ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ten Reasons Why Gift Stores Reject Handmade Items

Updated on December 1, 2014
SandyDell profile image

Sandy Dell is a semi-retired independent sales rep sharing info about wholesaling, working with producers, buyers and sales reps.

Reasons Why Gift Store Buyers Might Reject Handcrafted Products

So you are looking to jump into the wholesale arena with your hand made products! Congratulations on your move into a new sales arena with your business! But before you rush into to the first gift shop clutching your beautiful handcrafted creation, there are several points you need to consider before presenting your products to gift store buyers. Selling gift products to gift stores is not as difficult as it seems, but you need to measure your products with the following reasons why handcrafted items may be rejected by gift store buyers.

Rejecting Handmade Items
Rejecting Handmade Items

First Five Reasons ....

.... Why Gift Stores Reject Handmade Items

1. Product(s) are not unique enough. Gift stores are always looking for new and unique products. If they can find other crafters who make the same or similar products selling at consignment or craft fairs, they are not likely to sell well in their stores.

2. Not a good product for wholesaling. Although gift stores are interested in unique products, they want to be able to buy 6 or 12 of an item and have them look reasonably similar. If your craft is so unique that you cannot make several of the same item, it probably is not a good product for wholesaling. Galleries may be a better option for you.

3. Pricing is not appropriate for gift shops. Most gift store buyers 'keystone' or double the wholesale price of a product they retail in their stores. If you are selling your items on your website to the public for $10, don't expect the gift stores to buy them for any more than $5 to $6. Retail shops need to make money too! (If you are struggling with this, you might want to look at my Lens on Pricing Your Products)

4. Product(s) look too homemade. If you are making a simple sewn type craft item, for example, that is a copy of a gift your grandma made for you, it is not likely to be a good bet for a gift shop. It may be cute, but if it looks like your grandma made it, a store is not likely to buy it. Same principles apply to packaging: if it is too 'homespun', it probably will not interest a gift store buyer. Appearance is everything to a gift shop!

5. Sales material lacks professionalism. Sales materials need to be clean and crisp with pricing, pictures, terms and information pertinent to the buyers. Unfortunately, gift store buyers don't have time to read all about the history of your business or how great your product is. They want quick and precise information that is clear and easy to understand.

Rejecting Handmade Items
Rejecting Handmade Items

Last Five Reasons ....

... Why Gift Stores Reject Handmade Items

6. Sales presentation is ineffective. Remember that you need to look and act as a professional. Wear a nice pair of dress slacks or work-style dress and make sure to arrive on time and prepared to sell your product. No need to give a convincing sales pitch! Just be yourself, and be considerate of the needs of the gift buyer and the store they are representing.

7. Unable to deliver products in a timely basis. Most gift store buyers expect products to arrive in around two weeks or less. If your beautiful crafted item takes two weeks to make and the buyer orders six of each, they will not be willing to wait three month to receive your products!

8. Product doesn't fit stores motif. Most gift shops have a theme of niche line of products. Make sure your product will compliment products already of the shelves. For example, intricately made jewelry would probably not sell well in a candle gift shop.

9. Store is not Open-to-Buy. Many stores have a budget and/or a particular time that they buy for their stores. Should you arrive during a time where they are not buying or are not "Open-to-Buy", it may be difficult to sell your products. In this case, it is best to ask when they plan to be Open-to-Buy and ask to return at that time.

10. Store buyer personality may not mesh with your own. No mater how wonderful your product may be or how hard to try to sell it, some buyers may just not want to deal with you. Personalities can conflict in any form of business - unfair as it is - but you are best off just to walk away and spend your energies with a store buyer that is interested in you and your products.

Rejecting Handmade Items
Rejecting Handmade Items

What To Do ...

... When the Buyer Rejects Your Handcrafted Item

If, after reading through these points, you find your handcrafted item does not seem to measure up, don't give up. You have several options:

* Ask for feedback from the gift store buyers as to what would make your product work in their store. You might be surprised at the advice you may receive.

