By now, if you’ve been on the Internet for just a little while (and I was a late-bloomer), starting in 1997, you know the land mines.
Not everything that is advertised is what it claims to be. That can be from products to services.
I didn’t start out to be in wholesale, in fact, I didn’t start out to have anything to do with the Internet at all. I was a cartoonist (still am), and founder of Londons Times Cartoons. That launch was in 1997 in a small Mississippi warehouse that I used as my studio as I could not afford much more and launch the cartoons without a full time job. I took odd jobs as I continued this creative venture usps tracking.
A Google of Londons Times Cartoons has hundreds of articles, reviews, etc. and even the real story of how we got started We’ve been at it a long time and are top-rated (bragging rights here) on Alexa.com and Netcraft.com.
It was not until 1995 that I realized I also had a business as I was getting emails from webmasters, newsletter publishers, etc. asking to buy the rights to my images. That was my start.
Then I was approached by a manufacturer wanting to create my merchadise from tee shirts to
wall clocks. We struck a deal for both retail and wholesale. My attorney, a very precise man who dots every ìIî and crosses every ìTî made sure it was written out to where we both benefited equally.
Then the manufacturer revealed he really didn’t understand the wholesale business. Being a back-to-college adult student at a very good university, and having worked in wholesale many years growing up, I volunteered to teach him. He had no interest.
Then started my hunt. Who could manufacture and wholesale my now top-rated cartoons onto products and do so meticulously, at affordable prices, and keep the word of a contract? It took another year and I found a company in Denver that was well-funded. I asked to see samples and they were expedited two day delivery. They were perfect. They were not silk-screened but directly digitally transferred which makes them look like part of the product, not an iron on decal. Perfect! Now to find out about customer service, guarantees, etc. All there. I signed up. A year has gone by and things
worked out very well.
The secret to this business is not so much knowledge (though of course knowledge IS power) so read all you can, but persistence. There are some good wholesalers out there. I sell from my a little shop that I set up on the net. My products show the suggested retail price on them but then inside,
after clicking on the product is another hyperlink that says pricing and shows the wholesale table.
I set up a real business plan and went to work. I consulted with my business professors and other wholesalers who I knew had been in the business a long time.
Rick Londonwear was born, the first line of ìdesignerî cartoon clothing for men, women and children. We also make other cartoon products such as mousepads, coasters, cutting boards, tote bags, and all sorts of other funny items bearing our copyrighted cartoon image.
Things worked out perfectly, the service is great, I was able to keep the prices way below the competition, and my cartoon team ten years later still creates the best cartoons on the Internet (so say the critics) which appear on the merchandise.
I have a staff of twenty three, I sell to Ebay merchants, brick and mortar store owners, e-store owners, and traveling salespersons. Whomever wants to turn a very good profit on very hot items, they come to me. I love the business.
I make it very easy for the buyer. I accept all major credit cards, Paypal, checks and money orders. We drop-ship on any pre-paid order or directly to you. We don’t gauge on shipping, what it costs is what we charge; same cost to Canada and ship worldwide. Generally 2-3 day USPS Priority. Everything works out. I don’t know how but it does.
We made our mistakes. That is how we learned and became established. We still make a few, but they are few and far between and when we do, we make it right immediately.
That is the kind of company you want to deal with. I hate to brag but it is. Someone who has “seen it all” on the Internet and knows the land mines and will help you through them. It doesn’t have to be us, we might not even offer the niche product that excites you. But whomever it is, make sure they have experience, are established, have references, and can make it happen for you. If you make money (they/we) do too!