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soapmage

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Well my appointment with that cute artsy general store that wanted to carry my soaps from the craft fair was this morning. She had told me she was interested in doing wholesale with me although she's actually a consignment shop. Well I get there with samples of most of my stock and the lady behind the counter just hands me a consignment sheet and tells me to fill it out. I told her the owner was willing to discuss wholesale and went and got her.

She asked about prices, I laid out my line sheet, and she said that they're strapped at the moment from buying so many displays and such for their store that they can only do consignment for the time being, but that she definitely wants to do wholesale with me at some point. They have a 60/40 split with me getting the 60 which I didn't really care for, but I felt like it was at least a start and that it probably wouldn't hurt to at least try since it's a high traffic area of town. I agreed and left my stuff in their capable hands with the inventory sheet.

What makes me nervous is that at least wholesale I'd be getting my full amount up front and if they sold it or not, it's off me. What I'm doing now is just hoping my product moves in order to get a check from them every month and hope to God that nothing gets stolen, because then I'm out of money and product! ugh...

The good news is that they are making me a nice section just for my product which will be highly visible so at least there's something lol.
 
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shunt2011

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Just keep really good track of your stuff. Also, make sure your contract holds them responsible for theft and damage. I was in a consignment situation with these stipulations and it worked well for over a year. All of a sudden I got a FB message stating they closed their store and I'm still trying to get my stuff back.
 

not_ally

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That is a little disappointing since you were expecting a different outcome, Mage. But at least it means there is interest in your soaps, and a possibility of wholesaling later.

Can you pin them down to an exact date on that, ie; get an agreement (eg) that this arrangement will continue for six months, and that at the expiration of that period consignee (them) commits to purchase your product on a wholesale basis with minimum orders of "x", unit price of "y", cash on receipt of product, with consignor (you) retaining the option to terminate the agreement if such minimum orders are not made/maintained?

I would get them to commit to doing a monthly inventory in writing and to return all unsold product to you at their cost (they are out of town, right?) at the end of whatever period you agree on if you choose to terminate as well.
 

soapmage

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No their shop is literally downtown about 5 miles from where I live. But I'll see what I can come up with as I like your above scenario. I'll let you know, thanks. :)

Just keep really good track of your stuff. Also, make sure your contract holds them responsible for theft and damage. I was in a consignment situation with these stipulations and it worked well for over a year. All of a sudden I got a FB message stating they closed their store and I'm still trying to get my stuff back.
No I'm screwed there as the contract I had to sign to do the consignment basically left them out of it for any theft that may occur. That's exactly why I'm so freaking nervous! The only consolation is that the display for my things is right next to their counter which I hope will deter 5 finger discounts, but I still plan on going in every week to do a count.
 

pamielynn

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It may work out fine for you, I just hate consignment, personally. Especially if they are not as invested in selling your soap as you are. Just stay on top of them, make sure your product is displayed well and kept dust-free and out of sunlight. It won't hurt if you remind your public that the soaps are available at that location.
 

Susie

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^What Craig said! I would have run the other way when she told me that. Either she is lying, or she has really poor financial/business practices to spend all of her money on fixtures.
 

hmlove1218

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They have a 60/40 split with me getting the 60 which I didn't really care for, but I felt like it was at least a start and that it probably wouldn't hurt to at least try since it's a high traffic area of town.
Wait. THEY'RE getting the 60% :what:? I don't think I would agree to that for a wholesale or consignment deal deal. Most that I've heard of are either 50/50 or 60/40 for wholesale or 70/30 to 80/20 for consignment with YOU getting the greater percentage.

As for the consignment, I'd keep a good eye on your stock in the store. I have a consignment shop that I check weekly to make sure no one has gotten a little sneaky. I definitely prefer wholesale and have been thinking about talking to the owner to renegotiate my contract.

Ah yes, reread it and TEG is correct. Glad to see I was wrong and you're getting the 60%. Still not sure I would have agreed to that much for a consignment contract. Wholesale definitely, but not consignment.
 
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soapmage

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I'll definitely stay on top of them. The contract is for 60 days and I can't pull my items before then or they slap me with a 15% fee. The more I think about it, the more uncomfortable I get. But too late now, I just have to go with it, at least for the 2 months. I asked them if my husband could make me a nice sign for my display they've provided and they had no problem with that, actually liked the idea. They are actually very nice people and I understand they have to make their money too (can't even imagine what the rent is there!), but I'd feel more secure and comfy with doing wholesale so will chase that dream down until I'm blue in the face. They're working on setting everything up and I'll take and post pics of the store and my display when I can.
 

TwystedPryncess

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Definitely keep an eye on them. The furniture store I worked at also had a consignment shop, and I know furniture consignment is way different than this, but they were horribly sloppy in their work practices (crooked all the way around, right down to when we raised 10 grand for the Relay for Life charity, they told us that was 'too much, only donate 3 grand, and they pocketed 7 grand, but that's something else entirely).

Moral of my story is, there are some really shady business owners out there. I don't know how 'big' she is...if she has just this shop or a few, but after working where I did, consignment in general just gives me the itches, even though I know most businesses are not run quite that badly.
 

soapmage

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It's just the one shop, a real small one but cute in our small town. But it's high traffic since it's across from our town's largest Wells Fargo bank, and some nice little cafes, plus it's near the park as well. Believe me, y'all are preaching to the quire... I didn't want to do consignment ever, but to get my name out there, I'm willing to try her out this once. If I get burned, it's my fault and I won't ever do it again.

Choir not quire... geez I need my morning coffee! LOL
 

soapmage

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I've always heard more of 70/30 or 80/20 but heck, I'll take what I can get lol.
 

soapmage

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Around my area the average is 60/40.
That's good to know. I'm not so worried about it now. The owner and I are getting along to the point of becoming friends and I even offered to help her with things at the shop to get me out of the house every now and then. :D
 

worcesternoah

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I would definitely ask for a wholesale account,
Consignment can be a headache, and sixty percent is just an extra 10% profit to you with a ton of extra work.
Just my opinion though,
 
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dixiedragon

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Maybe I just haven't been burned badly enough, but IMO, all you are really risking here is some soap, etc. If you're like me, you have soap, etc, coming out of your ears. So while it would suck if they made off with your product, it's not a huge loss for you, dollar wise, is it?
 

OliveOil2

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I think the split depends on your area, we have a handmade gift store that has incredible items. I was really put off the split was 50/50 and you first had to pay $25 to register a one page information sheet, basically contact information.
I couldn't make those numbers work for me, and she actually said " I see you can cut your size and quality, people come in here looking to buy handmade". While I am sure this is true I never put anything in her shop.
 

Trix

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I'm going to offer you an alternative opinion soapmage only because no one else is. If this is a reputable shop, and you liked the other items they display there, and you get to keep your website and shops name on the label......

All while they take care of the marketing side of things, in a busy area, this is actually quite a fair deal. Most places I know would never do a wholesale account unless they know the product will sell well, as they t don't want to be stuck with inventory they will just have to get rid off at a really low price, which will hurt them and the reputation of the product maker if their label is on, at the end of the day.

As long as the deal is they return all unsold items to you at the end of x period, you are alright if it brings you more exposure to the local market.
 
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