The Internet has become a terrific resource for retailers who sell memorabilia and novelty products at shops and stands located near tourism attractions across the country. Wholesalers have their catalogs available online, allowing buyers to find the best items and prices.
Nowhere can the Web be better leveraged than at WholesaleCentral.com. Retailers can find products for everything from Las Vegas sidewalk kiosks to gift shops to merchandisers who target the weekend getaway crowd from coast to coast. Relevant items for the Parks, Resorts and Gaming niche normally include keychains, mugs, tumbled stones, gaming items like dice, lunchboxes, carry alls, magnets, personalized souvenirs and more. WholesaleCentral.com's Power Search tool, located at the top of the homepage, lets buyers zero in on what they are looking for and take advantage of a huge selection.
WholesaleCentral currently has over 535,000 items from over 1,400 independent suppliers. Some of the most successful wholesalers on the site include Funworks.net, Silver Streak, Day Dream Games and The Tin Box Company.
Funworks.net is an industry leader in this merchandise category. The Lansdowne, Penn., company offers a wide range of laser cut novelties, which can be customized for the park, resort or gaming attraction business.
"We do custom designs for popular tourism destinations," said Andrew Kalan, CFO of Kalan LP, the parent company for Funworks.net. "We offer our customers great flexibility to meet their needs. A new product that we are excited about is the photographic flat magnet. We manufacture them in-house and our customers have been very receptive to them. Since we make them, we can offer low minimum order quantities and fast turnarounds, even on custom artwork."
The photographic flat magnets available at www.funworks.net are, on average, two inches wide and two inches tall. In addition, the items can be cut into different shapes based on the artwork.
Here is an example of how they can be customized: Consider the idea of a Funworks magnet that showcases a skier going down a mountain. There is a customization space at the bottom where the marketing images or content can be dropped in for Camelback, Aspen, Park City or any other ski resort. "We have a full-service production department that can turn orders around within a day or two," Kalan explained.
The company also produces a line of mugs that feature crisp, intricate designs. While his team can decorate them with attractive, predesigned image wraps tailored to the local tourism attraction, they also offer more generic looks. "For instance, we have one mug that has exotic animals on it that is popular with zoo shops," he said.
The entire catalog at Funworks.net also includes keychains, zipper pulls and other souvenirs. Viewers who log onto www.funworks.net can browse through all the brand's great items. Most of the products will run for about a dollar per wholesale unit, while higher-end items will cost as much as $3.50 per unit.
Marketers in resort areas such as Myrtle Beach, Wisconsin Dells and Virginia Beach have traditionally done well with Funworks.net. Kalan pointed out that there are endless possibilities for retailers because of his company's seasoned, hands-on service. "Our customer service staffers and operations people have been with the company an average of 15 years," Kalan said. "They take care of our customers incredibly well."
Silver Streak has been successfully marketing tumbled stones to the parks/resorts industry for over 20 years. The term "tumbled stones" refers to rocks whose hard substance has been subjected to a process of smoothing and polishing. The result is that they possess a rustic and timeworn look that collectors love to horde.
Silver Streak took this basic concept a step further in 1994, when the company produced its first interactive customer display, called the Ore Car Attraction. Years later, the Ore Car Attraction presentation has made the tumbled stone the firm's best-selling product, and its retailing clients reap its benefits.
Clients also love that the company offers free freight anywhere in the continental United States. Silver Streak boasts over 60 sales reps around the nation and dedicated staff on-call at the office. Wholesale buyers need to register at www.silverstreakind.com before getting started. But Joe Marr, Accounts Manager, said his team would be happy to walk new prospects through registration. "The registration process only takes 10 minutes," Marr said. "We sell the tumbled stones to our customers by the pound and then they sell it to their retail customers. They use the Ore Car Attraction display to sell 3 by 4 inch pouches. Their customers are then allowed to stuff as many tumbled stones into the bag as possible for a set price."
Interestingly, the tumbled stones do not just attract rock-collecting youngsters. Marr and his research team have found that 60 percent of their market is made up of adults. Depending on the stones selected from www.silverstreakind.com, wholesale prices range from $3.15 to $5.15 a pound, and the stones are sold in 25 pound boxes.
"In terms of who we sell to, we do destination resorts," Marr said. "We do major theme parks. We work with everyone from mom-and-pop shops to corporate brands. Airport shops do well with the tumbled stones because on-the-go parents might be running through and want to pick something up for their kids. We've always done well with the parks and resorts niche."
Every once in a while, wholesalers come up with a new product that their competition and industry peers immediately know will be a top seller. This is the case with Day Dream Games, Charlotte, NC, which recently launched its Lotto Dice item at the ASD/AMD Trade Show in Las Vegas to great reviews.
Attendee feedback even helped create a slogan for the product: "Shake, Rattle & Roll." The item marries the traditional function of dice with the number selection aspect of playing lotteries.
"You just roll the dice and they randomly select numbers either zero to 59 or zero to nine," said Dan Crutchfield, Partner, Day Dream Games. "It matters if you are playing a 'Pick Three' or 'Pick Four' lottery. The wholesale price is $1.85 per unit, per master case of 144 units, plus shipping. They typically retail up to $4.99."
The dice are certainly worth a try in any kind of novelty or gift shop where tourism dollars are at stake. In particular, however, casino marketers and any brick-and-mortar outlet where lottery tickets are sold should take notice.
"We tested in convenience stores in the southeastern U.S. during the spring," Crutchfield said, "And they sold quickly. Since then, they have done well in other markets like grocery stores, drug stores and various kinds of gift shops."
The dice feature an attractive light green background with the numbers in a golden hue. The "Lotto Dice" logo appears on one side. Check out www.daydreamgames.com to get the complete picture.
"We are also going to offer them as promotional products," Crutchfield said. "Customers will be able to put their company logo where the 'Lotto Dice' logo appears. We keep customers happy by never missing an opportunity to get them what they need. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback."
The Tin Box Company
Meanwhile, The Tin Box Company offers a wonderfully relevant line of carry-all products aimed at school-aged children. As we know parks and resorts are filled with kids, and kids practically eat up the collectible lunchboxes offered at www.tinboxco.com.
"Generally, we do well with chains like Party City, Hobby Lobby, Burlington Coat Factory and others," said Andrew Siegel, Sales and Marketing Manager, The Tin Box, Farmingdale, NY. "We have over 4,000 mom-and-pop accounts from around the country. We have an impressive stream of repeat customers, which I think is a tribute to the excellent brand of service our staff provides."
Siegel said that carry all items with beaded handles are selling like crazy among young girls. He singled out items that utilize the images of Disney princesses and Hannah Montana as doing the best. These products are only the beginning of what is offered at www.tinboxco.com. Carry-all items with notable kids' brands like WALL?E, High School Musical, Superman, Spiderman, SpongeBob SquarePants, etc., are also wildly popular.
"Typically, our products have a wholesale price range between $4 and $5," Siegel said. "They can be custom made for individual marketers. Custom jobs require a big minimum order, such as 12,000 pieces or more. Normally our smaller retailers pick up the branded items and do not go the custom route."
For more info, contact:
97 S. Union Ave.
Lansdowne, PA 19050
Silver Streak Ind.
1604 S. Edward Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281
Day Dream Games
3410 Lazy Day Lane
Charlotte, NC 28269
The Tin Box Company
216 Sherwood Ave.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
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