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Ecommerce Forum

Requesting to sell another merchant's products
Without coming off as spam or a scheme

 6:27 am on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm working with a business with a list of potential widget producers to contact and request to sell their product (not large suppliers, usually individuals with one product for sale on a crappy website)

My reaction is to blast email them with something like:

"Hi I am Hubie with Widget Distribution, we want to sell your widget in our distribution channel. If you are interested please contact me."

The other hurdles to this is these widget producers normally price their products extremely high, we'll be requesting a MUCH lower retail price, and a restrictive contract on where they cannot sell their product once we begin distributing it (they can still sell where they do, just not where we will).

Obviously, I'm not so worried about contracts and commissions right now as much as I am with the opening email. What's the best way to approach all these widget producers without getting *deleted* or even worse *report spam*?

Thanks to all,



 8:03 am on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well... Speaking as a "widget producer". Nothing you've said would stop me from deleting your attempt to contact me. You've offered me nothing. I get emails like this everyday. Delete every single one of them. "Blast email"? Unless you are addressing me specifically... >Delete.

There's one thing and one thing only I want to hear first... How many are you going to buy. If it's a number that gets my attention, then we'll talk. If not... >Delete. And as far as all the other stuff. Good luck with that. :-) Sorry, just being honest.


 9:11 am on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Your proposition may or may not be one of interest to producers but as a general point I generally to use snail mail or face to face contact for B2B approaches.


 9:47 am on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

not large suppliers, usually individuals with one product for sale on a crappy website

things are not always as they seem! those single product websites can be one of a great many

we want to sell your widget in our distribution channel.

this is corporate speak, i guarantee it will put off the majority of small businesses.


 12:32 pm on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

we'll be requesting a MUCH lower retail price

You are asking for them to take a pay cut? And you think this is an attractive offer to them?


 3:21 pm on Mar 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Perhaps you should begin by pointing out the advantages they have. An aproach that says: Hey - I want to sell your products but I want a low price, because I want to sell cheap and you won't be able to sell in my area doesn't seem an approach that is likely to succeed.

If you tell them: Hello I am interested in regularly buying a large quantity, please contact me so we can discuss pricing and details - this will more likely trigger a response.

However you need to be able to buy a larger quantity on your own risk if you want someone to accept your conditions. If you just offer to include their product and see how it goes - that probably will not get you very far.


 2:11 am on Mar 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've made wooden widgets and I've gotten those e-mails. If I'm already making adequate sales volume from my "crappy website", my prices are NOT too high. I believe that topic is covered in Marketing 098.

Further, you are asking me to work more hours making widgets for less money so that you can under-price my established retail price. I might have been born in the morning, but I can assure you that it wasn't -this- morning ... as soon as you start selling well at the lower price, my sales at the higher price will completely disappear.

Right now, my time carries a comparatively high value. That means that I don't have to invest all of it making widgets. If I sell to you, though, my time carries a lower value and I have to expend more of it to capture the same number of dollars.

Make your own widgets. <delete>

I read those letters, really I do. I've yet to see one that made sense for anyone except the sender. Before you 'blast out' anything, give some thought to the value you intend to offer the recipient that the recipient cannot realize on his/her own. If you can't figure out something really sweet, keep your finger away from the <send> key.


 12:38 pm on Mar 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Good grief. I too regularly get these emails, even though I have a stated policy on my main page: NO WHOLESALE. And I've been told my site is old-fashioned, i.e., crappy, and my widgets are indeed expensive, priced at the top of the market in my niche. But that's because my widgets are better. It's not spin; it's just true. Why would I want to work more to get paid less? I would have to turn my widgets into cheap crap and my workshop into a factory. The volume discount model is not the only model out there. It's one I specifically rejected when I started out as a merchant. I think you'll find a lot of merchants with crap websites feel the same.

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