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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 - Seattle Gift Show Kicks Off Winter 2017 Buying Season
The Seattle Gift Show promises to bring a versatile selection of products built around the Pacific Northwest lifestyle January 6-9, 2017

10/14/2016 - WINDY CITY GIFT SHOW: Winter 2017 Edition
The Winter 2017 Windy City Gift Show in January 2017 will be a one-stop shop for retailers looking for unique designs, breaking trends and new resources.

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.

10/13/2016 - Winter 2017 Philadelphia Gift Show Highlights
The first gift show of the season for Northeast retailers.

02/05/2015 - isABelt: Fun Fashion Solution
This virtually invisible, fully adjustable belt keeps your outfit looking fantastic by keeping your pants in place.

04/01/2013 - Keep Bugs at Bay
No one likes to have their personal space invaded by mosquitos, gnats, flies and no-see-ums, and consumers are looking for ways to safely protect themselves and their families from these annoying pests without the use of messy, and often toxic, bug sprays. Retailers who incorporate Bandz and Spotz, DEET-FREE, citronella-infused insect repellent products from Mosquitno, LLC, into their product offerings, can help consumers keep bugs away as well as enjoy the profits these impulse buys bring to their bottom lines.

04/01/2013 - Guide to Product Listing Ads
Google Product Listing Ads are a type of advertising that follows the pay-per-click (PPC) model. This kind of promotion, however, presents a greater opportunity than a typical text-only ad, which was long the cornerstone of PPC advertising. With Product Listing Ads, businesses can include rich product details, including merchant name, product images, product name, price and message

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 - Leather Belts Made in the USA
Men have been wearing belts going as far back as 3,000 B.C., and both genders have worn these accessories on and off throughout the years, depending on current fashion trends. Today, belts are a staple for men and popular among women. "I don't know a man who doesn't wear a belt everyday," shares Howard Keller, partner of Detroit Leather Company, which launched in May of 2012.

03/01/2013 - Polarview Sunglasses are FAA Approved
The hottest trend in sunglasses is not as much about design as it is about functionality, according to David Zeuner, CEO of Sunglass Manufacturing Group. "Polarview is a new technology for sunglasses that does everything polarized lenses do to block UVA and UVB light as well as reflective glare, but, unlike polarized lenses, they don't block instrumentation. Even in bright light, you can see screens on devices like cell phones, GPS, aviation panels and iPads. All of our sunglasses are Polarview." Notably, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the use of Polarview glasses, and outlawed the use of polarized glasses, for airline pilots

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 - A Message from the CEO
This year marks our 25th anniversary serving the wholesale and retail merchandise industry, and I want to thank you for choosing us to help you grow your business. It is an honor to bring you the news, business insights and, most importantly, new product information you need to succeed. Throughout the years, our motto has been to under promise and over deliver, and we are dedicated to connecting reputable wholesalers with the most active buying audience across all venues.

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 - Pain Relieving Massagers Provide Soothing Profits
Healthmate International recently introduced updated models of its Plus-6IS, Plus-6AB, Pro-8IS and Pro-8AB HealthmateForever portable, hands-FREE massagers. The HealthmateForever units combine Chinese acupuncture with deep tissue massage sensations to effectively relieve tension and severe discomfort without drugs or side effects.

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 - Master Cutlery with Top Notch Knives
Master Cutlery was founded 30 years ago when Jackie Lee's parents established one of the first American companies to source knives from their native China. "My father saw a great opportunity, and he forged relationships with manufacturers who were able to get him these products," she explains. "The company has grown every year since its launch." The firm currently operates out of a 100,000 square foot facility in Secaucus, NJ, where Lee is VP of operations.

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.

02/01/2013 - mCommerce: Adapt or Die
Shoppers are quickly moving to mobile commerce, or mcommerce, with more than 50 percent of U.S. consumers saying they plan to use smartphones or tablets to make purchases over the Internet, according to research giant Nielsen. In addition, research firm Canalys notes that, in 2011, for the first time ever, shipments of smartphones (487.7 million) exceeded shipments of personal computers (414.6 million).

01/16/2013 - GoliathFalls.com Launches, Supercharges the Buy Local Movement
New site is dedicated to promoting locally owned independent businesses nationwide.

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 - 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 - Facebook Offers Viral Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, using text ads and banners to engage social media fans on Facebook, has been losing its luster in recent years. Advertising to these fans may be great for building brand awareness, but it is not doing much for the immediate bottom line. The low returns businesses see from PPC methods may be because people that typically use social media sites, like Facebook, do not necessarily want to be sold to directly.

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.

12/01/2012 - Pretty Hot & Tempting Keychains
Phat Head Gang keychains, available from Evergreen Marketing Inc., are handmade string dolls, each with a unique name, personality and motto. The keychain characters are "Pretty, Hot and Tempting," as the name "Phat" implies, for youngsters and adults alike.

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 - 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.

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.

09/01/2012 - Sterling Helps Reduce Costs
Sterling Buying Group has been around for more than six years, spearheaded by credit card processing industry veterans who have grown the company in excess of 20 to 40 percent annually. To managing partner Howard Cooper, running the business is not just about getting clients in the door, it is taking care of those clients and making sure that customer service is consistently at the forefront of every client interaction.

09/01/2012 - The TOPS of the Game
Plush cupcakes, skull shaped coin banks and metallic balls are more than just fun and games at Toy Network LLC. Those products are the latest stock fueling the company's success.

09/01/2012 - Kheops-Meaningful-Business
How can a business inspire harmony? How does making a purchase result in a deeper connection with nature? Most importantly, what in the world does the web have to do with it? Kheops International has answers, all of which come in the form of meaningful gifts. As a leading wholesaler and drop shipper of candles, treasure boxes, figurines and other spiritual items, Kheops shares its appreciation for harmony and nature via its selection of gifts and jewelry.

09/01/2012 - Wrap the Holidays in Fun, Flirty Accessories
Colorful, unique accessories make great holiday gifts, especially when they offer retailers outstanding profit margins. Some of the hottest new merchandise this season includes versatile hand cut scarves, shiny hair products and twinkling rhinestone jewelry, and jingle jangle hip scarves, all of which dress up anyone's bottom line.

09/01/2012 - Shipping is Key to Shopping Carts
UPS recently commissioned a study to pinpoint key details regarding shipping and online purchases useful in preventing online shopping cart abandonment. With cart abandonment rates soaring around 70 percent, businesses with online stores can benefit from the information uncovered by comScore, Inc., the company commissioned to perform the study.

08/01/2012 - Broadcast Your Brand with Video Marketing
Video marketing is a way to promote your products and services through the use of video, either online, on DVD, at tradeshows or via other systems. It is an opportunity for you to put your face and voice out there with the rest of your marketing messages.

08/01/2012 - Vapor Corp. Files for Padded Patent
Vapor Corp., an electronic cigarette company, has filed a patent for a "Padded Cartridge For An Electronic Cigarette Apparatus," with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a soft tip e-cigarette filter with the same tactile feel of a traditional cigarette.

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