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Rated One of the Most Unique & Profitable
Home-Business Opportunities in U.S.A Today!
You're about to Start an Exciting & Profitable
Business as a Distributor of the World's
Most Unique Children's Clothing!
Your Pathway to Financial Freedom!
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Table of Contents
Direct Sales to Consumers………………..…8
Flea Market Sales………………………..…..61
A Final Word……………………….….………70
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Welcome to Magic Kids!™ Congratulations on your new business venture! You have just entered into an excellent commercial endeavor with outstanding potential for personal and long-range prosperity. Very soon, you will be experiencing the astonishing results of your new enterprise.
This step-by-step guidebook will assist you in learning more about the Magic Kids™! entrepreneurial opportunities, and give you everything you need to know to start out on your new journey as a
Magic Kids™ Dealer in the highly profitable children's clothing industry!
Magic Kids!™ has the unique ability to provide you with the latest in cutting edge children's fashions up to the most popular and sought after styles—appealing to children and adults alike—for a fraction of what your customers pay you. Our huge quantities of clothing production place us in the advantageous position of being able to sell our products to distributors like you at below wholesale prices! What does that mean? It means that you receive, quality, in-demand merchandise at prices lower than even large established wholesalers buy for. How's that for a foot in the door? Not a bad starting point!
Magic Kids!™ offers a beautiful selection of children's clothing, from basics to very fancy, from infants and toddlers to big kid sizes, in both the "traditional
collection," matched "set pieces," "key items," or "separates." This strategy allows you, as a Magic Kids!™ distributor, to sell to all buying family members from the grandmothers and grandfathers to the more practical minded moms and dads, effectively competing with "the big guys," like Wal-Mart and Target.
Beautiful color photos of all
Magic Kids!™ apparel and "live" samples are supplied to you so that you can most effectively demonstrate the merchandise you are offering. Of course, it is the merchandise that your customers are paying for, but they are also buying good customer service. As a Magic Kids!™ independent distributor, not only are you in possession of some of the finest children's apparel at the lowest available prices, you are also privy to Magic Kids!™ sophisticated drop shipping service. This service provides direct shipping from our manufacturing warehouse direct to your customers—with your name on the invoice and packing slips! You needn't ever warehouse products yourself, or store expensive box and packaging materials. Magic Kids!™ handles all that for you. View Catalog at www.jonaskidsclothing.com
Good customer service also depends on you. A recent study performed in Wisconsin indicates that, nationally, customer satisfaction relies on not only prompt shipping and proper billing, but also courteous communication by company personnel. Next to food servers, there is probably no profession more affected by direct customer communication than the sales profession. Where a rude or disinterested sales person will sell very little, a polite and helpful sales professional will experience an incredible response in generated first-time and return sales. According to the study, some people reportedly made purchases they knew they didn't even need just because they liked the product and they liked the salesperson.
Children's apparel in general is not a "big ticket item;" it won't take the same amount of consideration on the part of the customer as, say, the purchasing of a car or major appliance. With smaller ticket items, there is even a greater margin of "impulse" or quick-decision buying than on higher priced items. The customer typically asks herself, "What have I got to lose?" Magic Kids!™ offers just what the doctor ordered—a vast array of high-interest, high impulse, low-cost children's clothing that are sure to interest even the least impulsive customer—and most certainly the everyday shopper. You start out well ahead of the game, with not only uniquely marketable, high appeal children's wear, but you set the prices, making your operation the most flexible, customer-oriented, and ultimately lucrative it can possibly be!
This guide offers many different selling methods and applications. Within each chapter is a distinct selling marketplace or venue. Your assignment is to determine which sales approaches or techniques are best suited to your personality and your operation. The third chapter "WHOLESALING" is the most detailed and thought out of all chapters. The reason is because we here at Magic Kids!™ know from years of experience that wholesaling our Magic Kids!™ line to retail outlets
is the fastest way to build a high income. Many distributors choose more than one venue, and often distributors switch from one to another or add on as they grow and increase their profit margins. You would be wise to choose the wholesaling method as your main venue if you are after large orders and a profitable growing business. Furthermore, as you'll soon discover, we have developed the wholesaling method to be a hassle-free system for you to follow. You need no cash outlay, or have to worry about collections or shipments. Magic Kids!™ takes care of all that. You simply show samples, write the order and send it in to us.
No matter which method you choose, each chapter refers you to a 30-day Monthly Planning Table to get you started on your way. The individual chapters include:
- Wholesaling (will probably be your easiest and most profitable method of selling)—it is
a grander approach, based on the entrepreneur who is comfortable approaching retail merchants with the excellent Magic Kids!™ children's apparel line and able to capably set prices that work for both parties; Note: Wholesaling is the exact same approach which has built and made Magic Kids!™ what it is today. View Catalog at www.jonaskidsclothing.com
- Direct Sales to Consumers—as with wholesaling this approach is possibly the best suited to the new Magic Kids!™ Dealer and/or those with less opportunity or initial outlay available to get into other selling methods at the beginning;
- Party Selling—another less expensive way to sell, similar to selling to friends and family, which tends to make use of networking on a slightly more far-reaching scale than selling to friends and family, and, as well, may bring in retail customers and others who are likely to order for more than just their own families;
- Rack Merchandising—a method of selling that is similar to wholesaling in that it is a collaboration of sorts, yet a method that basically affords the seller his or her own rent-free merchandising center; View Catalog at www.jonaskidsclothing.com
- Magic Kids!™ on the World Wide Web—Internet Marketing is one method that can compliment any or all other methods you may choose. As the World Wide Web continues to provide the resources for over 50% of retail worldwide, customers are many and varied. This chapter explores some of the vast opportunities for Magic Kids!™ distributors via the Internet and its magnetic draw for shoppers;
- Mall Carts—a perfect way to capitalize on the impulse appeal of your Magic Kids!™ line as well as your own product mark-up. Shoppers expect to pay slightly higher prices at malls. You can be the one to reap the benefits; and
- Flea Market Sales—an excellent method of selling that combines the advantage of the excellent cost of goods to you, the distributor, with outlets packed with shoppers eager for bargains.
Whatever method you choose, you are in control. You are the boss. You set your prices—and you are free to adjust your prices. When you take orders, you order from Magic Kids!™ When selling to friends for example, you don't have to buy anything you haven't already sold if you don't want to. You can merely take the order, charge your customer for the item, deduct your profit and mail the order with payment of your cost to Magic Kids!™
We can ship the item to you for delivery or direct to your customer – whichever way you prefer. However, single unit orders are subject to a $5.00 service fee here at Magic Kids!™ You can save these $5.00 service fees by ordering a stock of at least 6 items or more per order, and selling them individually on the spot. Or, you can wait until you accumulate at least 6 separate orders from individual customers, and write out an individual order for all 6 outfits and send it in to
Magic Kids!™ to
be shipped direct to you. Using such tactics will save you $5.00 per outfit you sell. That's extra money you can put in your pocket, or pass on this saving to your customers to get more orders.
Which ever way you choose to operate here is one of the most incredible benefits of all that you will experience in distributing your Magic Kids!™ line!—no matter how many items you order—even if it's only 6 outfits—you will still receive the same low price you will receive when
ordering a thousand or more! Simply collect the payment, place the order with Magic Kids!™ … and pocket the profits!
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to Friends, Relatives &
A recent article in Leisure and Travel magazine reported that in 2001, 84% of customers polled ranked word of mouth as their number one confidence driver in making purchasing decisions. Word of mouth is simply what the term implies—ideas and recommendations made by someone directly in conversation. If salespeople could generate as great a word of mouth customer base as they could by mass market advertising via television, radio, and Internet, they probably would jump at the chance. A recommendation made by a family member or friend usually creates a powerful influence. That fact serves to make marketing directly to friends and family an excellent starting or push-off point for your Magic Kids!™ distributorship. Your family talks to one another; your friends talk to one another. Satisfy one or two, and the marketing has begun! View Catalog at www.jonaskidsclothing.com
This chapter is similar to the chapter on Party Selling, but represents a more informal approach to the selling by word of mouth. Refer to the Thirty-Day Monthly Planning Table in Party Selling for specific timing issues. In this chapter, your primary potential client rendezvous often will be unscheduled, and with those whom you already know; in Party Selling, your target meetings will be scheduled and consist of a mixture of some people you know and many you do not.
Because we do not all have the same size of family, with the same temperament and dispositions, or clustered location, etc., I will offer two separate scenarios and subsequent approaches to the direct selling of Magic Kids!™ children's apparel.
But first, one of the most important rules in business is: Know what it is that you do! This might sound like a ridiculous piece of advice, but it's amazing how many sales folks, particularly self-employed ones, cannot quickly respond to the question: What is it that you do? Try it out on some of your friends in business. The reason that answers are slow to come is often because the person is so involved in their business that they've forgotten how to identify clearly what they do. When selling to your family and relatives, knowing not only what you do, but who you are, as well, are the most important rules.
Fact: There are few people more interested in seeing you succeed than your family and close friends.
Here's another one: There are few people more interested in discussing your failures than your family and close friends.
That's not as horrible as it sounds—it's just human nature. And knowing that is key to good sales in close family and friend circles. Why? Because it represents a funny truth: People have very curious minds about people—particularly ones they know personally.
What does all of this have to do with selling? It's like this. If you decide to go the route of selling to family and relatives, close friends and the like, you must first decide that you are a children's clothing sales professional. You distribute for Magic Kids!™ under your own company name— View Catalog at www.jonaskidsclothing.com or just your own name. And you are going to make a lot of money. BUT…you are also Mom's youngest, or Joe's older brother, or Sue's best friend—whoever you may be specifically. You will be sharing catalogs with these folks, and offering them great opportunities to save money on really cute kids' clothes. But, unlike the customer you would meet as a salesperson on the floor of a Hecht Company Department Store, you know your friends and family quite well. You can't put on a salesperson persona and expect them to respond positively. They'd be offended. Or worse—amused.
On the other hand, unlike the Sears customer, you can talk to your family and friends casually on the phone, in their homes, or on the way to the grocery store. Having catalogs of the outfits available that you offer presents a wonderful opportunity for them. Children need clothing, and you can provide it. As we established, you are a sales professional. However, unlike in the store environment, in which you try to sell as many people as you can, in the up-close and personal environment, such as home or at your best friend's house, the wise objective is to introduce one, talkative person to your products initially.
A Maryland poll indicated that most people would be more likely to buy a product they needed or wanted if a friend told them about it than if a friend tried to sell it to them. They would certainly buy it from the friend that they had learned about, but their receptiveness is much greater to the idea coming, as they say, "round robin." This is why I mentioned earlier that people like to talk about people. That works for you in this situation.
Approach Number One
Say your chatty friend, Beth, has two children and one on the way. A common situation these days. Your sister, on the other hand is expecting her first, and your cousin already has two boys. If you've told your mom that you are distributing Magic Kids!™ clothing, your sister and cousin probably already know. So, is that when you go to them?
