5 things you should know before hiring a sales rep

5 things you should know before hiring a sales repWhen and if you decide to hire some help, here are 5 things you should know before hiring a sales rep to make sure you sound savvy! Keep in mind that sales reps can be an amazing asset to your business, but you want to be aware of the costs involved before taking the plunge.

Most sales reps will most likely have a contract for you to sign, and that is totally normal, but be sure to note a few of my suggestions below so you get the best deal possible. Keep in mind that everything is negotiable…… be sure to read every single word as you don’t want to get caught with your panties down.

5 things you should know before hiring a sales rep

1. They will probably ask for a set of free samples.  That is totally normal.  You should provide that.

2. They will require that you provide them with catalogs and/or linesheets.  And YES, you do need to do that and mail them to their office.  They will not print them for you.  Ask them to email the linesheets to potential customers when possible of course.

3. They may require you to participate in Tradeshows.  If this is out of your budget, try to negotiate to attend “some” instead of all. If you can attend them all, your sales will probably be higher.

4. Some will have showroom fees that are monthly payments on top of commission.  Be sure to ask about that before getting too excited.  This can be negotiated as well in some instances.  If you are hiring a Road Rep, they should only ask for commission on sales.

5.  When paying commission, never pay in advance.  Only pay for invoices that you have been paid for.  You can use this Sample Commission form to help you keep track of paid invoices.  Send one each month to your rep with the payment.

Hope this makes you sounds like a super savvy entreprenette.

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    Written by Sarah Shaw

    There are 11 comments

  • Eli says:

    This is great and useful. Thank you.

  • maslinda says:

    super useful info, thanks Sarah!

  • Natalia says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I love all the advise you offer, it's truly helpful!!

    I am currently working on my budget to workout my wholesale price, in the begining I want to do sales on my own, however to truly grow I believe I will have to outsource this job to get into more stores to help my business expand. Even though I will be doing sales myself at the start I want to factor in the costs of a sales team to not have issues with my wholesale price in the future – am I approaching this right?  What is the typical percentage of comission and monthly show room fee a fashion sales agency will charge?

    Thanks for all your help!


    • Sarah Shaw says:


      Thanks for your note.  Reps usually get between 10-15% depending on what you are selling. And as for fees…..that can vary from $500/mo in NYC to $200 in another city.


  • Natalia says:

    Thanks Sarah, much appreciated!

  • Hass says:

    Hi Sarah

    Thanks for this information it was very useful. Can you please give me some tips on where to find a sales rep? 




  • Hass says:

    Thanks much Sarah!!

  • Dear Sarah: Very good information and you are right EVERYTHING is negotiable!!!! I’ve worked in the Atlanta Mart for many years and also a buyer for my hatshoppe. Have worked with many vendors there. Your info was very “on point” especially for beginners.

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