Whether you're new to selling with independent gift shops or not, I imagine it can be tricky to know whether to apply, or how it all works. Every shop does it differently, so I've come to explain a little bit more about how we work and answer some FAQs.
Step 1: Do your research
When we open our applications, we always update the blurb on the Sell With Us page of the website to suit what we are looking for at the time. I'm always open to new wonderful things that I never knew I wanted until I saw them, but definitely keep an eye on if there's anything in particular that we don't need at the time or any stipulations we've made about who can apply (boo - I definitely wish we say yes to so many more of you!).
As a small business ourselves we do ask for a fair, flat rate commission, to enable us to cover our costs. We don't reveal this until a bit later due to some unfortunate events in the past, but I always advise that you do your research into the going rate of profit margins, mark ups etc before applying to sell with us.
Step 2: Complete the mini application form online
So you've done your research and you're ready to apply. Great news!
The next stage is super simple; all you have to do is answer 6 straightforward questions about you and your business so we can get a little insight to who you are and what you offer.
There's an optional section for you to include notes that you feel may support your application. This could be anything that may not be obvious from the link you've given us: maybe you have new collections pending, your making process is super interesting so I just have to know about it, or you want to let us know about your business's celebratory moments!
I love reading about your businesses but it would be amazing if you could try to keep this bit to a few sentences - we always have a lot of applications to get through!
At the end we just ask where you heard about us, which is reeeeally useful for my business development because I can see where and how we're reaching all of you lovely people.
Step 3: Wait to hear from me!
After the closing date for applications, which is noted on the Sell With Us page, I have to go through them all one by one which can take a few days. I always try to get to it as soon as possible but it can take up to two weeks to hear back from me.
I always aim to reply to everyone, so you'll hear from me either way. If you don't get through here, it really is no hard feelings. We can only accept about 10% of our average applicants so we often have to say no to some proper lovely stuff and people. By all means apply again in future!
Step 4: Review our basic terms
If you're successful at this stage, firstly, give yourself a pat on the back - we're so chuffed to be able to welcome you to our little community!
We'll send you the basics of how we work in an email which include:
- Commission rate
- Minimum term
- Products we'd like to chat about stocking
If you're happy with these then all you need to do is reply and let me know!
Step 5: Forms & Terms
Once we're all happy I'll send over a copy of our terms and conditions and a slightly more detailed application form to complete and return to us.
Step 6: Ironing out the final details
We'll give you everything you need to start selling with us including an ID number and an inventory spreadsheet.
We'll also have a more in depth chat about stock so we're both on the same page.
Step 7: Let's get selling!
Send us your stock and inventory info and we'll do the rest for you!
Can I apply to sell with you at any time?
We usually open applications twice a year; once in January and once around May/June. To be amongst the first to find out when applications open, please sign up to our mailing list (do this on the bottom of any page on our website!)
I've sent you a message on social media about selling with you but I didn't hear back, does this mean it's a no?
Of course not! We get so many enquiries all the time so it's really hard to keep track of, and reply to, all of them - let's not even talk about the junk folder! The best thing to do is as above, sign up to the mailing list and we'll let you know when you can apply.
Before I apply, can you tell me whether you think it's worth it? Here's my links etc
I'm reeeeally sorry, but no! We put the application process in place to avoid this as it was so hard to keep up with messages and emails, it works better for everyone this way as you won't get lost in the email abyss!
How successful are your Traders?
We love working with so many small businesses, and it really helps if you're motivated to work with us to make the most of the opportunity too. All cards on the table... it doesn't work for everyone - not everything can be our best seller and not every shop will be the right fit for your products. Five years in and I still make the wrong choices sometimes - there isn't a shop owner I've spoken to who always gets it right. But we'll do our best to work with you to change up displays, stock, packaging and anything else we can think of to get those sales up. Put simply... it works better for some than others, and also very much depends on your expectations, too.
Our applications (at the time of writing this) are OPEN, and close at the end of play on Friday 27th May. Head over HERE for details.