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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    How do I start a US distribution?
    What to do when you want to introduce a new toy to the US market.

    I have an out of country (but not out of continent up North) person that has a toy he makes/sells who is looking to enter the US market through me. I am waiting for exact numbers but from what I am hearing the toy that he is selling is moving very well out of country. Well enough that he is having it mass produced off continent in mass batches and having it shipped back to him. There are about 6 different varieties, and he is in the process of developing new ones. This to me started to look like an opportunity.

    He is not currently in the US market, but wed both like to get him here. Wed also both like for me to be the primary US distributor and possibly move into regional distributors at a later time if it ever warrants. I believe what I need to do is to buy several instances of the product to prepare for mass distribution. To keep things as inexpensive as possible for both of us (And as an initial form of market/price point research) Id like to start off with an online store and affiliate program.

    1. For those of you that have introduced a product line and distributed what route did you take?
    2. Just like this website exists for affiliate marketers is there a forum based site for distributors that contains as much useful information as this site does? (Is it even possible for a site to contain as much useful information as this site does Rhetorical Dont answer!)
    3. Did you use a fulfillment house? Are there any you recommend?
    4. What online store software do you recommend that will allow me to move into a affiliate program like Share a Sale pretty easily? Fortunately I learned from another post that SAS is a great place to start. Just my luck that was the first place I signed up with. YahFreakinHoo!
    5. What software do you recommend that allows easy signup and building of JavaScript for affiliates?
    6. Are there some other threads here on this topic that I should be reading?
    7. Why are loads on ships called cargo, and loads by car/truck called shipments ? ;-)

    Keep in mind that - even as I seem to be asking some medium to advanced questions I still realize that market research work still has to be done. Any other information that you have to share can only help me.

    Fire away. I await your pearls of wisdom.

    Patrick

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick24601
    What to do when you want to introduce a new toy to the US market.

    I have an out of country (but not out of continent up North) person that has a toy he makes/sells who is looking to enter the US market through me. I am waiting for exact numbers but from what I am hearing the toy that he is selling is moving very well out of country. Well enough that he is having it mass produced off continent in mass batches and having it shipped back to him. There are about 6 different varieties, and he is in the process of developing new ones. This to me started to look like an opportunity.

    He is not currently in the US market, but wed both like to get him here. Wed also both like for me to be the primary US distributor and possibly move into regional distributors at a later time if it ever warrants. I believe what I need to do is to buy several instances of the product to prepare for mass distribution. To keep things as inexpensive as possible for both of us (And as an initial form of market/price point research) Id like to start off with an online store and affiliate program.

    1. For those of you that have introduced a product line and distributed what route did you take?
    2. Just like this website exists for affiliate marketers is there a forum based site for distributors that contains as much useful information as this site does? (Is it even possible for a site to contain as much useful information as this site does Rhetorical Dont answer!)
    3. Did you use a fulfillment house? Are there any you recommend?
    4. What online store software do you recommend that will allow me to move into a affiliate program like Share a Sale pretty easily? Fortunately I learned from another post that SAS is a great place to start. Just my luck that was the first place I signed up with. YahFreakinHoo!
    5. What software do you recommend that allows easy signup and building of JavaScript for affiliates?
    6. Are there some other threads here on this topic that I should be reading?
    7. Why are loads on ships called cargo, and loads by car/truck called shipments ? ;-)

    Keep in mind that - even as I seem to be asking some medium to advanced questions I still realize that market research work still has to be done. Any other information that you have to share can only help me.

    Fire away. I await your pearls of wisdom.

    Patrick
    If it's a new unique toy that should sell well via ecommerce then find a USA warehouse/full fillment partner and open a Amazon shop. Another turn key route is to contact Overstock's Worldstock division and let them handle the whole process.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    Thanks. I'll hop on over to overstock and read what they have.

    Anybody else?

  4. #4
    Full Member TLE's Avatar
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    Hi Patrick

    I help out at local toy importer/distributor so I can pitch in on a few of your questions.

