Updated December 1, 2019 @ 11:00 am

For our purposes, wholesaling means that an artisan is selling their work to a sales outlet, product distributor, or dealer, who will then sell the work directly to the consumer, or further up the supply chain.

Benefits of Wholesaling

  • multiple bricks and mortar sales points are possible
  • much higher live reach is possible
  • diversity of sales locations means more robust enterprise
  • higher sales volumes are expected
  • you only provide marketing materials for your work and another party is responsible for driving traffic to the retail location
  • trade shows can be more lucrative and less risky
  • makes it possible to produce multiple product lines or brands out of one production location
  • significant and rapid growth is possible under the right circumstances
  • this makes it possible to delegate many aspects of the enterprise and focus on the aspects you enjoy


Negatives of Wholesaling

  • can be difficult to manage cash flow issues (especially initially)
  • bigger production means bigger risk
  • artisan will be working for a much lower percentage of the selling price per item
  • production can be more capital intensive as the artist seeks to produce enough work to supply the market
  • less control over the sales channel and message


Finance Terms

  • many dealers/wholesalers/distributors require a net 90 day period before paying you
  • you become a creditor if this party goes bankrupt
  • you may need to supply a lot of inventory with no guarantee that the work will sell depending on deal

Trade Shows

  • totally different prep than consumer shows
  • only sample products are required – not big inventory
  • literature is key for dealers
    • they want to know your terms and capacity
    • they want the product story
    • they want to work with pros
  • practice your 30 second elevator pitch
  • provide realistic production and delivery schedule


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