Yesterday I posted about Wholesale Merchandise Marts but didn’t say much about the people who work there – the Manufacturer Reps.
Most of the showrooms, except for the very large ones, are staffed with one person. One place I walked into last week, the showroom rep was busy at his table working the crossword puzzle. I was the first to speak with a hearty “good morning” and he dropped everything as though he were surprised by my visit. I think some of them don’t see too much action especially at times of the year where they are not gearing up for some major trade show or some big holiday season.
His selection of product lines were exceptional – there are at least 3 product lines he carries which should do well. He did look at me funny when I was operating my cell phone in his showroom doing my Mpire Mobile Research, but he was extraordinarily helpful.
Which brings up another point about them. It’s easy to look at them begrudgingly as middle-people, standing between you and the manufacturer. The truth is that many manufacturers will only sell through them. That’s why the Manufacturer Reps at the Seattle Gift Center are my ‘best friends’ (at least that´s how I try to treat them).
They can give you information which you just can’t get anywhere else. Like which products within a product line are most likely to sell the best (that’s pure gold). They can tell you which big fish are going to eat which small fish. They can even clue you into any product sourcing problems in certain lines.
When you’re selling products online as your home-based business and you can’t do drop shipping, you will want to sharpen your focus on products that will likely sell. The ‘lonely manufacturer rep’ can help you out there.