It’s no surprise that consumers are still feeling the effects of Britain’s biggest economical changes for some time including Brexit and Covid-19. Everyone’s wallets are being squeezed more than ever with prices rising. Be it food, fuel or house prices it seems everything is on the up! To add to those existing woes, it seems increased global transport charges including import and export fees and increasing labour costs are affecting most sectors of the UK economy. The jewellery and craft industries are no exception. So how is it possible to be resilient as a business in the face of rising costs?
Buy in bulk quantities where you can to benefit from better price breaks (economies of scale). Buying big can gain you access to more discounts thus often increasing your bargaining power with suppliers. Where only one price list exists, ask for any other trade discounts that may be available. Sign up for a Trade Account if you are buying regularly and buying quantity as spending over £500 a year with us will access further discounts on all orders. Here at Burhouse Ltd we are partnered with a number of Jewellery Organisations and offer an additional 10% discount to their members. We also offer discount to customers of our sister company Rockshop Wholesale. So be sure to check regularly with suppliers and join any industry partners. As the saying goes ‘you don’t ask you don’t get. A favourite here in Yorkshire where every penny counts! That way the more you spend, often the more you can save. Also larger orders will often qualify for free postage, so check you aren’t missing out on this perk.
Reimagine how you can use end of line stock. Cheap in cost doesn’t have to mean cheap in quality. Often fashion based components that are currently not in style can be repurposed or restyled to something more commercial and saleable in line with current trends. Social media is great for inspiration. We have lots of clearance stock currently at 75% off and new glass bargain packs and new bestselling pearl bargain packs. Get creative and with a bit of imagination, the possible profit margins on resale can be huge.
Order ahead where possible and try to give quantity notice or purchasing schedules to help with production quotas. This is vital for small businesses who rely on customers giving as much notice as possible when ordering certain stock lines especially new designs where sales data may not yet be available. Giving future order guidance can help ensure suppliers are not left holding large quantities of stock that they may not be able to sell to other customers. This is particularly useful as freight prices and silver rates are continuing to increase. Any trading patterns you can share with your closest suppliers will help ensure that costs are kept as low as possible, so it is beneficial to both parties. The reality is that manufacturing lead times are also increasing along with longer transportation times at ports the effects of this are simple: supply and demand. Lots of demand and little supply will drive up prices. So if you want certain items - be sure to order well in advance where you can.
Ensure you are pricing your own products correctly, check out what high street chains are charging for similar items, this can be a big eye opener. Sometimes it can be easy to get transfixed on the price you have paid at trade, but the end consumer will be comparing your product against other options available to them. Make sure you are covering your costs. Our components and finished jewellery lines leave lots of opportunity for you to achieve higher margins than the typical 2.4 mark up seen in trade to retail. Add to your product with great branding and marketing and remember the shift in price increases is happening to all businesses.
The gift market and craft market have both remained strong throughout the covid pandemic and so if this is not your primary area of business maybe think about diversifying. Keeping up within business can be a bit of a guessing game, but where data is strong it is worth dedicating some resources into trying new product lines that have proven to sell well. Our children’s jewellery making kit brand ‘Pipkits’ are a perfect ready to retail gift line and 4 new styles are launching very soon. They are handmade here in the UK so be sure to check them out and support UK business.