8 Advantages of Working With Greeting Card Sales Reps

This is an excerpt from Get Your Greeting Cards Into Stores: How to Find and Work With Sales Reps (Updated 2017 paperback) If you like to make greeting cards, this book explains how to get your cards into stores and sell them nationwide.  Learn about changing trends in the indie card market and niche opportunities available for artists. Book includes detailed guidelines on pricing cards for a profit, getting professional feedback on your designs, finding sales representatives, pitching your card line to them, approaching stores, and the industry standards you should follow. Information is also applicable to gift items, such as magnets, journals and calendars.  


Why Artists Like to Work With Reps
Besides generating orders, there are many benefits to working with reps. Here are just a few:

Quick Access to Stores.
Reps offer quick access into the marketplace. Once a rep has a sample set of your card line, they can start showing it to stores immediately.

Reps Sell More Than Artists.
Reps usually have years of sales experience and personal relationships with hundreds of stores. Therefore, a rep is able to sell more cards than an artist could.

Reps Know What Stores Want.
Reps know store owner’s personalities, what kind of products they like, and what types of customers visit each store. Reps build bridges between the artist, the store and the customer.

Reps Are Industry Experts.
Sales reps have valuable information on buying trends and can advise an artist on how to explore new directions.

Easier to Distribute Risk.
An artist can avoid financial risk if they have several independent reps throughout the country. For example, if you put your entire card line in the hands of one middleman, store chain or distributor, and later they drop you, your business will end overnight. On the other hand, if you lose one sales rep, it is only a temporary setback until you find a replacement.

Cost Savings.
One of the biggest advantages of working with sales reps is the artist pays a commission to them instead of a salary (usually 15-20 percent of the wholesale price). Therefore, reps have an incentive to sell more of your cards, because the more they sell, the more money they also make.

Avoid Regulations.
Another benefit of working with reps is that since they are not employees, the artist does not have to deal with state and federal employee regulations such workman’s compensation, disability and social security taxes.

Reps are Invested in the Artist’s Success
When a rep decides to carry a card line, they have made a personal investment in the artist’s success and has confidence the cards will sell. It is a win–win for everyone.


Carolyn said...

Excellent article, Kate! As a former card rep myself, I applaud you for including some of the biggest advantages a rep can give you.

Anna said...

All great points,Kate. But, as an artist with a line of 50 (so far) card designs, I have only been able to find one good rep - here in Vermont where I live. I have worked with others for short periods of time, and then they backed away for various reasons.. It seems to be very hard to find good, reliable card reps.

Kate Harper said...

Anna-in the next 8 weeks I am going to post articles about sales reps and how to find them.

Anonymous said...

I owed (for 30 years) one of the largest rep companies in the country. I now help companies get licensed and most importantly sek out the best and most respected rep groups in No America. In addition, I maintain a prominent temporary corner booth location at the Atlanta gift show. If any company wants exposure to retailers, immediate orders and appointments with rep princials, please contact me. I can help!
Thank you,
Marcb Firestone

BiancodiZinco Art said...

Great article! thanks!

Greeting Cards said...

I use to work in a retail store in a popular tourist destination. It was super busy in the summer, not so busy in the winter, but one thing we could always count on selling was greeting cards. We carried three lines, eventually adding a fourth, we had reps for each company and one rep in particular was fantastic for knowing what would sell and what would not. Reps get paid by commission, it benefits them to do the best to sell as much product as they can. One rep never seemed to understand that and was always trying to push their junk cards on us to get rid of them... we never trusted that rep.

Fishbowl Cards said...

Hi Kate, I look forward to your series on sales reps and how to find one. My three year old company, Fishbowl Cards is a greeting card company with the focus on children and adults with special needs. Although the response has been amazing, it's time for a rep to take it to the next level. I also have artwork in my online portfolio that I think has strong licensing possibilities. I emailed Ginger McCleskey yesterday to see if either she might be interested in taking me on or if she could recommend someone in Colorado. Thank you. Tina