Hounding the Wholesale Market

By on December 22, 2009
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip December 22, 2009

Hounding the Wholesale Market


Where can I obtain a list of manufacturers who sell wholesale?


I’m not sure if you mean that you’ve just started making jewelry or if you have just opened a business with your handmade jewelry.

If you have just begun to make jewelry then my answer would be to practice until you are really pleased with your professionally created pieces, get a business license and a website, test the market waters by doing a few craft shows to see what people think of your work and then participate in a few wholesale arts & craft shows to find interested wholesale buyers or find an experienced jewelry representative to introduce your work to the market it is best suited for. Remember that selling wholesale means doing a LOT of repetitive work and being able to do it quickly as your wholesale prices need to be low enough that any buyer is able to mark them up 100 to 300 percent for their retail store.

If you are already a seasoned, handcrafted jeweler you might consider preparing a sample case of your designs and then calling to make appointments with galleries and gift shops within, say a two hour drive of your home/studio. (For ideas, search this web list, www.magicyellow.com) Along with your sample case, you should also have a full color brochure or catalog of the designs you offer, with all of the necessary descriptions and prices, your return policy, and how you prefer to receive payment.

If you have a huge supply of jewelry you have already made with wholesale in mind, you might want to contact and hire a jewelry rep as they have the experience to sell your work to retail stores they already have a relationship with, as well as contacts with catalog companies (most of whom will not deal with an independent jeweler, but would rather work with reps they know).

In my opinion, the best way to personally sell your handcrafted jewelry would be to participate in a wholesale arts & crafts trade show where you will get the opportunity to meet all types of buyers who are looking for gifts and jewelry to add to their store/shop, which may include a variety of gift ideas. To specifically sell wholesale to a jewelry store, there are also trade shows specifically for jewelers as well. Finding these venue opportunities is easy, just do an Internet search for ‘arts & crafts trade shows’ or ‘jewelry trade shows’.

Custom-designed and created in 14kt solid gold for George McCannon, owner of The Old Pressley Sapphire Mine, by Dale Cougar Armstrong.

Custom-designed and created in 14kt solid gold for George McCannon, owner of The Old Pressley Sapphire Mine, by Dale Cougar Armstrong.

Answer contributed by Dale `Cougar` Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    December 22, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    I suspect the question was geared towards selling wholesale pieces, findings, wire, etc. to us jewelry artists! I find that most manufacturer won’t sell to hobbyist, or jewelers that use this site for example, without a tax license.

  2. avatar


    December 22, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Hi Dale, good answer. If you are looking for wholesale dealers for your material that you use, most websites can give you a volume rate, and if you have a business license, many of them will give you a significant discount on material.

    However, if you are one of those people I have seen at shows lately, who buy wholesale “handmade” jewelry, often bead and wire, that is made in India or Taiwan, and pawned off as “handmade” (they don’t tell you whose hand made it), then I think I might go somewhere else. Folks who do their own work do not like these “retailers” at shows (and not much of anyplace else, either).

    If you are a crafter and are looking for wholesale priced material, many web sites like this one have volume discounts, or you can look up other groups who have big lists of suppliers that sell at wholesale or near wholesale to people with the appropriate license.

    Here’s hoping you are a crafter who is just looking for a price break!

  3. avatar

    Casey Willson

    December 22, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I’ll bet she’s asking for suppliers of materials. Not the best place to ask.

  4. avatar


    December 22, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Great advice on where and how to start out selling jewelry wholesale!
    My interpretation of this question was entirely different from your response, Dale. I felt the question was asking for a list of wholesale manufactureres that he/she could purchase items from themselves rather than selling his/her jewelry wholesale.

  5. avatar

    Patricia Whitlow

    December 22, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Question? Where can I obtain a list of manufacturers who sell wholesale?

    Your answer leads me to believe you misunderstood the question., To my way of thinking this person was asking for a way to find a list of merchants that sold the supplies they need to make their jewelry wholesale, not how to sell wholesale. After all the person asking the question is the manufacturer..,

    • avatar


      December 23, 2009 at 12:36 am

      Folks, let me first say that the entire question was not posted, therefore you did not read it as I did.
      It originally read:
      Where can I obtain a list of manufacturers who sell wholesale?? I have just started my business and still am trying to learn!!

      As you all know I can not post other suppliers websites because this is a company blog and not a forum, therefore I took this question as asking me how to sell their jewelry wholesale because they have just started their business; thus my answer as it is.

  6. avatar


    December 23, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Sounded to me as if someone wanted us to do all the leg work for them in regards to where to buy supplies. If they are looking for better pricing then do a google search for wholesale items and do the research. We all had to do this ourselves at one time or another. Besides, what’s wrong with the great prices here? The more you buy, the better the discount.
    If not, then Dale’s answer more than adequately answers their inquiry.

  7. avatar


    December 27, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    It would look obvious that what they are asking for (at least in-part). This site is great for information, ideas and instruction. In my humble opinion it’s come a long way in the right direction since the newer owners, but asking them for a list of competitors? Really? If you shop this site wisely there are a number of offerings that are plenty good enough value for making resale pieces. Just like anything else though, do some searches and research. Using forums mediated by companies that sell you supplies is typically not a fruitful place to ask for other sources for your supplies.

  8. avatar

    Cline Jewels

    January 3, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Dale I agree with you and what you said, although I do believe they were asking where to purchase the supplies they need on a wholesale basis, but as you said that those sites can not be published on this blog. Also as other replies have said as well, that he/she needs to do a little research on the internet just like we all had to do. Most of the time you can ask a supplier if they sell wholesale and ask what their process is to be able to buy from them. They will tell you. They want your business. Its basically up to you to do the work. Sometimes you can get good prices from venders that are not wholesale. The more you buy the better the price. Shop, shop, shop is what it is all about and yes get a tax licence which will help you greatly. Oh, don’t forget your business licence as well. It is a must before you start selling not after. Keep it legal….