So you’re a central Indiana musical artist and getting out a physical release? Congratulations!
We’d love to have copies of it in our store. But first…
• Set a suggested retail price and then work backwards to get to a wholesale price for stores. Obviously you have to consider your costs and what you hope to make from the project but there is also the market to consider. What do comparable items typically sell for?
• Coordinate the retail price in the various outlets so that you do not have a great disparity between what you sell it for at shows, on your website/Bandcamp, and at stores. Is it OK to sell a little cheaper at shows? Sure, but be careful to minimize the difference.
• Understand that you have to offer the store a WHOLESALE price. You cannot expect a retailer to pay you the same price as a fan at a show or an online buyer. The retailer must have a reasonable markup—somewhere in the 25 to 50% range. That means if you want a release to sell for $15, don’t expect the store to pay any more than $12.
• The probability that the shop’s customers will find your cheaper price online when they comparison shop on their phones is high and this will mean lost sales in shops if there is a meaningful price difference.
• Also understand the difference between a store that will pay you cash up front and a store that will only take the release on consignment. Irvington Vinyl ONLY pays cash. We do not do consignment. As a result we expect a slightly better price (and a promo to play in store) in exchange for you getting cash. The value for the artist is huge—you don’t have to worry about when you’ll get paid, you’re already paid — and all the selling risk has been transferred to the store. If you do consignment, it can be months and you’ll never get paid unless your release sells and you’ll probably waste valuable time checking on sales, getting paid a little at a time, etc. So it only makes sense to offer a lower wholesale price and other considerations to the shop that pays cash.
• Other than cash vs. consignment price, please treat every store the same (yeah, we talk).
• If you are fortunate enough to get a distributor onboard, understand that you will need a distributor price that is LOWER than your wholesale price. Back to the $15 retail item. A consignment price might be $12, a cash price $10, a distributor price would be $7 or $8 at most. This is because the distributor sells to the retailer and they need to get it into shops at about the same price as you would sell it to them for. And they need markup too!
• Finally, ask yourself: do you really want your release in shops? If you do, please observe these guidelines.
Hope this helps!