There really shouldn't be much to weigh. You should definitely try to sell your products wholesale. But if the best deal a retailer offers is consignment, then give it a shot. If it doesn't work, you take them back.I'm weighing up the pros and cons myself at the moment.
Obviously retailers are going to push the product they have the bigger investment in. So anything they have bought wholesale will get more exposure than anything on consignment. Now if you were offering excellent profit margins, that would be a different story.You get the exposure but you don't know if the store is pushing your brand. Would your t-shirt be well seen or well hidden?
If they don't sell, you take them back after an agreed upon period of time. You should include in the contract what should happen if they are lost or stolen. IMO, the retailer should be responsible for the products once they take possession of them. Just because they are consigned goods shouldn't give them the right to be careless or escape accountability.Another concern is what will happen if your t-shirts don't sell? Or if they get lost or stolen.
If you feel compelled to try consignment anyway, then read Consignment Policies. HTHThe most important lesson she learned was that most women start consignment stores precisely because they don’t have to invest in inventory which means they’re insulated from any financial risk if the item does not sell. This is a big deal because they only owe money on what does sell. This is crucial because one of the things she found out was that many consignment store owners are not good at selling and merchandising products because they don’t need to be. Products that don’t sell don’t represent any financial risk to them.
Some designers use consignment as a springboard -a sort of testing ground- until they can get off the ground. You need to decide at the outset if you really want to invest in a business model that would not be a long term solution and whether it would be better to put your efforts into doing things aligned with your long term goals. I know it is tempting to start off easy but you should know that this can drive a vicious cycle that were you to sell to a few consignment stores, regular retail buyers will refuse to take your merchandise unless you consign it to them too. Their thinking will be that you gave it to somebody else, why not them?