My friend, Peter Laudin is owner and founder of The Pattycake Doll Company, an e-tailer of specialty dolls for children. Peter sent me a great list of “To Do’s” for retailers visiting Toy Fair and I thought I would share them with you.
Peter suggests that you ask a vendor the following questions:
- What are your top three sellers in this category?
- What are your recommended add-ons with these products? Why?
- What are your shipping lead times from order to shipment?
- What percentage of your items are on back order at any given time? Are back orders canceled and if so when?
- What is your freight policy and from where do you ship? Do you offer special Shipping Discounts through UPS or FedEx
- Do you have a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) and if you do, how soon can I mark a product down if it does not sell?
- Do you have first order specials or show specials? What other specials do you offer throughout the year?
- Do you have minimum order quantities? For example if there is a minimum three can you add one or two pieces versus multiples; for example one case of three, two cases of three, etc?
- Can I call in or email orders or do you insist on a paper order?
- Do you participate in Buying Groups (Like ASTRA)
- What is your contact information for customer service, accounts receivable, etc?
- Do I have a territory rep? Can I choose to be a '”house account?”
- Do you have a content manager?
- Do you have a social/digital contact so that we can trade links, likes + and Pinterest boards?
Product origin and materials
- Who can tell me what materials are used in the product as well as age and safety recommendations?
- Where are your products made?
Terms and Policies
- Do you sell direct to consumers, via Shopatron or daily deals sites? Do you sell to EBay dealers or Amazon vendors?
- Do you offer different products for Big Box Retailers than you do to Specialty Retailers?
- Do you offer an advertising allowance?
- What are your standard, special and seasonal terms?
- Do you have jpegs, videos and other digital content for my use?
- If we need samples photography are they at no charge?
- What support specifically do you offer for the specialty retailer?
- Do you supply free racks, displays, signage or mannequins?
- What do you offer for: Customer promotions, handouts, premiums, give-aways and door prizes?