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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at my local mall today; there were 3 very well established, small T-shirt oriented shops... and 1 new one. I went into the new one; there were probably 8 or so customers, it seemed to be doing well.
My question: Can I just walk in with a sample and a business card and give the guy a t-shirt? Would any store owner (especially a new store owner) object to getting a free, no obligations T-shirt?
I'd stop back in a week or two and see if he gave me a thumbs up or a thumbs down...
Any thoughts?
 

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Is this a large chain or a 'mom-and-pop' type apparel store. Typically with your larger chains the manager, unless you know him personally, will state that they can't set-up any merchandise without prior authorization of management, i.e. corporate. Now it's not a bad strategy targeting middle managers and getting them to buy into your gear, as perhaps you might be able to persuade them to encourage higher-ups to purchase the product. Just remember, if it is corporate chain these managers are paid to say NO, they have a job wether they stock your product or not, and it would be there behind if they purchased something which was not in keeping with the corporate 'identity.'
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Tom. It definitely looks like a "Mom and Pop" operation. I guess the downside of that would be if it did end up selling, it would only be at that one location..?
 

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If you do end up selling to that store, they may want exclusive territory for that area anyway. They most likely wouldn't want you selling the same shirt to their competitor next door.

Personally I wouldn't do the whole "giving a free shirt" thing. Giving product away is generally not the best way to get sales in any industry.

Walk in, give your business card and ask to speak to the owner or buyer. Then make an appointment to come back another time and show them all of your samples. If you REALLY want to get your shirts in their hands, maybe work out a consignment deal. But don't give stuff away.
 

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If you do end up selling to that store, they may want exclusive territory for that area anyway. They most likely wouldn't want you selling the same shirt to their competitor next door.

Walk in, give your business card and ask to speak to the owner or buyer. Then make an appointment to come back another time and show them all of your samples. If you REALLY want to get your shirts in their hands, maybe work out a consignment deal. But don't give stuff away.

This is why I like coming here.
 

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A better question, why even bring up the competition portion in your presentation? Ask if they'd like to stock your product, if not move on to the next store. In the beginning, consignment is probably the best way to go, but what you are looking for is SALES!! A basis upon which you can go to larger stores and show that you have a repeat customer basis. Then comes the all important, beneficient trend lines, and profit margins, which purchasers for corporate companies love to see.

In regards to free swag, it depends on what you are trying to build. Selected give-a-ways, that focus on businesses specific market segmentation can often times have a better impact than a nice drawl and carefully placed company brochure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What About walking into a Mom and Pop T-shirt shop... WEARING my t-shirt? Anyone ever have any luck doing this...?
 

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You're probably gonna hear on this forum no, they're probably wearing their own t-shirts anyway. But heck, if they aren't, why not ask and be the first on the forum to tell us what you did...go for it!!
 

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Actually, my very first store order came kind of that way.

I was wearing one of my hats instead of my t-shirts. I was looking around in the store just to see what it was like.

As I was leaving the store owner/buyer asked me where I got my hat. I told him about my brand and left him a business card.

A couple of weeks later he called and wanted to meet. He ended up ordering some shirts for his store. That was almost 2 years ago.

I'm sure the same thing can work with t-shirts.
 

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