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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    san francisco, CA
    Posts
    4

    Finding a Sales Rep...

    Hi Crafters,
    I been meeting more and more fellow crafters at faires that have mentioned having a sales reps. Since I am not very good at the 'business' side of things like looking for new stores, especially outside of my city, it seemed like a good ides to have someone else do it for me. Anyone out there have any experience with a sales rep? How do I go about finding a good one? Any other ideas or comments would be much appreciated!

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  3. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Stayton OR
    Posts
    92
    Write a good bio for yourself, in the third person, and use spell check. Then put together a set of slides, line sheets, or digital pics (however the purchasing agent prefers submission, submit that way) and good clear product submissions (as well as either sample packaging or pictures of your packaging if any.)

    Ask the people that have reps for a personal recommendation, meet up (have your products with you, along with your sales materials) and go over it with the rep. Ask tons of questions. Ask what they think of the quality, ask what areas they cover in their territory, ask pay scale, ask for references, ask what other products do they sell, have they sold similar products to yours and ask in what numbers are they comfortable selling (this last one is huge-- when I was in soft goods we had a rep that habitually oversold our products and we had to hire additional overflow workers to handle the production just to fill orders) There are some reps that just don't 'get' certain products or lifestyles, and it's a waste of time trying to explain to them a new sell. Some reps insist on merchandising what they represent, ask if they do this and what additional costs will be, what is their experience in merchandising? Who will keep track of inventory? Who will deal with buy backs?

    If you can't find a professional rep-- find a nice, well groomed and outgoing friend that could use the spare cash-- have them rep for you on a commission structure.

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    san francisco, CA
    Posts
    4
    thanks for the advice! it was super helpful. my search for a good rep continues, but in the meantime i can get my line sheets up to date!

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    2
    Sales reps can be hard to work with. It also can be extremely hard to find a good one.

    A few years back we did away with many of our reps. We have some good ones now luckily.

    You can expect them to want 15-20%(some even 25%) of what you want to sell for.

    The biggest problem with reps that I found is they will add your line to compliment another line of theirs. After that, they don't try to sell your line, they just have it there for an 'option' for their customer. They tend to only focus on what sells best.

    My opinion is start going around to stores that you think would carry your product and sell it to them yourself if you can. No commission, no reps to deal with. Then when you can, hire someone to do sales for you.

    thats my opinion. You could hire sales reps that are out of your area(other territories in the country).

    That might help out. But as for your local states, I would try to get the sales myself.


 

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