Make big profits selling your handmade jewelry through wholesale gift shows.
CGTA Gift Show, Toronto
One of a jewelry designer's toughest tasks is finding time and energy to present their work in a professional manner in locating new shops and galleries easily and cheaply. Searching the internet, pouring over directories, mailing letters and brochures, booking interviews, etc, in hopes that you will make a sale, can be very time consuming and exhausting. But there is a way you can find hundreds, often thousands of potential customers all looking for new and unique products, in a short span of time and at a fairly low cost—at a trade or wholesale gift show.
If you want your business to grow you need more wholesale orders, therefore, gift shows are the next step. Some considerations to look at when exhibiting in gift shows are pricing & products, openness to feedback/flexibility, delivery and customer service. Retailers are looking for quality, fair prices, availability and reliability, in order to succeed you must meet all these requirements.
Unlike retail craft shows, the wholesale, or trade, show is not open to the public but only to store owners and buyers who place orders for future delivery. Many of these gift shows now have separate sections for handcrafted products, and most of these shows are attended by large numbers of buyers in all the major store categories mentioned above.
The following kinds of products are usually displayed at gift and trade shows:
• General Giftware
• Jewellery & Fashion Accessories
• Featuring Kid's
• Gourmet Foods
• Paper Products & Books
• Decorative Home Accents
• Tourist & Souvenir
Wholesale shows can benefit small jewelry businesses in two main ways. First, you are 'speaking' to an audience willing to 'hear' your message or presentation. It's a select group of attendees that relate to your product or service who come to the show looking for your business. Secondly, in addition to having potential customers all under one roof, you'll be able to spot check what your competitors are up to, whether they be mass producers or other crafters or jewelry designers.
Wholesale gift shows usually run from about two to five days and can attract up to 800 or more exhibitors. Some gift shows highlight a special section for handcrafted products.
Wholesale gift shows' hours are more convenient than those of retail shows, and the fee is usually much lower to that of a major retail craft show or fair. Unlike a retail show you do not need to bring a lot of stock with you—all you need to bring is your booth, samples, catalogues, and order forms.
As in a retail craft show: "your booth is your shop", and the importance of your display cannot be over emphasized. You need to attract potential customers to your booth, to make them want to sell your products in their shops. (For more information on designing a display see Displaying Jewelry To Sell).
Wholesale shows offer tremendous exposure. Each buyer represents many future outlets. Prepare promotional materials that buyers can take with them.
Many buyers may not buy at the show but go back to their shops and ponder over what they have seen and maybe discuss different products with their staff. In addition to the sales you do at the show, it is critical that you follow up every lead as research shows that almost triple the business is done after the show is over. Therefore, your promotional package should contain everything a buyer needs to order from you in the future.
One important thing to remember is that wholesale buyers deal in volume. You may come out of a show with many new accounts but are your ready to produce in the numbers they request? Keep track of your orders and make sure you don't accept more orders than you can produce, unless the buyer is willing to wait. Don't be afraid to tell a buyer that you can only fill a limited order, as they are well aware that the items you offer are handcrafted and time is needed to produce a quality made product. They can always place another order after that first one is received.
The easiest way to find listings of Wholesale Gift and Trade Shows in your area is over the internet. Just google or use your preferred search engine and type in the keywords: "wholesale gift shows". Here are a few listings to check out: