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Approaching resellers / prospects -

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This is a monthly series. One of the Mods will post a business question. That question will be stuck to the top of this forum for 1 month. That question will then be moved to a sub forum called what else Business Tips. The title will be changed to reflect the question. This idea came from EvyStar along with a list of questions to ask.

When thinking about approaching resellers / prospects - is it better to offer them a smorgasbord of jars, fragrances and other options or to keep it as simple as possible and be in control of what you offer?

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Just my 2 cents...I don't think it really matters. Long ago I hit the streets to drum up wholesale business. I offered options, pricing tiers and delivery incentives. Very few accounts. The fancy business cards, expensive labeling and packaging and an assortment of jars meant nothing. What I found was that we had no known presence. Retailers did not know us, our company or our products, and neither did their customers. The retailers did not know how long we had been pouring candles or how long we would continue to stay in business. We have now had a retail store for years and understand things a bit better from both points of view. It is very amusing to us to have retailers who turned us down cold years ago now contacting us to set up accounts. The difference now is that we have a good reputation. Our products sell themselves. Took years to get here though. HTH

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Guest OldGlory

When thinking about approaching resellers / prospects - is it better to offer them a smorgasbord of jars, fragrances and other options or to keep it as simple as possible and be in control of what you offer.

I like to actually go to the store I want to sell to before I do any planning, to see what they already have and how I can improve on it. I also pick up a business card while I'm there. Kinda get a feel for the store. Is it rustic? Is it really classy? Country? Based on that I will choose a style, select a few fragrances, make the labels, and pour the candles. I will also take photos of other styles in case they have something else in mind.

Maybe it depends on where you live, how many candles you want to make and are able to make, and what your goals are, as far as how successful you might be with a direct approach. I live in a tourist area and there is an ever-changing population of mom and pop shops looking for something new to sell, so this is a target rich environment. The cost to lease a shop here is ridiculous and it is very hard to find reliable people to work. Wholesale was the best route for me.

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I'm looking for a wholesaler with great candles :) I'm relocating my store that's a seasonal tourist area I'm not able to sell woodwick as someone else has them and bean pod went out of business:/ so if anyone is interested I'm looking for a great candle line to add to my store.

Not sure where to post this so I did it here:/

Thanks

Alycia

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For my first wholesale account. I browsed the store before making a decision as to what type of product they sell.

I called the manager to have a chat to see if they were interested in carrying my product, and she said yes. This store has a 

Western Theme so I designed Western Brown labels with Western Sayings for my soaps. I also made a wooden soap box to carry the soaps and I arrived with the whole set up and showed them to the manager. She was so impressed, she loved the design and bought the entire lot..

 

I was soooooo excited and today they are still carrying my products...

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I used to try to please everyone to get a wholesale acct.  Now I tell my retailers what I have to offer and if they want to buy my products they do.  It's simply not

cost effective for me to cater to their wants.  I do have a couple of long time wholesale accounts that will buy 50-100 of 1 scent if I will make a certain scent for

them so I do, but I won't change jars/containers for anyone anymore....except me!  I'm old and stubborn but I'd much rather sell in my retail location.

 

Sorry this isn't really part of wholesale but I noticed what Old Glory posted about retail spc being so expensive in her area:

 

For anyone looking for an inexpensive retail location, try renting a small space in an antique or vintage mall.  Most of these malls are in business to rent

out what we call booths.  Almost all of them are happy to have hand made goods along with their vintage items, so welcome a soap & candle booth.

In my mall, I make candles & melts and I have another vendor that rents a space that has some of her candles in her booth (we both sell).  I buy soap from other

soap makers to add to my space.  My space is approx 2' x 5' with back and side wall and it rents for $30.00 a month. 

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