INDEPENDENT RETAILER magazine is now the official news outlet for Wholesale Central visitors.
Each monthly issue is packed with new product ideas, supplier profiles, retailing news, and
business strategies to help you succeed.
See new articles daily online at IndependentRetailer.com.
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10/14/2016 - Southern Hospitality at its Best: Smoky Mountain Gift Show
For fifty-one years the Smoky Mountain Gift Show has served the souvenir and gift market. On November 2-5, 2016 it will be returning to the Gatlinburg Convention Center in Gatlinburg, TN.
03/31/2015 - Picture Perfect Earrings Bring Photos to Life
Zad launches new line of cute metal finish earrings displayed on picture cards.
03/31/2015 - Cool Phone Wallet from Charm14
This fashionable new product keeps the phone secure on the inside of the bag, while allowing use through the clear plastic window.
02/05/2015 - Straighten Up with the Up Shirt
The Up Shirt line of products embodies timeless fashion pieces, but also serve the community and the health of your CUSTOMERs.
02/05/2015 - Make Your Business Unique with Just Simply Uniques Fashion
The new line includes a variety of sizes and colors for all of their Popcorn, Crush, Ponchos, Dresses, Blouses and Micro Pleat Fashion pieces.
04/01/2013 - Order Fulfillment
In a retail environment where CUSTOMER loyalty is increasingly rare and CUSTOMER expectations are higher than ever, merchants should be constantly searching for ways to improve the way they do business. For a retailer or wholesaler who sells online, the struggle to provide excellent value and an ideal CUSTOMER experience without a physical presence can be difficult. The key to a successful ecommerce channel ultimately hinges on one important area-the warehouse.
04/01/2013 - Start a Business with Drop Shipping
The idea of selling products without having to first buy them and then hold the inventory in a warehouse is attractive to some business owners because it can be a cost-effective way to start selling online. Business logic tells us that the easier it is to start a small business, the more competitors will be in the industry. Drop shipping is no exception, and competition will only grow with the rapid expansion in ecommerce overall.
03/01/2013 - Increasing Sales with CRM
CUSTOMER relationship management (CRM) is a top priority for many e-tailers this year, as CUSTOMER expectations regarding the online experience are at an all time high. In order to contend in the ecommerce arena, some e-tailers are turning to service providers to gain an edge on the competition. Below is an overview of four providers and the products and services they offer to support online sellers.
03/01/2013 - Keep Toothbrushes Germfree
Flushing a toilet sends bacteria eight feet into the air before it begins to settle on nearby surfaces, according to research by Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. When Cindy Martin, co-owner of Cynita, Inc., learned of this, her mind raced to the toothbrushes that lay exposed on her bathroom countertop. Consumers are demonstrating an increasing interest in health and disease prevention, and Martin fell in line with the trend. Experienced with custom products, she worked with a designer to develop a lightweight, economical solution to the germy issue, and the Cover Me toothbrush protector is the result.
03/01/2013 - Dive into Sport Optics / Weiita International Corp.
Weiita International Corp. specializes in sporting optics and LED lighting equipment. It recently expanded its offerings by introducing two new products that cater to hunters and diving enthusiasts. "We definitely plan to add new models to both the hunting and diving lines now that we have launched both," says Jane Ji, office manager.
03/01/2013 - Big Profits in Surplus Inventory
American Merchandise Liquidators (AML) handles salvage and surplus inventory including CUSTOMER returns, catalog returns, and clearance and overstock merchandise. The company deals in mixed lots of general merchandise from retail chains, as well as from wholesale and catalog companies. Assorted merchandise is available in all overstock categories, such as general household goods, tools and equipment, furniture, sporting goods, home accents and apparel.
03/01/2013 - SEO: Make Your Website Work
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important, and elusive, elements of an ecommerce website. It is important because of the impact organic search traffic can have on ROI, and it is elusive because search engines are always changing the rules. Still, there are a few core SEO principles that Google and other search engines recommend which should play an integral part in your online strategy.
03/01/2013 - Google Feeds Your Appetite for Success
When it comes to the recipe for Internet sales success, brand and product exposure are key ingredients, and organic search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) are just two ways of gaining publicity. A third, often overlooked, option for product awareness is the use of shopping comparison sites, such as Google Shopping, which is fed through the Google Merchant Center.
