For some product lines, having a showroom is really the only option if you want to build a successful wholesale business. Some stores are reluctant to buy without having seen the goods and checking for quality and styling with their own eyes – totally understandable right? Showrooms, or independent sales reps, can be a wonderful revenue source if, and only if, they have the right contacts for you……a.k.a. the sacred rolodex. It's so important to pick a showroom or rep that has the contacts you want as well as a large pond to fish in. Most reputable showrooms have between 4000-10,000 stores in their data base. The main reason I picked certain showrooms over the years was for their connections…..and of course, I had to like the sales staff, but that was second to the list they were going to send my collection to. Bottom line was always – are you going to make me any money? Be sure to inquire about the types of stores they sell to the most, and where they see yours being sold. You want to be sure your line will be seen and sold to their best stores.
If you are thinking of joining a showroom or hiring an independent – here are some questions you can ask AFTER you have grilled them about their rolodex and feel it is a good marriage.
Some questions you can ask a sales rep:
1. What other lines do you represent?
2. What tradeshows do you attend?
3. Do you require that I attend them?
4. What commission do you require?
5. Will you need catalogs or can you print them if I email a pdf file?
6. What kind of stores do you service? Dept? Boutique? Mass market?
7. Do you have a standard contract?
8. Do you return samples? If not do you purchase them?
9. How many sample sets do you require?
10. Do you go on the road as well?
11. Do you have road reps that work for you in other states?
12. Do your road reps need samples too?
13. Do you have showrooms in other cities?
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Do you know how to set the right price for your product line? Lordy knows I sure didn’t when I first started my handbag line. But once I learned the correct way to do it, I never mispriced anything again! Now I want to share this method with you so you can be profitable and not wonder why you can’t pay yourself.
It took me years to figure out how to set the right price for my product line when I first started out, so I can imagine you might be in the same situation. If you are not sure if you are making any money, then there is a good chance you’re not pricing your products correctly.
Proper costing is the lifeline to your business and profitability. Taking into consideration and finding all the hidden costs, is the key. So many people forget little things that they add up and then BOOM, you are not making any money. Once you have the actual cost (cost of goods sold) then it is easy to figure out the wholesale and retail prices so you are always making money.
I’d love to share this formula with you. It totally saved my rear when I was in year 3….. Just thinking of all that lost money in the first 2 years…. I want to cry!
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