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Getting your product on TV shopping channels is easier than you think.

This story appears in the September 1998 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Inventors with just one product--which is most inventors--have a hard time breaking into major distribution channels. Retailers and distributors incur costs for each of their suppliers and can lower those costs by dealing only with manufacturers who have 15 to 20 items for sale. Also, most inventors can't afford to wait the 12 to 18 months it usually takes to see profits from retail distribution. One option for inventors looking to jump-start their sales is to sell to TV shopping channels such as QVC and the Home Shopping Network.

There are many advantages to this route. You sell to the network, not consumers, and you receive payment 30 to 45 days after the air date. You can get orders with just prototypes, and you don't have to invest in trade shows, literature or sales training. Moreover, the momentum you get from the shopping channel can help you get catalog orders and even establish a retail sales network.

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