No. You go instead to your chatty friend Beth. Why? Because she will probably want to buy items from your catalog—but also because she'll tell other people about it. Even if she doesn't know your mom, you can tell your mom that Beth bought six layettes for her expected little one and a summer outfit each for her other two children. She'll pass it on to your sister and cousin. What will be the first thing they'll discuss amongst themselves? More than likely, it will go something like:
Sister: So what is Jenny up to with all the kids' clothes?
Cousin: I think your mom said she's actually a distributor for some company that makes them.
Sister: Distributor? What do you mean, she's like, a sales person?
Cousin: Yeah. She's sort of doing the Amway thing or something.
Sister: Wow. I wonder if they're any good.
Cousin: They must be. Her friend Beth bought like eight things off her.
Sister: You're kidding! Hmm…
Cousin: You know Beth, the best of everything for her kids.
Sister: Yeah, so they're probably really expensive.
Cousin: No, what I heard was that they were incredibly reasonable. Jenny gets some kind of great deal from the company she distributes for.
Sister: Well, she better talk to me about it. I can't believe she'd go to Beth before her own sister…
Make sure you have plenty of business cards on hand when you are out; you'll see people in your neighborhood and around the local area who have heard about Magic Kids!™ but don't know your phone number.
Maybe you don't have a close-knit family, but you gather for holidays. There's nothing more intriguing than finding a catalog on the Christmas buffet or Thanksgiving card table, especially one with the name of a friend or relative as the distributor written on it. This peaks the interest before you even discuss your products with them.
Approach Number Two
Many families in the Twenty-First Century are not centrally located—some are scattered all across the country, if not the globe! For these families, the holidays and special occasions within the family tend to act as a gathering force for the family. If this describes your family situation, you may be more suited to using approach number two.
Although selling to family and close relatives and friends is less formal than the party approach, a party or family gathering offers an ideal but casual opportunity for you to share your Magic Kids!™ line. At Christmas, even though a lot of buying has already been done on gifts and novelties, your family members are likely to be very interested in practical, well-priced articles of clothing that they have probably overlooked in their flurry of toy shopping.
So an ideal time to leaf through one of our beautiful Magic Kids!™ catalogs would be while folks are relaxing and chatting with people they haven't seen in months. You can't be everywhere at once, but if you have arranged to have enough supplies, you can let your catalogs do the work for you as they travel back to Alaska, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and New Orleans, etc. with your far-reaching family members.
Let them know that you can arrange special deals for them (that you might not offer to all of your customers), that you have a lot of new and great styles coming every season and that aside from the great kids' clothes at great prices, they'll save the hassle, time and expense of going out to the mall. No more backaches from pushing the stroller and running after the three-year-old while grasping coats, a purse, and several heavy packages. They just pick up the box or parcel at the doorstep and take it inside.
It's courteous to call Mom or Grandma, or whoever is hosting the family gathering in advance and let him or her know that you would like to share your products. If you don't do this, it's possible that you could step on some toes; on the other hand, if you do, you could very well get in a little "advance marketing." A conversation might go like this:
Mom: I hope you're not calling to tell me you have some important business and can't make it for Christmas!
You: No, no. I'll be there. I can't wait! But I do have a new business. It's going to make it possible for me to make the money I need and start spending more time with Bob. And I'll be able to travel whenever I need to.
Mom: It sounds like you've become your own boss! Now, don't get too high for your bridges.
You: I actually am my own boss, Mom. I've signed onto a great opportunity and I'm hoping to get started over the holidays.
Mom: Oh dear. You're not selling some sort of cleaning products are you? That's the last thing anybody in this family needs. I think your brother Steve still has a closet of orange wonder from six years ago.
You: No. Actually, it's a really good product because people need it and I can get really decent prices.
Mom: What is it, then?
You: It's kids clothes. All kinds of them, and with regular updates on styles and seasonal wear. It's really terrific stuff.
Mom: Yeah, but if it's pricy, honey, I don't think you better expect Lou and Donna to be able to…
You: No, Mom, that's why I picked this business. It's not expensive to the buyer at all. I can set the prices, in fact. I will give Lou a discount—he's got seven kids, for heaven's sake. But I guess I'm just trying to, you know, get the OK with you so when I get there with my catalogs and all, you don't think the Fuller Brushman has landed…
Mom: (Laughing) Oh, good heavens no. Actually, I think you've got yourself a good business. In fact, I'd like to take a look at your catalogs myself. Gramma always wants to buy for her grandkids. Speaking of which, just when can I expect you and Bob to start…
Your exact approach is that which is most like you; don't change into a salesperson hat when you talk to people you know. Just be yourself. Be enthusiastic and realistic about your products, but don't overdo it. Remember, Magic Kids!™ offers enough product appeal and necessity incentive to just about sell itself. When you are around those you know, talk about your new opportunities for them with enthusiasm and genuine interest.
For all of the special handling, family, relatives, and close friends tend to be the most loyal and long-term group of buyers you can get. It is worth the investment in time and ingenuity to get things started out right.
DIRECT SALES TO CONSUMERS
In it's original form door-to-door sales dates back to the early 1800's. Many of the world's great financial empires were built upon the efforts of a door-to-door peddler – usually the owner of what eventually became a vast corporate complex.
Door-to-door sales is one of the most consistently profitable fields in the world of consumer marketing. The operation of door-to-door selling is very simple. An assortment of Magic Kids! is carried in a sample case. A route is then pre-planned in a residential, or more preferably, a
present. The operator then displays the products on a door-to-door basis. Transactions are for cash only, and the item is delivered on the spot.
Operating under this method, you will soon discover that your profits relate to the number of calls you make to consumers. It's a numbers game. For any given number of total visits, there will always be a percentage of rejections, and a certain number of sales. You will also find that there are always people with cash on hand, ready to buy at any given time. The door-to-door sales agent knows this and realizes that these buyers will be uncovered in the course of knocking on doors.
GET OTHERS TO SELL FOR YOUMagic Kids! dealers are in an ideal position to recruit sub-dealers who will do the selling for them. You probably realize that in every city, large or small, there are thousands of opportunity seekers who would welcome the potential for the kind of excellent profits that can result from door-to-door sales to consumers.
Magic Kids! wide selection of beautiful kids wear is perfectly suited for door-to-door selling. This is a selling plan that requires a minimum investment. It is not unusual for one individual in one day of work to yield up to $200 in clean profits in this dynamic field!
A Magic Kids! dealer can effectively cover an entire city with a small group of sub-dealers who will be selling a continuing flow of merchandise for you.
FIRST STEP – SELECTING MERCHANDISE
You should have a mix of different items or styles on hand. As in the PARTY SALES program, you can select your initial array of products in one of two ways for door-to-door sales. You can make individual choices from the Magic Kids! product catalog, or you can order a best-seller assortment. In either case, you'll have outfits that are proven profit-makers.
Obviously, the more choices you can offer your customers, the more chance you'll have to write an order. So, with your budget in mind, sit down and carefully prepare your initial selection. You won't make anything less than a good choice, because Magic Kids! knows what sells!
SECOND STEP – CHOOSE YOUR METHOD OF OPERATION
- Take the order, but tell the customer that the item must be specially ordered for them. Deliver it later when you will get the full amount owed for the item.
- Ask for cash – and deliver the item on the spot. You'll find that the majority of your orders will be on that basis. Should you accept personal checks? The answer is an absolute yes – unless you want to severely limit your sales. Take reasonable precaution by writing down the driver's license numbers, or making a short note of other suitable identification. Give some thought to your prices. In door-to-door selling, pricing your merchandise should be simple because you can ask your customer to pay the suggested retail price. But there are some interesting things you can do to make a purchase more attractive to a consumer:
- You can offer a discount off of suggested retail prices.
- You can offer a free gift with every purchase. This can be more exciting to your customers than a discount!
THIRD STEP – WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR YOU FIRST DAY OF DOOR TO-DOOR SELLING
- Your Magic Kids! order forms. These are vitally important. You'll want to give each customer a copy and keep a copy for your files. That's a good way for you to build your CUSTOMER
- Your Magic Kids! catalogs, with your contact information on them as well as business cards to leave with your customers. This can generate repeat orders.
- A wide variety of samples which your budget permits.
- An adequate quantity of free gifts. This would be a wise tactic if you wish to provide an added incentive to potential buyers.
FOURTH STEP – RECRUITING SUB-DEALERS
While door-to-door sales to consumers can provide an excellent income for you when you operate by yourself, Magic Kids! urges you to take the fullest possible advantage of the power of sub-dealers – where others sell for you. They can make sales calls for you, and you can concentrate on the vital business of supplying merchandise to them and planning future growth and so forth.
The wisest way to begin is to start your door-to-door sales alone. After a few weeks, you'll have a clear grasp of the tactics, you'll have your operating guidelines polished, and you'll most definitely have leads on a number of individuals who will be more than happy to go to work for you. That may be the perfect time to take the necessary steps and start your recruitment effort.
Sub-dealers may come from your customers or maybe even friends or relatives. Remember, you can get dozens of people to go out and sell for you. The income possibilities are huge and the initial investment is minimal.
As you make more and more sales, you'll have many opportunities to meet people of all kinds. Keep alert. Whenever a customer shows admiration for your product, and indicates a desire for a profitable, interesting employment, you have a perfect lead for a potential sub-dealer.
WATCH YOUR BUSINESS GROWThe most effective way to assure rapid growth of your door-to-door sales business is to give your 100%, total commitment to the satisfaction of your customers. Each customer must understand and see that you are concerned. The best way to do this is to talk with them, and to personally follow-up once or twice a month without fail. This will almost always create referrals, loyal customers, larger orders, and more profits for you.
You may want to simply have parties yourself, and invite different groups of friends for each occasion. But, in time, most distributors feel that they would like to benefit further and enjoy added growth and profits by starting out with at least a couple of Party Reps. The following procedural guidelines offer some direction in both areas.
First, whether you decided to go it alone, or seek out assistants in your business, take a few minutes to consult the Monthly Planning Table at the end of this chapter to help you plan your parties. Magic Kids!™ doesn't offer advice on themes or what to serve, rather, how to be budget your time so that what you need for your parties is available by the time your occasion rolls around.
Set-Up Steps:First of All:
Read through all of your Magic Kids!™
literature. Try to be especially familiar with some items that you like particularly so that you can talk comfortably about them with your customers. Read over the price lists and get an idea of which items are higher priced, and which are most economical. Go through and make mental notes of the sizes and generally what color-ranges apply to what styles. Then, if you find that you have questions, and even just to get comfortable with the products, call your Magic Kids!™
consultant. Go over any questions or concerns you might have.
If you are using a Party Rep, go over the specific figures, or sales incentives you are offering. Sometimes, this includes not only a percentage of the sales she makes, but also a host or hostess gift.
Next, decide on a guest list. The ideal party—either for business or purely social—includes a collection of people who like each other or are likely to like each other. This is more easily accomplished when you are the host. But as you branch out, encourage your Party Reps to consider the value of having a socially and professionally balanced crowd. Professionally balanced, however, does not mean that all of the guests are either at the same level in their careers or in the same profession. Rather, it means that the guests tend to share things in common that balance the party atmosphere.
