This is just to share with you on what you should know when you put your items on consignment, some of you probably know this but I want to share it with you base on my experience and what I learn from a book called marketing and selling your handmade jewelry by Vicki Lareau.
I made mistake for the first time I went to one of the consignment store, I wasn't properly prepare. but one thing I did correctly was making an appointment with the store owner, she was very friendly and exciting to see my stuffs.But that week I had to cancel my appointment because of my son was ill. I've called her a day before my appointment, I apologized and see if I could reschedule, luckily she understood my situation because she is a mother herself. So we agreed to meet the following week.
I have 5 days to prepared my stuff but I wasn't paying attention on small detail that can be a big deal for me and the consignment store owner.
1.I didn't make a bio for my profile
2. I didn't make tags for all my items
3.I didn't have spread sheet for my price list.
My attention was just to show her, I didn't know if she will like my items or not.so I went there just with all my items inside the display box without tags. I was clueless about whole thing, she was exciting and wanted to have all my item for her store. Then she ask me about prices. I did make a small note for pricing but it was a wholesale price.I told her the prices and she said "are you sure that is what you want?". I asked her "why" and she said that my price is to low,then she marked it up 30% because that is her commission.So I just agreed to it..yea..what a silly and clueless I was. I didn't know that is the consignment store works. you give them your actual price and they will mark it up.
Then I left all my stuffs and went home. On the way home I was thinking is it worthy doing it?.
Two days later I went back to her store and found out that my items still in her back office.with her busy schedule she doesn't have time to put tag on them. I was little bit disappointed but then again I am thinking that is my fault but then again if I put tag with my price on it she will have to mark it up and put the new tag. ARGHH what should I do?. So I decided to take all my stuff out and I told her I will make things right and give it back to her once everything is ready. God bless her, she wasn't have any problem at all. I wasn't feeling so good when I left the store but I have to do what have to do. I should know better and make things right from the beginning. I went home with feeling like a failure.
WHAT I LEARN:
I have this book for quite a while (marketing and selling your handmade jewelry by Viki Lareau) but I've never read it and how I wish I did.
1.make sure to find the right consignment store for your items.Does the store the right fit for your jewelry?this is very important because they won't actually pay for anything until it sells.so if it the wrong place, you'd be wasting your time and their space and missing other opportunities to make an actual sale.
2.Make sure you make you get everything's ready, tags, price list and more important is your biography. people want to know who you are as an artist.
3.Ask about the consignment policy.
Here are the important question to ask:
1.Q.How often will you get paid?Most stores pay once a month. Find out how they keep track of their(your) inventory and if you get a copy of that each moth with your check.
2.Q.Do you have access to your jewelry whenever you want?Can you get it out for a weekend if you have a big show?can you help with with any of your display?give the store as much information about your jewelry as possible-postcards,informational signage- because once it's out of your hands, you don't have any control or influence over how it's being sold.
3.Q. What about theft? This should be in your contract. Most stores will not claim responsibility for theft,but you should still ask this question so you will know the policy.
To sum up, like any decision, there are pros and cons of consignment. The main argument against it is that you will have to wait until a piece to sells to get paid. But there's also risk that could sit there quite a while when you could be showing it and selling it somewhere else. The pros would be: getting a regular check every month ( assuming piece have been selling), and the store will probably take mire inventory than they would of if they had to buy out right. A consignment arrangement also give you an opportunity to test-market new, maybe more expensive designs without much risk or investment on the part of the buyer.
If you have any suggestion or comment please post it.Thank you and happy crafting day.