There are advantages to having your products in brick and mortar locations, even if you run an e-commerce business. People prefer human-to-human interaction and being able to physically hold an item before purchasing. Furthermore, shoppers who walk into local gift shops intend to make a purchase – you don’t need to do much to convince them! Retailers may also promote your products, which indirectly, brings traffic to your social media platforms.
The big question is: HOW do I get my products into retail locations?
I finally have a product that I want in retail locations so I started asking my fellow business owners regarding their process of getting into retailer locations. I knew Allie, from The 6th Scent Candle had her products in many locations so I started chatting with her. When I found out that she would wait until her toddler’s nap time, then pack him into the car seat, and let him nap while she drives around the city bringing candles to various retailers. I was so impressed with her work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit that I wanted to share what I learned from her!
Prep work: Before you even start going to stores, you need to prepare a few things.
- Know your margins. Wholesalers and consignment shops may have varying terms. Wholesalers expect a significant discount (at least 30% but 50% is more common, depending on type of product). Consignments may be a 30/70 or 40/60 split (i.e. you receive 60% of the sale and they receive 40%). Know what your margins are so that you can quickly tell a retailer whether or not their terms are realistic for you.
- Have a line sheet. Be ready to show the retailer which items are available to them and what the wholesale and MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) pricing is. Are you totally green and have no idea what a line sheet is? No worries, we have simplified your life by providing a sample here.