So, a friend and fellow artist, Ruth Apter called me the other day and said- "you remember I used to be a rep, right". Oh, yeah! you did! She mentioned a few really good things that I forgot to include. So my three part series is now a 4 part series.... thanks, Ruth!
Breaking up is hard to do.....
Make sure both parties are clear on how to end the relationship. What's the lead time for returning samples? How much warning does each party want before the relationship is terminated.
What condition do you want samples returned? Ruth pointed out that jewelry is one thing, but what if it's a card line? Cards get really beaten up, do you really want to pay to ship them back?
Make sure that you include an invoice with all of your samples, have your rep sign it and return it to you so you can keep track of what's expected back. I've have reps want to purchase pieces for their personal use. Even though it's only one piece, I've always given them my wholesale price. In some cases I've gifted a few pieces, especially after a really large sale. :)
Talk Talk Talk...
Make sure are in constant communication with your rep and listen when they make suggestions. If they are confident that they can sell a wider band in a really popular ring- make them a wider band. They are in contact with your customer and will be getting lots of feedback that could be really valuable to you.
So remember when I said that every rep I've ever had has found me. Well, it's struck again. I got an email from a rep last week and guess how he found me? My BLOG! On REPS! Isn't that the funniest thing? So, I guess my point is with this is get yourself out there. Do a blog, a facebook page for your business, a web site, twitter. Use the social networking sites that are out there. All this is free- or very low cost and it's exposure. Exposure might not get you an immediate response, but it's all building a foundation for a successful business.
One last thing- I came across an old email for Cal Gift. You can go to this site, log in and post that you're looking for reps. Here's the web link- I haven't actually done this myself so I don't know how hard/easy it is to do, but it's worth a look if you're in the market for a rep.