Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Oct 5, 2011 - How to Approach a Retailer

This is a blog post full of obvious advice for handmakers who would like to sell through a shop like Wise Daughters.  Obvious, and yet today I have had at least two faux-pas committed that kind of boggle the mind.  So here goes.  Six simple rules for breaking into retail:

1. Take 1 minute to go on my website (or that of any other retailer you want to approach).  If you visit, you'll find a page called "Info for Makers" that tells you what to do.  Easy!
2. While you're there, please find out my name so you can use it when you email.  My name is not "Hi there" and especially not "Hi there!!!"
3. Do not send ME an email that tells me how badly you want to get your work into, say, Arts on Queen.  Proof-read, please.
4. Do not try to promote your product by telling me it's better than what I already carry.  Nothing is more off-putting than an artist who disses craft, or other artists' work.  And for all you know, that object you're critiquing could well have been made by me!
5. Do not pitch stuff made in Poland, China or anywhere else.
6. After I've said no, for whatever reason, please do not expect an hour of free consultation about where/how to sell your product.  I have a class on that very subject, for which I charge a small fee. There are also lots of other resources at your disposal.

Remember, selling is all about the relationship.