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November 2014

Making the Most of Supplier Best Sellers

Understanding the pros and cons

Gift manufacturers are always looking for ways to help retailers understand and buy their line. Lately it's become increasingly common for manufacturers to offer some type of sales rank listing to assist buyers with their selection. This usually takes the form of a "best seller list" or possibly even a "best seller pre-pack" that can be bought with the single click of a scanner.

On the surface, this sounds like a great idea and it is, but only if it is used as a tool, and not as the assumed "best" assortment in every case.

Best seller lists come with a few limitations. They are a recap of the manufacturer's best sellers nationwide so it's not always an indicator of how those items may sell in your store or region. Also, heavy use of pre-packs (especially from high profile lines) can increase the chance that you'll have a similar suppler assortment to others in your area.

Buying from these lists can also create something of a self-fulfilling prophesy for both you and the supplier. If items from these lists are all you try, that's all you sell, possibly loosing out on items with greater local sales potential.

When used as a resource, a manufacturer's listing of their best sellers can be a helpful, time saving tool. But, before you click on that pre-pack, or buy from that list, look it over closely to identify which themes, colors and price ranges have sold well for the supplier and consult your rep on what's moving regionally. Keeping that information in mind, quickly review the rest of the line. Look for items that may have greater potential for success in your store than some of the national items on the list. By using a mix of their proven products, and your store insight, make your own "best seller assortment".

No one knows your store like you do. By using best seller lists as a tool to help you customize your assortment, you reduce the likelihood of overlap with local retailers, and allow for a more unique and potentially better selling assortment within your trade area.

This is Gail Markert's last regular column for Gift and Home Retailer. We appreciate her tremendous contribution. Gail advises giftware manufacturers and retailers on opportunities for growth through product development, marketing and branding. Learn more at or reach her at

Gail Markert, Markert Group Consulting, 2014

Quick Industry News

All For Giving ProductsMore "Made In USA"

Last month was our annual "Made In USA" special issue. If you missed it you can see it here. Below is some bonus information about All For Giving.

Made In USAAll For Giving was founded in 2007 in Scottsdale, AZ by Bobbie Metz. She prides her company in providing high quality yet affordable gifts or all occasions. All For Giving products were inspired and created by Bobbie. Many of her items are produced in her warehouse in Scottsdale.

The featured photo shows employees (Lisa McKnight & Adrienne Short) working on her popular picture frames with bows. Each bow is hand made and attached one by one to each frame. Then they are embellished with a crystal embellishment before carefully wrapped up for shipping. Other items that are produced in Scottsdale include: faux fur wine bags, décor magnets, magnet bows and hand painted wine bottles.

All For Giving in Scottsdale Arizona All For Giving is still a small enough company to offer excellent customer service, prideful employees and unique products yet large enough accommodate key accounts including large department stores.


CAMEO EZ© is the B2B e-commerce system developed by OmegaNet Inc., publisher of this newsletter, for use by retailers in ordering inventory for their stores. A partial list of CAMEO EZ sites can be found at the company's portals such as,,,,, and A complete list of sites is available in the "Directory" on