Gift Shop Buyers Want Unique Products

Gift and independent retail stores, unlike big box stores (i.e. Wal-Mart, Costco, etc.) or grocery stores, prefer new and unique products.  They are not interested, necessarily, in a “proven product” that has great sales volume, but would rather buy locally-made items, the newest item on the market, or something they will not find in every store in town!  Because of this, gift stores make a great venue for new or smaller gift producers that cannot or do not wish to “mass produce” their products!

Unique products, on the other hand, are very different from products sold in Gift Shop Buyers Want Unique Productsconsignment or craft booths and stores.

Whereas consignment stores and craft stores are interested mostly in anything handcrafted, gift shops are looking for products that have more professional appeal. Unique and appropriate packaging, logo and/or labeling adds to the professional look of a product.

On the other hand, most crocheted or knitted products, for example, would not be an item gift shops would want to purchase for their shops.  A balance between the mass produced look of big box products and the homemade look of crafted mall items is the type of products gift buyers will be interested in purchasing.

Although gift stores are interested in unique products, there is a limited to HOW unique an item is!  As a general rule, buyers will want to order 6 or 12 of an item and have them look reasonably similar.  For example, if you are selling handcrafted jewelry, the pieces you show the buyer can be available in blue, pink or purple.  The pieces are mostly the same and vary in color only.  But if your craft is so unique that you cannot make several of the same item, it may not a good product for wholesaling.  An example could be a wooden bowl made from a rare burl (imperfection in a tree).  Art galleries would be a better fit for this type of product.

To sum up: If your product looks like your grandma made it, retail shops won’t be interested.  Or if your crafted item is one-of-a-kind, it may not be a good product for gift shops either.  Products between these two extremes might just be the newest hot item in the gift market!

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4 comments for “Gift Shop Buyers Want Unique Products

  1. June 4, 2010 at 7:11 am

    I am a manufacturer of handmade cloth doll. I am a new compamy and is looking for a shop who can carry my inventory. I have small dolls ranging in sizes from 6″ 8″ 10″ 12″ 14″ up to 20″

  2. Alani
    July 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

    What if I have gift ideas/slogans that can be reporduced on anything from t-shirts to journals? I wish to sell my gift ideas/slogans to a company to reproduce and distribute…how do I locate this type of company?

  3. Kathleen Larsen
    October 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I just opened an online website. I have a 32 page book online and I do have other products available. I would like to know how would I get gift stores interested in buying my products? I do have a few that are unique, however, I would like to know how to leave a catalog with the potential buyer without sounding like I am being pushy.

    Kathy

  4. October 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Hi Kathleen,

    Leaving a catalog with a potential buyer is NOT being pushy. But leaving a catalog with stores that would not be interested in your products, would be a waste of your time and resources.

    Honestly, the best way to get stores interested in your products is to go visit stores where similar products are sold. Visit with the buyer, if possible, and leave your catalog at that time.

    Other ways, would include emailing or mailing buyers with your information, hiring a sale rep, or exhibiting at trade shows.

    Good luck,

    Sandy

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