What is Wholesale?
To review, wholesaling is when artists sell their original works at a reduced price to retailers, who market and sell them to the public at a marked up, retail price. This process—in theory—allows artists to focus primarily on the making of their art while leaving much of the selling side of things to the retailers.
As we mentioned last week, the key to wholesaling is producing multiples of your artwork. You must find a way to create your product in bulk, in a lean and cost-efficient way, that allows you to sell in greater volume to the wholesaler at a lower price. If you aren't willing or able to mass produce your work, wholesaling is probably not for you.
ADVANTAGES OF WHOLESALING – they are big!
For many artists, the primary advantage of wholesaling is the time that is freed up for you—the maker—to concentrate on what you love most: creating and being an artist, not a marketer or salesperson of your own work. There is, however, no way around some degree of recordkeeping. You will still have to keep track of your sales volumes and stay on top of delivery deadlines, but the day-to-day process can be much more focused on being an artist instead of a business-person.
Another huge advantage of wholesaling, when done correctly, is that this process can provide a consistent stream of revenue for the artist. Particularly if you garner repeat customers—those who want to continue to buy from you on a regular basis—this can mean a steady business for the foreseeable future.
This year we've been focusing on topics around revenue generation for makers and artisans. Early in the year we started with a series on Branding, then Retail Markets & Shows, and then E-Commerce. This quarter we want to shift to Wholesale concepts.
In the next few weeks we'll be exploring wholesaling as an artist or maker—what it is, how it works, what the advantages and disadvantages are, and how, if you decide to pursue a wholesale plan, to set prices that fairly and consistently reflect the value of your work and product.
In this Article:
In short, the retailer concentrates on selling the products so that artists can concentrate on actually creating their work.