Thursday, March 27, 2008

Think Like a Retailer

Ok so I'm not a retailer. Chances are that you aren't either.
But you want to sell to one. And they have questions. Lots of questions. And you need to have answers. I don't mean "I'll get back to you" answers, I mean right now, on the spot answers.
Which means you need to have thought through a great deal before you ever get to the retailer.
Here are the most common questions retailers have asked me - I know the answers, and I can recite them off by heart. If you are going to do this, you should too.
1. What's your wholesale price?
2. How do I display it?
3. What are the dimensions of it?
4. Are you registered as a business?
5. Do you have a competition numer (ca number, for Cdns)
6. Do you have a wash/wear instructions and material content?
7. Who manufacturers these for you?
8. Where else are you selling these?
9. Do you have a website?
10. Will you be selling them on your website?
11. Do I get a bulk discount?
12. What's your turnaround time? (for a first production, this will be difficult for you to say, but the first production should give you a reasonably good idea of how long it takes you to source materials, produce, package, and deliver)
13. How do you intend to follow up/service the store?
14. Do you have any retailer support materials to display with your product?

Let me start off by saying I haven't been perfect down this road. Really haven't. But I've learned. And take it from me, learning from others mistakes is a lot cheaper than making your own. Here is the smartest thing I did - Packaging. I wanted my items to be easy to display for retailers, and take up little space, while still showing themselves off. I went with transparent vinyl zipper bags with rope handles. They can be hung off of pegs, racks, etc, and can even just be stocked standing upright on a shelf. Retail space is expensive. Remember this, the better and more efficiently you package your product, the more retailers will appreciate it. They do not want to : hang your product, fold your product, build shelving for your product. It needs to easily fit into what they themselves have already purchased. Remembering yourself though, however you package it, make sure your product/logo is clearly visible and not ambiguous to consumers.

1 comment:

The Barrera Family said...

You are an absolute genius!!