For instance, if you are inviting women friends, choose ten to twenty women who will each find something in common with at least one or two other women; maybe a few of them sew and do not go to work outside the home, while a few others are secretaries or clerks, possibly a few other are in professions that are high pressure. Many times, even the least likely people will mix and enjoy each other's company, but it's your job as host or hostess to arrange a collection of people who will most likely find at least one or two others whose company they will enjoy.
In a party of this nature, however, it's not necessary that your guests mix for long, as you will be conducting the course of the party from the start, and the social aspect of the function is somewhat limited.
Be sure to order an abundant number of catalogs and samples to have available for your guests to see.
Setting Up for the Party:
Select what refreshments you will serve and prepare for them to be there for the party. Parties offer a range from chips, dips, and punch or soft drinks, to wine, cheese and crackers. There is no need for or advantage to a party of this nature's including a full meal. Light but pleasing snacks, and coffee, tea and a light sweet is an excellent food layout for the occasion.
Next, check over your furniture. It's important to have two things: 1) enough seating for everyone; and 2) a table large enough to hold the samples you will display. The display should be well-lit and appealingly organized. Your samples should be clean and pressed, if appropriate, and include a big enough variety to show the wide range of clothing available from Magic Kids!™
You will also need a spot near your display to hold the many catalogs you need to have on hand. Have enough for each guest to take home one, and preferably a few extra.
Also, have available Party Rep sign-up sheets. These can be of your own design, but should include a space for name, address, phone number, and projected date of party to be hosted by the Party Rep.
Fill in the name of each guest on the nametags supplied by Magic Kids!™
and lay them on the table the day of the party. If you are the host, greet your guests warmly as you hand them their nametags. If you are working with a Party Rep, have him or her introduce each guest to you. Greet each with a smile and conversation. As you talk to them, try to get a sense of which guests might become future Party Reps. Offer your guests something to drink and a chance to meet the other arrivals.
Your PresentationEvery good speech starts out with a friendly or humorous little bit of conversation. This serves to lighten the mood, and makes your guests receptive to your presentation. Next, take the opportunity, while all attention is focused on you, to award the host or hostess gift you have selected to the host of the party (This applies only if the party is being held by a Party Rep. Otherwise, move on to the next step).
Next, begin with the article of clothing that you judge to be most attractive to your guests. It could be a matched outfit that sells for an especially reasonable price (which you have set to entice business). It could be our particularly attractive overalls that work for either girls or boys. Or, you could utilize the age-old practice of offering an inexpensive gift to accompany each order placed that day, such as a pair of socks or undershirt. If done at the beginning of your presentation, this not only gets the attention of your guests, but encourages them to pay attention to which items they will purchase in order to receive their complimentary gift.
During your presentation, utilize the "I'm just like you" sales technique—I have always wondered where I would find clothing that was beautiful, yet affordable enough to buy for my children; I hate racing through the mall with my kids in tow only to get home without everything I needed; just when I learned what my daughter liked, I couldn't find it anywhere because it was such a popular item the stores were sold out. If your guests relate to you as a person, meaning that your struggles were similar to theirs, they are more likely to relate to your solutions—
Magic Kids!™ clothing.
Another successful approach to presentation is to find something positive to say to your potential customers. "This is such a happy group!" or "Everyone here seems so comfortable with themselves!" Or, "I have seen some of your children, and I know they are absolutely darling little boys and girls!" Compliments work on groups just as they do when selling to an individual. They provide a comfortable sense of self and therefore a less tense, apprehensive approach to purchasing.
Additionally, consider taking the opportunity to express your appreciation for your guests. An example, such as, "Thanks for making me feel welcome up here," often gives the customer a sense of mild superiority. That feeling goes a long way when one is considering making a purchase.
But most of all, as you stand there, demonstrating Magic Kids!'™ wonderful children's apparel, remember that showing how much fun the party can be will lead to the emergence of other Party Reps. Get-togethers that are fun always create in others the desire to duplicate them—and the good times.
After your presentation, your guests will browse through your Magic Kids!™
samples and catalogs. Some may express interest in hosting future parties. Respond enthusiastically and offer that guest the pre-designed form to fill out and your business card. Do this in clear view of the other guests so that they, too, can consider hosting parties for your Magic Kids!™ children's clothing. There is nothing improper in bringing up the topic yourself, either, if you have a shy group. But do not be pushy or by any means "hard sell" the Party Rep idea.
Be prepared to accept orders for clothing on the spot, of course. Some of your guests will want to pay cash; others will want to pay by check. Maybe you have a merchant account with major credit cards as well. For your cash customers, make sure you have arrived with change in hand to take advantage of their immediate needs. It is important that your customers pay at the point of sale, in other words, when they place their order. This is essential, as (unlike orders from retailers) you pay when you place your order with Magic Kids!™
Explain to your customers that they will receive their purchases directly from Magic Kids!™ (or that you will deliver their item yourself if you prefer we ship the items to you instead).
Make sure that each customer has a copy of his or her completed order form, marked paid, or paid by check. Then make sure that each Party Rep receives copies of the information on hosting your Magic Kids!™
Gather all of your order forms and payments, as well as Party Rep sign-up sheets. Package up your samples. Keep the names and addresses of the guests who have not elected to serve as Party Reps for future contacts and to place on your mailing list.
As you guests leave, thank them for coming and encourage them to call with any questions. Any opportunity for contact is an opportunity for either future business or the possibility of a future Party Rep. Keep it friendly, and keep it light.
After the Party: View Catalog at www.jonaskidsclothing.com
Following the party, it is essential to place your orders as soon as possible. If you can do so by the next day, that is very good timing. Be meticulous about address information on the orders that are to be shipped to the customer directly.
Once you have handled the business generated from your party, take the time to create a small but effective newspaper want-ad for Party Reps. Often such ads are placed in the Help Wanted section of newspapers, other time in the Business Opportunities section. A good example might be:
EARN GREAT PROFITS working from home! Fun. Great opportunity to prosper in your own merchandising business. No investment required—we supply it all! Mary Smith (555) 555-5555.
Call one or two newspapers and get classified rates. Play around with the wording so that you can qualify for a quantity discount if you like, but place the ad in a larger, city newspaper, and also, if you like, in a smaller, local newspaper.
Meanwhile, once about a week or so has passed, check with your customers to make sure they received their merchandise. Answer any questions they have, and see if they would like to order anything else.
When you start receiving phone calls from your newspaper ads, make appointments to meet with your potential Party Reps.
How do you choose your Party Reps?
- A good Party Rep has enthusiasm and a friendly, conversational personality. This does not mean that a good Party Rep has to be "bubbly" or extremely outgoing; just a person who is clearly comfortable with others;
- Your Party Rep should have a reasonable ability to plan and manage the parties he or she will be giving, so they should have some organizational skills;
- Finally, you are best paired with an honest Party Rep, who will serve the customers well and encourage repeat business.
Also at your meeting, show some Magic Kids!™
samples. After all, these are your bread and butter—together with their great prices, they are an unbeatable necessity. Give your Party Rep an opportunity to ask any questions and get familiar with the Magic Kids!™
You can charge a modest refundable fee at sign-up if you choose, and include with that fee the Magic Kids!™
starter kits and information. If a Party Rep pays even a small fee to get "in" they are more likely to take the business seriously.
Follow-up with your Party Reps, inquiring about their projected party dates and if they need your assistance. Always be available to them for help and support, especially for their first parties. Fill their orders just as promptly as you possibly can, making sure to get names and addresses correctly.
Very quickly, you will be collecting more and greater profits!
Party & Personal Selling
Monthly Planning Table
|Go over the Magic Kids!™|
materials, familiarizing yourself so that you are comfortably knowledgeable about the product and selling procedure, making notes on what you don't understand; call your Magic Kids!™
|Day #2||Think about people you know who are likely to say yes to hosting a Magic Kids!™|
party. Make a list of them and call each, discussing the benefits and opportunities of selling our stylish and inexpensive children's apparel. Set a goal for the number of parties you expect to be able to help set up in the following six weeks.
|Day #3||Order the supplies you or your Party Reps will need, as well as whatever samples you feel you will need. Talk to your new Party Reps and determine the percentage of the sales you will be offering each in terms of incentive. Be clear and concise.|
|Day #14||Deliver the Magic Kids!™ supplies to your Party Reps. Discuss the specific party set-up. Go over any questions they might have.|
|Day #21||You'll be enjoying hosting your first parties! Be sure to follow the information offered in this manual to keep things going smoothly, quickly, and profitably!|
|After the Party:||Make sure you immediately fill your orders with Magic Kids!™—let the money-making begin!|
|Day #22||Create a short ad offering opportunities to make money at home using your own upbeat and interest-provoking wording.|
|Day #23||Place your ad in one or two local newspapers, ideally one larger, or city newspaper, and one smaller-sized paper.|
|Day #27||You'll be holding or assisting a Party Rep in holding your second or third party. Enjoy the benefits of experience and see how your increasing comfort with the process tends to increase numbers of sales!|
|Day #30||Check with your first party's customers to ensure that they have received and are pleased with their orders; see if they are ready to order any additional merchandise. Meanwhile set up appointments with prospects responding to your ads—you are on your way!|
LARGE ORDERS … BIGGER PROFITS!View Catalog at www.jonaskidsclothing.com
Wholesaling, or selling wholesale, is a way in which to sell higher quantities of a product, making less individual profit per piece, but a greater overall profit—and sometimes with less overall effort.
Wholesaling is a more professional approach to distributing leading to large volume, but does not have to be the only form of selling you choose. Many Magic Kids!™
distributors like you mix in wholesaling with other forms of selling, such as Rack Merchandising and Internet Marketing—or even selling to Friends and Relatives.
When you consider the Wholesaling approach, remember several things: 1. Your potential for profit is very high; 2. Your level of commitment need also be high; and 3. The importance of excellent Customer Service is at an all time high. If you feel you can go along with these three requirements, Wholesaling will prove to be the best and most profit-producing method for you!
You will follow a method that adheres roughly to these guidelines:
- Scan the local yellow pages and other phone books for likely prospects. This includes all clothing, often listed as "apparel" shops, department stores, children's shops, etc.;
- Set up appointments with a store merchandiser or the owner of the shop if it is a small store;
- Take samples and catalogs of Magic Kids!™
clothing and show the quality and variety as well as stylishness of each sample;
- Work out prices for your contact. Remember, you aim to sell quantities in wholesaling. You should adjust the price to a number that affords you a decent profit, but yet is very appealing to your prospect as well;
- Discuss with the customer what type of payment option they would like to choose (see end of chapter for payment options and guidelines). Take the orders and get deposits if applicable. You may find that the merchandiser is prepared to pay the total cost for the goods. In that case fine; but that is not very common. We will discuss the various payment options in great detail at the end of this chapter.
- Follow-up with your contact, either in person or on the phone, to assure him or her that you are around to answer any questions—and to take new orders. Keep new catalogs available to drop off to your contact.
Where Can You Find Good Wholesaling Prospects?
As noted above, the local phone books are the best and easiest starting point. But also consider looking in the newspapers for ads displaying sale items targeted at customers similar to yours. For instance, if you see Gap Kids offering some nice coordinated outfits for children, why not contact whoever's in charge of local merchandising and offer your Magic Kids!™ line for added variety and style to their offerings, at an excellent price.
