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First wholesale opportunity - looking for advice

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I feel like I've had a million questions lately - but you all are soooo helpful and I'm just starting this business and want to start as I mean to go on. That is, honestly, legally, profitably :) 


Was in a shop the other day talking to the owner and mentioned that I make candles...she said they are wanting to get sell scented candles, and had someone who dropped some off but they didn't have a scent at all, and the woman never came back. Anyway, she wanted me to reach out about putting candles in this shop (it sells soap, bath bombs, natural deodorant). 


I know what my wholesale pricing would be and feel it's reasonable, but I don't really know where to go from here...it seems like they would not necessarily be ordering, more like I'd drop off some inventory and if it sells, it sells and I'm paid that way. I say that only because she didn't really ask about pricing or want to see/smell the product. But maybe her daughter does that? (she wasn't in during this conversation). 


I'd be fine with this arrangement as my business is super new, as is their shop (they've been at the local farmer's markets since 2007 but just got the brick and mortar space 5 months ago). Obviously the risk is that I don't sell anything and my inventory just sits. Their shop is in a historic village that gets a TON of traffic October - December. They put on a Halloween festival all of October, and Christmas is huge there - it's known as a popular holiday destination and the village's biggest shop is a year round Holiday decoration store. 


So - advice? Does it seems worth trying out? Any red flags you more experienced sellers can point out that I'm missing? 

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Well to start the ball rolling you need to go in, make a presentation, and sit down with them and find out what this is all about.


1.  Will they buy wholesale from you?  If so...you tell them the price and deliver the candles and the product is theirs to do what they want with it.


2.  If it is consignment this can be a little tricky.  They may already have a contract with all the particulars.  Generally if it is consignment they only take a PERCENTAGE like 10%.  In this case you set the retail price and they pay you weekly, bi weekly or monthly.  They may also take out a small charge for when people put on a credit card.

If it is consignment and they want to pay you only your wholesale price, I highly recommend you DON'T FALL FOR THAT AND DO THAT WHAT SO EVER.


If they are new in the business, they may not have a contract.  So you need to make one up with all the details.

One thing that works for me when I did consignment at the time was that I wanted my product to be right up front near the register and not stuck on a shelf in the back or some corner.....Presentation and location makes all the world of difference.....it truly does.


3.  They may rent space/booth space where you pay every month for it and they still take out like 10%.  They would have a contract for this.


Please let us know how it goes.....


Trappeur....and good luck and congratulations....:thumbsup2:



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 Here are a few more things to think about JB...... 


What kind of shop is this anyway?  A gift shop?


Ok, let me ask you this....I'm sure you have walked around the shop right?   Well, what does it look like?   Do these people have good taste and present all their things beautiful?  Do they have any bed/bath/toiletries?  Are they displayed inviting?   Or is the shop just mass confusion and where the product lands is where it stays?  I mean, is it a shop that is so nice that you just have to go in and see everything?


Since from what I read they are looking for candles, they don't have any correct?  Ok, this is what I would do and have it in writing.  To get your foot in the door and get exposure, I would have in the contract that you will be the only candle maker there.....And if this is a consignment where they just take a percentage, I would ask them right up front if they supply the cabinet for your candles or do you supply it.  And also if it is consignment  you should have the right to come and go and display your own candles and make your own beautiful presentation.....Knock em dead.....know what I mean?  I never did well in a shop where they may take a candle or 2 and sit over there and then another candle over on another counter in a different area.  They should all be together your candles displayed in 1 nice looking unit.  You want to make a great visual and when people come through the door they see a fabulous looking display cabinet full of candles.   And also another thing....I would make sure to go to that shop at least once a week to check on your candles and keeping them all straightened out and looking nice.  I'm a very anal person when it comes to having my products on view....and having them looking great all the time.


Ok, that's it for now...I'll probably come back and post some more suggestions as I think about them! lol



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These were all great points!


I will definitely make sure they agree to be responsible for the product if it's consignment. The shop is soaps, bath bombs, and natural deodorant, but the owner mentioned that they are frequently asked if they have candles (makes sense). Most of the shop is tilted wall shelving/crates, there are two tables - one of which would hold my candles. I love the design and their setup - I'm familiar with them from farmer's markets and their presentation is always great. 


I'd prefer to do wholesale, but I'm open to consignment based on the traffic they'll get fall/holiday season. But that does mean a lot of people picking up and putting down my candles, which is good/worrisome. This has given me a lot to think about - thanks! I'll let you know if it ends up working out :) 

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