A common misconception about selling to Major Retailers is that you have
to be a large established company in order to sell to them. This is
absolutely not the case! The truth is that there are many small
start-up companies with just one product SKU that have gotten their
products into Major Retailers. They had limited cash flow and very
little marketing exposure but had a cool product concept and more importantly a
conviction to succeed. And that's what matters!
My experience as a Manufacturer's Rep has taught me that Buyers actually care more about finding the next cool new product concept than they do about working with a large established company. The reality is that Major Retail Buyers are always seeking new products and inventions because they need to deal with the insane amount of competition that they are constantly up against. This is why Major Retailers have special sections in their store to showcase new product concepts.
For instance, if you've ever walked into a Bed Bath and Beyond Store, you will notice that there are always new and interesting products around the counter area that you've probably never seen before. Bed Bath and Beyond actually has specific Buyers designated to finding new products. And the reality is that most Major Retailers actually set up various events throughout the year to meet new potential vendors. So you see, Major Retailers are always on the lookout for new product concepts!
What most people do not know is that if a Buyer likes your product, they will find a way to make it happen. Yes, you will need to ensure that your product is ready to be sold to Major Retailers prior to a Buyer making a purchasing decision. And yes, the Buyer will want to know that your product is ready to be mass produced. But at the end of the day, Buyers WILL buy your product if it is something that they believe will sell in their stores. And either way, they will probably only start out by buying and testing a small quantity of your product to ensure that there is an interest in the marketplace.
So if you have a product that you think would be perfect for Major Retailers, please don't hesitate to try and make it happen. You could be the next million dollar product success story!
Karen Waksman (Product for Profit,) is a Manufacturer’s Rep turned Author, Speaker and Consultant. She has written a step-by-step guide called ‘How To Sell Your Product, Invention or Craft to Major Retailers…No Sales Experience or Existing Buyer Relationships Required!’