When I was doing research about Etsy Wholesale I couldn't find much information about how it was working for people. I found a lot of articles talking about how it functioned, and it's potential, but not a lot of reviews of actual people using it (and I don't count the ones on Etsy's own site because you have no idea if those are "real people" if you know what I mean). On the Etsy blog for wholesale sellers, there also didn't seem to be much information about success. It appeared people were making sales, but I really had no idea how BeBe Babies would do. I'm hoping that this post will help others who are considering taking the leap and applying.
Let me first say that the reason I have been slow writing blog posts, and haven't been sharing much on Facebook lately, is because Etsy Wholesale has been what I consider a giant success for me. Since starting about a month ago I have completed 4 wholesale orders. I am averaging about one a week. This is huge for me because as you know I have been searching high and low for wholesale accounts and have had 0 success until Etsy Wholesale.
I also mentioned that I was going to try to start doing trade shows, but due to the success I am having on Etsy, I have decided to hold off on that. Trade shows are very expensive and a nightmare logistically for me, so I am really hoping the success I'm having on Etsy Wholesale continues. I really believe this is the future for small businesses who are not ready to put down the money to attend a trade show. I believe that Etsy Wholesale is a great stepping stone to a larger market. I really think shows will be a thing of the past as more people use the convenience of online buying. I'm happy to be a part of the movement.
A typical trade show can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 or more to attend when you calculate travel expenses, etc. Etsy Wholesale costs $100 to join and an additional 3.5% transaction fee on the order. The $100 is a one time charge and when you really compare the cost to doing a trade show it is more than worth the price. In one sale I paid for the cost to join. Also one thing I didn't know before signing up is that listing products in your Etsy Wholesale line sheet doesn't cost anything. This makes it possible to list all of my dolls and color combinations without paying more. You also can list things on your line sheet that are not listed in your Etsy shop, which helps to make it look fuller and more exciting.
I am anxious to see if these sales continue, decrease, or increase after the holidays. My guess is that it will be slower after December but I really have no idea. Brick and mortar stores need products all year round so my prediction might be completely wrong, and my wholesale business will continue to grow. I'm also excited to see how my current wholesale orders are received by the store owners and their customers. All of it makes me very anxious.
At the moment I'm focusing on improving the look of my wholesale shop by listing every doll option I have available, getting my sewing studio better organized for photos, and building my fabric stock. The first snag I fell into was not having enough of the fabric on hand to fulfill the order. For instance, one store ordered 4 Blankie BeBes in pink but I only had enough fabric here to make 2 of them. It is a good thing that it is winter in Mexico and the fabric stores here are stocked with that type of fabric. It will probably take me a while to know what, and how much, of each doll style I need to have on hand in order to offer them at wholesale.
Now I have Blankie BeBes in this pink color.
This is definitely a learning process for me, but it's an exciting one I hope to share with you all as you work to grow your businesses as well. Look for updates as I continue on this journey and feel free to comment or email me with questions.