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I am extremely excited - after spending half my life advising companies then working in them at the corporate level, I finally took the jump into launching my own business rooted in my passion for surfing.

With my first order of shirts now being worked on by a local printer, I am super anxious as to what to expect when I approach the retail shops.

The good thing is that my company was a social network first that I ran for fun. So I actually already have my first retail account. Issue is, as much as I really trust this guy, I feel weird asking him certain questions since we are on opposite sides of the table. I'm hoping to get some insight here ...

1) What do retailers do with stuff that doesn't sell? I do see products that go on sale. But can they return them to me and maybe do a "chargeback" reducing the payment I get from them for those that didn't sell?

2) In #1, that assumes they are paying net 30. What about clothes that don't sell after they already made payment?

3) Speaking of which, how often should I expect true net 30? I'm guessing it varies by industry.

4) Perhaps I should have led with this question but the thought just kinda scares me ... consignment ... is it common for retailers to only agree to carry unproven / new lines only on consignment? I guess another question would be, how bad is it to actually offer consignment just to get your stuff in a store?

5) My line sheets all indicate a RRP with an implicit 2.2 keystone that gets to my WP. How does that negotiation work if there is even a negotiation at all? Does the retailer take your line sheet as set in stone and its either yes or no? Or will they come back and maybe say something like, "we think your RRP is not sustainable and we are actually at key and a half so you need to reduce your WP."

6) When I send my shirts over to the retailer, they will be the ones to put the tags on them, right? I have size, origin, care instructions printed on them. Aside from the shirts neatly folded and ready to go, are there other preparations for them that are needed for the retailer?

7) While I ramp up, I aim to hold the smallest amount of inventory possible. I actually plan to wait for retail orders and then order the shirts for printing after the orders are in. Is this foolish? Specifically, I plan to send line sheets to targeted retailers all in the same day and follow up meet or call them as quickly as possible. The line sheets will indicate delivery in 2 months if I get the order within the current month. I understand from my friend that owns his own shop that 2-3 month lead time is typical (e.g., order in spring/summer season to receive products for fall/winter).

Ok ... those are just the questions I can think of swirling in my head there are so many things in there right now lol.

Thank you for reading this and bearing with me.
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