    1. For those of you that have introduced a product line and distributed what route did you take?


    For market testing & introduction:
    Trade Shows: TIA ASD/AMD
    Various Gift Shows, Flea markets, Swap meet, Holiday Markets.

    For distribution:
    Distribution is from our LA warehouse. We do have sales rep for niche markets, where we'll do a private label.


    3. Did you use a fulfillment house? Are there any you recommend?
    No for toys. Yes for higher margin products. None that I can recommend.

    4. What online store software do you recommend that will allow me to move into a affiliate program like Share a Sale pretty easily?
    Why don't you ask Brian.

    7. Why are loads on ships called cargo, and loads by car/truck called shipments ? ;-)
    I believe "shipment" is the industry term for the complete logistic process, whereas "cargo" is the tangible goods to be transported.

    Since you're starting on a budget, my suggestion is to (test) retail your toy at a local flea/holiday market. For a small money and time investment, you'll get a good feel for the product's market viability. You'll either sell out in a few hours :-) or the experience will save you a few weeks or months of time.

    Forgot to add, the WSJ did a story on FAO Schwarz a few days ago. In summary,
    "..In open auditions with FAO executives, amateur toy inventors show up on the second Thursday of each month to compete for shelf space with limited-edition Barbie dolls and Lionel trains."

    Best of Luck,
    Tuan
    Last edited by TLE; September 25th, 2005 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Additional Info

  5. #5
    Crazy like a fox suzigeek's Avatar
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    Since you're starting on a budget, my suggestion is to (test) retail your toy at a local flea/holiday market. For a small money and time investment, you'll get a good feel for the product's market viability. You'll either sell out in a few hours :-) or the experience will save you a few weeks or months of time.
    I have to chime in about flea markets. I've done flea markets in Santa fe NM and you would have to do more than just a couple of weekends to figure out whether or not there's a market for it. And what flea market your at also affects your response.

    We would have sell out days one week end and dead days the next week end. Its more than a little time investment doing the flea. With the flea you have to contend with weather issues and such affecting the crowds ability to buy. Although the Fleas in Santa Fe are in a beautiful setting , so it was alot of "fun" and of course it is all tourism there as opposed to other parts of the country.

    There are indoor fleas which I've never done so I would imagine weather wouldn't be such an issue.

    What about Ebay??
    Suz~~GearGirl~~

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    Ebay was definitely in the cards. Cheap and easy to open a store and get rolling.

  7. #7
    Full Member asr_guy's Avatar
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    I suggest you also do online research - see what people are searching for, check the competition you know, plus search on the keywords you think people would use to find that toy and see what comes up.

    Then open an online site that sells the toy. Use a fulfillment house to handle the logistics initially and then in-source where appropriate as the volumes grow.

    Affiliate channels will add to your online sales but do your homework and make some sales of your own first. Also get your site converting well before you open it up to affiliates.

    Re cargo terminology - we also drive on the parkway and park on the driveway

    Just some ideas.

    Cheers,
    Peter
    [URL=http://www.typoassassin.com/?utm_source=abestweb&utm_medium=forum&utm_content=p&utm_campaign=sig]Are these affiliates stealing from you?[/URL]

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Overstock and Amazon cover the Cart/e-catalog order booking requirements with EXISTING TRAFFIC. They can disperse overseas payment, less fees, and can contract drop shipping for order fullfillment. If it's a new sex toy your hawking then contact Gordo as he's an expert in test marketing those things to bored Canadians...
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  9. #9
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    just to add. go now and register the domain name of the toy..
    Find us at shareasale.com 12% commission
    Shareasale Merchant 7191
    PLAZAN SKIN CARE As seen on TV . Used by Jennifer Lopez

  10. #10
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    If it's a new sex toy your hawking then contact Gordo as he's an expert in test marketing those things to bored Canadians...
    i missed that bit... true ..so true
    Find us at shareasale.com 12% commission
    Shareasale Merchant 7191
    PLAZAN SKIN CARE As seen on TV . Used by Jennifer Lopez

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