How do you approach store owners to sell your crafts?

Posted By: maryann
Date: 2003/4/10 3:21 p.m.

I have a biz license, and a bank acct. I have some crafts I think would sell in our town.......but how do I approach store owners??? Do I take some things and just go visit them one day? what do i say? help!

how do approach...a business
Posted By: lritchie (canada)
Date: 2003/4/10 3:21 p.m.
In Response To: how do approach... (maryann)

Hi Maryann;
The way I did I drove around my neighbourhood.
Decided which shops I would like to sell my stuff at.
Then I phoned them and told them my story...(I was making crafts and would they consider selling my stuff.)
If the answer is "yes"...than you can discuss the legal stuff.

How are you going to be paid..what happens in case of theft and who takes the loss etc. The first time I did this I did for my friend that was selling "Folk Art"...the store owner didn't want Folk Art at the moment and asked what else I had..I explained..I was doing it for my friend but at that moment I was doing stained glass".

The store owner took my stained glass. So I got a job that I wasn't looking for. We decided on a day to meet..I brought the store owner a little gift...(that I made of course) and I showed her my stuff.

By the time I went in we had lots to say. Also ask around and see who is selling what and where. If you are considering selling out of your state..Talk to Sharon here. I would send my stuff to Sharon any day and I am in Canada. Sharon..I might need a job soon...but of course I have to make it first. Hugs. luci

Posted By: Sharon G (Oklahoma)
Date: 2003/4/10 3:21 p.m.
In Response To: how do approach... (maryann)
i've never been in exactly your
situation as approaching a shop owner, but as a shop owner, I can tell you how I see people approach me.

Hope that will help a little.
I can usually tell when a crafter comes into my shop as they look at the crafts w/a different eye than shoppers. Usually they will walk all through the shop, check out what I have here, approach the desk and ask me how things have been going...we chat a few minutes and then they will ask if I ever have booth space available.

From that point, we will discuss what they do (we have a policy of no duplications so have to establish that fact first), they ask about space/prices/policies etc. Then I will show them spaces, give a copy of our lengthy, detailed lease and sometimes they will have a sample of their crafts and show it to me then. Other times, they take the lease to look over and bring in samples later. Then it is up to them to make a decision on whether or not they like my shop, policies, etc.

I agree w/Luci: go visit where you think you would like to place your items, check out the layout. Is it clean and neat? do the displays look attractive? Is the shop owner friendly (i.e-speak when you enter and leave); are there a lot of the same type crafts that you do?

Talk to neighboring shops and see if you can get any feedback on their "neighbors" = not gossip but traffic wise, personality etc. I have people always coming in from next door and say "I won't ever go there again, the guy is always smoking (even w/no smoking sign on door) and they are sooo rude" so attitude of the shop owners can make a huge difference as far as customers are concerned.

Another factor: does the shop advertise?
if so where and are you required to pay a fee for that. I also have people call over the phone to ask about space that haven't been in my shop or off the net...I direct them to my website. At least they can see the layout of the store if nothing else I hope this little "book" has helped somewhat. If you have any other questions...don't hesitate to ask. Lots of good helpers out there w/advice.

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