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    5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 27, 2009 11:10 PM by TheSoloGuide

    determining expected product turnover at a mall cart busines

    kenken Newbie
      I'm looking at renting a cart in the mall to sell fair trade products or something similiar. I'm trying to figure out how to determine what products will sell and what will not, and how to determine what the expected sales of a product will be. There seems to be a catch twenty two problem. I need to know what product I plan to sell in order to research how well it will sell but the decesion of what product to sell needs to based on what product will sell well. Can you offer some help or sources to turn to. Thanks

      P.S. I'm also looking at selling at fairs and outdoor markets rather then the mall as an alternative.
        • Re: determining expected product turnover at a mall cart bus
          odgrell Adventurer
          These kind of forecasts are always going to be guesses, I would suggest asking around to see how quickly (or slowly) similar items are moving off the shelves at other locations. Then you factor in your particular location, price point, demographic etc. and make an educated guess. Other than that you could purchase the products in limited quantity and observe which ones sell first, how fast etc. Good luck!
          • Re: determining expected product turnover at a mall cart busines
            Tracker

            Kenken:

             


            I agree with the advice given by "odgrell". You aren't in a catch 22 situation, you simply need to pick some select products and do your market research.

             


            Find fair vendors in other cities (so they are do not view you as a competitor) with similar demographics and see if they would be willing to discuss with you their business. Additionally, you can go to the mall or fair management and ask them for any demographic data they have. See if they have data going back for the last three years so you can get a sense of the trends developing along with the changes in the economy.

             


            Additionally, have you researched to see if there are any blogs or forums online specific to your industry where you can ask questions and post polls?

             


            Are you selling products that you create or are you reselling items? If you are reselling other vendors' items, go back to the vendors to get sales histories and any forecasts that they may have. You will want to clarify if they have forecasts for your specific area so the data you are reviewing isn't skewed to a more robust region.

             


            You need to get started somewhere. Pick a few products and perform research specific to them. You may alter your product selections as you complete your research. This is common. If your products don't have a high COGS or are not perishable, you have a reduced risk factor. You could create an online site to help move inventory, too.

             


            Once you get started, make sure that you either ask or take the time to either hand out a survey to shoppers with a raffle for those who respond to find out what products they are interested in so you can alter your inventory accordingly in the future.

             


            I hope this helps.

             


            Doug Dolan

             

            The Solopreneur's Guide

             

            http://thesologuide.com/
            • Re: determining expected product turnover at a mall cart busines
              amspcs Ranger
              Are you familiar with the term 'overhead factor'. That's what you need to know to determine retail pricing--in fact, you need to find this out to determine if your business and product lines are even feasible in the first place.
              Basically, you need to come up with a ratio comparing sales projections with you overhead for each and every overhead factor imaginable, from the biggies like rent andinsurfance down to the cost of pencils and paper clips.
              Basically, what you're trying to find out is: How much does every dollar sold have to contribute to coverr it's fair share of overhead and expenses? The theory is: each item sold has to cover it's fair share of expenses, otherwise you're losing money withi each sale. This is my experience with small businesses (and I've worfked with thousands of them over the years): They have NO idea what their overhead factor is, they just take a wild guess as to pricing. Thenk at the end of the year when they tally up all their sales and pay all their overhead and expenses, they wonder why they've lost money.

              AMSPCS
              • Re: determining expected product turnover at a mall cart busines
                kenken Newbie
                thanks for all the good advice. I got contact information for fair trade stores that are nearby. I tried to get information out of the fair trade store in my city but they viewed me too much as a competitor:)
                  • Re: determining expected product turnover at a mall cart busines
                    Tracker

                    Kenken:

                     


                    Instead of speaking with other fair vendors in your area, I recommend that you seek out vendors in other cities that have similar demographics to your area. For example, if you are in Jacksonville, FL, you may want to find vendors in Indianapolis, IN - similar size cities that are non-competing (I didn't check additional demographic information to include race, religion, household income, etc... which you will want to do). You can check out cities similar to yours with the US Census Bureau online.

                     


                    You will need to translate the results in other cities to how it applies to the people in your area - especially if the population size is similar, but the average household income is significantly different.

                     


                    All the Best,

                     


                    Doug Dolan

                     

                    The Solopreneur's Guide

                     

                    http://thesologuide.com/