So be practical, detached, aloof even, when it comes to your product. Believe in your invention, nurture it and watch it grow, but source it properly and make sure your costs are inline with the margins needed for the sales environment(s) of your choice.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
In addition to being a pitchman on television retailers, I also bring product to the networks. Often I am approached by very clever, industrious people with a new idea that they've worked on for countless hours developing. They have lived and breathed their idea, spent their life savings and truly believe it is the next great thing. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't...but all of that doesn't matter, because at the end of the day it all comes down to dollars and cents. You see, if even their idea is next best thing since sliced bread, if the numbers don't work no one will buy it. And I'm not talking about consumers here, I'm talking about the buyers at retailers, catalogs and TV shopping channels. While that might seem terribly elementary, it's a surprise to many people. It's all about margins, or the markup a retailer can make on an item, so if your wholesale price is too high, even if you've invented a perpetual motion machine, no one will give you a purchase order unless the numbers work. Too often, I encounter people who have fallen in love with their product and refuse to believe that it's not worth what they want to charge, or more often, what their costs and the margins demand.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Well, it's that time of year again. Time for all of us all to get our Christmas credit card statements and clamp down on spending like a mousetrap on a, well...mouse. Those of us in television retailing see it every year, and yet, every year we're surprised by it. Why is it so many of us in this business have such horrible sort term memory? Don't answer that. Anyway, sales these days are down across the boards, but I'm here to tell you, "don't panic!" Like I said, we go through this every year, so don't worry that your item has lost it's luster, run it's course or hit the end of the product cycle. It's the credit card bills! It's their fault! Buck up, the sun'll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun! After all, if you think our short-term memory is bad, it's NOTHING compared to that of the general public when it comes to spending and bills.
And thank God for that;)
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Well on 12/10/09 I will be selling the Durafiber cleaning cloths on HSN at 6AM and 9AM (then the Heat Surge Amish Fireplace at 5PM, but that's another post). This time we're featuring the 40 piece set of Durafiber for only $19.95, which is a really great deal. "What is Durafiber?", you might ask...well, I like to tell people that Durafiber is like microfiber on steroids.
Wanna see what I mean? Well, you can check it out by clicking here. OR, you could just watch me LIVE very early in the morning. The choice is yours my friends.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Wow, it has been QUITE some time since last I posted anything here...shame on me. My bad. Mea culpa. Moving on...
A lot has happened in the last year or so. We have a new President, the economy is getting better (although I'm not sure the two are related) and I have a whole slew of new products I'm selling on TV. First and foremost is the Heat Surge Amish Fireplace, and yes, it is REALLY built by the Amish. I was there and I've seen them build the whole mantle and frame out of real wood. The heater insert is manufactured in China and imported by Heat Surge.
Another new item I'm pitching is the Magic Saw, which cuts thru everything, at least everything I've tried so far.
I'm also selling an item called the Autochron, which is a light switch timer...I know, "why didn't I think of that?" There's nothing else like it and it's patented, exclusive to HSN. Here is a the DRTV spot we shot for it...
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I just had the great pleasure of hosting and producing a two minute DRTV spot for a product called Insta-Fix. This stuff is amazing! It's an adhesive that bonds instantly to ANY surface, so you can mix-and-match materials and you don't have to sit there forever holding your project till it dries. In addition, the product comes with a filler that you can use in conjunction with the adhesive to fill or seal cracks, holes or gouges in anything. The stuff dries rock hard in seconds and you can sand, paint or stain it. I am totally sold on this product and you will be too. Check out the spot here www.instafix.com and see what you think. We did some amazing demonstrations that will blow your mind!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I've been laying low for a while, mostly because I've become SO disenchanted with the world of television retailing. Too many people in positions of influence who have NO IDEA what they are doing. But gosh, can't the same thing be said about Wall Street or even the government?
Canada. The Great White North. A great place to visit and an even better place to sell products. If you've never seen The Shopping Channel out of Ontario, you really must tune in and check it out (live feed at www.theshoppingchannel.com). They have a great format and a laid back style that is as much a pleasure to watch as it is to sell in. I love it. Having just returned from a recent appearance selling electronics, I've got to tell you that it's almost easier than selling here in the USA, even with the flights, hotels, rent a cars AND customs. The stress level is lower and the people who work there are actually happy to be there. Plus, their hosts are truly knowledgeable and they give you the TIME and FREEDOM to actually sell your product.
I can't wait to go back.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I don't think it's any great secret that most college student's don't have A LOT of disposable income (although these days they're not the only ones in that boat). When they go out to buy furnishings for their dorm rooms, they're looking for anything that is cheap or free. Bookshelves made out of 2' X 4' s and cinder blocks are not cheesy, they're innovative. So, why do I keep seeing TV retailers selling items aimed at students at greatly inflated prices? Like what? How about a bean bag chair for $199?!? A BEAN BAG CHAIR! You can find them in stores for anywhere from $29-$99, so what kid is going to buy one off TV for twice the price? Unless some well-heeled mom is watching, I'd say that was an ill conceived offering. Now, I'm not disputing that the bean bag chairs in question might have been worth the premium price, but to position them as dorm room necessity... at that price point... no. Sure, if I were in the market or bean bag chairs I might fork over a premium for something nicer, but for use in a college dorm room it would be a waste.
So think about your customer, the economy and where they'll be using your product... or get out the clearance gun. The choice is yours.