I was recently asked by a Jewelry Business beginner if she should sell wholesale, retail or both on the internet. She wondered if she should have two separate lines, one for retail and one for wholesale. In general, I think it is fine to sell both wholesale and retail as long as you take a full mark-up on your retail items so that you don’t undersell your wholesale customers. For instance, if you sell earrings wholesale at $10pr to a store that turns around and sells them for $30, you should not sell them retail online for less than $30 or you will alienate your wholesale clients. (I think it is OK to sell at a price point between wholesale and retail at private home parties).That being said, there are some high-end stores and galleries that won’t purchase from anyone who sells retail online. (Though this is less common than it used to be). In this situation, it would be smart to have two separate lines, with two separate names, if you want to capture wholesale and retails sales through the internet. Keep in mind that you would in effect have two separate businesses at that point, which could get complicated very quickly.
Designers, how do you manage your wholesale versus retail sales?