How to Sell a Product to Boutiques

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You've toiled over your wares for months, maybe even years. Classy, sophisticated jewelry, accessories, adult toys, clothing pieces and/or shoes. Now it's time to start getting them out on the market. If you are trying to get your items into the hands of upscale customers in your community, you are going to have to learn how to sell your product to boutiques.

Perfect your products so that they are error-free. For example, if you are planning to sell a line of bracelets to boutiques, make sure that the decorate pieces do not fall off or look cheap when it's time to show them. If selling clothing, assure that all of the buttons are on securely and the fabric is of the best quality. You cannot sell to a boutique with poorly manufactured products.

Hold a "showing party." Send professionally designed and printed invitations to boutique owners in your area. Be sure to let them know that you will have your products along with delicious food, cocktails and maybe even a little bit of entertainment. Have your party in an elegant location that is clean, spacious and well lit. Ask for guests to RSVP to be sure that you will have guests, and also invite your friends. Ask everyone to look very nice.

Set up a special table for the goods and display them in the same way you would want them to be displayed in a store. Put small sample bags together containing your products that are specially addressed to your guests from the boutique. Place a lacy, attractive guest book on the table so that you can ask guests to sign in.

Be a gracious host. Offer your guests a drink and socialize with them. Don't bombard them immediately with a sales pitch about your products; leave that for later. Allow the boutique owners and representatives to mix and mingle for at least 10 to 15 minutes before guiding them toward your product table.

Allow the boutique owners to test and sample your products freely. Always maintain a lighthearted, fun attitude while interacting with them. Talk to them about the most important feature of each product, and be sure to place a gift bag in their hands before they leave.

Send a thank-you card to the boutique owners the very next day after your party, thanking them for their presence and reminding them once more of the name of your product. If you are a more "hands-on" type of person who is very social, you may have better results by actually visiting the store to say hello in about a week.

Tips & Warnings

  • Invite as many boutique owners to your party as possible; all that are within a 25- to 50-mile radius of your home. If you are not in an area that has many boutiques, hold your boutique party in a central location that is near more stores that you want to target. Don't be discouraged; if one boutique doesn't like your stuff, it doesn't necessarily mean that no one will. Continually update your products and accept criticism from your friends and family. If more than one person is telling you that something is wrong with the design, listen and fix the problem promptly.
  • Don't pressure the store owners or visit them more than once after the party. If they have not contacted you after your thank-you card or the first visit, they are most likely not interested and are just too afraid to tell you to your face or over the phone. If no one RSVPs to your party, it may because you did not advertise it correctly. Revise your approach and visit the party idea in 3 to 6 months. This time, maybe send the best pieces from your collection with the invitation in order to spark interest.

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