"Will stores trust
me if I'm new?"
Let’s take care of this final question now:
“Will stores trust me if I’m new to wholesale?”
In other words, do you need experience?
Assuming you make high quality products and you know how to make retailers feel safe, the answer is a no.
Actually, independent shopkeepers love makers who are new to wholesale. There are three reasons for that.
#1 - We need new stuff
To keep our customers coming back, we need a constant stream of new items on our shelves - ideally ones that our audience hasn't already seen in other stores.
If you're new, you’re probably not supplying big box stores or our competitors across the street yet. That's a huge plus in our book.
Many makers who are now household names started out selling their work to independent stores - retailers like me pride ourselves on our ability to spot and support fresh talent.
So, assuming we feel like we're in safe hands, we're actually excited that you’re new. It’s a chance for us to get in on the ground floor of something special.
#2 - You help make our store unique
The second reason is that selling lovely things like yours helps to make our shop unique and memorable.
That means our customers have a reason to come back again and again.
#3 - We can expect good service
The third reason we love makers who are new to wholesale is because we're always dealing directly with the owner.
If you're an emerging supplier, you probably don’t have an accounts department that never answers the phone, or some guy in the warehouse who uses his sandwich wrappers as packing material. You're refreshingly free of all the things that cheese us off about our major suppliers.
We know that when we buy from you, we're likely to be taken care of by the person who knows most and cares most. That's a very big draw.
So you already have a quality product, we know that.
But what about the other part I mentioned?
How do you make retailers feel safe? How do you do that as a maker who’s brand new to wholesale?
It's something you can learn to do in your pitch emails, line sheet or catalogue. For a quick introduction, have a look at an article in the Knowledge Hub: "How fancy should my catalogue be?" I’ll tell you more about it there.
But for now, here’s your takeaway on trust: your being new to wholesale is actually a good thing as far as independent retailers are concerned. It’s an advantage.
Your next steps.
We've reached the end of your Beginner's Guides. I hope they've gone some way towards helping you decide if wholesale is right for you.
Here's one more thought before we wrap up.
As a maker, artist or designer, you have something unique to offer independent retailers like me, and I'm not just talking about your product.
It might not feel like it right now, but you already have the raw ingredients you need to get stores (however many you want) saying "Yes!" to placing an order.
Even the best salesperson on the planet can't beat your knowledge of the lovely thing you make. Blend that knowledge with your personality and a bit of wholesale know-how, and you can create something that's irresistible to the right retailers.
The result? A family of loyal buyers who actually ENJOY giving you money, today and for years to come.
Wholesale success really is possible for you.
Today, you took a big step towards making it a reality.
But remember that there's no rush.
If now is the time to take your first steps into the world of wholesale, go at the pace that's right for you.