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Sell to Big Box Retailers

SaunaKingSaunaKing subscriber Posts: 2
edited June 2007 in Sales
I am a company that sell Infrared Sauna Rooms (wholesale). We have been trying to get into Costco, Homedepot, Target, etc. Tried everything, calling, applying on line, writing to the headquarter...nothing seems working at all. Would someone acturally know where to satrt, or is there any tricks to get to talk to the right person? Hopefully we could get some help or advise!!! Thank you!


  • ethnicommethnicomm subscriber Posts: 1
    Saunaking - do you have a website where I can take a look at your products? Is this the same product that is selling at BuilderDepot and Amazon?There are many questions that I need to ask before I can offer any useful advice. Bottom line - your offer has to be exciting enough to get the buyer`s attention. Do the accounts you have been trying to get in to currently carry a similar product? If so, is there a compelling reason for them to consider your product (aside from potentially lower price)?  Any innovation, unique point of differentiation that the retailer can leverage against their competition?If this is a totally new product, does it fit into their retail concept? Do you know the name of the buyer for this category?I`d be happy to review your communication with them to see if there is something that can be tweaked.

    ethnicomm2007-6-28 21:21:56
  • GetAGripGetAGrip subscriber Posts: 14
    You can hire a manufacturer`s rep. to take you in to those  retailers for 5%-10%
  • SaunaKingSaunaKing subscriber Posts: 2
    Yes, we are selling at Builder Depot, and Amazon. There are so many brands of infrared sauna rooms (mainly manufactured in China) Besides lower price, we are ETL certified quality, inventory guarantee, flexible orders
    The hard part is we dont know buyers name for our product line. Tried to get names by calling headquarters, merchandising office and etc, no results.
    We have great product, "enough" compatitive advantages. What frustrated us was not knowing where, who, and how to approach to our potential buyers (given the fact that we are a very new start up company)
    Thank you so much for the nice adviseSaunaKing2007-6-29 13:32:7
  • bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    Oddly enough I had visted your web site before when I was thinking about buying a sauna.  At that time I found your site using Google.  This was a few months ago.  Then and I noticed now, your web site does not tell me how to buy one.  At leaset as far as I can tell.  Are the majority of your sales direct or through resellers like Builder Depot and Amazon?
  • SaunaKingSaunaKing subscriber Posts: 2
    Right now, we are in the process of updating our website. Soon, we will have ecommerce available on site. You are right, we do retail on our own site at manufacture suggest retail price. Our business strategy is wholesell to retailers (big box retailors preferred).
  • bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    Ethnicomm how did you know they were selling on Builder Depot and Amazon?
  • ethnicommethnicomm subscriber Posts: 1
    Bert  - I googled infrared sauna + saunaking and saw items on Builder Depot and Amazon SaunaKing - if your business strategy is wholesaling, then why are you retailing online? This does not send a good signal to the potential retailer who might want to carry your line. Just curious.
  • bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    Ethnicomm - you see where I was going.  It is very hard to play both sides of that fence.
  • SaunaKingSaunaKing subscriber Posts: 2
    Well, Our website retail price is MSRP, (we won`t sell below that) it is more for directing the market price for "SaunaKing" products. Like other big producers sell their products thru their own websites at MSRP. Im just guessing here that we can do the same thing...
  • bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    For whatever my two cents is worth, if you want to sell wholesale, your web site should send your customers to the retailers you sell to.  You need to let your retailers know they are getting leads from you when you do.  You need to be aggressive to get keep your resellers selling.  When you sell direct and wholesale at the same time, your retailers feel like they are competing with you and they will be less likely to promote your products.  Any time someone can buy directly from the manufacture, there is a good chance they will pay more to buy direct than take a chance on a reseller.  Most large retailers know this.  Especially with a product like yours that people might be afraid of warrantee and other issues.
  • SaunaKingSaunaKing subscriber Posts: 2
    Bert-- Will offering exclusive rights (to thier territories) help reassuring our retailer`s concern or worries?
  • SaunaKingSaunaKing subscriber Posts: 2
    It works this way. Our products got into Costco, Home Depot and Wal-Mart. It is done by a middle man business (thru OEM) Thus, we have no connection with those stores. This business model lasted a couple of years in harmony. As the sauna manufacturing factories started to expand in China, our client started to significantly cut our profit margins, large amount payment delays and etc. So, we decide to become our own middle man, opened our office and warehouse in America. Yet, we wont sell any models (about 6-8) that are designed only for them.
    At the moment, we are trying to advertise our own brand name "saunaking", when we pick up our number of retailers, certainly that would enable us to slow down or stop retailing.
    We attended a kitchen and bathroom show in Las Vegas called the K. Biz show, and got some leads from there. Porbably, need to attend a lot more.
  • SaunaKingSaunaKing subscriber Posts: 2
    We havent got the right fit outside sale person yet to develop relationship with new home builders and home remodeling companies. working on it...
  • ethnicommethnicomm subscriber Posts: 1
    Exclusive territory rights will not give comfort to national retailers. You probably have unique products at Costco, Home Depot and Wal-Mart. These are three different channels so there should not too many issues here. If you get Lowes or Sam`s Club, it will be a different story as you will then have two players in the same arena. Bert is bang-on with his comments.Even though you are going through OEM, you DO have a connection with your retail customers. Who provides the after sales service and support? Their QC department will probably want to tour your facility? Do you brand the products sold to these retailers? Will you be going direct to the national retailers now or is there still a relationship with the distributor? If the OEM product is not branded SaunaKing, you can propose two lines - the OEM and a premium SaunaKing line. 
  • SaunaKingSaunaKing subscriber Posts: 2
    For the OEM part, our distributor provides the after sales service, since they have their own engineer and technician team. They ued to be manufacture. We do provide parts though. The products sold to our retailors are OEM with their logo on.
    We plan to go directly to the national retailers. At thins point we still have relationship with our distributors since we are not strong enough to stand up on our own yet, matter of fact, way from being able to get into big box retailers. Not knowing how those supply chain works, plus new to the online market, make us a little lost
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