This question has come up again.. about selling in gift shops, and consignment.
Right now I have my gifty things in 12 gift shops.. down by a couple from last time I wrote about this, but only because they have closed their doors or have redone their shop focus. I love to sell to the shops, wholesale is always more fun. In this economy- not everyone has the extra money to buy outright from you.. or wants to take a chance on your items. That said, some shops who I started with consignment now buy outright from me.
When I am scoping out potential shops.. I am not looking for "consignment" shops- they are generally selling used clothes and furniture. My things do not fit well in that setting.
I am looking for any place that has the word "Gift" or "Gifts" in it's name.
I am also looking for places called things like "The Purple Goose".. artsy name-- they are a lot of the time a gift shop. Also.. ask your friends who buy-- where do they go? Follow their lead.
Places like Macy's have reps that go looking for items for their store. They are looking to buy cheap so they can mark it up to resell it. Check the tags in those big stores-- most are not made in the USA. I am not interested in going to China to reproduce my items to make a couple extra bucks.
I have said before, I rip out the pages in my phone book and have it in my vehicle. Along with a plastic tote with my Home Goods in it and another with my Pet Goods in it. I don't have everything.. just my better sellers. I want the shop keeper to see my quality.
I also have photographs with me, in those little photo albums from the Dollar Store. I have one for my Home Goods and one for my Pet Goods. Depending on the shop- I whip out a book to show them. I would not show them on my cell- these owners want to see pictures that they can actually see... not a little pic on someone's cell. Showing them on your iPad would be okay too. Understand that most of these shop owners are not kids. They are more of an age where photos mean more to them.
I make checkbook covers... I make sure I have one in my purse when I stop in to a shop. It is nice to show how items work and how they hold up with wear. If I knitted mittens, I would make sure I wore a pair. Or made jewelry-- you can bet that the jewelry I had on would be mine! I think everyone is their own best advertising for their items. And you need to show the shop owner that too!
I keep my own business cards in my purse. I make sure to give one to the shop owner. (with my cell # & email on it). I am up front about my Etsy shop. (For me-- because I have so many items in my collection-- not everything that is in my Etsy shop is sold at the gifts shops.. in fact there is very little that share both places). But whether you don't have all that much or do-- it is better to be upfront about your other selling. I do my best to keep my prices similar.. and don't forget that online, the customer has to pay shipping where locally- they don't.
Please check out my previous posts about this subject too. In the search box look for the posts. As I think of more to write on this subject.. I will.
Thanks for reading along ....