In general, you will find that your retailers tend to fall into one of three categories—
a) independent retailers,
b) small chain stores, and
c) large retailer chains & franchises.
It would be wise to tailor your approach subtly according to the type of retailer you are meeting.
- Independent Retailers. Sometimes these small, individually-owned retailers are referred to as "mom & pop" stores. They are often family-owned and constitute a good living for one family or an extended family. They are not employers of thousands of sales clerks, advertising agents, etc. In fact, when you make your first phone call, there is a good chance that the person who answers the phone will be the person you are trying to sell. Start out warmly and professionally. Explain that you offer excellent children's apparel for excellent prices and that you would like a few minutes to meet with them to show samples and offer suggestions. You may get turned down. If so, simply add their name to your list to contact the following month. Needs are constantly changing. You can also offer your name and phone number in case they would like to contact you. If you do have the opportunity to meet, explain that you are local, you can get fast product delivery, that your very attractive, impulse-oriented merchandise is high quality, extremely well-priced and is offered in a great, eye-catching variety. Show by your demeanor and your presentation that you are dependable and easy to work with. Follow the complete step-by-step instructions at the end of this chapter when you receive orders for merchandise.
- Small Chain Stores. In medium to large-sized cities, you may find small chains of stores—possibly six, ten, or even fifteen—operating under the same name, such as Deb's, White's Children, Jamboree, or Call It Kids! Like the independent retailers, these chains are often managed and merchandised by only a few people, possibly even one. Occasionally, each store will house its own buyer. Approach small chains stores in much the same way you would independent retailers, understanding, of course, that the potential for large to very large orders is greater due to the larger public interface, or opportunity for sales. Follow the clear steps outlined at the end of this section in completing your sales.
- Large Retailer Chains & Franchisers. When dealing with large chains, you can really make some major profits. Franchisers own the store they operate, even if it has the name of a nationally known store. Chain stores, on the other hand, are all owned by the same person or corporation. But in either case, much of the same merchandise is bought and sold. Therefore, you have the potential to make enormous sales to large chains or franchisers. What's more, you have no need to be nervous simply because these groups are big. Your approach is pretty much the same, with the exception that you should expect to talk to more than one person before you are able to set up an appointment. Explain that you have an excellent line of children's clothing for outstanding prices and that you would like to speak to the buyer for the store. Arrange either to call back, receive a return phone call, or better yet—set up an appointment. It may take a couple of calls to get to that point. You will proceed with the steps outlined at the end of this chapter. However, with one notable exception; selling to large chain stores, you do not have to ask for a deposit for the merchandise. Larger retailers enjoy the luxury in business of paying on "Net Terms." Usually this refers to Net 30, or within 30 days of receipt of the order. However, you should be prepared to fill out their credit information on the back of the Magic Kids!™As you can see, Magic Kids!™ does everything it can to make your task at getting orders from customers a no-hassle deal. You need no cash outlay to operate under this selling plan. You simply show samples, take the order and send it in to us. We ship the merchandise, collect payment, deduct our share and mail you your share of the profit as soon as we get paid by your customer. It can't get any easier than that for you.
order form and send it to us along with the order. Upon receipt of the order we will check your customer's credit for approval. If their credit rating is satisfactory, we will fulfill and ship the order and wait for payment. We will discuss this in great detail in just awhile.
Take your time securing a good contact list. Set up appointments with a firm with pleasant confidence, showing your potential retailers that you will be an excellent merchant contact. Follow through on all arrangement and assurances you have made. Even if you receive a turn-down the first few times, continue to approach good prospects. Not only may this ultimately yield lucrative accounts, it will also show your potential retailers that you are sincere and determined, and willing to go the extra mile to make the deal with them.
Always follow up with customers -- especially new ones. Make sure that their orders are correct and that they have everything they need. Call them weekly or bi-weekly to take additional orders and to look at your new Magic Kids!™
line which is constantly changing with each new season.
As you progress, in very little time, we assure you will see a big, marked change in your own personal assets!
IMPORTANT STEPS AND PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW AS YOU BUILD YOUR Magic Kids! TM WHOLESALING BUSINESS
The following step-by-step procedures which will guide your operations as a Magic Kids! ™
Dealer were developed with years of successful experience. This entire wholesaling plan was carefully designed with only one goal in mind:
To make it as easy as possible for you to earn maximum profits while providing the best possible service to your customers, at the lowest prices available in the country.
You are an independent contractor: As a Magic Kids! ™
Dealer, you are an independent contractor not an employee; you do not receive a salary. You send your orders to Magic Kids! ™
and receive your share of the profits on each order. The amount of profits you earn on each order will depend on the selling price you set. It's your business. You're the boss! You decide.
Setting Selling Price: It's in your control. You have every right to set the selling price for all items offered by Magic Kids! ™. Of course, in order to make more sales and acquire more accounts your prices need to be within reason as well as competitive. While Magic Kids! ™
supports the use of the prices published in your "white price list sheet", we recognize that special circumstances may justify price quotes below and at times even above stated catalog price. In such situations, you, as a Magic Kids! ™
dealer, are fully authorized to quote different prices you feel are appropriate at point of sell. Obviously, you will not quote lower prices than your cost – which is published in your confidential yellow price list (more on that later.)
Processing Orders: As long as your Magic Kids! ™
dealership is active and in good standing with the company, you have the right to process your customer's orders through Magic Kids! ™.
Choose Your Own Hours: You are free to work your Magic Kids! ™
dealership as you please, including establishing your own territories and customer base. There are no sales quotas required to maintain your dealership. However, failure to provide orders will result in your account being labeled "inactive", but it will be automatically reactivated at any time by submitting a new order.
If you become inactive for any reason without notifying Magic Kids! ™, we have the right to reassign your accounts to another dealer. However, this will not occur until you have been notified in writing. When an order is not received for a period of 3 months, you will be notified that your account is inactive and is subject to reassignment. One month will be given to you to advise us of your intentions with regard to your accounts and dealership. A single order of any kind will automatically reactivate your account. Mailings of new Magic Kids! ™
catalogs and news about new styles and products will cease if your dealership is inactive for a 2-month period but will automatically resume upon receipt of a current order.
Business Ownership: It's your business! You may manage, operate, and dispose of it as you please. Magic Kids! ™
products and kids wear are marketed exclusively through Magic Kids! ™
Federal or State Income Taxes:
Magic Kids! ™
does not withhold Federal or State income taxes or Social Security Self-Employment taxes from your share of the profits (issued to you in the form of a check after each successful transaction).
Credit and Collections: With regard to your wholesale accounts, Magic Kids! ™
takes all credit risks and performs shipping of all merchandise to your customers and collecting. As long as Magic Kids! ™
handles all billing, you have no financial exposure to your customer's failure to pay. Also, because Magic Kids! ™
ships merchandise direct to your customers and handles all billing, you have no cash outlay and need no monies to operate as a wholesaler. Your task is to simply show samples to your customers, write the orders, and send these orders to us for fulfillment.
HOW TO SET PRICES
Magic Kids! ™
is here to help you secure large orders. If your customer requests a price for a quantity larger than that shown in your "white price list sheet", call for a special quote.
You have the power of negotiation: Set prices as you wish. You can charge a customer the highest quantity price for any quantity within the pricing structure. What does that mean for you? It gives you the power of negotiation – the ability to set prices depending on your customer's requirement – and best of all, it gives you the power to determine what your own profit will be. You can make up your prices as much or as little as you want (as long as you don't charge a price less than YOUR cost).
For example: Let's say you have a customer interested in Style #123A. Let's look at this particular item's pricing structure:
|# of units||6-12||13-24||25-36||37-48||49-72||73-120||121-180||181-240|
|PRICE PER UNIT||$13.90||$13.60||$13.20||$13.00||$12.80||$12.40||$12.00||$11.80|
As you can see, the minimum quantity is 6 units with a catalog price of $13.90 each. Once again, you can offer the Highest Quantity Price (HQP) for any quantity price if you wish.
Let's take it one step further so you can realize the many possibilities you hold. Let's use the example above. Let's say your customer is interested in 48 units of Style 123A but is reluctant to pay the 48-unit price of $13.00 each. You hold the power of negotiation and can offer the item at any price down to the highest quantity price of $11.80 if you wish.
For this example, let's suppose you choose to offer your customer the 120-unit price which is, in this case, $12.40 each for your customer's order of 48. What does this do for you? It gives you the power of negotiation. You are not locked into any one price. If you're cost on this item is $10.00, your profit would be $115.20 (48 x $2.40 each). Do you see the advantage as well as potential here – you've got the power to negotiate price, and you've got the tools to increase your earnings. Of course, always strive to get the highest possible price you can (within reason).
LARGER QUANTITY QUAOTATIONS
For larger quantity orders than those published in your "white price list", if you must offer a lower price than your cost in order to get the order, contact us for special discounted pricing. Please contact us with complete information, including quantity, style #'s, etc. Most quotations can be prepared within 1 or 2 hours. Quotes can be accomplished by anyone in our Marketing Department staff.
Magic Kids! ™
OUR CREDIT DEPARTMENT WORKS FOR US AS WELL AS YOU!
Our credit department is here to protect Magic Kids' investment and our dealer's profits. We are here for you.
YOU CAN GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS DIFFERENT PAYMENT OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM
The payment types available to your customers depends on the size of their order. Payment types refer to the payment method available. For each transaction, Magic Kids!™
offers four different payment options to choose from.
These are the different options your customers have:
PREPAID ORDERS. By choosing this option, your customer pays the entire price of the order by check, money order, or by VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express, including transportation and sales tax at the time you take the order. Checks and money orders must be made payable to: Magic Kids & Company, Inc. VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express orders should be checked carefully and always be sure to mark the proper charge card box on the face of the order form. Also, don't forget to enter the customer's card number, the cardholder's name, the expiration date of the card, and the customer's phone number in the areas provided on the order form. The billing will appear on the customer's charge card statement and will be charged prior to production of the order. Your profit in the form of a check will be mailed to you immediately on all prepaid orders.
NOTE: If you should choose to use your own credit card to make payments for
the transaction, the full amount of the balance due Magic Kids! ™
less your profits, will be the amount you will need to enclose.
C.O.D. – with a 10% deposit. C.O.D. stand for "Cash On Delivery" and is a service we offer to any size order. However, if customer wishes to use this option, it is necessary that you collect a 10% deposit of the total order, payable to: Magic Kids & Company, Inc. We will ship the order, and the customer will pay the balance due at time of delivery, including sales tax and transportation charges. Once we receive payment on the balance due from the customer, Magic Kids! ™
will then deduct your share of profit (the difference between your cost and the price you charged your customer) and mail out your profit check immediately.
OPEN CREDIT – (a 50% deposit must accompany the order). The OPEN CREDIT option is an opportunity for your customers to establish credit with
Magic Kids! ™
On this type of order, it is necessary that you collect a 50% deposit of the total order which MUST be payable to: Magic Kids & Company, Inc. We will ship the order and then invoice the customer for the balance due on the order, including sales tax and transportation charges. Invoices are due in 30 days. Once we receive payment on the balance due from your customer, Magic Kids! ™
will then send out to you your share of the profits on this order. This OPEN CREDIT option helps your customer establish credit with Magic Kids! ™
without the necessity of additional credit information.
