"People love our product ... but how to sell in the US or UK?"
We have a small injection moulding business in Auckland, New Zealand. Our premium product is a clothespeg (clothespin) we call Mr Peg. "He adds a little character to your peg basket". Check him out at www.mrpeg.co.nz We have sold to Unilever Australasia for the last two years and they have had two campaigns of inserting one Mr Peg into their Surf Laundry Powder to give a "little extra" away to their customers. In the first 7 month campaign they used 8 million pegs. They also raised market share on their product from 4% to 21.4% in the first 3 months of launch. Kids and Mum's love the little guy. We investigated selling him in Supermarkets and through a chain store but found there was no margin and everyone wanted "Chinese" pricing, which we can do so long as there is volume sales. Our product is NZ Made and is quality through and through. We decided to go the fundraising through schools route and have had good success through that but our market in NZ is too small to make a real impact. What we need is some way of selling offshore in the States or Europe but lack ideas as to how we do it. We have capacity to produce 70 million pegs on our current tooling, so we don't mind if we sell in small bags or in bulk to someone that bags the pegs or through fundraising. If you have ideas, know someone, have friends in high places or anything at all, let me know... we NEED HELP!!! Hey if you read all this right through I thank you for listening. Cheers Lindsay Dearsly PlastiClip Products
#1. "RE: People love our product ... but how to sell in the US or UK?" In response to Reply # 0
I can't think of even hearing of anyone hanging their laundry on the line here in the U.S. in the last 30 or 40 years and can't remember seeing any clothespins for sale since I was a kid.
I don't know how it works in the U.K. or Europe but in the U.S. we have what are called Manufacturer's Rep Agencies that sell to all the big name places and like any business, some are good and some are useless. Worst case scenario, you have no sales and it costs you nothing. Given the distance you are away, the easiest way for you to find good agencies to contact the buyers at the customers you'd like to land and ask them for agency recommendations. Don't try to sell them...you're only looking for recommendations...to guide them in who to refer to you you can direct them to your website and it would be okay to ask them if you can send them your literature if you can't find an rep agency.
You might consider marketing buggy whips. (just kidding) Good luck
#3. "RE: People love our product ... but how to sell in the US or UK?" In response to Reply # 2
>Hey thanks Denny for the advice. You might be right, there >might not be a market at all in the States. I have to ask >though ... do you all use driers and laundromats? >Cheers Lindsay > >PS When the petrol dries up we could all be driving a buggy >(lol) >
I can't imagine what they're all using in the US... I use a drier because I don't have the time I would like to have to use a clothesline, and I live in the very dirty center of town, so hanging clean clothes on the line would be foolhardy, but I would if I could.
That said, Canada might be a better market than the US.
#4. "RE: People love our product ... but how to sell in the US or UK?" In response to Reply # 0
You will have to partner with someone in the US to get the product out there particularly because people are so cautious because of international scams.
If you're looking for sales people though, you may consider going into one of the work from home mom websites. They have time on their hands and they're always looking for a way to make some extra money. I am SURE you could work something out with a couple of them and make them your "distributors" in the area. You could check out http://www.wahm.com/forum/ which is probably one of the larger sites. You could also take a look at http://www.cwahm.com/messageboard/. You may also even want to consider going to the gift basket websites - your product is unique and maybe some of them would be interested in adding it to their baskets or something? You could take a look at http://www.giftbasketmessageboard.com/board/index.php for that.
I took a look at your website and I just have a few comments since you're going to be branching out - 1) get rid of that moving banner at the top or if you keep it, it should only go through once (it is quite distracting and makes your text hard to read with the extra blinking); 2) increase the size of the font because it is simply too small (it should be at least size 12); 3) put some "demonstration pictures on the home page - I was not familiar with the product and I had to search all over to figure out what it was. If you say it can be used as a golf tee, have a picture showing it being used that way, etc.
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#5. "RE: People love our product ... but how to sell in the US or UK?" In response to Reply # 4
This is fantastic. You have some very good ideas and I thank you. My brain is kicking into gear as we speak. Mini distribution chains is something I hadn't thought of and I think that's a great idea.
The website was a DIY site, our first and it sucks a little. We are trying to revamp it and will definitely take your comments on board. It is very limited in what we can do and where. I think we have tried to make it do too many things and forgotten about promoting our product.
Thanks again for your help! Lindsay
PS Can you tell me if (refer the message from Denny) people do actually hang their clothes on clotheslines in the US, I would have thought California would have been an ideal place to use the sun to dry clothes. No point selling to a market that doesn't use the product.
#6. "RE: People love our product ... but how to sell in the US or UK?" In response to Reply # 5
While I agree that the market for these is very limited in the US, the stores still carry clothespins so someone must be buying them.
That said, I would suggest contacting groups that encourage people to "go green". Hanging clothes outside saves lots of electricity and I would think they might hand out clips at events. If your website is printed on the clips consumers can go to your website to find out where to buy. Also, anyone participating in an Earth Day (April 20th or so in the US) might purchase in bulk as a promo.
I haven't done a search but each state probably has a "green" department. Many large cities also. You will have an easier time getting them to buy if you have a US distributor.