5 Essential Tips on Placing Orders After a Trade Show
You've just returned from a trade show filled with excitement and inspiration -- now what? Analyze your margins, negotiate prices, and get the right product in your shop fast.
Feeling overwhelmed by that huge pile of business cards, vendor catalogs, order forms, and handwritten notes(!) now sitting on your desk? These product pricing tips can help you turn that mass of information (and anxiety) into sales for your shop.Here are the first 5 things you should do to get the right product at the right price in your shop fast.
Step 1: Analyze Your Margins (and Review Everything)
First of all, review every catalog and familiarize yourself with the product and prices. Ask yourself, “Can I buy at the price listed in the catalog and still profit by making the margins I need?” Analyze your own margins to see where you stand. (Read how to do this in our post on calculating margins and markups.)
Step 2: Research Available Retail Prices
One way to do this is to check your competition and research available the prices retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc., charge online for the products you’re now looking at. Also, see what brick-and-mortar competitors in your zip code are charging for the same item at retail (if it’s out yet). You can also track pricing month-by-month on many of these sites.Insider Tip: Download price comparison apps here or purchase an Amazon product scanner next time you walk a trade show. These apps let you know if the item before you is a "deal or no deal" and can be extremely helpful towards product pricing and popularity. Instantly see what something is selling for at retail, and with the Amazon ranking system, you can see how hot the item is and if it’s a brand new product.
Step 3: Negotiate and Decide to Buy
Negotiate your final pricing depending on your internal and marketplace research you’ve just completed. Minimums are low at some trade shows like ASD Market Week, but you’ll get better pricing the more items you buy. That said, it’s about developing long-term, financially productive relationships with the vendors you choose, so it’s a good idea to test out a handful of items first. If the products are a hit, it will lead you both to more places -- and a lot more business!
“Sometimes it’s better to take a test approach first and see what sells well on Amazon before going deeper into each item.”
- Doyle Carver, Internet Merchants Association, speaker at ASD.
Step 4: Square Away Your Payment and Delivery Terms
Establish payment terms that work for both of you. Typically these are “Net 10” (within 10 days of order confirmation), Net 30, or C.O.D (cash required upon delivery).
What are the delivery times? 30-60 days? Some vendors have the merchandise in stock and product can be in your shop in as little as 7-10 days. These vendors sometimes send orders directly from their trade show booths to their warehouses, which can result in even faster delivery.Ask your new vendor partner beforehand if the product comes with packaging or only comes as the product itself. Are there are already UPC codes for it? Do you want unique product in your own packaging? If you’re comfortable with your new vendor, it might be time to discuss developing private label options together.
Step 5: Receive Your Sales Confirmation
You're almost there! You placed an order and now you can expect to receive a sales confirmation. Cross reference this confirmation with what you have and review orders for accuracy. Do the numbers add up? If they do, it’s time to prepare your space, and get ready to merchandise and market your product online and in your shop!
Insider Tip: Make it easy on yourself! Do your product and vendor research before the show next time with these trip planning tips from ASD. These product pricing tips are even more effective if you implement them before and during a trade show with exhibitors in real-time.
Final Thought: Start Planning for the Holidays
It might feel like summer, but the holidays come much sooner than December for retailers. Download our retailer's guide to surviving the holidays
to make this year your most seamless -- and profitable.
Looking to gain more knowledge like this and fill your shop with the right high-margin inventory? Don't miss ASD Market Week, March 11-14, 2018 in Las Vegas -- it's a merchandise trade show and retail education conference in one!
By Amy Sadikoff
Amy is the Buyer Concierge Manager for ASD Market Week
and a former retail buyer with more than 10 years of experience in the industry.