I am trying to sell the greeting cards I make. I have a pharmacy that will sell my items. Our deal is they get 5% of what they sell. Another shop wants to buy my cards outright and sell them for their own price. How do I price those items. Do I charge them what I would have sold them for or give them to them at 1/2 price? I am so new to this and afraid to be taken advantage of! My cards have sold pretty good just by word of mouth. Thanks!
Linda from Saratoga, AR
I've been selling greeting cards, pottery & other art for 30 years so I will give you a few tips:
There is a basic pricing system (for most every thing) that goes something like this: RETAIL price, WHOLESALE price & Saturday MARKET or Street Fair price. Say for example your Retail price is $4 for a greeting card, then your Wholesale price should be $2 & your street fair price should be half way in between the RETAIL & THE WHOLESALE prices at $3... So I advise you to first come up with your retail selling price. Then work back from there. The reason you have to have these prices "set in stone" is because if someone goes to a Saturday Market & buys your cards for $3 then they go to a store (with higher overhead) & they have to pay $4 for them, then the customer should be able to understand why they cost more in a fine store with higher overhead, Vs a tent set up in the park with practically no overhead. Get my drift.
But many people will always sell their stuff for the higher Retail price, because otherwise a store who has bought 50 or 100 cards from you doesn't want you underselling them at a fair or Saturday market (you can make some enemies this way, by under-selling your Wholesale customers). This is why at some Saturday markets you will see people selling only their "seconds" (cards not quite good enough to charge full price to stores for) & they'll sell their "seconds" at a lower price. If you are going to sell your cards at a fair for a lower price that market Retail, you might first want to make your plan clear to your wholesale customers. Because people that own the stores have to pay the high cost of overhead of running a store need to make the most money (& they might be stuck with your cards that don't sell) You should sell your cards to these guys at your wholesale rate (which is usually half the price of Retail). But the rule is that they usually have to buy a certain amount. For example 50 cards.
Consignment works a bit differently. You start at your Retail Price then the store takes a percentage, & if they are only taking 5%, then that is an AWESOME deal, because most places will take 25-30% or even 40% sometimes. But with consignment your stuff could get stolen from the store, or messed up with fingerprints etc. & it's just sitting there in the store & sometimes not in the best display area. You should agree on a display area before you make the deal to leave your cards there. But, believe me when I tell you that 5% is a great deal, but your cards may or may not sell in that particular area & in that particular store, & unlike selling Wholesale, the money is NOT "in the bank" so to speak, but more in limbo (sitting in the store & not in your inventory). Make sure you agree on a time that the cards will come out of the store if they don't sell. Many artists hate consignment. But there are exceptions. Say for example you have a good area set up in this store & you keep restocking it weekly, & your cards keep selling (& don't get stolen)... Then I'd wonder why they are only selling them for 5% of the take? Maybe it's a friend who is doing you this special favor. If not they might soon raise their percentage.
You'll need to cover your cards with tight fitting plastic bags that the customer can still open & see into the center of the cards, OR you can just keep them in a clear bag that doesn't open up & have a small sticker on the outside of the sealed bag says "blank inside" these clear bags will keep fingerprints off, but of course they will add to your overhead, but I think they are well worth the cost.
HERE'S WHERE I BUY MY CLEAR BAGS:
You'll have to figure out what each card costs you to make WITH the envelope & the bag that covers the card & also add in your supplies, like printer ink or stamps, ink, glitter & glue or whatever your supplies are & also things like, Are YOU going to supply the stand for the cards? & if so how much does the card stand cost? Then add up how long it averages you to make each card & multiply that times minimum wage in your state (you should at least ALWAYS get minimum wage!) or at least make $10 an hour, at the VERY LEAST! ... Here's an example for pricing ONE card:
Cardstock: 50 cents, Insert sheet 25 cents, Envelope 25 cents, Plastic Bag: 25 cents, Printer ink 25 cents. This pretend card would cost me $1.50 to make, but of course you are buying your supplies in bulk so they would hopefully be MUCH, much cheaper. Then take however many cards you can make in an hour & divide that number up by minimum wage after subtracting how much the cards actually cost to make, then you can go on from there.
This is a warning ---> Do NOT rip yourself off. Take a look at what Hallmark greeting cards are selling for & keep your prices close to what theirs are! Make sure you make REAL money when you sell your cards. Don't say "But I REALLY enjoy it, so I don't care if I make money or not" This isn't fair to you or other artists out there that can't compete with someone only selling their "hobby". Make sure that you make a decent profit. & that you at least make minimum wage! (& hopefully a WHOLE LOT MORE!) And don't forget to add in the price of gas & wear & tear on your car when you make a delivery or when you drive around purchasing supplies.
I hope I've helped you... I know I've made this whole thing sound more complicated that it really is... Sometimes I have a hard time putting my ideas on paper... So if you have any other questions, please drop me a line here on ThriftyFun.
*** The main thing to remember: Do NOT rip yourself off... Get what you're worth! & If someone wants the 50% wholesale price, they'll need to buy a minimum number of cards! ... But many people will NEVER EVER sell their stuff at 50% off or the so called "wholesale" price (I don't, it isn't worth it to me because my stuff takes to long to make!) ... But some people's wholesale price will instead be 25 or 30% less than Retail instead of the full 50% of retail... So it's all up to you!
By (Guest Post) 07/16/2008
Cyinda, thank you so much. I feel better equipped now to have some fun selling my creations. Appreciate you.
By Bette (Guest Post) 07/17/2008
I love homemade cards. Do you sell them on line and if so what is the web address to take a look at them?
By (Guest Post) 07/17/2008
Bette, I have not put up a web sit yet...people have been asking. That will be my next project. I do a lot of personalized cards and invitations. I love to do cards! Thanks for asking. Lnida
An easy (and inexpensive) way to sell online is through Etsy.com. You pay a small listing fee (.20) and then a small percentage of the sale price after an item sells. You can accept credit cards through paypal (which charges, I believe, .30 per transaction plus 2.9% of the total). So, even if an item doesn't sell, you are only out .20 for each listing. I sell through two shops (www.GoodKittyJewelry.Etsy.com and www.SquaredAway.Etsy.com) and I love it!
By KittyJo (Guest Post) 07/19/2008
Why not start a blog to show them off? You could include a way to contact you and price list, then just create a new post each time you have more cards to show. Blogs are so much easier than regular websites, and more popular. www.blogspot.com
~Be Blessed!~ KittyJo
By (Guest Post) 07/20/2008
Kitty Joe and Ree, thanks for the info. This site is so great. The readers/contributors are so generous with their ideas and experiences. I so appreciate the input. Thanks again.
By T (Guest Post) 02/23/2009
Etsy and ebay are great! Also make sure you have your own website too and post on local classifieds!
Hello everyone. I just found this thread (only a year late) but I too make and sell handmade greeting cards. I have an Etsy store at www.alacartecards.etsy.com and previously had www.dzdesigns.etsy.com which was also very successful.
I have sold internationally to countries around the world! I also have a website. Please see some of my work at www.alacartecardshoppe.com It's still under construction but coming along great!