2023 January Market Tips!

Dec 7, 2022

The holidays are upon us and we all know what comes next. After the hustle and bustle of your busiest season, it’s time for market! There’s no rest for the weary as it will soon be time to head to Atlanta to find new and exciting products to restock your shelves for a brand new year. How can it almost be that time already? Let’s go over a few market tips that will help you plan your strategy to tackle the world’s largest collection of wholesale home, gift, and apparel showrooms! After all, market week is not for the faint of heart. It is a test of will and fortitude!

  1. Do your homework! It’s best not to show up without a plan and you can’t have a plan without putting in some study time. Don’t be that kid in school who’d always stumble in late for the test with no pencil and no idea of what chapters the test was covering. That never ended well. Browse vendors online and get a feel for the floors and showrooms that will fit your customer base. Keep your customers in mind as you shop. What do they want? What is their price range? What sells best? What seasons are you shopping for? No need to wander aimlessly on a floor devoted to soup tureens and cuckoo clocks unless, of course, those are hot sellers for you. It’s good to look over the Exhibitor Directory and Floor Plans on the AmericasMart website to help you get your plan in place. Make appointments in showrooms you always shop to keep your wait time to a minimum and to guarantee you’ll work with your regular representative who knows you best.
  1. Nobody is coming to market to look at your shoes. The sooner you can convince yourself of that unshakable truth, the happier you’ll be. The importance of comfortable shoes cannot be overemphasized! In one day, you’ll be walking as much as you’d normally walk in four at home. Your Fitbit may even begin to believe it’s been stolen by an avid hiker or long distance runner- convinced those number couldn’t possibly belong to you! Yeah, it’s a lot of walking and we all know if our feet aren’t happy, neither is the rest of us! Nothing can ruin a day at market like a big blister on the heel, so forget about fashion from the ankles down. This week is about comfort and endurance and less than stunning shoes.
  1. Bring a rolling bag even though others will hate you for it. Yes, there will be complimentary tote bags everywhere. Everyone and their mother will try to give you a bag- but if you’d like to lighten your load- a small rolling bag is a great way to do it. Just try to remember your rolling bag etiquette and keep it close to you and out of the way of others. This will help you avoid ugly looks from other buyers who may have worn cute shoes and have a blister and your rolling bag is blocking their way to the elevator door. And don’t try to gather catalogs while you’re there or you’ll quickly pop your tires. No, have those mailed to your store. The bag will come in handy for order copies, freebies, samples, and essentials. You’ll need to pack like you’re going on a hike because you’re about to scale the Everest of retail. Advil, band-aids, a phone charger, a water bottle, a notepad, and your market directory are good ideas. Maybe even a compass in case you plan on wandering over into the West Wing.
  1. Did someone say free food?  You’ll be too busy to stop very long for lunch, but there are snacks-a-plenty in many showrooms. Wear your stretchy pants because there will be M&M’s, buttery popcorn, chips and dips, warm cookies, candy bars, and cheeses laying around everywhere. It may not be the best week to try to get that cholesterol down, but it will give you the boost you’ll need to keep going. If you have an appointment during a meal time, your rep may even offer you a plate of real food and it will be the best thing you’ve seen all day! In the evening hours, some showrooms will provide adult beverages. A glass of wine may unwind you after a long day, but four glasses may unwind your monetary judgment so proceed with caution.  
  1. It bears repeating- write it down! It’s a great idea to put all your info on one card! Store name, store phone number, contact name, contact number, tax identification numbers, shipping address, billing address, credit card numbers, expiration date, security code, etc. When placing orders, you’ll be asked for this same information over and over and over again. Unless you just enjoy repeating yourself ad nauseum, make it easy. Having all this information on a single index card to hand to your sales representative makes it faster and easier for everyone! Just remember to get it back each time. If you keep it in your wallet and treat it as carefully as you would a credit or debit card, you’ll find it keeps you from sounding like a broken record… record… record …record… record.
  1. Don’t forget to use the B word. Engage in budget talks before you come. Nobody likes the B word, but it’s part of life. Go in with some perimeters and keep a running tally of your order copies to get an idea of where you are on your budget. You may want to break it down and determine how much to spend on each season or each area. When you finally get back in your hotel room with your feet propped up, waiting on room service to bring your $30 hamburger, you can assess your budget and the areas where you’re lacking to help steer your spending for the next day. Ask about show specials and other promotions like free shipping that may help you stretch your budget as far as possible.

Yes, market is a lot of work and completely exhausting for buyers and sellers, but it’s such an exciting time for us to be able to present our lineup of new products. We look forward to seeing our valued customers each market season and January will be no exception! You are the reason we do what we do and together we can really accomplish some BIG things! Make an appointment with your representative today to ensure a time slot and let’s all look to 2023 with excitement and anticipation of a year of new possibilities!