I have questions about wholesaling

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Posted by Tracy on June 26, 2001 at 19:53:52:

Hello everyone. I'm just dipping my toes into the big pond of wholesaling and I've got some questions. I
make my own jewelry using polymer clay beads that I've created, sterling silver, vintage and new glass beads, cultured pearls and semi-precious stones.

I've had some sales and management experience in retail clothing. I also have a journalism degree (my current profession) and sell antiques and other items online. I have a pretty good idea of how to market myself.

Since I sell part-time online, I've never needed to obtain a state tax number because I have maybe 2-4 small sales per year in state. All the profits are claimed under income.
If I wholesale my jewelry to an in-state store, do I have to worry about state taxes at all and is there any reason I should get a state tax number?
I plan to sell my bracelets wholesale at about $7 each with a suggested retail of $14. I know retail stores would be upset if they found out that I was undercutting them. But I also know that customers expect to pay more in a retail store because of the high cost of overhead. If I sell a few of these online in an auction format, I almost have to start the price off below the ending price in order to attract bidders.
I have a much lower overhead than a store would, but most bidders figure in the cost of shipping into an item
when they decide to bid. Now, some of these would end up higher than the retail price, but some might be sold for say the opening bid of $9.99. It's unlikely that I would be competing with the customers that walk into the store that's retailing my jewelry. Is this ethical for me to do?

I'm not a big-named artist, and until I attract enough wholesale customers, I want to be able to cover the cost of my materials in the least. If this falls in the gray area, do I even mention this to people I'm trying to wholesale to?

Now, kind of a second question. If I sell wholesale at $7.00 and a store marks something up to, say $24, am I OK at selling my bracelets at $14? I would still be undercutting them, but I don't set their prices.

I'd also like to know a little bit more about the production end. My jewelry is really one-of-a-kind items that can be mixed and matched to make sets (bracelets and earrings). It's designed so that more than one item will be complimentary with each
other. If someone really likes a particular glass bead, they can find a pair of earrings with that same bead -- they might have different polymer clay beads, but they'd still match in some way. I use color schemes to to make selection easier.

If I put together a brochure and price list how do I handle the order? I could produce 100 copies of "X" bracelet, but that's not what I'd want to do. What I really want to do is get an order for 100 bracelets and then produce an order that's unique. Is that a
reasonable thing? I really have no clue here.

On an off topic, I'd like to hear from store owners about what they like to see in the way of product presentation? I have earring cards that I could decorate with a small eye-catching label. Should I go ahead and put my business name, Tracy's Treasures on
there in some way? Also, I wanted to make jewelry display frames and throw them into any package that I wholesale. The stores could keep them once they sell down my jewelry. Is that an attractive idea for storeowners? I thought it would be a neat selling

I know there are many questions here and I thank everyone in advance for your time and experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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