leather..

I would not touch it with a very long bargepole belonging to someone else..YMMV

 

Oh..and their TOS reads like they copied and pasted it from some big websites somewhere, paragraph per site..in "psuedo legalese".. it means nothing..( used to be called "flim flam" ) and they seem to have a problem deciding if they are their own bosses, or owned by a parent company ( unnamed ) ..They may even be "drop shippers" ..not suppliers, but someone drop shipping Asian leather goods..Used to be a lot of that going on..still is ..

Yeah if the site is the one that comes up on google, OP's tags are way outside the pricing I'd expect a site with prices like theirs to be willing to pay for a promotion.   

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I'd also add , I spent  some time looking for info about harperave.com..there does not appear to be be any mention of them anywhere other than Google's link to their site, or to this thread..No customer  ( pleased or displeased ) reviews..A couple of "self promo" posts in obscure places is all..I didn't spend any more time looking after reading their TOS :rofl:

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8 minutes ago, chrisash said:

At $25 for there cosmetic case for sale see https://www.harperave.com/products/minjun-mirrored-case I doubt they would be looking to pay more than a few dollar for you luggage address tab

Yeah that was kinda the point I was making after looking at the site.  Even $170 for a backpack makes a $35 luggage tag seem impossible (even if discounted 75%)

IMO there are really 3 different possibilities and sadly for OP none look like a nice big money order:

  1. Completely legitimate request from someone (probably not really even the company they claim to be) hoping to place big order which, one way or another, will not get paid for.
  2. Legit request from the company but one of maybe dozens trying to get an idea of the cost for a project like this.
  3. Legit request but with hopes to get a price drastically lower than OP's retail price.  I've had that happen, people expected to get a $4 retail item down to $.25-$.50

Of course, there's the really far off chance that for whatever reason they want a much higher end item for a specific promotion but I'd suspect that to be highly unlikely. 

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Looks like they belong to shopify https://www.ip-adress.com/website/www.harperave.com

They are using the shopify platform ( but they don't "belong" to it..no-one on shopify does )..it is a "turnkey" type platform, provides websites that can be tweaked ( with themes ) and a cart system..back end payment can be via anyone, paypal, stripe, credit cards..whatever, but using shopify a s a "gateway"..like paypal ( but with a site ) ..somewhere between etsy and real ecommerce platforms like magento, prestahop* etc..it is a "one up from etsy" for people who do not want their sites to be paying the kind of percentages to etsy that etsy ask...and who cannot get, or do not want a merchant account with their bank..You don't have to be a registered business to have a shopify site , you do have to have a credit card so that shopify can bill you monthly( beginning at around USD 30.00..they also take a percentage of each sale..beginning at around 2 to 3% of each transaction..around the same as paypal do..Hosted on shopify's servers ..

* Most people running magento, prestashop etc have it hosted themselves, ( integrated website ) and have a distance selling ( merchant business bank account ) agreement with their bank to take all forms of payment, funnily enough I was out since my previous post at my bank setting up another ( I have had mine for decades  now ) merchant account ( with online distance selling ) for my son.and negotiating a better rate ( 0.3% as opposed to 2.00% per transaction ) of charges on mine..it is more complex to run your own site(s) even using magento etc..you have to know your way around the backend code..even if the admin GUIs are good..but you get to keep more of the money you make each month...and there is no danger of shopify or paypal et al "withholding" your money ( sometimes thousands of dollars ) for "whatever reason" ( I know some people..one in this business ), who have had paypal "freeze" their money, ( many thousands of dollars ) due to "too many orders in short timespan,  6 months"..similar happens with shopify..if you can..do not use payment gateways..get a merchant account with your bank for online credit card payments..and use a system/ website that you control..

ps..the second "hit" that I got on Google for shopify, was an ad from a company called oberlo..drop ship with shopify

Quote

Use Oberlo To Import Thousands of Products And Sell Them Online. You Don't Need To Pay For Inventory Upfront. Starter Plan is Free. Time Saver. Easy Set Up. Services: Pricing Automations, Auto Order Fulfillment, Inventory Auto Updates.

pps..it doesn't say on the harper site what leather they use..could even be PU or as it is sometimes known pleather.. aka plastic/vynil.

Edited by mikesc

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  • Completely legitimate request from someone (probably not really even the company they claim to be) hoping to place big order which, one way or another, will not get paid for.
  • Legit request from the company but one of maybe dozens trying to get an idea of the cost for a project like this.
  • Legit request but with hopes to get a price drastically lower than OP's retail price.  I've had that happen, people expected to get a $4 retail item down to $.25-$.50

I have some of those "tee-shirts".. ;).from the time when one of our business was, selling tee-shirts..by the 40 foot container load..

Nowadays I ignore all such approaches, I have email filters in place that send them to dev/null :)

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6 hours ago, mikesc said:

. . .No company or business details anywhere..is that even legal in the USA ? No way to know anything about. . .

Spotted this under 'Returns';

To return your product, please mail your product to: 610 Commerce Center, 7200 93rd Ave N #140, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445

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Yep fredk.. that is the fulfilment centre that I mentioned above ..warehouse and office space building in Minnesota..along with a fulfilment company..a large number of PO boxes and "business suites"..and only a handful of actual physical businesses and offices..none of which are harperave.com

 

You can "drop ship" from, and accept returns to..any fulfilment business, getting them to accept returns, merely costs a little more on your monthly ( or per piece ) contract..Kind of like a small scale Amazon for drop shippers..

Edited by mikesc

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