Last week, I spent some time at the Seattle Gift Center which can be classified as a wholesale merchandise mart. At these places you will find dozens of manufacturer’s reps who represent hundreds and hundreds of product lines.
Large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target often carry products lines found at these marts, but you won’t find their buyers going to them. Instead, the manufacturer’s reps go to these large retailers. But for us small and home-based businesses who sell such products, we must go to the reps.
The gift center (in spite of its name) represents a very broad range of products. You can think of these places kind of like wholesale shopping malls. Each rep company has a showroom and they are arranged much like a mall. The only difference is there are no crowds and very few people working the showrooms.
As a source of products, there is nothing quite like them. You can browse, pick, and choose to your hearts contents at a wholesale merchandise mart. Oh and don’t forget your cell phone for product research!.