There are a lot of opportunities for selling on the internet. Instagram, Facebook, Etsy, eBay, even Craigslist—if you’re looking for a place to sell, the digital marketplace is vast.
Once you’ve become experienced at selling and have gotten your production process down, you might think about expanding into the wholesale universe. In case you aren’t familiar, wholesale is when you sell your products in bulk to a retailer for a discounted bulk price. Wholesale differs from consignment, which is where a retailer will allow you to display your products in their store, but will take a portion of the proceeds. Personally, I prefer wholesale; payment is guaranteed for your products and if your product is successful, many retailers will turn into long-time customers.
If you are not there yet that’s perfectly normal, just quickly check out our Four Tips for Photographing your fluid art to attract buyers article.
You might be wondering, what could I sell wholesale as an acrylic pour artist? As an example, I make coasters using the acrylic pouring technique on ceramic 4×4 coasters. I’ve been approached by several shops who have purchased these coasters wholesale to sell to their customers. Products that can be reproduced in bulk like coasters, trivets, or other home products are a great sell to local businesses and sometimes, national businesses, too.
If approaching potential wholesale clients isn’t your thing, or if you want to broaden your wholesale range, you may want to consider RangeMe.
RangeMe is a website built for people who are looking for wholesale clients. Advertised as a “product discovery platform”, it’s a little bit like a social networking site that connects people who are looking to purchase products and those who are selling. To start, you populate your listing on RangeMe with pictures of your products, details about the size and makeup of the products and any variations you have available. You’ll also answer questions about the availability of your products, so be prepared to have this information available.
The Cost of RangeMe
RangeMe is free to set up, and if you don’t want to go any further with a paid membership, you aren’t obligated to. I set up two listings this way, and although the interface isn’t exactly “user friendly”, it wasn’t difficult; just very time consuming. In this way, the cost of RangeMe is going to primarily be your time, and your success will largely depend on the amount of time you spend on your listings, and the details you provide.
If you’d like to get more out of the website, you can upgrade to RangeMe Premium which is a paid, yearly subscription that gives you some benefits over and above the standard free service. Upgraded benefits include the opportunity to become RangeMe Verified, which is a way for potential buyers to see instantly that you’re prepared to sell, and you also get access to further insights and possible business leads. However, the premium upgrade for RangeMe is a jaw-dropping $1,399 per year—if you’re serious about throwing your hat into the wholesale ring and just can’t get enough out of the free services, be prepared to pay quite a bit for the premium services.
Is it Worth It?
I’ve been on RangeMe for a few months now, and my knee-jerk reaction to this question is no. I have not gotten a single wholesale offer, and I did spend a good amount of time on my listings. Now, it could be that the market is saturated with acrylic pouring art currently, or that buyers are concerned about the turnaround time for my products. But, I have had much more luck selling and promoting through Facebook and Instagram using both free services and paid ads, the cost of which has totaled me only about $75 for the year—not a high cost for a targeted ad campaign that has brought me many new customers and followers.
This being said, maybe your experience will be different. If you’re looking to get into the wholesale arena, I encourage you to sign up for a free account and put your products out there—there’s no harm in more advertising, even if it doesn’t necessarily bring you a ton of business. I would not recommend jumping right into the premium subscription though; I’m just not sure this service can provide the opportunities that one would expect from that price tag.
Have you used RangeMe? What did you think?