ESTABLISHED ACCOUNT ORDERS (no deposit need accompany the order). This type of order is for your customers that have established credit with Magic Kids! ™. All payments are due in 30 days. If paid within 10 days, your customer will receive a 1% discount. You must have your customer sign the order form, or
Magic Kids! ™
will refuse that order.
NOTE: Magic Kids! ™
automatically extends credit to nationally recognized organizations and chain stores such as K-Mart, Wal-Mart, JC Penny, Sears, Macy's, etc. In such cases, no deposit need accompany the order. If in doubt, you should contact Magic Kids! ™
for current OPEN CREDIT terms for the organization in question. Signed purchase orders will be accepted and must be made to: Magic Kids & Company, Inc.
OPEN CREDIT ACCOUNTS (with no deposit) can be established by firms and professionals who have a credit worthy rating in Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) or InfoUSA. As a D&B and InfoUSA subscriber, Magic Kids! ™
Credit Department can quickly and easily determine the credit history of your customer and establish them in our system with a credit limit.
Businesses who are not rated in D&B or InfoUSA will be asked to furnish trade or credit references. These are places at which they have established credit other than banks and charge cards, and preferably had open account terms within the past 12 months. This is a common business practice and most places of business have a list readily available to offer. Their good credit should be a source of pride. If a company is hesitant to offer credit references, this could be a signal of a less than desirable credit rating, and you should strive to have them prepay the order. Also, Magic Kids! ™
generally, will not extend credit to individuals. We request these orders be prepaid.
Magic Kids! ™
Credit Department completes the credit investigation on these applications by telephone and fax. Orders will not be processed until they are approved. You will be notified of any problems or if additional information is needed to expedite the application. After 30 days if the references are not approved and we cannot get the additional information needed from the customer, we will require that customer to either prepay the order or have it shipped C.O.D. If customer declines the order will be cancelled.
WHEN IS YOUR SHARE OF PROFITS PAID TO YOU?
Depending on the type of order you submit, your share of profits will be issued as follows:
Fully prepaid orders. Your profit in form of a check will be issued and mailed out to you upon receipt of your customer's order.
C.O.D. (with a 10% deposit). Your profit in form of a check will be issued and mailed out to you upon receipt of payment from your customer. In this case, customer will pay the same day merchandise is delivered.
OPEN CREDIT. Your profit in form of a check will be released upon receipt of full payment of the invoice balance from your customer due in 30 days.
ESTABLISHED ACCOUNT ORDERS. Your profit in form of a check will be released upon receipt of full payment of the invoice balance from your customer.
TRANSPORTATION & SHIPPING OF MERCHANDISE
TO YOUR CUSTOMERS -- WHO PAYS?
Magic Kids! ™
ships all orders F.O.B. warehouse. This means the buyer is responsible for payment of the shipping costs to deliver the merchandise from our warehouse to their business. We ship most orders via UPS. Keep in mind, UPS does not deliver to PO Box addresses. Your order form provides space for specifying your customer's preferred shipping method. In most cases they will probably choose regular Ground shipping. Magic Kids! ™
will bill any additional freight charges not properly calculated on a prepaid order.
HOW DO YOU CALCULATE REGULAR GROUND SHIPPING CHARGES
To simplify ground shipping costs on your order form, we suggest you calculate them as follows:
l $10.00 flat on all orders with a total amount of up to $100.00.
l 10% of the total amount of all orders with a total amount of $101.00 and up.
PRODUCTION AND DELIVERY TURN-AROUND TIME
Four variables control how soon your customer will receive their order:
The time it takes you to get the order to Magic Kids! ™
Magic Kids! ™
order processing time.
Magic Kids! ™
Shipping methods and schedule.
Usually your customer will receive their order within 3 weeks or less. This allows time for your order to reach Magic Kids! ™. (You can fax the order if it is by credit card or if it is an ESTABLISHED CREDIT ACCOUNT and no deposit is enclosed. Obviously you must mail the order if a check or money order is enclosed). This 3-week period also includes Magic Kids! ™
processing time (for credit checks, etc.), production time, and shipping time.
Several tactics can be used to cut down delivery time. You can fax the order to Magic Kids! ™
(provided it does not include a check or money order), use overnight mail to speed the order to Magic Kids! ™, or if the customer chooses, specify Next Day or Second Day shipping on the order form.
The Magic Kids! ™ order form allows 3 choices of delivery requirements:
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. This will probably be your customer's most common choice.
EVENT DELIVERY OR NOTIFY. Checking this box means your customer must take possession of the order no later than the date specified on the order. You should contact Magic Kids! ™
when there is any doubt about our ability to perform on the required delivery date. We will advise if event date cannot be met. This box on the order form should be used only when there is a bona fide special event such as a convention, trade show, or affair. On event-dated orders, we suggest that you call us and check on the progress of the order.
DO NOT SHIP BEFORE. Using this delivery option usually indicates that your customer is anticipating limited space, need for the order after a certain event, or any combination of these and other factors This option is also used by customers who order seasonal merchandise at a much earlier date (for example: if they are placing an order of an Easter line back in January). This box indicates a shipping date. It must not be used for event dates.
Customer sometimes requests more than one shipping date for one or more items. This is particularly true in the instance of major buyers ordering large quantities of a single item for a planned distribution schedule. For example, your customer may want 10,000 outfits with 4000 to be shipped within 30 days, 4000 to be shipped in 60 day, and 2000 in 90 days. Magic Kids! ™
can accommodate such orders.
The proper way is to write a separate order for each shipment as each quantity will be billed separately. Indicate "Split Shipment" and list "1 of 3 shipments for total quantity price". Split shipments are invoiced in the same manner standard orders are invoiced.
Monthly Planning Table
|Day #1||Familiarize yourself with the information in this chapter. Decide how you would like to start out in wholesaling and what size retailer you are aiming for. Scan the phonebooks to locate your targeted objectives. Make a list of those target stores. Contact your coach with any questions you may have.|
|Day #2||Make a list of the business materials you will need, such as business cards, order forms, stationary, etc. Order what you will need.|
|Days #3 - #7||Make your first calls to retailers, remembering that you won't always get an appointment from your first effort. Set appointments for around a week from the day you set the appointment.|
|Day #8||You will have received your business cards by now, most likely, so go to your appointments with confidence. If you have not been able to make any appointments, take your sample kit with you and try some stop-in type meetings with smaller retailers during typically slow times of business.|
|Day #9||Place any orders you receive promptly, making sure that every bit of information on it is accurate.|
|Day #12||Follow-up with merchants to make sure that merchandise has been received, that everything is to their complete satisfaction. Develop a good relationship with each of your customers.|
|Day #15||Make new attempts at contacting untapped resources in phone books or newspaper ads; visit children's clothing stores to get display ideas to offer to your retailers.|
|Day #16||Stay current! Make sure you have enough business cards, order forms, catalogs, and samples to share with your customers. Keep your current customers up-to-date on any new catalog items that have arrived. Contact your coach to update him or her on your progress and get any advice he or she may have to offer.|
|Day #24||Repeat your search for new customers. If you have already managed to obtain as many as you can handle, go back to each and find out what new items they would like to order. Order their merchandise from Magic Kids!™|
|Day #30||Take a good look at your first month. Is there anything you can improve on? Are you ready to expand further or should you stay at your current level for a few months. Reward yourself with a nice gift and get back to work!|
What is Rack Merchandising?Rack merchandising is a method of selling in which the merchandise being sold is placed on its own, seller-owned display rack inside the selling establishment.
How Does it Work?There are two methods commonly used in the sales arrangement of rack merchandising.
First; the store owner purchases the merchandise, usually with a special guarantee from you the seller.
Secondly; the store owner accepts the merchandise "on consignment," or with the agreement that when it sells, the merchandiser will pay the seller.
We will be discussing the first arrangement. Note: Use of the second arrangement is risky, as your merchandise is then unprotected and disagreements could arise, causing problems with your merchant relationship.
AdvantagesRack Merchandising has a number of advantages. Typically, it works well for an independent-minded seller who has a well-organized distributorship, likes to get out of the office—or wants to work toward employing a delivery man—and has an eye toward building a long-term, high-yield business. It involves regular maintenance of the racks with limited interaction with the sales staff. If you've ever, for instance, been in a 7-11 or a WaWa when the Lay's Potato Chips delivery guy arrives, you may have noticed that he's in and out very quickly, and his only contact is a quick "Hi, how are you?" with the manager as the manager signs a piece of paper the delivery guy has on a clipboard. The Lay's Potato Chips fellow is a rack merchandiser—strictly for Lay's, of course. The same goes for most of the merchandise you see in children's outlets, high-brow children's apparel shops in busy cities, and independent department stores.
One of the greatest advantages of Rack Merchandising is that you do not need to OK the re-stocking with the merchandiser. In fact, it's your job to make sure the rack is well-stocked. Where selling to a store, you must take an order for what is needed, as a Rack Merchandiser, you decide what is needed and supply it. This enables you to eventually predict what your orders will be. As you learn what items sell in which stores and what types of clothing are best suited to the clientele of each location in which you have placed a rack display, you become very comfortable with the purchasing tendency. Not only does this allow you to predict your orders, it also allows you to manipulate the business by gearing your displays toward your buying public. For instance, if you are selling more very young children's clothing than the stylish big girl and big guy clothing, than you could stock more of the younger children's things—possibly augmenting your display with a toy that would attract the attention of the adult buying for the young child, or even the young child himself. The manager of the store would be very pleased by a Rack Merchandiser taking this sort of initiative, since the more he sells, the more he makes.
Another advantage to Rack Merchandising is that it offers the Magic Kids!™
Dealer the choice of going full-throttle into mega-sales, or simply working a few locations and making a regular but satisfying income. If you are not willing to work at a full-time distributorship, but feel certain that you could set up several racks nearby, this selling approach offers you a great outlet for business. Or, if after a while, you decide that you want to build a large and growing business, you can increase your business at any time.
Additionally, Rack Merchandising tends to generate long-term selling relationships. Because you are low maintenance, and in offering Magic Kids!™
clothing, you offer a product that yields high sales, you are a pleasure for the merchandiser to work with. You cause him no trouble and, with you, he makes a profit.
In PreparationAlthough the phone book and newspaper ads will help you in getting ideas for contacts, you will need to visit the actual locations. The reason: You must scout out the available free space in each establishment. Many clothing or children's shops do not make use of quite a bit of space. It's up to you to find this space. Try to envision the dimensions of the area and match it up with one of Magic Kids's!™
display racks. Is there space in the babies' section? What sorts of clothing items could use enhancing in that department? Maybe they don't have much of a variety of infant sleepers. Or maybe there are only a few varieties of little girls play sets. You make notes on these things, as later, you will discuss exactly this with the proprietor. By the way, when you first accept an order, it will be a collaboration of your suggestions and the manager's choices from your samples and catalogs. It is after that that you will maintain the rack according to sales and projected sales.
When you go to your office, look at your notes and see what samples you should order. You should have something concrete to show the merchandising personnel once you visit. Of course, you will also take along our beautiful Magic Kids!™
catalogs so that he can see all of the choices available to him. But samples of what you think would do well are good salespeople for you—they show the quality and craftsmanship of the Magic Kids!™
Also, take the time to consider the type of rack that suits your purposes. It should be somewhat in line with what is in the store already, but still the right size and height for your needs. And, if appropriate, decide on whatever display enhancement you are going to try, such as a brightly colored toy or eye-catching picture.
Once you have decided what you need in terms of space, merchandise and display rack, make up a list of these things to go over when you are able to meet with your prospective customer. Call your coach to get help on anything you might be fuzzy on, from numbers of items to the amount of variety you should place on one rack, etc.
Then, order the samples you think are best suited to show the merchandiser. They should be along the lines of what you think needs boosting the most in the establishment. They may not be what the proprietor wants, but they serve as a starting or push-off point for discussion.
Finally, you are ready to make your contact. Choose a slow business time period. This is often around 10:00 am for clothing and children's stores, or around dinner time. Call or visit the store you wish to do business with, being sure to take with you your samples, catalogs, order forms, and business cards at the appointed time.
Meeting the ContactAs always, when you meet with prospective clients, listen to anything he has to say while making your presentation. Show interest toward and make notes of his experience in sales at his establishment.
During the conversation, consult your own notes, either mentally or by a quick look at your clipboard, and offer the ideas you had when you visited the place earlier. Do so even if they do not seem to mesh with his preconceived notions. Sometimes, a merchandiser will not have thought of something an outside merchandiser can see. Often, they welcome new ideas.
Show your samples and accentuate the craftsmanship, the freshness of the fashion, and the many opportunities for updating and variety in the rack. Then, go on to pricing.
With Rack Merchandising, you will use what we discussed briefly at the beginning of this chapter. It is called Guaranteed Sale pricing. Basically, you agree to sell to the merchandiser only those items that will sell within sixty days. This is a reasonable amount of time. If the items do not sell in that period of time, you will replace them with other items that sell faster. Under these terms, the merchandiser agrees to pay on delivery. This way, the merchandiser is not bogged down with merchandise on his property that does not sell, and you are paid promptly on delivery. Sometimes, however, you will be asked to accept open account billing, or, similar to Net Terms, "float" the individual for a period of up to 30 days. The option is yours, however, unless you have enough capital to afford this, we strongly suggest that you "work up" to such an arrangement with a particular store after, say, six months of good business. Operating under the Rack Merchandising method is unlike placing orders for large retail stores under the Wholesaling plan, whereas Magic Kids!™ extends OPEN CREDIT to your customers, ships the merchandise and invoices the customer for a later payment. As a Rack Merchandiser you will need to purchase the items from Magic Kids,™ deliver the items yourself and get paid by your customer for the items at time of delivery. Many distributors manage this in the beginning via the use of credit cards. In time, as your business grows, you may choose other methods of financial management.
To establish individual item prices, it is good to follow the 50-50 rule. That is, you receive 50% profit, and the merchandiser receives 50% off retail prices. For instance, if you will pay Magic Kids!™ $10 for a girls' dress that retails let's say for $32. Than attach a $32 tag to the dress and charge the store $21. The store makes $11 and you make $11. It's a 50-50 deal, and the price is still incredibly enticing.
We do not recommend selling on consignment, as the drawbacks can prove financially devastating. Your merchandiser may expect you to accept returned merchandise that is soiled, torn, or in some way made un-resellable. Enough of this type of thing, and your profits are too low to constitute business. Also, consignment selling does not allow you to grow at anywhere near the speed of the Guaranteed Sale method.
Before you leave with your order, make sure you have agreed on prices of items, or at least that your pricing will be acceptable. You may need to work things out at your office in larger orders. Of course leave a catalog and any promotional materials and your business card, in order to keep your name and phone number handy. Let him know that you will order his merchandise immediately and deliver it within the agreed upon time frame. Have him or her sign the order and then go—let him get back to business as you go and take more orders!
The Next StepGo through the order. Contact your coach if you feel the need to iron out any details. Then place the orders for both the merchandise and the rack or racks. You will not use the drop shipping service in Rack Merchandising. Your Magic Kids!™
apparel will be shipped directly to you.
When the order arrives, go through it to make sure what you have ordered is there. Then go through and price each individual item. For this process, you can simply stick the retail price on the dress. Or you can use a pricing gun, an easy-to-use gadget sold in office supply stores such as Office Depot and even Wal-Mart.
Then, take the order and rack to the store. If you can, take along a flash camera as well. Have the manager or merchandising personnel go through the items with you, counting each category to ensure that there won't be any later claims of shortages, and have him or her sign off on the order. Then—very important!—collect payment for the order. Once you have paid the bill on your purchase of Magic Kids! clothing, you have pocketed your first Rack- Merchandising order! And from there, it becomes so much easier—and the money keeps coming in!
Tell the manager that you will check frequently on the clothing, making sure that the rack is well-stocked, and attractively arranged. This can only benefit both you and the store. It is a well-known fact that customers like to buy from large groups of things. Would you rather select a pair of gloves from a nicely arranged table of 100 pairs, or from a table bearing only 3 pairs and one unmatched glove? Any good manager knows this to be true and will welcome your regular attention.
Finally, get a nice photo shot of the display, possibly with some indication of the store name in it. This photo will serve as a sample to your business acumen along with the Magic Kids!™ clothing samples. It will also show how nice the clothing items look and the degree of variety that one customer has chosen. Possibly, down the line, you can also have the manager or merchandiser write a few words on your professionalism and the salability of your clothing line. This would then be combined with your photo in a promotional flyer or brochure you devise as a ready reference for new customers.
The following Monthly Planning Table will help you keep in step with the phases of this remarkable and very profitable method of selling the Magic Kids!™
Monthly Planning Table
|Day #1||Familiarize yourself with the information in this chapter and look through phone books and newspaper ads for ideas regarding potential target customers. Call your coach with any questions or for advice.|
|Day #2||Take a drive to some of the places you have listed as potential targets. Scan the high traffic areas on the floors to see where a nice Magic Kids!™|
rack would fit in. Make notes in a notebook or clipboard, including what type of clothing would work well and how it would fill a gap in what is currently being sold.
|Day #3||Order samples of the type of clothing you feel would work best in your targeted display setting. Order additional catalogs and business cards if necessary.|
|Day #4||Create a billing form or purchase order for your potential client. Clear in your mind the minimum and maximum discount you will offer.|
|Day #5||Begin making phone calls to the establishments you plan to make appointments with. In some cases, you will simply stop by. In stores in which you think you should have an appointment, set one up for about a week away.|
|Day #12||Attend your first appointment. Remember to take catalogs, samples, business cards, order forms, and any other promotional material you may have. Point out the advantages of the fast-moving, in-demand Magic Kids!™|
clothing line, and offer the incentive discount you determined on Day #4. Take order and have the order form signed by the ordering personnel. Immediately place the order with Magic Kids!™
and order rack(s) as well.
|Days #13-15||Visit other scheduled store appointments, following procedures followed on Day #12.|
|Day #17||Upon receipt of your Magic Kids!™ order, count, price, and pack up various orders. Collect the separate orders together. Take along with you the rack, an order form for the merchant sign, an extra catalog and a camera, and deliver the merchandise. Go through it with the manager or merchandiser of the store and establish that the full order is present. Get signature of receipt from manager or merchandiser and collect payment. Take photo of the new, fully stocked rack.|
|Days#18-21||Follow through on other orders placed as in the procedure for Day #17. Develop film to have ready for next cold calls.|
|Day #22-30||Visit stores regularly to determine needs for new merchandise and to maintain Magic Kids!™|
arrangement and appearance. Assess your strategy—maintain for a while or seek out additional stores for even greater profits!
A Mall Cart is a good way to take advantage of high-traffic shopping areas with relatively low overhead. Specifically, a Mall Cart is a wagon or immovable small type of hut positioned in the center of the large shopping mall corridors, usually stationed outside of a high-traffic or "anchor" store, such as Nieman Marcus, JC Penney, or Macy's.
If you enjoy the interchange between you and customers, but don't want to work for someone else, the Mall Cart is ideal. You can make the experience of purchasing Magic Kids!™
clothing memorable for your customers, and they will come again and again to enjoy the great deals and to say hello to you.
However, unlike selling to friends and family or to retailers, you must be in the position to make the financial investment of purchasing Magic Kids!™
fashions before you have them sold. Many Mall Cart retailers approach this bridge with the use of a credit card, as it can be quickly paid back as profits come in. Others work in other distributor capacities and then finance and "bankroll" themselves from their previous lucrative achievements.
What You DoBefore you decide to open a Mall Cart, you should first check out the local area for busy parts of the malls. Some carts are already positioned where you would first choose, but don't let that discourage you. If business is good enough for them, it's probably only going to be better with your business nearby as well to draw additional customers.
Ideally, you will be able to locate in a mall near your home base, since you will travel to and from your Mall Cart daily, and be carrying new stock all the time.
Next, you will need to speak to the mall management personnel. At every mall, you will find a team of people in charge of the various aspects of running the operation. You will need to speak to the merchandising or just plain mall manager. If you are comfortable making a phone call, by all means make the call and set up an appointment. For this appointment, as always, dress neatly and act professionally.
At your appointment, you will explain that you are a distributor for high quality, low cost children's clothing, which you believe will increase business not only for your distributorship, but by propinquity, to other surrounding, competitive and noncompetitive shops alike. Offer pictures or samples of the beautiful Magic Kids!™
clothing you will sell. Establish upfront that you will need an area of high-traffic in order to make your opening successful, as well as perpetuate and precipitate the business of those around you. You will also need a guarantee by the mall manager that no other Magic Kids!™
clothing distributors will be leased Mall Karts on the same property (unless it is a super mall, spanning acres and multiple floors).
- Make sure you will be able to position your Mall Cart in a high-traffic area. Without this advantage, you will struggle to get customers, so only go into the Mall Cart agreement with the clear understanding that your cart will be set up just outside of a high-traffic store or in a very busy section of the mall.
- Make sure you are the only Magic Kids!™
clothing distributor—a clause known as a noncompetitive clause should appear in the agreement between you and the mall management.
If you choose to approach the mall management by letter, you need to include the same concerns voiced above. You should also assure them that your clothing items are of high quality and craftsmanship and span a wide variety of sizes, colors and styles. You should offer to show your samples in the event that you will meet with the management. A sample letter might read as follows:
As a distributor of the Magic Kids!™
line of children's clothing, I believe I have an excellent product for representation and high volume sale at your mall via registered Mall Cart.
Although _____ Mall has a significant showing in the clothing industry overall, it reveals a low rendering of excellent value children's fashions. I believe I could fill that niche for ____ Mall, increasing traffic to and from your noncompetitive shops, as well as to the competitive within the mall structure. I need only be positioned in an already well-established traffic area in which to begin establishing the increased business flow.
It would be my pleasure to meet with you in order to further discuss my idea and show you samples of the excellent line I distribute. Please feel free to contact me at the numbers or email address above at your earliest convenience.
Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
(continuing) What You DoOnce you have decided how to approach the mall management, you should begin the process of obtaining what is known as a Business License. In order to sell retail, you must possess a Business License. Visit City Hall where you will be doing business, and get yourself the necessary forms for the license. With the license, you will receive--and will need as well-- something called a Resale Permit. There is a fee for the Business License, however, the Resale Permit is free.
There are some fees associated uniquely with the Mall Cart sales approach that you do not see in other sales methods. Of course, you stand to make rapid and regular sales with the numbers of customers streaming through crowded malls.
The first fee we'll discuss has to do with the cart itself. The mall management will charge you for the rental of the Mall Cart. Usually it is set up on a monthly payment basis, for a term of one or two years. This fee is referred to as the Base Fee.
Additionally, the mall management is likely to charge a percentage of the take, or the gross you make in a week, such as ten or twelve percent over your first thousand dollars of business. Although this amount is assessed weekly, it is usually paid monthly with the Base Fee and is referred to as the Percentage or Point Fee.
In order to take possession of the Mall Cart, you may be required to pay a Security Deposit, much the same as you would when moving into an apartment. It serves to protect the mall's merchandise and is returned to you when you complete your term or terms of business in the mall (providing you have not damaged the cart, or run away with it).
Finally, another common fee associated with selling in malls is referred to as Common Area Maintenance, or CAM. As its name implies, Common Area Maintenance refers to the heat, electricity, general cleaning, and overall maintenance of the areas around your place of business and all of the other establishments at the mall. Trash is removed, plants watered, windows cleaned, etc. These are the sorts of things we don't even think of when we are customers, but as merchants, we most certainly value these services. Without proper trash removal, for instance, we would find ourselves in a very slummy and unsanitary location. Customers would not come. No matter how good the merchandise and how inexpensive the prices. Ordinarily, the CAM includes the cleaning around your individual cart, but sometimes management asks for a nominal additional fee for that service.
Usually included in the above described fees are a certain minimum of advertising for the mall itself, whether or not your name is mentioned, security on the premises to your person—but not to your goods, and the installation or creation of your sign, which of course is not a major undertaking in neon and great fanfare. You're renting a Mall Cart, not opening a Wal-mart. However, sometimes management teams do ask for fees for specific services such as these or others. You should ask before setting your term of lease what you will be expected to pay, total, in a one-month period, and any upfront fees. Again, ask for a total. Have it in writing. This way you can plan what you will need to sell to make the business work, grow, and possibly duplicate itself elsewhere in the area.
What You Will Need:Before you get too far, you will need a name for your brand new business! If you have already been selling Magic Kids!™
under a certain name, it's probably best for your advertising purposes to stay with that name. If you prefer to change it or expand it, such as Fun Styles, II instead of Fun Styles, that works, too. But the name, whatever you choose, should be representative of your business and your own personality.
With any small business in which customers will be on your property or work area, you should have liability insurance. You should also carry property damage insurance. In fact, it is very likely that the mall itself will require you to have such coverage, and even determine the minimum amounts of coverage. Because you are a single business entity within the mall, you must provide your own coverage. Some malls may offer coverage as individuals on their plans, or as members of a group enterprise. Compare rates and see which opportunities make better coverage sense to you.
Additionally, you will want to provide yourself with a lockbox or safe, and your own cash register. Your cash register and safe are items that only you can access, and must therefore be secured by only you. Mall Management personnel are not privy to these secure areas, although within the framework of the Mall Cart, often there is an area designated for cash register or safe placement. But it is your responsibility to yourself to secure all valuables and cash.
Your cash register should include the capacity to accept credit cards. With your cellular phone, which we discuss later on, you can connect your cash register to a credit card processing server. This is a procedure that is very simple once it is installed, and will assure you that the card you are being given is good. However, it is still acceptable with VISA and MasterCard to run credit cards through the carbon sets to make sales, and process the paperwork in that manner. However you feel best to work the system, it is of great benefit to your sales income to have credit card sales acceptance. You can contact any number of people on the Internet regarding credit cards sales, or Well Fargo Bank (877) 461-2909, an extremely reliable service with an appreciation for small business development.
Merchandise! As we discussed in the beginning of this chapter, when starting up the business approach of Mall Cart selling, Magic Kids!™
dealers must have start-up capital, or credit card capacity to "float" or pre-pay their merchandise. Assess what amount of overall merchandise you will need. In a mall, it would be wise to have a wide variety at the start before determining in time which is the most popular age range bought for by the average customer. But not only must you stock for the cart, you must order advance stock for refills in order to keep the cart well-stocked and attractive to customers.
Additionally, you should have several especially attractive items to display to catch the eyes of passersby. I remember purchasing a flying toy that was very simple, and probably cost more than I would have paid otherwise, simply because I saw the Mall Cart attendants playing with it and showing how it worked. Consider dressing up a doll or two in some of the beautiful Magic Kids!™
fashions—a girl and a boy, or a couple of little girls at a tea party, etc.; anything that attracts the positive attention of your customers.
Keep your restock merchandise handy if you have the space for it. Place it behind the counter and hang up new items as you sell. Keep any wrappers or trash behind the counter until closing when you can properly dispose of them.
Some malls have outside doors near the selling areas. This can be quite picturesque and inviting to customers. But it can also create a very cold breeze during the colder months of the year. Although the mall management will cover the cost of heating overall, some small concession holders keep small, safely designed space heaters in their area to be comfortable and ward off the chill of cold draft created by opening and closing of neighboring doors.
Communication by phone, which used to be a problem for some Mall Cart vendors is no longer a concern. Where telephone line used to be required, it is now possible to simply carry a cellular phone. In the small area in which you will work, you need carry only one extension. Most carry them in their jacket pockets or clipped to their belt buckles. It is good to have a cell phone, though, to keep in touch at all times with your vendors and customers responding to any ads they've seen.
Other assorted items are comfortable stool or chair, extra racks for more display, and colorful display items to catch children's eyes as well as adults'.
Running the Professional Mall CartAs with any business, a Mall Cart business should be handled in the most professional manner possible. This does not mean one must wear a suit or a dress and white gloves, but it does mean one should dress neatly, be clean and well-groomed, and—most importantly—conduct regular business hours.
The mall management team may actually dictate the hours of business during which you are expected to operate. But however the hours are determined, make sure that you are there to open on time, accept sales, keeping your Mall Cart business alive and growing, and close up promptly as posted. Routine and regulation are expected by customers. If a customer has bought from you before, or perhaps has seen an item she is interested in purchasing, she'll expect to find you open for business when the other stores around you are open. It creates a bad impression on a customer to find a business unattended, or worse yet, closed during regular store hours. On the other hand, even if you have to hire a helper to keep the business happening, customers love to see a busy, well-stocked, and well-staffed merchant. It signifies confidence to them, and they will come again and again, enjoying each season's fashions and the styles as their children or grandchildren grow up.
It is also in the interest of professional conduct to maintain a neat and orderly storefront. Keep any discarded paper, hangers, or other disposable items in waste containers and away from your cart. If customers drop trash or leave discarded food on your counters, throw it away. Don't wait for the cleaning crew to come that night. The image of a well-maintained store provokes and inspires non-term confidence.
Keep your store full of merchandise. Few customers will warm to the well picked over selection that results from improper merchandise attendance. If you've run unexpectedly low on merchandise, place an emergency call to Magic Kids!™
to get new stock. In the meantime, take a few dollars and fill the gaps with attractive toys or rearrange your merchandise so as to appear to be filling the area. Always keep additional stock available for those boom days!
Enjoy your business! You went into business for your own reasons, but one of benefits of operating a Mall Cart is the opportunity to interact with your customers and run the show yourself. Allow your cheerful, upbeat personality to engage and attract customers. Make the sales and encourage your customers to come again next week, when you may have new styles available.
Mall Cart Selling
Monthly Planning Table
|Day #1||To determine that Mall Cart selling is for you, go over the material in this chapter and be sure that it suits your situation. Contact your coach and discuss the specifics together.|
|Day #2||Drive around town and check-out the area malls to see what space is not being used and what other mall carts are in use. Observe busy areas of the mall; see how cleanly the place is kept, what kind of traffic exists, and if the traffic seems to include likely customers for your Magic Kids!™|
Work on coming up with a name for your business.
|Day #5||Zero in on one or two malls and determine how you plan to approach the management team. Make the phone calls or write the letters.|
|Day #8||While awaiting the appointment with mall management, fill out the forms and pay the fees necessary for obtaining a business license.|
|Day #9||Call your insurance broker to see what rates are available for liability and property insurance for your Mall Cart business.|
|Day #10||Contact Wells Fargo or other credit card processing companies regarding rates and options available to you as a merchant.|
|Days #15-21||By now you will probably have met with the mall management personnel. Follow the steps in this chapter and work out a reasonable and acceptable deal.|
|Day #22||Order Magic Kids!™|
merchandise, being careful to order a variety and enough for refills between orderings. Go over all mall policy, and get the regular hours of operation and maintenance. Solidify your capacity to accept credit cards. You should also have received your business license and resale permit. Frame for display if necessary or desired.
Arrange for specific needs at the cart, such as space heater, cell phone, etc.
|Day #23-29||Set up your cart. Work on positioning any mall cart sign you or the mall may have obtained on your behalf. Receive merchandise, check through it, and display it. Get a feel for business in the mall. Plan your specials to be offered throughout your first week, two weeks, or month of business. Let your friends, family and associates know about your new location.|
|Day #30||Start of business! Enjoy successes in selling Magic Kids!™|
Flea Market Sales
A Flea Market, contrary to what its name implies, is an age-old term for open market, or variety market. Selling Magic Kids!™
children's fashions can be a profitable, supplemental, part-time, weekend-only occupation, or it can become a more lucrative un-supplemented livelihood, depending on your goals. Either way, Flea Markets have grown in popularity from their very simplest of forms, such as "yard sales" and "block sales," in which one or several families throw together their unusable and out-dated items and sell them for very little, to large, sophisticated, indoor, preset selling functions.
Not only the flea market function has taken off, but so has the style of selling. Twenty years ago, artists copied the format, but instead of using outdoor grounds or the VFW Hall, they rented halls in Ramada or Holiday Inns and referred to the function as a "Starving Artist Sale." Still more recently, this format has been utilized for the successful and increasingly frequent massive computer equipment sales functions.
But the Flea Market functions in which you will probably find your greatest successes are organized outdoor—sometimes indoor or partially indoor—open markets. Customers come to these functions in search of bargains, opportunity, and to be intrigued and surprised by the variety of merchandise they find.
As a Flea Market entrepreneur for Magic Kids!™
children's fashions, you are in an ideal position to capitalize on the built-in market that you can satisfy with not only high quality children's clothing—but excellent prices to go with them. This built-in market demonstrates itself from coast to coast—at the Annex Antiques Fair and Flea Market in Manhattan all the way to the Orange County Marketplace in Costa Mesa, California, where people flock by the hundreds, pre-dawn, bearing flashlights to check-out the first layers of merchandise! It is estimated that approximately 20,000 Flea Markets of one size or another operate each weekend within our country's borders, generating approximately $5 billion in merchandise sales.
What's more, the Flea Market niche in the commercial market has increased from its former Saturdays-only position to Saturday and Sunday, and sometimes Thursday and Friday as well. Such growth shows us that the market for these opportunities has grown and is still growing.
Selling Magic Kids!™
styles in the Flea Market setting is an approach that would suit the easy-going, people-oriented distributor who enjoys the type of show status and bargaining process closely associated with the Flea Market entrepreneurship. In short, Flea Markets are a fun and relatively easy way to make a nice income.
Like selling in Mall Carts, however, the Flea Market entrepreneur will require upfront investment power in order to purchase Magic Kids!™
merchandise before it is sold. If no investment capital is available, many distributors choose to use a credit card to "float" or advance themselves the merchandise.
Some describe the Flea Market sales experience as part discount store, part carnival. But either way, regardless of the economy, the Flea Market historically has shone as the best place to buy almost anything for home or personal use. If you think you would like to begin utilizing the Flea Market approach in your Magic Kids!™
distributorship, contact your coach and discuss the idea.
How to Make it HappenFlea Marketing is a relatively simple approach to distributing. Basically, following the four steps listed below will get you started on your way.
- Check the papers or online, such as www.Bestyardsales.com to look up the best and most appropriate opportunities for you. Contact the proprietors of the Flea Market and get details. When you agree to rent, seek a spot on the inside area, which is a far more heavily traveled section than along the outer fringes. You might consider taking a ride on market day to assure yourself that the place is for you. See if children's apparel is sold, and what the general price range is. You may find that the items for sale are exactly in line with what you have to offer—only not as well made nor fashionably designed. Or the trip may save you the expense and waste of time of registering with and selling at a flea market whose customers do not suit your product at all, such as a glorified garage sale, in which the customers tend to be looking for clothing that sells in the fifty cents to a dollar price range.
- Talk to your coach about what ideas he or she may have on choices of merchandise. Place your order with Magic Kids!™
in enough time to receive and price the merchandise before the event. Most Flea Marketers mark up their items two to three times cost. Check with the Flea Market organizers regarding any sales tax regulations.
- Go to the Flea Market, set up, using whatever attention getters you can. The key is to display attractive, interesting, impulse-buying merchandise at appealing prices. To enhance your attraction power, consider bringing along some helium balloons in multiple colors to attract extra attention. Be cheerful and in a mindset that welcomes bargaining; but know your bottom line figure.
- Rake in the cash!
When you are investigating the Flea Market potential in your area, you will probably note several different names or conditions for the market set up. As mentioned earlier, most of the Flea Markets are outdoors in large fields or parks. These often feature the same types of deal you are prepared to offer on merchandise—some are pricier, such as televisions and collectibles; others are less expensive such as out-of-date toys or dishes. But you will find a good mix of items for sale. In fact, one of the largest Flea Markets in the world is outdoors; a collection of adjoining Flea Markets is set on 120 acres of land, called the San Jose Flea Market. This market claims 80,000 visitors per week! Quite an impressive number.
Another term or description you may run across is "Indoor Mall" or "arena" sales. The fact that the market is indoors automatically raises the registration price. An outside market will run from between $20 to $50 per table, depending on size and place—sometimes less. But an indoor market can easily cost two to three times that much due to the expense incurred by the organizers of such a sale. The organizer provides space away from the elements, as well as light and heat/air conditioning. Often the indoor flea markets provide electricity and other amenities as well. However, the upside of the indoor flea market is that the buyers are more comfortable in general and tend to stay longer, look longer and buy more.
Whether indoors or out, another common description of the flea market is "craft show." Some local craft shows have a restriction against things not actually made by the displayer. These types of craft shows are not for you. On the other hand, many craft shows, especially the larger ones, offer a great opportunity for those with items to sell that are worn, such as clothing, jewelry and handbags. But there are customers who tend to be looking for gift items; Magic Kids!™
fashions are a perfect fit!
Another commonly used term is "farmer's market" or "farm market." Although this seems to imply only items being sold from farm products, actually, quite often craft show and the regular fruit, vegetables, jams, and cider group are combined in the farm market type flea markets. It provides another excellent opportunity for the Magic Kids!™
What You Will NeedThe following list of items are suggestions for things that you may find necessary or helpful. They may not be called for or even acceptable in all situations, as each market is different. As you become experienced, you will automatically take the necessary items, or even devise a checklist for yourself when you are preparing the night before.
- Something to sit on. Too often people forget that they need to have some place to sit during the day. They are there for many hours—standing can get old quickly.
- A folding table, or more, depending on the amount of space you have rented. Most Flea Markets do not provide the table, only the space. Bring a sturdy one that can stand up to a little wind, and the weight of the inevitable customer's leaning against it. You may also want to bring a heavy, all-weather type table cover, such as a plastic one, which will offset the Magic Kids!™
fashions more appealingly than a bare table.
- Change. This is another item the beginner forgets. How can you make a sale if you don't have change? If you accept credit cards, you could do so, but most people coming to Flea Markets are prepared to pay cash. So bring enough change in coin and cash to make change for two or three twenty dollar bills. If you run short later, you may be able to get change from a neighbor.
- Cash box. The cash box needs to stay out of sight of the customers and in your sight at all times. Remember, this is not a fancy shopping mall or your own secure home or office. It's out in the open most times with little or no security against personal theft. Keep your eyes open, and keep that cash box in sight.
- Protection for the elements. I have seen old men carrying umbrellas at Flea Markets, painstakingly holding them over their prospective customers out of respect for the customers' comfort. And although this is novel, it may be a better bet to eventually invest in a canopy. Such things are available at large discount stores, such as Sam's Club, and often come with the table that the canopy is meant to protect.
- Food & drink. Unless such a thing is not allowed, which is sometimes the case in indoor arenas, be sure to bring plenty of beverages and some lunch or snacks. It will be a long day and you need to stay upbeat. Without food, this is virtually impossible. Take along a cooler with ice, drinks, sandwiches and fruit, sweets or snacks, and possibly a thermos of coffee or tea on the side. Take cups, napkins and something to clean up with as well.
- Protection from wind/rain for your Magic Kids!™
merchandise. On windy days, small clothing items can take trips all across a ball field or park. Once an item's airborne, it's very difficult to get it back. In order to do so, you've got to leave the rest of your merchandise. Instead, tie together your hangers and secure your fashions on windy days. It's far easier to undo items from a line of twine or twist tie than it is to try to chase them down in the wind all day. Also, be prepared in case of rain or snow. Often, Flea Markets will come to an abrupt end at the sudden onset of a storm. But for sun showers and flurries, it might be a good idea to have a plastic loosely elasticized sheet that will cover your table, and any racks you are using without masking the beauty and color of the items. Hardware stores sell clear grades of plastic in long lengths by the linear foot. For the beginner, you can also find drop cloths that are relatively clear, which can be supplemented with the use of three or four well-placed bricks to hold it steady.
- A calculator, unless you travel with a portable cash register.
- Promotional materials that you wish to share with the public, including business cards, brochures, and upcoming items for the next season or month.
- A guest book. This may seem silly, but it's amazing how many people are willing to fill in a guest book where they will not give their name for the cash receipt. Set it up so that it requests name, address, and phone number, but also fax number and email address as well. This book will serve as your mailing list and become a valuable advertising component as time goes on and the list grows.
- Other helpful items: extra price tags, pens & markers, scotch tape, stapler and staples, scissors, notepad.
Once you've completed your first day at the Flea Market, you will see how easy this form of selling can be. On bad weather days, it isn't as much fun, but with a family member or friend along, it can still be a great adventure and end up being very profitable besides.
Some people enjoy Flea Marketing for the sake of the travel and adventure along with the profits. Below is a list of some of the premiere Flea Markets across the USA.
- Annex Antiques Fair and Flea Market—in New York City (212) 243-5343.
- Renninger's—Kutztown, Pennsylvania (717) 385-0104.
- Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop—Fort Lauderdale, FL (800) 345-7927
- Kane County Flea Market—St. Charles, IL (708) 377-2252.
- San Jose Flea Market—San Jose, CA (408) 453-1110
- Heart-O-The Mart—Brimfield, MA (413) 245-9556.
- Orange County Marketplace—Costa Mesa, CA (714) 723-6616.
Flea Market Selling
Monthly Planning Table
|Day #1||Familiarize yourself with the material in this chapter. Contact your coach to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.|
|Day #2||Read through your local newspapers and browse online to determine what Flea Market outlets are available to your Magic Kids!™|
|Day #3||Take a trip to the markets and check out what items are sold, for what prices, and see if the general set-up is agreeable to you and appropriate for Magic Kids!™|
|Day #5||Contact one or two Flea Markets you are interested in and get information on rates and availabilities. Try to find something affordable on the inside of the selling area.|
|Day #6||Discuss any questions you may have with your coach before deciding on a Flea Market agreement|
|Day #8||Set up with organizer or management of selected Flea Market and get any rules and regulations.|
|Day #9||Order appropriate start-up merchandise; add to it any items you feel would sell especially well.|
|Days #10-14||Gather the necessary items listed in this chapter, along with any other things you feel would augment sales for you or enhance the selling experience for you—or the buyer experience for you customers.|
|Day #15||Receive your Magic Kids!™|
merchandise and check through it. Decide on a pricing structure and begin placing price tags on every individual item.
|Day #16||Imagine your set-up, create an appealing display and augment it with whatever allowable attention getters you deem appropriate and available.|
|Day #17||Set up your Guest Book and be sure to place columns for name, address, phone, fax, & email addresses for each customer|
|Day #18||Go to the Flea Market and make a killing! Consider taking along a friend or family member for company and moral support. Enjoy the atmosphere. Learn as much as you can. Bring home new knowledge and big profits.|
|Day #19||If you have tried a one-day Flea Market, go through your merchandise and determine what needs to be reordered. Reorder immediately.|
|Day #20||Evaluate your experience and see where you can improve; did you get a good spot? Were you able to attract a good number of the customers to your table? What could you have done to increase business?|
|Day #25||Attend the next weekend's Flea Market and enjoy the experience you have while increasing your profits.|
|Day #26||Evaluate your second effort and compare sales results|
|Days #27-30||Consider registering for 2-day Flea Markets and shoot for a second table or booth. Restock your sales items and maintain your other necessary selling aids. Enjoy your adventure in Flea Market Selling!|
Remember, as a Magic Kids!™ distributor, you have the unique ability to provide your customers across town or across the country with the latest in style and quality of children's apparel up to the most popular and sought after fashions—appealing to children and adults alike—for a fraction of what they would pay in a regular store or mall. You stand in the advantageous position of being able to sell Magic Kids!™ products at very attractive prices because you receive the merchandise at below wholesale prices! You receive, quality, in-demand merchandise at prices lower than even large established wholesalers buy for. Follow the information and advice in this manual and before long, you will be entering into the new and profitable profession of a successful children's fashion distributor!
We're with you every step of the way! Remember, always …
IS OUR $UCCESS !!!