Part 3: Nine Must-Haves for Any Line Sheet
If you’ve ever applied for a job, you’ve probably also gone through the exercise of preparing a résumé. It can often seem like a daunting task to condense who you are and your value into a single page, but we are driven to do these things always with a bit of hope. There’s hope for new opportunity, hope for the prospect of working with a company that you respect, hope for new experiences and development. A line sheet is not so different in this way. Rather than applying for a job for yourself, a line sheet opens your jewelry business to new business opportunities and ultimately, a chance to grow and develop beyond what you were able to do before.
In this third part of our 7-part series on Growing a Profitable Jewelry Business, we’ll break down a line sheet into its basic components and hopefully take out a bit of the anxiety of putting it together in the process. This segment will incorporate the pricing strategy which we discussed in our last installment and prepare you for the next segment on effective sales outreach.
I’ve prepared a line sheet template which you can download here and use as a starting point to assemble your line sheet. We recommend referencing this template as you go through each of the items in this list. The template is prepared in Microsoft Word for maximum accessibility, but feel free to take the format into a more advanced design program, such as Adobe Illustrator or InDesign if you have those skills.
1. Brand Name and Logo
A brand name and logo, though seemingly the most straightforward of any item on this list, has a significant influence on the visual impact and memorability of your brand in front of a potential buyer. Make sure that it features prominently on the line sheet so the buyer has no question of the brand. If you don’t have a logo, there are ample online video tutorials available on YouTube for logo design in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. For those who may not be able to afford an Adobe license, Pixlr Editor can be a very capable free alternative to Photoshop.
2. Brand Brief
With the assumption that the recipient of your line sheet has no familiarity with your brand, it can be helpful to create context for your brand, its relevance, and its value to the buyer’s business. We suggest including a brand statement and a brand description.
The brand statement is a simple declarative statement on the type of product you create and your brand positioning.
The brand description is a 1-2 sentence snippet on what makes your brand special- specifically in the context of the particular stockist. Some different angles include whom your products are for/your customer niche, the concept behind the collection, a brief brand story, or a gap in the market which it addresses – just remember to choose one, not all. Think of this as your elevator pitch: keep it short , sweet, and relevant. The purpose of the brand brief is to educate the buyer on your brand beyond what your product images alone can convey.
3. Contact Info, Online Stores, and Social Media URLs
Make sure you can actually be contacted for all those orders! Be sure to include the following key pieces of contact information:
- Contact Name
- Phone Number
Add the URLs for any online stores (e.g., Shapeways Marketplace, Etsy, Tictail) where you are listed. If you are listed on several platforms and have similar collections on each, it’s fine to just include one or two in the contacts section. This is mainly important to give the buyer an opportunity to view a wider selection of your product.
Include social media handles (we recommend using the same handle across platforms) and your Facebook business page URL to give the buyer a good sense of other visual direction and context around your brand.
4. Product Listing
The product listing should be the core focus of the line sheet and is the reason for putting it together in the first place.
The products you choose to include in a line sheet can be personalized to a certain degree for each stockist. Consider what you think will appeal to the stockist’s target customer and hopefully also the buyer.
For ease of reference during the ordering process, establish a product ID or SKU system to identify each item beyond just name. Include the ID number below each product name. You will also want to include the materials or finishes available for each product as well as the sizes available.
Photos are obviously a large part of the product presentation in your line sheet. Use clear images, which highlight the most interesting aspects of each piece while showing the whole item. Flat white backgrounds are generally preferred. Note that unlike marketing assets, these images are intended to be informational, rather than stylistic. They can still be beautiful images, but keep in mind the intention when taking or selecting product images.
Pricing is the last piece to include in the product listing. You will want to include both the Wholesale Price (WSP) which is how much the stockist will pay you and the Standard/Suggested Retail Price (SRP). The SRP is how much the stockist will be able to sell each item for. Make it clear if different materials or sizes are priced at different rates.
5. Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)
The minimum order quantity is the lowest quantity at which you would be willing to offer wholesale pricing for your products. Having an MOQ helps to establish clear expectations around what volume you need for a business transaction versus a purchase through your standard channels of business. This makes it more likely that a deal will actually be worth your time and effort.
6. Clarifying Notes on the Product
You will want to include any notes or clarifications on the type of packaging, stock items (chains, polishing cloths, etc), and shipping options (international vs. domestic only, speed) to expect with an order. Some of this information may be held to later discussions once the buyer has expressed interest, but use your discretion on which information provides important propositions of value. For example, if you are presenting your line sheet to an overseas buyer, a international shipping options may be a consideration.
7. Bulk Discount Tiers
One of the biggest advantages of selling at a wholesale volume is that your suppliers will frequently allow for bulk discounts based on either order value or quantity. It can be a good idea to pass along some of these discounts to your wholesalers as well. You’re passing on the discount, but also the incentive to buy more.
At Shapeways, we offer the following quantity discount structure on most of our cast metals:
Order (Units) | Discount
26 – 50 | 5% off
51 – 100 | 10% off
101+ | 15% off
You can find more details about Shapeways’ bulk order discounting here.
It’s generally best to mimic the discount structure of your supplier, i.e., order value for order value or quantity to quantity, to ensure you are always getting a discount as well. This will help you to avoid any unfavorable situations around price. If you ever want to discuss pricing on jewelry business projects, please feel free to contact Shapeways’ Business Development and Sales Team using this contact form. The team is always happy to work with you to scope out a project and figure out the details around pricing, lead time, and production feasibility.
8. Production Lead Time
If you’re not holding large amounts of inventory on-hand, it’s good to specify how long (on average) it will take to produce and provide stock. If there is not a set production time across all projects, feel free to specify that lead times will need to be discussed around the time of order placement.
For small businesses, holding inventory is often difficult as start-up capital can be tight. If you want to have a wide product selection, but are not able to support a large amount of stocked inventory, 3D printing can be a great solution. It allows you to incorporate a lean inventory method, where you only have to produce once you receive orders.
In addition to the made-to-order aspect of the production, you also never have to worry about how to supply all size and design combinations again. This can open up your offering and make your products more attainable for more people (read: sizing options for everyone!).
9. Payment Terms
Payment terms are last on this list because they’re critical to any order agreement with another business. These terms define how and when you need to be paid, whether that’s prior to production, net 30, net 60 or another arrangement. If you’ve work hard enough to secure a deal, you definitely want to be sure you know when and how you will be paid. Payment terms need some dedicated attention, so we’ll be covering that in much more detail in a future segment.
Once you have all of this information in a concise document, export it as a PDF and you’re ready to present it to new potential business partners.
Stay tuned for the next part of our series, where we’ll discuss sales outreach strategies for actually putting your line sheet to work!
Contact us if you have any questions on growing your jewelry business or have a bulk order you’d like to scope out.
About the authors:
Ross Keong is a Strategic Sales Manager specializing in growth development for B2B users in the industries of jewelry, fashion, art, and design.
Virginia Gordon is the US Jewelry Community Manager, helping designers build a successful jewelry business using Shapeways and 3D printing