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Help! Are cookies usually sold to a shop on consignment?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have a shop in town that is opening that wants to carry my cookies. I am excited, please don't get me wrong, but she insists that every store takes cookies, brownies, other food items like this on consignment. Otherwise I need to drastically reduce the price I would sell them for in order for her to mark them up enough. She hasn't owned a shop before, but insists this is how it is done.

Consignment concerns me because my cookies are incredibly time-intensive and I don't want to get stuck with receiving cookies back after all that work and I can't see doing my 6" cookies for say, $3. I am not trying to be greedy, but there is just so much time in them.

Does anyone sell to a shop and what do you do? She insists that cookies (or things along those lines) are sold to shops on consignment. I just don't feel right about that. Am I wrong?

Any help would be so much appreciated! She really insists all shops sell these kinds of things on consignment and I just need to see if this is the case. I am hoping someone knows so I have some background knowledge one way or another.

I just need to know if anyone knows if this is indeed common practice or not.
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post #2 of 26
I wouldn't do a consignment with her. Let her buy them from you and let her eat the cost of what she paid you. But make sure you price them at what you need to be, don't worry about her having room for mark up thats her problem. Good Luck
post #3 of 26
This is not a good deal for you.
Consignment food? Puh lease. She is the flim flam man. She wants your cake and eat it too. You do all the work, you take all the risk, suffer all the loss and she gets all the profit.
Forget it.
No way.
Just say no thank you.


She is pretty much not playing with a full deck here but if you are bent on working with her you could do dummies and have her take orders. Charge your prices. Silvercat is right she can worry about marking them up from there.
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post #4 of 26
She is fulla crap! k8 hit it head on.

Perishable items sold on consignment is a dumb move. You're taking all the risk ... she's taking none. She wants YOU to lower your price and take less profit when YOU'RE the one doing all the work?

Allow me to bend over to make it easier for her to kiss my .... well, you know.! icon_rolleyes.gif
post #5 of 26
I am thinking of doing the same thing as TracyLH. Tracy thanks for starting this thread and I hope you won't mind if I ask a follow up question to yours.

So if consignment is not the best way (I honestly don't think it is but other people don't) what's the best way to "word" it to the shop owner?

Thanks everyone!
formerly known as cupcakeshoppe
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formerly known as cupcakeshoppe
Everytime a cake falls, a baker loses his/her mind.
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post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys! I am just in a bit of a bind as she says this IS the way it is done, at least in NY where she is from.

Indydebi - I was really hoping you would respond. So in your experience, is consignment not done normally as she says? Obviously, this is not the best plan for me, but I am trying to figure out what is the norm.

When I told her I did not want to do consignment due to concerns after all the work of getting unsold cookies back (I am not sure how much business she will get), she said that it was the "price of business" and "Obviously, you don't want to be an entreprenuer." I explained that was not the case, but that it just wasn't worth it for the time involved due to the time-intensiveness of my designs. I was proud of myself that I stood up for myself as that is not so easy for me to do. I told her that I was likely not the cookie person for her, but she knows my work and that it is unique in our area, so she backed down, changing her tone. She still wants them on consignment, thus the question if this is the normal practice.

So...does anyone have any experience themselves with doing this either by selling theirs directly or by consignment so I can get a feel for what is normally done?
"I think every woman should have a blowtorch." - Julia Child
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"I think every woman should have a blowtorch." - Julia Child
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post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Cupcakeshoppe - I am hoping others will answer your question so I can see what they say, but on my end, I told her that my cookies are very time-intensive (luckily she has seen them) and for the amount of time that goes into them, I don't wish to possibly receive them back in a few weeks. They are just too much work to risk that. I told her that if the cookie was a simpler design, it woudn't be such an issue, but that is not the type of work I do. Plus, if the design was simpler, I don't think they would sell for the price they would be marked at. I am not sure this helps you.