* Ask the gift store buyer if there is another shop in the area that she could recommend for placing your product. Just because it did not work for one shop does not mean it would not work in another shop.

* And last, by not least, there are several types of craft shops, craft co-ops, or craft markets on the internet that would LOVE to feature your products!

I just want to encourage you to NOT GIVE UP after a rejection! Personally, I would hate to tell you how many "NOs" I received before selling my first product! Each time I was rejected, I was able to find out a bit more on how to improve my line, my presentation or my approach to the different gift shops.

Interested in learn more on how to sell to retail stores? Check out our E-Guide below!!


The Complete Guide to Selling to Gift Shops

Will Help You Grow from Crafter to Business Person!

Complete Guide for Selling to Gift ShopsDiscover the WHOLESALING SECRETS of a highly successful 9+ year gift industry sales rep (& specialty food entrepreneur) with 459 wholesale customers in 23 states!

Finally, HIDDEN TRUTHS about How to Sell Wholesale!

"Whether you make or distribute (or import) specialty foods, candles, jewelry, soap, crafts, confections, dolls, post cards, greeting cards, knick knacks, pottery, t-shirts, souvenirs, housewares, or even publish regional or "gift appropriate" book titles, I will take the mystery out of marketing to gift retailers! (And help grow your business to an ENTIRELY new level!)"

In this value-packed resource, you will find HUNDREDS of practical tips, techniques, stories, and how-to tactics that REMOVE the fear and anxiety from walking into (or contacting) a gift shop and asking a buyer or manager to carry your line.

For example, you will discover all you need to know about:










But wait, you also receive the following Bonuses:

*Websites for Wholesaling E-Guide

* Sample Invoice (matched to packing slip)

* Sample Packing Slip (matched to invoice)

* Sample Trade Credit Application

* 2 Sample Sales Flyers


Share with me about your business

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • SandyDell profile imageAUTHOR

      Sandy Dell 

      6 years ago from Lenore, Idaho

      @Gypzeerose: Thanks!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting, insider's guide to the business. This will really help crafters who want to make their joy their business.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think the "homespun" comment goes along with simply knowing your own target market and approaching boutiques that have the same demographic. I have sold other artist's handmade goods and also work in retail where we sometimes work with handmade artists. But neither my shop nor the shop I work at specialize in a country or primitive aesthetic. I had bath & body artists, for example, approach me, and one of the reasons their products wouldn't have worked for me was because of poor packaging design. For bath & body goods, packaging is half the reason people buy, especially if it's sold online and people can't smell & touch before they buy!

      I'd also say the pricing one is important. That's also an issue I ran into again and again from artists who approached me. If I can't market it up appropriately, or if you're undercutting my retail cost on your own website / Etsy shop, I'm not going to be able to sell your work.

    • SandyDell profile imageAUTHOR

      Sandy Dell 

      6 years ago from Lenore, Idaho

      @anonymous: Great! Congratulation on your success!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have sold wholesale off and on since 1994. Started with sharing a booth at Heritage Market in PA where I wrote 6K in orders with 19 inches of snow on the ground, the airports closed due to the blizzard, etc. I also picked up two sales reps there, including one who had (and still has) a showroom at the L.A. Gift Mart); she wrote me about 7K in orders in less than a week! After that, I showed my line at various Valley Forge shows off and on for the next few years, once with another rep (lousy experience) and a couple times with a friend "repping" me by including a handful of my things in her booth (she did MUCH better for me than the rep!). I currently wholesale on Facebook and on a wholesale-only web site; the orders from these two sites keep me VERY busy!

      Now to the reason for my leaving a comment here. I beg to differ with your comments about "if products look too 'homespun' ..." and about gift shops expecting delivery within 2 weeks. On the contrary, the type of store which is likely to be interested in my product WANTS a homespun (aka "primitive") product AND they understand that an order for handmade items might take a few weeks or a month or so to complete, depending on the size of the order ... and also how many other orders the artist may have to complete before getting to *their* order. Usually, they are able to plan ahead and thus write dated orders, so it's not all "ASAP" at all.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)