Carol Jackaway on wed 30 apr 97
I would like to get further information in regards to a couple
wholesale shows. Can anyone tell me about the gift marts.. Chicageo and
Bostons? I make functional art in three different motif/ glaze combos. Any
info would be helpful, Thank you
One beautiful Spring day.........
lpskeen on sat 1 aug 98
Ok, I'm gonna jump in here with some questions for those of you who are
experienced in the wholesale arena. I'm thinking in terms of ACC or
1. Is the public allowed into these shows, or are they for buyers only?
2. Is the stock on the shelves in a wholesale show available for sale
RIGHT THEN, or is it a sample of what I'm willing/able to produce at a
3. I have heard some of you talk about "taking orders". I assume that
these orders are for multiples of a piece or pieces. What is considered
a reasonable minimum order for wholesale pricing?
4. How soon do the buyers expect delivery?
5. How much variance do buyers accept from piece to piece? ie: the
famous Floating Blue glaze can look different on 3 different pieces in
the same kiln load!
6. When do buyers pay? Up front? Half up front and half on delivery?
7. Who pays shipping?
8. Do most of you offer your entire line at wholesale, or just a few
TIA, and I'm sure I'll think of more questions....
Lisa Skeen ICQ# 15554910
Living Tree Pottery & Soaps
"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful
words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of
the good people." -- Dr. M. L. King, Jr. 4/16/63
Tom Wirt on sun 2 aug 98
>experienced in the wholesale arena. I'm thinking in terms of ACC or
>1. Is the public allowed into these shows, or are they for buyers only?
>2. Is the stock on the shelves in a wholesale show available for sale
>RIGHT THEN, or is it a sample of what I'm willing/able to produce at a
>3. I have heard some of you talk about "taking orders". I assume that
>these orders are for multiples of a piece or pieces. What is considered
>a reasonable minimum order for wholesale pricing?
>4. How soon do the buyers expect delivery?
>5. How much variance do buyers accept from piece to piece? ie: the
>famous Floating Blue glaze can look different on 3 different pieces in
>the same kiln load!
>6. When do buyers pay? Up front? Half up front and half on delivery?
>7. Who pays shipping?
>8. Do most of you offer your entire line at wholesale, or just a few
Generally the publ;ic is not allowed in, unless, as at some ACC shows, it is
specified as retail. The problem, obviously is that at wholesale shows it
is normal practice for you to mark your pieces at the wholesale price. The
buyer then mentally adds whatever markup their particular operation uses.
Again, generally you take orders at the shows. Some allow selling
samples(Rosen), some don't(Beckman's). In samples selling allowed, pickup
isn't done until the very end. Usually it's just between exhibitors.
Set your minimum order higher than you think you should. We base it on what
we think will make a reasonable display of our work, for us about 25 or 30
pieces....$350. If you set minimum too low, they aren't making a decent
commitment to your work and the odds of you selling well at their shop is
low. Any piece you show you should be ready to produce in some
quantity....not knowing your work, I can't say exactly. We do functional
stomeware and typically it's 2 to 6 of an item per order, except maybe small
things like mugs which may go 6 - 12 or more.
You set the delivery date. Know how much you can produce before you go.
Factor in any retail shows you might do, orders you expect to happen, and a
week off here and there for yourself. We didn't factor in the week off and
are in big need of a couple of days off right now....next year. This
knowing when you can deliver is critical. You must not miss delivery dates
if you expect to do wholesale. The buyers commit money and store space to
your work. If it's not there, their money is tied up and not working for
them. They can't succeed if your work isn't there.
We go to the show with an appointment calendar with our production numbers
(availability) penciled in. As we take orders, we note the number of pots
and deduct it. We also balance new orders (pay with ship) and repeat orders
(billed payment) so we keep cash flow in balance.
Variation....within limits. We have a rutile blue that varies
somewhat....but it's got to be "in the ballpark". Tune your kiln so your
results are more even. We also have a couple of glazes we use at retail
shows, but not to wholesale because of variation.
Payment is up front (at time of delivery) on the first order. After that
it's usually net 30 with actual payment coming around 45 days after
invoicing. The ways of first order payment are pro forma....they send you
a check before you ship.....Credit card, many use this.....or COD, but most
don't like to mess with checks at the store.
