When you’re in front of a rep or vendor and see an item you think would be great in your store, what’s the first question you ask? Of course, it’s “how much is it?” That’s a great question, but it really should be your SECOND question.
Your first question should be, BEFORE you know the cost, “how much can I sell it for?” You need to set a selling price based on the item’s intrinsic value and what you feel your customer will pay for it. By doing this, you’ve established what you feel the item should sell for in your store. Next ask the cost.
If the cost supports the margins you’re looking for at the selling price you’ve just established, it’s probably a good item, but don’t buy it yet. On a merchandise comparison form give the item a rating and go back later to look again.
You should take the time to see everything before you buy anything. Once you’ve educated yourself as to what’s available and rated the items you thought were winners, you’re ready to go back, take another look, and if the items are still exciting, place your orders.
Working a trade show is a lot of work (as it should be) even before you go to the show because you must be sure your open to buy plan is current. Once it is, you’re ready to learn what the manufacturers are offering and to determine the best items for your store to fit your retail dollar buying plan (open to buy). You are building a retail dollar inventory to support your retail dollar sales.
Everything that’s done in your store if for your customers and what they see are retail dollars. Cost is not part of their decision process, only value. That’s why when you buy, you need to be thinking retail, not cost.