02/01/2013 - Video For Your Website - Tactics to Build Online Sales
Ten years ago, it was rare for online wholesalers and retailers to have video on their websites, and those that did incorporate it into their online marketing plans were considered innovative. Now, if you ask a room full of business owners if they have video on their websites, at least half will say yes, as it is quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Today, it is how, not if, you use video that makes you stand out from the competition.
02/01/2013 - New and Improved Scribbleband
Dave Bullock, a middle school teacher, noticed that students have a few common characteristics. "They love to wear stuff on their wrists, they love to write on their hands and arms, and they love colorful things," he says. When Bullock pieced this all together, he created the Scribbleband, a soft silicone bracelet that is made to write on. It has become a skin friendly way to take notes, jot down homework assignments and doodle.
02/01/2013 - A Taste of Milk and Honey
Success as a vendor in the gift and jewelry business, to a large degree, depends on offering buyers fresh, fashionable products, as well as being able to shift and adapt your product line to the times. Glen Miller, president of Milk and Honey, Inc., has perfected a balance of those strategies, and offers classic products that are continually popular, as well as trending jewelry, accessories and giftware
02/01/2013 - Smart Surplus Goods for the Environment
Smart Surplus, Inc., launched in 2003, is a full service, worldwide liquidation and inventory management firm that provides a variety of strategic solutions to help CUSTOMERs with their inventory and warehousing needs. Services include remarketing and purchasing of excess inventory, refurbishing and disposal solutions, returns management, warehouse space consulting and customized reverse logistics programs.
01/01/2013 - New dog and cat product is a sign of a pet owner's love
Ken Cleveland, the owner of KC Creations, is always looking for new products ? and new ways to sell his existing lines. For example, his door and window toppers are fun products in their own right. They consist of pet figurines that sit on the molding of a door or window. However, not all doors and windows have molding, especially in newer houses. So Cleveland came up with a way for all his CUSTOMERs to enjoy the product.
01/01/2013 - Mobile Sales Drive Profits
Mobile payment apps are fast becoming a popular mode for web wholesalers and online retailers to generate more sales at offline venues, such as tradeshows and conventions. Various mobile payment platforms enable merchants to accept PayPal, cash, credit cards, invoice or checks, wherever they are, on the phone they already carry.
01/01/2013 - Haute Fashion at Deep Discounts
Clothing Showroom is an online wholesaler of brand name and proprietary label apparel. The company's website boasts 26 merchandise categories, plus additional pages showcasing the latest special deals. The catalogue is regularly updated to reflect the latest fashions, and recently spotlighted its selection of Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier, Hello Kitty and WOW Couture apparel.
01/01/2013 - Showers Burst with Aromatherapy
hydra, a company dedicated to creating pampering products that provide an exceptional bathing experience, recently introduced a line of Shea Butter Soaps. At 6.5 ounces, hydra's Shea Butter Soap is triple-milled in the French tradition, creating a long lasting bar. Four aromatherapy blends are available, all made with the company's signature essential oil blends and no fragrance oils.
01/01/2013 - Enlightening Decor Products
For Fortune Products, Inc., 2013 is about bigger, better light-up decorations. With its Fairy Berries battery operated string lights and real lighted glassware, the company continues to deliver merchandise that adds extra sparkle to events. Smaller than one inch in diameter, round Fairy Berries can be used to decorate in a variety of ways, including on water, in trees, in centerpieces and on lawns. Fairy Berries retail for $17.95 to $24.95, and wholesale pricing is available upon request.
01/01/2013 - Transform Viewers into Buyers
Shoppable videos, those enhanced with attached or embedded links for direct-from-video purchase opportunities, is fast becoming popular with online sellers. This medium, the strength of which lies in telling stories, gets consumers excited by engaging multiple senses simultaneously, and turns this excitement into action by giving consumers the means to make a purchase on the spot. Video viewers simply point, click and buy, and then return to view their video.
01/01/2013 - Get a Foothold with Cheap Wholesale Socks
Novelty socks are all the rage right now, and the brighter they are, the better they sell. With designs that pay homage to bacon, mustaches, bicycles and more, socks are one type of merchandise that steps in line with the funkiest trends. Cheap Wholesale Socks offers foot hosiery in every color of the rainbow, including a number of shocking hues and patterns, ranging from neon giraffe spots to bright skeleton keys.
01/01/2013 - New Year, New eCommerce System
Many online retailers just completed a "hair on fire" end to the 2012 holiday shopping season. Now that you can rest and take a four-hour vacation, it is time to start planning for 2013, and ensure that you have built your store on an ecommerce system worthy of your business. To see if your ecommerce platform passes the test, ask yourself the following questions:
01/01/2013 - Fight Online Fraud
Nine out of ten online merchants may be vulnerable to credit card fraud, according to a survey by SignatureLink, an online security firm, and payment industry communicator CardNotPresent.com. The survey found that only ten percent of websites surveyed require shoppers to accept the terms and conditions of payment to the site via e-signature, vocal consent or a physical signature. Agreement to site terms and conditions along with data breaches are areas of focus for ecommerce businesses that process payments online.
01/01/2013 - Cyber Monday Shatters Mobile Records
Mobile commerce shopping increased more than 400 percent on Cyber Monday 2012, reports Unbound Commerce, a mobile experience architecture firm. The firm conducted a study which showed that the vast majority of visits made to ecommerce sites were from first time CUSTOMERs who had not previously opened an online account with the stores where they shopped. Unbound Commerce's CUSTOMERs reported a 410 percent spike in revenue on Cyber Monday, as shoppers turned to tablets and phones for streamlined shopping trips.
12/01/2012 - Mungi Bands are Kid Magnets
Children love silicone bracelets, and Chad Anger's three daughters are no exception. The problem with bracelets on the market, however, came into view when Anger found them discarded in a drawer after hardly being worn. When Anger, now Mungi Bands president, developed his bracelets, his children were instantly drawn to the silicone designs with magnetic closures, and were pleading for more.
12/01/2012 - Product Showcase - Hot Shades
Predicting the next hot look in sunglasses sometimes requires paying attention to celebrities, as consumers are influenced by the styles Hollywood starlets and heartthrobs sport in fashion magazines. As online wholesalers seek out the next big trend in eyewear, there are a few key themes that are expected to carry over from 2012 to 2013.
12/01/2012 - DVA Wholesales Diverse Goods
DVA, Inc. formed in 1987 as a seller of store-opening inventories working with Blockbuster franchises. By 1998, the company began moving large quantities of DVDs on eBay, and from that point on the firm was sold on buying and selling inventory online. Four years ago, DVA adapted to the ever-changing media industry by diversifying its inventory to include electronics, housewares and automotive products. The company has made a number of upgrades recently, as it works to maintain a top position in the media industry.
12/01/2012 - Gifts with Presence
Kheops International is a business propelled by genuine passion for the company's products. Nestled in the rural North Country of New Hampshire, the company dedicates itself to meaningful items that are off the beaten path in terms of design and function, and are intended to inspire end CUSTOMERs with their high quality and unusual characteristics.
12/01/2012 - Sharp Looks From Pacific Solution
Following the DVD release of Universal Studios' Snow White and the Huntsman, Pacific Solution Marketing, Inc. saw sales figures reflect the additional blockbuster buzz. As a leading source for movie prop replicas and original weaponry, the wholesaler has a couple of action flick titles under its belt, including the 2011 hit Immortals, and hopes to procure more licenses in the future.
12/01/2012 - Free Shipping Builds Profits
With 2012 winding down it is time to finalize plans for next year, and online sellers must not overlook the vital role that shipping plays in driving sales online. At some point during the buying cycle all shoppers ask, "How much does shipping cost?" and "How fast is the item shipped?" The answers to these questions play an important role in buying decisions, especially when all other comparison factors are consistent.
12/01/2012 - USPS Hike in 2013
The U.S. Postal Service has announced it will raise postage rates on January 27, 2013, pending review by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Priority Mail service will increase overall an average of 6.3 percent, and retail prices will increase an average of nine percent.
12/01/2012 - Popular Smartphone Apps
Smartphone users download entertainment and game apps more often than any other applications, with social media, finance and productivity apps also popular mobile downloads, according to a study by CUSTOMER service technology company Virtual Hold Technology (VHT).
11/01/2012 - Engage CUSTOMERs with Email
Chances are good that you have wondered about your communications strategy as an online wholesaler or retailer, and you may question whether you are communicating enough or too much. Think about how many times during the year, quarter or month a CUSTOMER needs you, or your products or services, and let that be your guide to how often to reach out and touch your audience.
11/01/2012 - Inside Quick Response - QR Codes
Quick Response (QR) codes originated in Japan under Denso Corporation, a Toyota Motor Corporation subsidiary, and were intended to hasten the code reading process, while at the same time allowing for more data to be captured in a single scan. Their efficiency was harnessed to help track vehicle parts during the manufacturing process, but has now spread across every industry as a savvy square for sharp consumers.
11/01/2012 - Conquer eCommerce with Drop Shipping
As online shopping figures continue to swell, entrepreneurial opportunities follow suit, and with the help of reliable drop shippers, running a successful ecommerce or mcommerce business is more obtainable than ever.
11/01/2012 - Merling, Inc. / Licensed NFL Products
Merling Wholesale, also known as Merling Sports, is a distributor of licensed products covering the NFL, MLB, NCAA/College, NBA, NHL and other organizations. The company's huge assortment of products includes licensed blankets, wallets, decals, beach towels, candles, flags, umbrellas, banners, gloves, scarves and more.
11/01/2012 - Stunning Low Cost Product Photos
When it comes to selling merchandise online, it's all about high quality images that share product features in a way that replicate their in-store allure. Photo Cubics Inc. specializes in innovative photography solutions that empower online retailers to create such detailed images at a fraction of the cost of professional photography.
11/01/2012 - Marketplace Fairness Flack
Internet retailers have enjoyed exemption from the requirement to collect sales taxes since 1992, when the U.S. Supreme Court passed a ruling closing the case of Quill Corporation v. North Dakota, at which point it was decided that, in states where online retailers have no brick and mortar presence, or nexus, they were not required to collect sales tax.
11/01/2012 - Six Design Tips to Generate Sales
To be successful, ecommerce businesses need to build sites that are able to sell products. Sounds simple enough, yet, too often sites are designed based on improper knowledge of CUSTOMERs' wants and needs. In some cases, companies even let technology drive design efforts, and that is one of the worst things that can happen.
11/01/2012 - Best Electronic Devices Fuel Sales
Berlin, Germany, ballooned with excitement at this year's annual Internationale Funkausstellung (Radio and Television Exhibition). Fingertips were the focus for technology and engineering executives as they gathered to kibitz about the latest touchscreens, smartphones and tablet accessories.
10/01/2012 - The Best Apps for Your Business
The slew of promises that comes with many mobile apps approaches productivity from every angle. As business owners find themselves becoming more and more mobile, the curiosity surrounding these collectible tools makes a visit to an iTunes or Android store feel like the grown up version of a trip to the candy shop. Hundreds of thousands of apps are available for iPhone, iPad and Android, with more being added by the minute.
10/01/2012 - Sterling Reduces B2B Credit Card Processing Fees
Sterling Buying Group (SBG) has been around for more than six years, spearheaded by credit card processing industry veterans Howard Cooper and Kevin Schifrin, who have grown the company in excess of 40 percent annually. To Cooper, running the business is not just about getting clients in the door, it is about taking care of those clients and making sure that CUSTOMER service is consistently at the forefront of every client interaction.
10/01/2012 - Adams Creates RealComfort Barstool
For more than 30 years, Adams Manufacturing Corp. has dedicated itself to creating safe, easy-to-use, affordable products, from high quality suction cups and holiday accessories to stackable folding resin furniture.
10/01/2012 - The Spirit of St Louis Wholesale
St. Louis Wholesale's owner and founder, Craig Pinkerton, has come a long way since his first wholesale purchase. Had he not taken an initial risk, St. Louis Wholesale would never have been created.
10/01/2012 - FLOMO - New Valentines day product line
Seven is a lucky number at FLOMO, a manufacturer and distributor owned by Nygala Corp., with seven of its own factories in operation around the country. Started as a factory-based supplier in 1956, the company won seven national awards for excellence in 2011 and continues to uphold high quality standards.
10/01/2012 - A Whole Lot of Love
While romance is in the air year round, there is one special day set aside that celebrates lovers. That day is Valentine's Day, and nothing is more popular for amorous gift giving than greeting cards and merchandise that say "Love." This year, wholesalers are offering retailers merchandise that is both traditional and trendy, giving CUSTOMERs the opportunity to say the age-old "I love you" with a contemporary twist.
10/01/2012 - Ecommerce Holiday Checklist
The holidays are quickly approaching and your business promos should have already begun. Keeping everything in check and making sure you leave no stone unturned can be a difficult task. To help you in that effort, here is a checklist of items you should consider while preparing for the holidays.