How to get a new product into retail stores?

I’ve created an accessory for the iPhone that I think has the potential to be quite successful. What is the best way to get it into retail stores such as Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc.? Does it simply require a minimum number of units? If so, how many?

You have two options really if you want to get it into retail.

  1. The direct approach, make contact with the proper category buyer from the store (this can be extremely hard to do without some type of inside contact)that your product would fit in. you will need to then get a presentation together to sell them on the ideal. Just because you think it is great means nothing if the buyer doesn’t feel that it is a fit. You will then need to negotiate the selling price and profit margins… and when i say negotiate I mean that many times they will dictate the financials to you.

The hard part with this is that most big box stores would require that you have a certain amount of inventor already to go before they even decide to purchase(and you would need to prove that you have it). The last thing they are going to risk is reserving a shelf spot for a manufacture that is new and risky. Sometimes they will even take a certain amount of product, guarantee you x amount of time on the self, and if it doesn’t sell then they return the product back to you and you are left holding the inventory.(this is common with Wal-Mart)

  1. The next option is for you to sell your product your self and through small distributors and to also promote the product in a variety of ways. Once you have a proven success it is easier to get in the door at a big box store. heck if the product takes off they may even contact you which is even better yet as then you hold all the cards.

    Also the moderators frown on posting the same thing in multiple boards.
    Chevis W.

Why do you want to get into big box stores? You like holding inventory, and hate cash flow? Looking for someone who will cancel an order while you’ve got your life savings and all your credit cards sitting in a shipping container on the Pacific ocean? Just put it on Kickstarter and save yourself a ton of trouble. If it takes off, then you can still put it in Walmart if you really want.

Haha…I actually agree with you completely. Thanks for the feedback. If I were to get funded via Kickstarter what would be the best distribution channels? Online storefront?

If you haven’t read “the 4 hour workweek” you should pick it up.
A large portion of it details developing a product/service and marketing it online.

Without knowing what the product is or does it would be hard to tell you what is the BEST distribution network. But a online store front would be the least expensive and you would keep the margins.

I would highly recommend doing some reading or getting a mentor to talk to. SCORE ( they have branches in various states)is a free service that will provide you with access to professionals who can provide you with business experience and expertise.

or you could just wing it and take advice from people on forums who you have no idea what type of real experience they have and whether or not they even know what they are talking about. :wink: