I’ve been a maker for ten years now and the things I’ve learned along this journey could fill enough volumes to start my own library. Upon reflection, I suppose I have started my own library of sorts via my consulting company. I like to think of it as an entrepreneurial toolbox: an answer to all the times I wish I had a program or service or mentor to help me jump business hurdles along the way. This week, I launched a new service which is designed to solve one of the biggest headaches for makers: the task of elegantly presenting your work to wholesale buyers.
Through my work as wholesale strategist with hundreds of makers over the past year, I’ve quickly come to understand how many of us struggle to understand what should be sent to wholesale buyers, whether they’re inquiring about our product collection or we’re introducing the collection to a shop we’d love to work with. No matter what creative products you make, if you plan to sell those products to shops, spas, galleries, department stores or online retailers, then you’ll benefit by having a sleek Buyer’s Packet in your entrepreneurial arsenal.
Don’t wait until you have a hot lead to begin putting one together. You know the old saying about the early bird and the worm? It rings true for makers, too. Those makers who can quickly fulfill requests for wholesale information from interested buyers are the ones who score the wholesale accounts. Invest some time this month developing your Buyer’s Packet to make 2014 the year you conquer the wholesale market!
Buyer’s Packets are comprised of 2 basic documents: line sheets and order forms. Today, I’m sharing a few tips which should prove helpful as you begin the process of developing your own swoon-worthy line sheets. Start by deciding how many products you want to feature on each page. I recommend 2-8 products per page- any less is a waste of paper and any more is so congested that it might discourage buyers from really exploring the line.
Use one crisp product image for each product featured.
- Choose neutral backgrounds which don’t distract from the product being featured.
- Each image should focus on a single product or product family.
- Product images should contain minimal props, keeping the emphasis on the product itself.
- Consistency is key! Images should be consistently styled, framed and lit.
- Utilize images which are high resolution (300 DPI+).
Beside or below each product image, include:
- Name of the product
- Item number
- Wholesale price (expressed as “each”)
- Recommended retail price
- Minimum number of units
- Available variants: As an example, t-shirts might be sized S, M, L, and XL. Candles or lip balms may have fragrance or flavor variants (strawberry lime, blood orange + honey). Jewelry, accessories and housewares will likely have products available in multiple colors.
Wholesale buyers want to be led. If they’re smitten with your product collection, then they generally appreciate input + direction as they build an order. Help them help you! Do you have a new product? What’s your best seller? Does this coordinate with something else? Add banners to relevant product photos to highlight these special products.
The best examples of line sheets:
- Are unambiguous and easy to follow.
- Are stripped of extraneous “marketing chatter”- just the facts.
- Contain all the information necessary to make an order. Buyers may have additional questions, but the essentials should be answered on your line sheet.
- Feature a professional layout, uniform product photos, maximum of 2 fonts, font sizes which are highly legible.
Need some inspiration? Browse through my portfolio, which contains 41 pages of line sheets + order forms from some of the hottest makers around hustling today.
Or, you know… I just launched an amazing service which not only teaches you how to develop a successful wholesale program via my series of video workshops, it also puts your details in the hands of a professional designer who can build a knock-their-socks-off Buyer’s Packet to your specifications, at a fraction of the price you’d expect. Our very own Jessika Hepburn helped design the backbone of the service and I’m really excited about how this service will help makers boost their confidence, increase their efficiency and grow their business!
What do you think of Lucky Break’s new Buyer’s Packet design service? Are you ready to build your own 2014 line sheets + order forms and focus on wholesaling for your business this year? Share your thoughts & connect with other makers in the comments!