Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Thanks to the advent of the Web, you don't need a printed catalog. But, if you don't have a printed catalog, then it's a must that you have a website/catalog online. But don't stop there!

Your website should include a Contact page that details how you may be contacted, which nowadays is mostly via email. When you respond to email inquiries, it is vitally important that you prepare a well written response that explains how you present your catalog and other information that will make the a potential buyer feel welcome and comfortable with working with you online. As an example, see http://www.greatrep.com/response_example.htm. You can modify this example to fit your situation. And make it appear to be personal, i.e. not some canned auto reply response.

Monday, November 21, 2011


As a registered vendor, do you know how to request catalogs and place orders at www.GreatRep.com? Can you explain how the site works to a potential buyer? If not, you need to take a minute to login as our fictitious buyer and place orders, request catalogs and place inquiries - for your line!

You will login with test buyer (Shop Around the Corner) username shopgirl and password joefox. At MY ACCOUNT click on the MAIN DIRECTORY and look for your line in the directory. Then click on any of the following icons:
To request a catalog
To place an order
To inquire about an order

You can always check your submissions by returning to the
MY ACCOUNT and clicking MY INBOX. Then click the appropriate bar for catalog requests, orders or inquiries.

Practice makes perfect! And feel free to let others in your company practice on the site. Get your customers involved and work with them to use GreatRep.com.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Manufacturers (vendors) sell their products, often using sales reps, to retailers (buyers).  Vendors may also exhibit at trade shows attended by buyers; and today, they will find it essential to have their own website.

Vendors hire sales representatives to go out and call on retail buyers.  The reps write orders for the vendor, send the orders to the vendor, and the vendor ships the orders to the retailers.  Sales reps often cover a specific territory, e.g. the state of Iowa.

The retailer pays the vendor for the order, and the vendor pays the sales rep a commission (15% is the standard in the giftware industry).  For example, if the order shipped to the retailer totals $100 (not including shipping and handling), the vendor pays the rep $15.00.

Wholesale pricing is different than retail pricing (the price paid by a consumer).  For example, if the retail store sells your item for 9.99, they are usually doubling what they paid the vendor for the item, e.g. it would be $5.00.  Vendors may also offer discounts on large orders.  In those, cases, the rep commission may also be discounted.

The best resource for vendors to learn the wholesale side of the business is right in their backyard - a retail store that would like carry their products.  Vendors should make contact and meet with with the buyer (retailer), show their product line, and ask for advice from the buyer regarding representation.

Vendors need to be very careful in this business not to let consumers go around their retailers, i.e. by selling to consumers at the same price that you sell to retailers.  That's a big no-no.  In cases where a vendor has its own website, it's important to keep the wholesale and retail sides clearly delineated, often with a registration and login required for the wholesale side.

The whole purpose of GreatRep.com is provide an online venue for vendors, sales reps and buyers to interact and conduct business that provides immediate benefit to everyone.  Registration is free at Greatrep.com for Vendors, Buyers and Sales Reps.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

MY SHOWS - New Feature

With a Full Service Listing, vendors can now post the trade shows where they will be exhibiting.  See example.

Plus buyers will soon be able to search the GreatRep.com directory for all vendors exhibiting at a trade show they are attending.  Buyers will love this feature!!!!

 If you already have a Full Service Listing, you can get started immediately and post your shows.  Simply login and go to MY SHOWS.

Other vendors can add this feature to their GreatRep directory listing by simply upgrading their current listings.  Click here to upgrade.  Cost to upgrade:  from Basic Listing - $60; from Basic Plus Listing - $35; from Catalog Request Listing - $15.

 Forget your login?  Click here.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Our Facebook page has definitely been a big boost for our business. That's why I have made it a mission of mine to encourage our GreatRep retailers to put up their own business page. Unlike a personal page, the business page has whistles and bells that are specifically designed for a business environment. You may even want to go into Facebook Ads and pay on a cost-per-click basis for driving traffic to your page.

A Facebook business page is especially well suited to retail business, either brick and mortar or on-line. It's basically like having your own instant billboard that can be used to let your favorite customers know what you're doing, on a daily basis, to get them back in your store. Plus, the ease with which you can add images helps with the page's eye appeal - a very important consideration.

How do you get started? It's simple. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.

Good luck!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Will Groupon Work For A Small Business?

Groupon is getting a lot of attention now, especially since it has announced it is going public with an IPO. To see how Groupon works, go to www.grouponworks.com.

While Groupon is primarily geared for the retail sector, it is possible for wholesale vendors to peddle their products at retail using a Groupon discount. However, a recent article in PCWorld contains some powerful reasons for smalll businesses not to use Groupon. Go here for the full article.

From my own experience, I have witnessed several companies in the small buiness category that failed because of their eagerness to get sales or a large account through "giving away the farm" discounting. In many cases, they could not produce product to meet the demand.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

New Directory Categories For Reps!

It is now possible for sales reps to register, and be included, in the www.GreatRep.com Main Directory, in addition to their registration as a sales rep. Two new categories have been created to accommodate this: Sales Representative and Representation. See details.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Looking For Sales Reps?

One of the most popular features of GreatRep.com is the Reps Wanted Ad. For a very nominal fee, vendors or rep agencies can place ads to find reps. For current openings, please go to http://www.greatrep.com/reps_wanted.asp.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Show Calendar

Attending gift shows is of paramount importance for manufacturers, retail buyers, and sales representatives. It's also important to plan ahead for which shows to attend, particularly if you want to exhibit in a show. The Show Calendar at GreatRep.com will keep you up to date on future shows, plus there's a link to the show mangement companies involved.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Catalog Requests

Please be advised that you cannot reply directly to GreatRep.com catalog requests because the replies come back to GreatRep.com. Use the forward button and enter the email address of the buyer.

You can resend any replies you have made by logging into www.GreatRep.com and going to your Inbox.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vendor Registration

GreatRep.com is an open directory for the wholesale giftware industry. If you are trying to sell wholesale to a wide variety of retailers you should definitely register your line. For more details, please go to http://www.greatrep.com/aboutus.asp.

When you first register, you will receive a free 30-day Catalog Request Listing. You also will become eligible to place ads, e.g. our highly popular Reps Wanted Ad. To get started, please go to https://secure25.securewebsession.com/greatrep.com/secure/new_user/vendor/vendor_new.asp and complete the form for a Basic Listing. This will trigger the free 30-day Catalog Request Listing.

Please contact support@greatrep.com for further assistance.