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Old 03-13-2013, 09:27 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,088 times
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I am a crafter of handmade items and sell them on Etsy. Recently I was contacted by a high-end national retail chain to produce a quantity of a couple of my items for them. Up to this point we have exchanged informal emails, but now they have offered a price for a quantity significantly below what I sell the item for on Etsy. I plan to counter with a higher price, but need guidance about how to proceed. These items can't be mass-produced even if I wanted to because they involve gathering materials from nature. Please help!
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
6,337 posts, read 9,956,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildflower53 View Post
I am a crafter of handmade items and sell them on Etsy. Recently I was contacted by a high-end national retail chain to produce a quantity of a couple of my items for them. Up to this point we have exchanged informal emails, but now they have offered a price for a quantity significantly below what I sell the item for on Etsy. I plan to counter with a higher price, but need guidance about how to proceed. These items can't be mass-produced even if I wanted to because they involve gathering materials from nature. Please help!

They want mass produced goods and you can not provide them. You answered your own question with the statement "these items can't be massed produced". Continue with etsy and other web based retail outlets.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:21 PM
 
3,770 posts, read 5,841,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartrace View Post
They want mass produced goods and you can not provide them. You answered your own question with the statement "these items can't be massed produced". Continue with etsy and other web based retail outlets.
That's true. If you want to mass produce, you need to be just the designer and get a contract with a factory to produce your design.

I'm reading a book that is very relevant to this subject. "The Towering World of Jimmy Choo" Jimmy Choo started out making custom hand made shoes. Custom hand made will never be a big business. You can get investors to use your name and designs, but they must be made by other people or the business will never grow.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:01 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
33,270 posts, read 60,500,027 times
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Without patents and legal representation, they will lowball you, then send some of them to manufacturers in China and have them made for 20 cents apiece. You can't compete and make any money on anything that can be made there.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Florida
21,078 posts, read 21,757,192 times
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Don't be lured into the trap of .....
"I'm losing money on every sale but I'm making it up in quantity"
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
25,304 posts, read 17,172,407 times
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This sounds like it good be a good opportunity. It sounds like you'd have to outsource it somehow. Is there a way you could come up with an alternative product that is similar maybe?..

I remember watching a documentary/show about a buyer for Anthropologie he would travel the world looking to buy handcrafted items. I wasn't sure how they reproduced the items for the stores , but it was pretty interesting.

Man Shops Globe - Keith Johnson – Sundance Channel
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:08 AM
 
355 posts, read 791,350 times
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As soon as you are in a major store, you've got a bulls eye on your back. You WILL be copied by China, Vietnam or India.

If you love your business, stay small and keep ALL of the margins for yourself. Unless you can grow and create new pieces on an on-going basis with this company, it will likely be a "one-hit wonder" since they change out inventory all of the time.

Volume on hand-made pieces will NEVER make up for the headaches. Major retailers will also want terms (ie.- they will pay you 30, 60, 90 days later).
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:02 AM
 
Location: SE MO
231 posts, read 588,913 times
Reputation: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildflower53 View Post
I am a crafter of handmade items and sell them on Etsy. Recently I was contacted by a high-end national retail chain to produce a quantity of a couple of my items for them. Up to this point we have exchanged informal emails, but now they have offered a price for a quantity significantly below what I sell the item for on Etsy. I plan to counter with a higher price, but need guidance about how to proceed. These items can't be mass-produced even if I wanted to because they involve gathering materials from nature. Please help!
I wouldn't do it. They are low balling you now and every year going forward, they will continue to drive down your price. Research the chicken industry and Purdue and any company doing business with Walmart. Unless, you are a national/international firm with a product they need and for which there is no substitute, they will drive your business into the ground. "Handmade" is a misleading term. Everything can be mass-produced. Its just a matter of engineering and labor.

Dave
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:22 PM
 
26 posts, read 44,578 times
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I think it's a great opportunity.. Wholesale price can be 50% from a retail price
You need to think how to make the manufacturing process less manual. E.g. if this is a painting, you can print it out and then add some custom brushe strokes to each painting.

To outsource is also a good idea.. you can try to find students from an art school who can help you for less money than professional artist would charge you. Give them instructions or maybe some pre-printed sketches

Also you can try to use freelancers websites (freelancer.com) and find someone in China or Sri-Lanka.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:39 PM
 
26 posts, read 44,578 times
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Most small businesses only dream about this...
Can you share how did you get this contact...with national retail chain?
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