Catalog Sales Representative
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Will You Ever Get Off the Ground?

     Here are 14 criteria to predict whether your product has potential to be a catalog winner.  Although it's not necessary to meet all of these traits, the more it meets, the greater likelihood it will be successful in catalogs and on websites.

1.  It makes sense.  Upon seeing your product for the first time, most
      people would understand the value or usefulness of it.

2.  It's new.  Ideally the product should be fairly new with limited or no
       exposure at trade shows or in stores.
3.  It solves a problem.  You product solves a common everyday
       problem that's never been addressed before.  Or it solves a problem in
       a unique way or a much less expensive way.
4.  It's unique.  There's absolutely nothing like it on the market.
5.  It looks good. 
Your product photographs well.  An attractive eye-
       catching photo works wonders for sales.
6.  It's simple. 
Your product has just one main function and solves just one 
       problem.  It takes less copy to explain a simple gadget than one with
       lots of "bells and whistles."
7.  There's a widespread market. 
Naturally the larger the catalog
       market for your product, the larger the opportunity.  Unfortunately,
       certain consumer markets, although big, are not necessarily big
       catalog markets.
8.  There's a year-round market. 
The bigger the window of
        opportunity for your item, the better.  It's usually more profitable to get
sales throughout the year than to be limited to a short seasonal

9.  It's safe.  Ideally your product should not be dangerous in any way. 
       There's no risk, or at least limited risk of injury to the customer.  There
        are no small breakable parts for children to swallow.

10. It's durable. 
Your product will easily ship without breaking.
11. It's easy to supply. 
There's an adequate inventory with a short lead
      time on production.  Plus, you have backup suppliers lined up, in case you
      need them.
12. It's priced between $5 and $200.  Ideally the perceived value is
       over $5, unless the product can be sold in sets.  Although there is no
       upper-limit price, generally products selling for over $200 have slower
       sales through catalogs.

13. It's easy to mail.  Your product is UPS-shippable.  If it's particularly long
       or odd-shaped, you can provide the product in a reshipper box. 
       Preferably the product should also be lightweight.  Naturally the higher
       the price/weight ratio, the better.

14. It's patented.  Although it's not absolutely necessary that your product
        be patented, with a patent (especially a utility patent), you can
        avoid "knockoffs."  The catalogs will also feel better about advertising
        your product if they know you are the rightful owner of the idea.



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