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Since you get, as you said "one bite at the apple," it's important to go in to the buyer with something stronger than a "belief" that your commodity will work well with the military customer -- AAFES buyers normally want to see evidence that a new product IS ALREADY working well for their customer base. You best shot will be if you go in ready to demonstrate that your on-line sales have been shipping to FPO or APO addresses like crazy, that your ads in Army Times and Navy Times have been getting response rates through the roof, that a regular retailer near a military post is selling your product like hotcakes, etc. The more evidence you have that their customers are ALREADY spending money on your product anyway -- somewhere else -- the greater the odds become that they'll want it in their stores. They take fewer chances on new products than regular retailers, especially at the smaller PXs/BXs (which are constrained on shelf space as it is), so that evidence of existing sales to their customers is what will impress them most.
Hope that helps. Best wishes.
I'm not quite seeing how FBO would help here, let alone be bittybabys' "best bet" (try to say "be bittybabys best bet" three times fast).
Could you eleborate on your advice? Thanks.
I most certainly can.
To be eligible to sell to the government, you must be registered with the government to do business.
You will need a DUNS number as well as evidence of delivering a quality product.
At the time of my post, I did not take into account that we would need to repeat be bittybabbys best bet three times at a high rate of speed. If I had been aware of this I might not have posted this reference, as I am quite sure the goverment does not have a need for bittybabys best bet.
I am sure that the government subcontracts 23% of there work to small business, and when an on call FBI agent needs a baby sitter, YOU MIGHT be the one they call.
To make a long story short, I could not remember the website to get started and register with the government, so to look myself look important I threw out the FBO website, so that potential readers of this post would associate the FBO website with my company Integrity Technology Specialists.
Of course they would end up associating my company name with stupidity, thanks to lighthouse and thanks to my own level of comprehension.
By the way bittybabys, joking and stupidity aside.
The FBO website is a direct link to military and federal opportunities.
You will need to have a DUNS number and be registered to do business with the government before you offer your services or product.
Good luck in your endeavor, and please excuse my poor attempts at humor on this thread, although it was a great attempt at stupidity.
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I own an online retail shop at www.bittybabyshop.com and I am interested in reselling certain baby items to the military exchange stores (either on their website/online catalog or in a physical retail store on the military base). The largest of these retail stores is called AAFES ( Army and Air Force Exchange Services). Is anyone familiar with working with the government in this way? I basically will be serving as a distributor or middleman in this situation. I've read their supplier handbook, but I'm not sure of the best way to approach the buyer. Should I develop a brochure with descriptions of the items I want to resell or is it more appropriate to just write a letter introducing my company as a potential vendor? I believe I have a commodity that will work well with the military customer, and I am concerned about my application just ending up in a pile. I think I will only have "one bite at the apple". If anyone has been through this process with the military or some other very large organization, I'd love to hear your tips and suggestions.