OUR mission statement

MADE ON THE LEFT was founded in 2008 by independent designers to support Western Australian creative talent. We hold bi-annual handmade craft markets to showcase local designers.

Being on the left hand side of Australia no longer

means you'll be at a disadvantage.

Our aim is to support all creative designers and events showcasing independent labels. MOTL is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation. You may wonder why we promote other markets besides MOTL; it’s because it’s not about us, its about you; the buyers and sellers of indie wares. Here at the blog, you’ll discover up to date information about our latest market, the low-down on some of Perth’s emerging talents, other opportunities for artists and designers and a little bit of fun stuff too. It’s all right here… welcome!

Thursday, February 13

Guest post: 10 Qualities That Attract Wholesale Buyers

You’ve spent years perfecting your products, they sell well at markets and you’ve built up a loyal following. But how do you know if you’re ready to start selling wholesale? 

Getting shops to take you seriously as a potential wholesaler can be an uphill battle. What do they want? What are buyers looking for but they never tell you about? Below are 10 qualities that you as a business possess which will separate your products from all the competition and show buyers that you are a brand worth taking seriously.

1. You Make Products That Will Sell In Stores: 
Seems just a little bit obvious but sometimes what sells well in a market or online will not sell well in a retail shop. Personalised items or products that do not display well (made to fit clothing or un-stretched canvases) will probably be rejected by a wholesale buyer because they won’t be able to display the products well enough to get a sale.

Before approaching a shop ensure that what you are selling is something they can display and sell on the spot.

2. You Look Like A Business – Not A ‘Hobby’: 
Shops will be less likely to take you seriously if they think this is just a phase you’re going through. Always give shops every impression that you are a business; return emails and phone calls promptly, have answers to questions they might ask you at the ready, know what kind of delivery time you’ll need, have your wholesale policies in place and stay friendly and approachable but refrain from talking about personal subjects until your relationship reaches that level.

3. Your Branding Is Cohesive: 

Make sure everything about your brand tells the same story of who you are. This includes logo, packaging, website design, business cards, brochures and more. Try this exercise to see if you have cohesive branding: grab one of everything you have that relates to you business that wholesale buyers and customers will see. Spread it all out in front of you and take a good look. What does your brand say? Does everything flow together and look like it all belongs to each other? If not, revise the aspects that do not work and redesign them so they do.
Ella & Lily Photo by Brian Hadwin

4. You Have A Unique Selling Position: 

What is it that you do that sets you apart from everyone else? Do you:
  • Create eco friendly products? 
  • Use materials that are locally sourced? 
  • Use special/unique packaging? 
  • Donate to charity with profits? 
Try and refrain from simply stating “my unique selling point is that each item is handmade”. In a world full of handmade products for sale that isn’t a unique selling point. Instead find one aspect that you do that other artists aren’t doing. For example: “My cupcakes are made using only locally sourced ingredients”, “I donate one item I make to a local charity for every dozen I sell” or “My bath salts, including the packaging are 100% biodegradable”

5. Your Products Can Be Consistently Produced: 
From now on when selling to shops you need to be able to ensure that every item is the same as the last so wholesale buyers never get a shock when opening up your latest order. In some occasions you won’t be able to make identical items, necklaces featuring wood found on the beach will never be identical but customers should easily be able to tell the difference between the large wooden necklace and the small wooden necklace. Features such as clasps and wire/chain should always be consistently reproduced.

6. You Have Thought About How Your Items Will Be Displayed: 
You’ve thought long and hard about how each of your items will be displayed and worked on making changes so shops can get the best bang for their buck. Can your products be stacked on top of each other or can you use different packaging so they take up less space? Is everything eye-catching as a display? Do you need to display information with your products and is that noticeable as well?

Don’t be afraid to go back and rethink your packaging if it isn’t working for you.

7. You Have Amazing Photos You Can Give Shops: 
Always have a collection of images you can give a shop in the chance they request one. Shops will sometimes request images so they can put them on social media, send with a press release or add to their website.

You will need at least one image per product with a plain white background and one image per product which includes props and/or people. Make sure they are crisp and clear, show special details, illustrate packaging and show who you are as a brand.

8. You Can Offer Your Products At A Price Which Allows The Shop To Add A Profitable Mark-Up: 

It may seem unfair that a shop gets to make as much if not more money than you and all they do is selling. But don’t forget the point that they are actually selling your products, without them you would have to sell the items yourself, a costly and time consuming undertaking. They also have many overheads that they need to pay in order to sell your items. If you cannot sell your products at a reasonable wholesale price then you’ll need to change some aspect of your production/costs in order to do so or forgo being able to sell your items at retail outlets.

9. You Can Deliver Your Wholesale Orders On Time: 
To do this you’ll need to perfect your manufacturing process, work consistently until the order is completed and ensure that no matter what else is happening in your professional/personal life you can fulfil the order.

10. You’re In This For The Long Haul: 
Realistically, most businesses take 2 – 3 years of wholesaling before they break even and much longer to turn a decent profit. This means you’ll spend years selling wholesale to shops before it becomes financially worthwhile for you. The personal benefits will kick in almost immediately but perseverance and hard work will get you through the long years. This is good news for retail outlets who will need to know that you will stick around and that the time and money they will invest in you will pay off for them long term.

Jacquie Hughes is a former committee member of Made on the Left. Find her here:

No comments: