If you are setting up a jewelry retail business, you’ll have to partner with suppliers and vendors that support you in delivering the right product to your buyers. Working with a wholesale jewelry seller is in your best interest.
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Nevertheless, wholesale jewelry suppliers are not created equal. There’s wide variation in product, quality, customer service, and consistency. Apply the following tips if you are keen on having your wholesale supplier help your business succeed.
1. Find a Reputable Wholesaler
The wholesaler’s reputation is the single most important factor in your choice of one. A wholesaler you cannot depend on is a sure path to business ruin.
Imagine a scenario where you have sterling silver earrings that have, for some reason, become a sudden hit in the market. You are struggling to satisfy demand and decide to make a large wholesale order to maximize your return. But your supplier fails to deliver for months.
When the new order eventually arrives, the trend has blown over and you are now stuck with what is effectively dead stock. Or perhaps the wholesale supplier delivers the product quickly, but it’s of a far lower quality than the market wants. A reputable supplier is central to running a profitable retail jewelry store.
2. Look Out for Fakes
This is probably not something you’ll think about if you’ve been dealing with a given wholesale jewelry supplier for a while. You’d imagine that this kind of scrutiny would be reserved for the first two or three orders. Nevertheless, quality checks should be part of your sourcing process.
Good suppliers can go bad. In any case, sometimes the wholesale suppliers themselves are getting jewelry from a third party manufacturer. It just could be that their own source has gone rogue. Fake products will affect your business’ reputation and customers won’t understand that your supplier is to blame.
Pore through product descriptions detailing jewelry material, weight, size, and origin. Find out from your supplier what their vetting process entails. Most will have no problem sharing their quality control procedures with you.
3. Test the Waters
When you come across a wholesale jewelry supplier who ticks all the right boxes, it’s tempting to just want to order everything you want at one go. If you’ve done your homework, usually this shouldn’t backfire. Still, just because they seem above-board doesn’t mean that they are or that they are the right supplier for your business.
Exercise caution by placing a relatively small order at the beginning. Use these preliminary orders to evaluate the quality of the supplier’s products and the reliability of delivery. If you have a satisfactory experience with small orders, you can then start to scale up.
4. Keep an Eye on Trends
Don’t sell what you like—sell what the market wants. Market research is not something you do just before you launch the retail jewelry business. It should be continuous. Always have your ear to the ground and regularly observe prevailing trends.
Not all jewelry is trendy. Some classy styles and designs retain market interest for decades. Still, you are running a business, so it’s hard not to think about the possibility of windfall profit on the back of a trend.
Understanding trends allows you to make prudent merchandising decisions. It helps you avoid stocking up on outdated pieces that may have been massively popular a year or two ago, but hardly anyone wants now.
5. Save With Bulk Orders
Wholesale jewelry suppliers are in the business of bulk. The more you order, the more they love you, and the more attractive the discount they’ll offer—the better the discount, the higher your profit margin per sale as a retailer.
However, buying bulk must be balanced against how much cash your business can spare and how much product you can turnover within a given period. You can’t predict consumer behavior with 100 percent accuracy, so there will always be a risk of ordering too much. As long as this doesn’t happen too often, the larger profit margins make the risk more than worth it.
Irrespective of where you are based, you can source jewelry from halfway around the world. With such diversity of sources comes great opportunity as long as you know how to identify and wield wholesale jewelry suppliers to your advantage.