Here are some tricks I learned when presenting to stores or 'cold calling'
as it were.
1. First of all, realize that you WILL be turned down many many times
before someone says yes. So go out there thinking that you have to get
through all the people who say no so you can find the person who says yes.
Kind of like sorting through all the junk before you find the treasure.
Rejection is no reflection on you.
2. If possible check out all the stores in an area you plan on selling...
like you are a customer before you choose the one you intend to sell. Pick
the store you like best and go there first. Only one store per area is a
good idea. Retailers like to be the only one in their area who carries
your things sometimes they demand it before they will agree to take your
things. Usually they have specific boundrys where you can/can't sell.
Don't cross them! It's in your best interest too.
3. I never walk into a store to sell with a large case full of my stuff. I
take only what I can carry in my hands. Like a small box. After looking
around in the store ask for an owner/buyer. Tell them you are an artist
and show them the very best thing you have first. The item everybody goes
nuts over. I tell them that I have chosen their store above all others,
that they are the best store for my things and that I can only sell to one
store in their area because my angels are each hand crafted not a bulk
item. Tell them you make it and you will know almost instantly if they are
interested or not. If they are interested ask them if they would like to
see more, you have more in the car. So you leave them with the item while
you go to get more. They will talk about it while you are gone. If they
are not interested (many will not be) then you don't have to pack up a lot
of stuff before you leave.
4. I always approach stores on a Monday or Tuesday morning very soon after
5. You need to be very specific on prices. You must have a wholesale price
and stick to it always. If it is a consignment shop find out what they
take usually 30 to 50%. If you subtract their 30% from the retail price
you must get your wholesale price so mark it up accordingly, it is
decieving. $10.00 + 30%=$13.00 BUT! $13.00 - 30%= $9.10. Have a price
list and keep your prices the same for all stores. I never raise my prices
more than once a year. In the art world you can always raise your prices
but NEVER lower them. Then the people who bought at the higher price will
see this and it will no longer be a collectable. If the price always goes
up then past customers feel like they have a mini investment of sorts and
feel compelled to buy more because the price always goes up.
6. Everything you show must be VERY clean, neat, untangled, crisp, new
looking, straight, unbroken etc.. including the paperwork.
7. I made display boards from pieces of s***wood I sanded and painted. I
offer these free to the stores. It looks professional and means my work is
never lumped in with someone elses or thrown in with another display. The
more plain and simple the display the better.
Whew! There is a lot more to this than I realized! I hope I didn't bore
everyone but this has worked very well for me. Good luck!