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AstroboyChorong, post: 201887 wrote:
My target is to start from small business and online sales, but since it is something new, i’m thinking to put it in target, kmart, big w if it is a successful products. a big target but I believe that what makes us work harder. Q2. How do I approach small to medium business or even big department store to sell the products that I will be importing.

If you want to ensure distribution before you order big, do a reasonable sample order (a few hundred units depending on the value of your product(s)), make sure you have your freight channels set (i.e.: as per awesome recommendations the guys have been giving you above) and then sit and work out everything about your product: landed unit costs, profit margin, price to distributor, margin to distributor, price to retailer, profit margin to retailer.

Do this on a sliding scale (i.e.: if you order 1000 units, what margins are acceptable, if you order 10, 000 units, what is acceptable). The retailers will want a sliding scale based on an increased order (i.e.: if I order X what do I pay? If I order Y, what do I pay?). You need to make sure your numbers make sense and that you know them backwards before even approaching the retailer. If they catch you in an unsure position they are likely to source the product elsewhere if they think it’s great but don’t trust your ability to deliver.

Depending on the product, Kmart may not be the way to go. They outsource directly to keep their products cheap and only really take on renowned brands to keep their product range acceptable to customers.

Myer, David Jones, Aussie Post, Coles, Woolworths (consider shell and Caltex servos too depending on the product) are relatively easy to approach and usually conduct product reviews every few months. You can usually find their product submission details on their websites.

In dealing with small retailers, unless you are planning to be a foot soldier and hit the road (which is definitely doable – growing the business over time by knocking on doors – just takes a lot longer) you might want to consider looking into distributors. It’s hard to know who they are and what they’re like before you do hit the road and get to know the industry, so approaching individual stores might be the way to begin with until you can really gain an understanding of who the key players are. Then you can approach distributors the retailers are already used to dealing with.

Keep in mind online auction sites that have warehouses in Sydney (and maybe other states – I only remember Sydney) like Grays Online and Bid Buy Sell that can get your product out into the hands of your target market and generate some interest. They’re pretty easy to approach and while you may not make a lot of margin, it’s a cost effective way to increase brand awareness.

Also keep in mind that your products will need a barcode. You can get this from GS1, however membership is expensive, so factor this into your startup costs.

Hope this helps and I wish you lots of luck :)