Why Won’t Buyers Buy?

There are over 101 reasons why buyers won’t buy your products.  As a former road sales rep, I think I have probably heard all 101 of them!!

As a sales rep, I was able to visit a store, see what type of products they Why Won't Buyers Buy?did carry, and pitch them on the lines I had that I thought would work in their store.  In other words, after a while, there was very few stores I visited that didn’t buy something I had.

With single producers, having a line of complimentary products — such as a line of earrings, necklaces and pendants — makes it necessary to be more focused on which stores or buyers you talk to.

Following is excerpt from an excellent article from Clare Yuille with Indie Retail Academy discussion some of the main reasons why buyers don’t buy.

“But what am I doing wrong?”

1. Your wholesale price or terms and conditions are off.

Your lovely thing might be too expensive – or too affordable – for the stores you’re approaching. If your work is on the pricey side compared to similar items, the reasons for that should be obvious…

Whatever it is, I should know why you charge more than your competitors within three seconds of opening your pitch.

The same goes if it’s less expensive. If you make a budget or no-frills item that still appeals to shoppers, that should be immediately clear.

Your terms of business might be another obstacle.

If, for example, your minimum order is $500 but your lovely thing has a wholesale price of $2.50, you’re expecting retailers to make a huge investment in an untested product (and find somewhere to store it all until we can fit it on our shelves.)…

2. You’re approaching the wrong stores.

If you’re doing everything right when you pitch to retailers and you’re still not getting anywhere, those are the wrong damn retailers…..

But part of that process is selling to stores who match where you are right now. And if you’re just starting out, that might look very different to what’s in your head.

The bottom line is that if you’re not getting any traction with the retailers you’re pitching to, it’s time to find some new ones. Hearing no all the time sucks.

If you are not having much success with selling to buyers, I would compare the above tips and see if they help improve your sales ratio.

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2 comments for “Why Won’t Buyers Buy?

  1. April 3, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Great article! We recently approached our first retailer and dealt with issue #1, our wholesale prices are higher than our competitors. I did explain why in our initial sales pitch, but it fell on deaf ears, and I was then told that our prices were too high for a newcomer to the industry. Our minimum first order for retailers is very low so that they can test it out in their store, but this retailer said they’d only order if we’d agree to drop the price down $7 a piece. We really wanted to do business with this store (they’re a huge puzzle retailer and we sell our own brand of imported puzzles), so we agreed. That was over a week ago and I still haven’t received their order. I’d really like to know how to handle these situations…as in, how to negotiate when a retailer wants a lower price.

  2. April 3, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Hi Lara,

    I am happy to hear that you saw yourself in my article: Why Buyers Won’t Buy.

    Your situation is rather involved, so before I answer, I would like you to ask yourself the following questions:

    • Why are your prices higher than your competitors? What features do you offer than make your puzzles or line of puzzles stand out above your competition?
    • Are you still making a nice profit if you sell your puzzles for $7 less than your original wholesale price? If yes, why are you charging the original wholesale price? And if no, why did you agree to undersell yourself by $7 each?
    • Are you aware that you may be required now to sell all your puzzles at this new wholesale price because you have unknowingly made this reduced price your standard wholesale price? (You may want to review the following article on the Robinson – Packman Act: http://sellingtogiftshops.com/2013/07/14/understanding-the-robinson-packman-act/)

    I hope I did not sound harsh, but these are questions you need to answer before you approach another wholesale buyer.

    Now, let me see if I can help you find a better way to deal with this situation in the future.

    1. Since your response on why your prices are higher than your competitors “fell on deaf ears”, it is obvious that your answer did not have merit for the buyer. Make a list of all the special benefits to buying and owning your puzzles, try to convince a friend or family member to buy using those benefits and gauge their response. I have used this approach successfully at local stores buyers that were friends of mine that would give me an honest answer to that question.

    2. Obviously, this buyer knew you were a newcomer to the industry and took advantage of that point. NOTE: Your wholesale prices are your wholesale prices and it should not matter what stage your business is in! In your inexperience and eagerness to sell to this buyer, you allowed her to devalue you, your business and your puzzles by offering them at a lower price.

    3. So, how do you negotiate when a buyer wants a lower wholesale price? – You DON’T – Unless they wish to order a large amount of puzzles where you can offer a percentage off if they buy 100 puzzles (or whatever quantity you decide is right for you). And even with that, you need to make that offer available to ANY retail outlet that buys your puzzles.

    Okay, here is a plan of action that may work better for you.

    • Sharpen your pencil and see if there is a way for you to cut costs. If you order your puzzles in larger quantities, can you offer a better price to your buyers?
    • See if there is a way that you can add more value to the products you have, such as adding a special hang tag, redoing the packaging making it appeal to higher end consumers, etc.
    • Decide on a wholesale price that you can stick with – no matter what – selling to retail buyers is NOT flea market sales!!
    • Approach higher-end themed stores such as zoo gift shops, sci-fi stores, maybe even New Age type stores and see if you have more success. This will also give you some much needed experience in selling to buyers.
    • And lastly, if you really want to make this work, I highly recommend that you beg, borrow or steal enough funds to buy a quantity of these puzzles to have a decent inventory in stock. I see, according to your website, that you have only one design in stock and need to sell 250 before you can stock any of the rest. You might want to consider a crowd funding campaign – pre-selling some of the puzzle designs to gain enough revenue to purchase the minimum quantity required.

    I hope I have given you some ideas to help you avoid this situation in the future. As I see, you might be better off if this buyer DOES NOT call you back with an order as I feel she/he will continue to take advantage of you.

    I wish you all the luck in your new venture!

    Sandy

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