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Topic: Renting craft space at a store! Advice Please!  (Read 2785 times)
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« on: October 06, 2006 10:50:24 AM »

Does anyone have any experience with selling their crafts in a store where they pay rent for a part of a wall or shelf?

A new store just opened in my town and I have temporarily booked a space, but I need to let them know by Tuesday if I want it or not.

I make beaded jewellery and my sister makes greeting cards (we would be sharing the space).  There is no one else in the store selling remotely similar stuff to ours.  The store caters to an older crowd, so we will have an interesting market.  The cards appeal to an older audience while the jewellery would be suited to a younger audience (perhaps their grandchilden).  I thought with Christmas coming it might be interesting to try it out.  If the jewellery doesn't work we can always just stick with the cards.

Any thoughts?  Advice?  Warnings?

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2006 11:20:36 AM »

I don't make use of a store like that around here, but we did look into it at one point. Make sure you read the fine print of your contract. Know what percentage they are going to take of your sales. Find out if they require you to help out at the store at all. Find out what security measures they have. How do you get paid. When do you get paid.  How do they keep stock of everything. When are you allowed to come in and re-stock if you need to (during opening hours or before/after  only).

Good luck!
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2006 12:04:02 PM »

The store will take 10% of total sales.  Is that too much?

I've already checked everything else out though.  They have other stores in Ontario that have been open for 7 years so they know what they are doing.
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2006 12:11:34 PM »

that's actually not too bad. A lot of places are upwards of 30%. Like I said though, read the fine print. Make sure there's no "catch" hidden anywhere
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"just keep crafting, just keep crafting"

Sorry I've been gone so long. Am trying to get back on the boards. Body's thrown me for a few loops these past months and am still learning to adjust. Thanks for your patience.
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2006 01:43:26 PM »

double check the terms for backing out.  Usually stores like that are pretty fair.  Just know what they are.

I tried something similar for 10 months, but the type of store (mostly antiques/collectibles/flea market finds) was not the place people would go to for handmade brand new baby items (my stuff).  Plus, my space was on a second floor that was only accessible by steep stairs.  No mommas with strollers would ever venture up there.

I tried to get moved to the first floor, but there were 27 people ahead of me. :-(

I pulled out and my money has been better spent elsewhere.  It was worth a shot, though.  They charged $43.50 USD a month and took only 1% of cash/check sales and 4% of cc sales.  Additionally, I worked 1 day a month. 

Like I said, saving that $43/mo AND the 9 hours on a Saturday once a month has now been put to better use.

I do encourage YOU to try it, though, if you can do it month-to-month and not have to commit yourself for a whole year or something like that.

P.S. I had to look up "jewellery," thinking it was a typo.  I'm familiar with it spelled, "jewelry."  :-)
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2006 06:08:59 PM »

I am on my second month in a shop in Santa Monica, CA, where I rent a shelf, and pay 25% in commission. I certainly don't see this as a long term arrangement (after we resettle in North Carolina my husband and I actually want to open our own), but there have been a lot of intangible positives from the experience already. We are kind of looking at it as an educational experience, or market research, if you will, so we don't feel bad if we don't actually make a profit right off the bat.

One thing I have noticed is that when they send their monthly reconciliation with check, the description of the items sold is kind of vague ... "framed collage art" ... I had five other pieces that fit that description so I actually had to call the store to find out which particular items sold. May not be a big deal in your situation, but I live aboiut 45 min from the store so having to drive there to actually check my inventory is a pain.
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2006 06:34:25 PM »

At the store where I had my items, we had to put the item description on the tag.  Depending on who worked on particular days, however, the month's slip would read anywhere from "diaper bag with blue/yellow swirls" to "bag." :-(
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2006 09:30:30 AM »

P.S. I had to look up "jewellery," thinking it was a typo.  I'm familiar with it spelled, "jewelry."  :-)

We spell it jewellery in Canada.

Thanks for all the advice.  It's greatly appreciated!
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2006 08:46:32 AM »

Sounds risky to me. Older folks don't normally plunk down heavy cash for expensive greeting cards, particularly at Christmas when they need a LOT of cards. You're much better off exposing your jewelry to your target directly. I can see a few gifts being purchased for other ages, but it just doesn't sound like a good fit to me.

If you were to bring jewelry-appropriately-aged people in to the store (heavy marketing there, I'm guessing), I can't imagine why the store owner would want that if their wares aren't attractive to them, plus - would they go to a store they don't care for just to get a look at some jewelry?
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