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Using a Specialty Vendor

Specialized Needs for Your Business

This industry has seen fit to usually have the right number of suppliers - be they manufacturers or wholesalers - for the needs of a business, whether it is home based, a catalog, an Internet merchant, store front retailer, or one that is geared specifically to commercial accounts by setting up operations in a non traditional location.

There is more than one advantage to doing business with the manufacturer of many of the products you stock. Two of the most obvious are getting the lowest price because you are dealing directly with the source, as well as increasing the likelihood of getting what you want when you order. After all, if a manufacturer were out of one of their products, surely it would be unlikely that you will locate the product with another supplier that has to get the identical item from the manufacturer.

As you deal with wholesalers, there are also advantages to doing business with them. Wholesalers carry items from several manufacturers. They have already "cherry picked" the various manufacturer's lines to include what they believe to be the best product offerings.

Many of the wholesaler's have sales representatives with an assigned route in which they call on each of their accounts with a certain frequency. You can envision this rep with the catalog and samples, telling of the new products they have added as well as sharing with you the successes of other businesses that have purchased from his company. An advantage of many wholesalers is that you can often order products in less than full case pack; definitely a benefit for a small business that does not have the space or dollars to tie up with large quantities of product that could take many months or years to use in gift baskets.

There is a third group of suppliers that we want to call to your attention; the specialty vendors. Unique products are the signature of this group. These vendors bring to you the many unique products that allow you to differentiate yourself from your competitors as well as allow you to make an additional profit.

Unfortunately, these are the vendors that many gift basket business owners do not take the time to visit with. Granted, the average workday is more than hectic. But the key to extra profit for you, and wowing your customers with gift baskets containing things they have never seen before, can often be had with that salesperson walking in the door, or that catalog you received in the mail.

There is a natural tendency for your customer to take a look at the ingredients of your gift basket and do a quick addition of the price of each item as well as the price of the basket, before calculating how much you are charging them for creating the basket and for delivery. Unfortunately, they are probably expecting you to be providing your service for something near minimum wage, as well as having built their basket in a record time of 20 minutes.

What we would like to create in the mind of your customer is the idea that you provide a quality finished product that is an exceptional value for their money. Do not read this as being low priced, but instead that the customer has spent their money wisely.

Searching out these specialty vendors allows your gift baskets to have a flair that your competition can't match. Imagine a gift basket with a Tex-Mex theme. Instead of the traditional bottle of hot sauce, (the same one that can be found at the local grocery store), your basket has a bottle that could otherwise be found only in a restaurant in south Texas.

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This article is copyrighted by Tom Shay and Profits Plus Solutions, who can be reached at: PO Box 1577, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33731. Phone 727-464-2182. It may be printed for an individual to read, but not duplicated or distributed without expressed written consent of the copyright owner.

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Profits Plus Solutions, Inc.
PO Box 1577
St. Petersburg, Fl 33731
(727) 464-2182
Fax: (727) 898-3179