Hopefully someone else will chime in (Indydebi, are you there??? icon_biggrin.gif )
"I think every woman should have a blowtorch." - Julia Child
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"I think every woman should have a blowtorch." - Julia Child
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post #8 of 26
The only way I would feel comfortable with this arrangement is to make a very, very limited number of cookies (or even "dummy cookies") and have an order form available. You could word it to be such that you want the customer to have only the freshest cookie possible, which means special order. This woman is the one who doesn't want to be an entreprenuer...not you! She isn't willing to take any risk whatsoever! She's put it all in your lap. I would say she accepts the special order deal, or it's no deal. (Assuming she doesn't back down on the consignment thing, and just carry your cookies at her own risk. And how much risk would it be? Your cookies are fabulous!)
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the optimist expects it to change;
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The pessimist complains about the wind;
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the realist adjusts the sails.
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post #9 of 26
definately not on consignement. do you want to be stuck with cookies after the fact. and then what happens if one's broken or just missing...who pays for that.
i sell to the bakery i work at. i do give them a discounted price. they then mark them up 30%. it took a couple of months for everyone to get used to the fact that my cookies were there, and now i have a steady ongoing order from them.
good luck
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post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiRJ

This woman is the one who doesn't want to be an entreprenuer...not you! She isn't willing to take any risk whatsoever! She's put it all in your lap.


totally agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TracyLH

When I told her I did not want to do consignment due to concerns after all the work of getting unsold cookies back (I am not sure how much business she will get), she said that it was the "price of business" and "Obviously, you don't want to be an entreprenuer."


And my response would be that to stock my EXCELLENT cookies is to buy them wholesale and resell them, and the ones that don't sell, SHE eats..... It's "the price of business" and "obviously YOU don't want to be an entreprenuer."

That knife cuts BOTH ways.

If you can check with other shops to see if this is "the norm", I would do that. Then you could have info to come back to her with such as "so-and-so shop doesn't do it consignment; that-n-that shop doesn't do it consignment...." etc.

As a caterer, boy I'd LUV to get a deal like this! Can you imagine how my costs could be reduced if I could just get a bunch of food in here on consignment and then pay for it IF it sells .... or just return the frozen cheesecakes or the sour cream 8 weeks later at no cost to me? Whatta deal! dunce.gif
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies!

GeminiRJ - thanks for the kind words! You are right about the limited quantity idea if I do consignment and I like your dummy cookie idea. I just usally do 12 minimum, but I think that might be too many. It just depends on how much foot traffic they are going to get. It will be a tiny store, off the main road, but it is in a very upscale area. I guess if I did get desparate and do consignment, I would have to determine if it is worth the time and gas to do it. Maybe I need to think about your wholeslale idea. Definitely kills the $1/inch thought, but it would be a sale. I'll just have to analyze how much I would actually make and see how much she could charge. I appreciate you telling me the 30% idea as that gives me a start.

Kneadacookie - you are right! I had thought about the broken cookie aspect as I was tossing and turning last night and had forgotten about it this morning. Excellent point!

Indydebi - Oh, I am so glad you saw this! There is a place in town that sells cookies (dried out and boring, but decorated cookies, none the less.) I will call them today.

Thanks to everyone for your much valued advice! icon_biggrin.gif
"I think every woman should have a blowtorch." - Julia Child
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"I think every woman should have a blowtorch." - Julia Child
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post #12 of 26
No a pro- but a mom here... my 2 cents. Don't forget everyone wants to touch, poke and break it, How many horror here on the cake discussion that goes, "..I just wanted to see if it was real...". And of course, no one will actually buy a broken cookie. If the shop owner has no vested interest in protecting your product (you get all the unsold back), I am sure the breakge will be even worse!

RUN!

I would think dummies would be the only way to go. Shop owner can make 30%, and all is good (depending on what you turn around it, or freezer stock is).
post #13 of 26
tracy...your cookies are SSSOOOOOO worth it. don't settle for anything less. and don't undercut yourself on the wholesale price.
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post #14 of 26
Here's my two cents also, not very business-like, just my gut-feel...this doesn't sound like a win-win situation for the both of you. Too many risks. In my opinion business will come to you in other ways simply because you're cookies are fabulous and word will spread. I think I'd put my effort into a website to "show" people your work rather than this venture. Good luck with whatever you decide though.
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post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for your input! Good point bakincc! I see a lot of pitfalls with this plan, but she decided to go ahead and buy outright a set of wine cookies and a set of holiday for herself to use. From there, we will play it by ear, but I really don't want to do consignment. Johnson6ofus and kneadacookie are right about possible damage.

I will still test this idea of having them in the shop as the owner and I have been working on this idea for a while and she is really supportive of my cookies in general. I may go the route kneadacookie does and discount them. The owner says she will do that, just says that I will make less than on consignment, but I just don't want the risk with consignment. The hardest thing is figuring out what your cookies would actually sell for in a store so I can discount them and see if it is worth it. icon_smile.gif

Thanks again to everyone for your time and thoughts! Have a wonderful holiday season!
"I think every woman should have a blowtorch." - Julia Child
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