Shipping is paid by the buyer who adds it to the retail price. Packing
however is in the price of the item....and it can be costly. Figure out how
you're going to pack, get quotes on materials and know where you are. We
spend about $2500 in packing materials on $60,000 in wholesale sales. We
use new boxes, newspaper roll ends (free) and free packing peanuts.
We offer about 22 out of 40 items for wholesale. Some things we just can't
produce for wholesale....and you must know what those are or you can kill
yourself. You may even have to limit availability of some items...e.g. we
don't take unlimited orders for wine goblets or teapots...only a certain
number each month. You're better off to limit yourself, especially at
first, while you get your feet under you. Fewer glazes, fewer items mean
you can do a better job. It will take 3 to 5 years to really establish
yourself in wholesale, so you may want to transition from retail to
wholesale over a couple of years. We continue to do a few retail shows each
year to test new items, glazes and to get customer feedback.
If you price right, the wholesale business will be just as profitable as the
Three recommendations.....Get Wendy Rosen's book and Quickbooks Pro. If
you can, go to one of the shows as a guest before you go as an exhibitor. I
would strongly recommend either the summer or spring Rosen shows in
Philadelphia. Oh yeah, keep asking questions, expect to be scared and
overwhelmed at first, and communicate with your accounts. (If I sound like
a commercial for Wendy here, I'm not. She has just done probably more than
anyone in helping craftspeople develop viable markets and should be
recognized for her contributions).
Quickbooks allows you to do a professional job of record keeping and
invoicing, and if you enter your orders as you get them, will even give you
your production schedules.
Don't hesitate to ask more. Wish Wendy would also run a exhibitors seminar
on Sunday mornings when guests could also come and ask questions.
Clay Coyote Pottery
Dai Scott on mon 3 aug 98
Tom, what is the name of Wendy Rosen's book, and who makes Quickbooks Pro?
Dai Scott - still hot Kelowna, where Molson's Thunderfest has made this
weekend not only hot, but noisy!
Tom Wirt on tue 4 aug 98
Tom, what is the name of Wendy Rosen's book, and who makes Quickbooks Pro?
Wendy's book is "Crafting As a Business". It's available from the Potters
Shop, Axner and many other clay suppliers as well, I assume from many book
stores and Amazon.com.
Quickbooks Pro is from Intuit and available at just about every computer
store and catalog....not cheap but it does most everything you'll ever need.
Kim Marie on wed 2 feb 00
Wondered if anyone out there has done any wholesale shows. I live in NY.
I've heard of the Rosen Show.
Which ones are good to start with?
any tips for trying to go totally wholesale?
Any info GREATLY appreciated=21
BeardiePaw on thu 27 jan 05
How do wholesale shows work? Do you just take samples of your work and they
order or do you haul bunches there with you? I always assumed you brought
samples and had a brochure or portfolio of some kind. Sher Morrow
Kathi LeSueur on thu 27 jan 05
> How do wholesale shows work? Do you just take samples of your work and
> order or do you haul bunches there with you? I always assumed you brought
> samples and had a brochure or portfolio of some kind. Sher Morrow>>>
There are two kinds of wholesale shows. Wholesale only and wholesale/retail.
The Rosen show is wholesale only. You take samples of work, have
catalogs and price list, and take orders. It's good to have a handle on
your production capabilities. When we do the show we take a calender
with us that we use to mark off production. We alot a certain dollar
volume that we can ship in a week. When that week is booked, we tell the
customer the next available ship date. If you don't do this you will
wind up with everyone booking orders to ship at the same time. Hell on
your cash flow. The Rosen show has very strict guidelines for selling
your samples. Don't expect to cover your expenses selling work at the show.
The ACC show (American Crafts Council) used to, and may still, be
wholesale/ retail. The first days you take wholesale orders. The last
days you sell your samples or other work you've brought with you. this
kind of show can really piss off your wholesale accounts if you end up
selling your work on the retail days for the same price you expect the
wholesale accounts to pay. And, don't think they don't come back and check.