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How-To Guide | Secrets to selling your products in shops

Shopping mall

Do you dream of seeing your shiny, gorgeous products on the shelves of high street stores? Hold that thought. Before giving you hints and hacks on how to approach retailers, this guide helps you weigh up whether to do so at all – as it’s not the best route for every brand…

Do the numbers work?

To succeed at selling your products through a retailer, your pricing structure must have enough built-in profit for everyone. If there’s a shortfall, you may need to relook at your brand positioning and perhaps price your product more expensively so you can make a profit.

For example, if your product retails at £10, the retailer will expect to get a 2.5 markup on their cost price from you. So you’ll need to divide £10 by 2.5, to give them a cost price at £4. However, if your product costs you £4 to make and their cost price is also £4, then you’ll have no profit margin – so you’ll have to increase your pricing to make any money. Note: the retailer’s markup varies between about 2.1 and 2.8, so on average it’s around 2.5.

Top tip: when pricing your product, as well as calculating the monetary cost to you, think about the time that goes into creating it, your skill, your ingenuity and your marketing, etc. So don’t just multiply the physical price of your product by 2.5 to work out your retail price but factor in all these added values too.

Reaching out to retailers

Here are five steps to approaching the right retailers in the right way:

Step 1: strut your stuff

Make sure you have a strong LinkedIn profile and a stunning Instagram, as this is where you and your contacts will be checking each other out. And take some time creating a brilliant PDF to showcase your products and tell retailers at a glance everything they need to know (use Canva or PicMonkey or buy formats from Etsy). Show your brand’s success stories so far, including any press coverage and rave reviews. Display your line list with images and descriptions, best sellers, cost prices, retail prices and the minimum quantity the retailer needs to buy from you.