Determining how you will get your products to the retail outlets is often an overlooked point in the wholesale sales system.You can give a perfect presentation to new store buyers, but if you have not worked out a delivery system, your products will never make it to the shops!
Even though this point is overlooked, there are many different options to getting your products into the store.
- Deliver the products yourself.If you have a small territory to cover, delivering your products is not a bad idea.I personally know of one producer who bought a cargo van when she started her salsa business so she could handle the delivery process herself.
- You can hire a distributor to handle your products.Often, with this scenario, you would sell your products to a distributor at a deep discount who would warehouse and distribute them via their system.If you have enough margin in your products to meet the discount requirements of a distributor, this is a good option as many distributors have a predetermined group of outlets where they will place your products.The downside of this option is that you many never know what stores are carrying your line!
- You can ship your products to the retail outlets.This is the most common way to get your products to the shops.With this option, it is customary to bill the retail outlet for the shipping while you pay for the cost of packing your products.
With our business, we use both option one and three:When I make my sales trips in the spring and fall, I take pre-orders and deliver them when I am in the area.During the year when I am not out on the road, we ship products to the store.Most of my customers are aware of our system and try to purchase most of their products when I am in their area.
If you decide to ship, make sure to check out the shippers available in your area.UPS, Federal Express and US Postal Service are three very reliable shipping vendors.Each company has their own requirements for packaging, insurance and delivery time.You should acquaint yourself with the specifics of all the companies you plan to use.Most have websites where you can open an account and print labels right from your computer.