A couple weeks ago I began a new blog series about starting an online shop. First I talked about some different types of websites you could start to have your shop. From having a free blogshop, to a premium shop on an ecommerce platform. Click here to read the first post. The next post covered another option for an online shop, being part of an online marketplace. I outlined some of the options I have used and the pros and cons. Click here to read that post.
Once you have already decided on your shop’s platform, you need to start setting up and stocking your shop! Before you start, this might seem like an intimidating part, but once you have worked with one or two companies, it actually is very easy!
I sold paper quilling supplies in my shop, so I will use those as examples. The same principles would work with almost any type of supplies. So here is what I did:
Firstly, I noticed that the Quilled Creations website (one of the big quilling supply manufacturers) had a tab on the top of their page to click for wholesale information. When I had already set up my website and gotten my business license, I contacted them. From there it was just a matter of filling out a couple simple forms and making my first order. How exciting!
Not all companies have their wholesale information set out for everyone to easily see. Sometimes you need to ask! I wanted to also carry the Lake City Craft brand of quilling supplies, as I use them all the time with my own quilling and I really like them. They did not have a page with any info on their site about wholesale, so I simply emailed them and asked. They were happy to send me the information. Again I filled out a couple forms and was on my way to making more supply orders.
Each company has different terms for their wholesale orders. There is usually a minimum order dollar amount. Sometimes you also have order a minimum quantity of each item. Some companies have large minimum dollar amounts per year that you have to order to keep the wholesale account. I find that the smaller companies have easier to reach minimums. There are quite large suppliers such as Darice, and really huge suppliers like Dollar Days that have a much wider selection of fun products, but the minimums you need are much higher.
As you decide what products you would like to offer in your store, just contact each one and ask for their wholesale terms. Companies that offer wholesale are more than happy to make more sales, so they will quickly get back to you with the information. Occasionally you will find a company that does not offer wholesale, or you are not ready to meet their minimum requirements. Just move on and see what else you can offer in your store. There are plenty of wholesale suppliers out there to choose from!
I do have one more tip here to insert. If you are a small shop you may once in awhile come across a great deal on some supplies at some shop that is going out of business or just getting rid of supplies, or something of that sort. Feel free to grab them up and then re-sell them in your own shop. If you are a really big shop then this is not really worth the bother, but for smaller shops it can be a great way to offer a limited amount of a great supply. Your profit margin on it might not be that high, it depends on how great of a deal you got on it. On the other hand, it could be a great deal, and it can also be a great way for repeat customers to keep coming back to your shop as you offer these limited quantity deals! (*note* I am not up-to-date on all legal information in each country, but as far as I know, it’s perfectly fine and legal to buy and re-sell goods in this manner. You bought them, and you can do with them as you wish. But who knows, maybe some countries have laws that you can only re-sell the goods that you bought with a wholesale contract. So don’t take my word for it, check your local laws! 🙂 )
This was a pretty simple post, but it really is that easy to start ordering wholesale supplies. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer!
In the next post of the series I will talk about how to deal with pricing of your goods, specifically when you are ordering suppliers from overseas.
Stick around and check out some of the other fun stuff on the blog!
Click here to view free paper quilling tutorials!
Click here to view paper quilling tips and tricks!
Click here to view a list of places to buy quilling supplies around the world!
Click here to view some of my own quilling projects, with tips so you can make your own if you’d like!
I hope It’s not a silly question…Do we need to have a retail license to sell our creations/jewellery or it’s only for the supplies?
Good question 🙂 I am not an expert in this field, but my understanding is that technically you are *supposed* to have a license to sell most anything. However, if you only sell a few things here and there, you are not going to get in trouble for not having a license. But if you are selling supplies and buying them wholesale, most suppliers do require to see your license. Anyone can open an Etsy shop, for example, and sell some of their own handmade items. But for tax reasons, for most countries, if you sell quite a bit, you’ll want to be registered/have a license. Hope that helps 🙂