May 10, 2008

Dear Manufacturers...

Recently, a distributor with their own product line sent out an email with some cute ideas on altering one of their products. ScrapBiz member retailers loved the ideas and several placed orders for the product so they could do the project with their customers. Retailers CRAVE ideas! Show us how to use your stuff! That's probably the number one thing you can do to help us sell your products! Your products are probably really not all that different than anyone else's. But, you can really set yourself apart by offering us great ideas and projects we can use in our businesses.

One great company, who's praises I have been singing for a while, is Adornit (Carolee's Creations to all you old-timers). They have a GREAT gallery and they also publish a little booklet each month with ideas. You can read about it in THIS past post.

Conversely, it seems that some of you (manufacturers) are trying to flood us out with your products. You have raised your minimum orders too high - some even into the $1000 range. Having traveled this country quite a bit and searched out many scrapbook stores, I'd say there is a disconnect going on. This industry is still largely a cottage industry of sorts full of small stores run by moms who don't have the space or money for $10,000 in little paper flowers. And, with the chains obviously pulling back on their scrapbook sections, I don't see the benefit of high minimum orders for anyone here.

Kudos to companies like Daisy D's who just drastically lowered their minimum order amount. I have a feeling that they will be richly rewarded by their customers for that! I know that vendors don't want to drip products out the door in a thousand small orders, but you have to remember that we (retailers) are sending the products out the door one sheet at a time. We can't keep
eating like an elephant and pooping like a canary and expect to survive. In order to keep some of the more popular and fast-selling products in the store, we drown in products we are forced to order (to meet a minimum order that's too big) and haven't paid for and then suddenly, we are out of business. Everyone loses.

We need a big giant round table think-tank discussion that brings together not just the big retailers and manufacturers, but retailers of all sizes and manufacturers of all sizes. We need to talk about how we can operate synergistically instead of independently as it seems we SOMETIMES do now. When everyone works together - everyone wins.

No comments: