We run a small business selling framed artwork. How do we provide samples to a retailer?
A retailer from another state would like to put our product in its brick and mortar and online stores. This is our first request and we are very excited. However, we are unsure how to respond. Our sample costs would be approximately $200 to $250 worth of merchandise. How do we make sure we will be returned our samples at some point? Should we charge a deposit for the samples?
Look at the cost of the samples as a cost of sales--and compare it to the potential sale. Is it $5,000 or $10,000? Then ask yourself if it's worth the cost of those samples to get that kind of business?
That said, you can always go back to the retailer and ask for specifics about how many samples the retailer truly wants and if you can have the samples back, or if the samples could be part of the sales package.
Look at this as the start of the negotiation process . . . and also look how you can package your offering in a way that gives retailers a sense of what you do, at a cost point that doesn’t cut too far into your profit