A Jewelry Sales Rep can be useful for getting your line shown at gift shows across the country, or to stores in the geographical region they hold exclusivity in.
A good jewelry sales rep can help you grow your wholesale jewelry division, getting your necklaces, bracelets, and earrings into stores and maybe even catalogs across the country. Here are some things to think about when working with a sales representative:
Working with a Jewelry Sales Rep
When a sales rep shows your work in a gift show, you usually split the costs of showing with the other vendors that your sales rep is showing at that venue.
Sales reps should also have a showroom at an established gift market in a major city for buyers to come in and see your collection in person.
Sales reps tend to come up to you at fine craft festivals or trade shows and ask if you are represented or are interested in being represented. Here are some things to consider when choosing a rep:
- What’s the commission? Most reps charge between 15%: 20%.
- How many years have they been in business?
- What is their “territory?” All of the US, or a region like the Southwest?
- What’s their client base? Galleries? Boutiques? Gas Stations? Make sure you get a really good idea of how this person chooses their customers. A friend of mine who does elegant knotted work with pearls and gemstones once had a sales rep place her items in a truck stop….
- Do they have a reference list of artisans they represent? Are these people happy?
- How soon do you get paid after the rep collects payment for the order?
- How do they handle net 30 accounts that don’t pay on time?
- Do they get lifetime commissions on each new client they bring in or is there a time limit if/when you break ties.
- How many shows do they do each year and what are the average costs?
- Do they smell? No seriously. When they come up to you are they clean and well dressed, do they instill confidence in your heart?
Finding a Sales Rep
One trick to finding a sales rep is to look up the exhibitor list of the major trade shows that you think your line would fit in. Most of them have a booth or two at major trade shows in their territory, so you may be able to do some reverse look ups that way.
I’ve heard of an online site, GreatRep.com, that supposedly exposes you to a bunch of sales reps and retailers in exchange for a small yearly fee. You can also post ads for a sales rep on their site for an additional fee. As I’ve never used their services before, I cannot say whether or not they are a worthwhile service.
Alternatively, you might also try calling the main number at a Gift Market (showrooms) located in major cities and ask the front desk if there are any sales reps in their space that are interested in new designers.