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Create an Effective Wholesale Catalog

Lesson 3 of 9

The Essentials of a Good Catalog

Katie Hunt

Create an Effective Wholesale Catalog

Katie Hunt

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Lesson Info

3. The Essentials of a Good Catalog

Lesson Info

The Essentials of a Good Catalog

So what do we put in this catalogue? Your contact info? I know it sounds obvious but you want to put it in your catalog in multiple places a really great place to do this is at the bottom of your catalog in the footer um and actually have an example here you want to have your email in their phone number website social media handles again that fax machine people still use them your fax number if you have it in your snail mail address so in you can do it the footer of your catalog or it's best to do it at the back of your catalog but I say put it in as many places as you possibly can because you want to make it super simple for them to like flip through and look and see how I have a question can I call and you know can I pick up the phone and call or can I send a quick email but when they want to get ahold of you because I have a question you want to make it super easy for them to do that so in the foot of mine I have my web say my email and my phone number there it just makes it really ...

easy and I've had actually retailers comment that that made it easier for them when they had questions so okay um so contacted vote put it everywhere and make it easy for them to get in touch with you. Um, let's. See product descriptions this one's going to take a little while to figure out you know what the details are, but to write them in a way that makes a lot of sense and is clear and concise. So you want to include the obvious are not so obvious you want include the hard facts, so what's the skew number for the item. What you wanted to have product images. Somebody asked how many product images in the main section of your catalog you want to have at least one per item. If your product is especially handmade or uses different painting materials, or if you need to show it from different sides and different you could also include you could include additional photos. Or you could just work those into some of the style photos that you include in other portions your catalog. But you want to have a very, you know, straight on clear cut. Example of what the product looks like your wholesale price you want include your wholesale price in this catalog, but you won't necessarily want include msrp. Because again, what we talked about earlier with retailers key stoning or marking up the prices, they're going to take care of that. So you want to put your wholesale price in there on dh note that it's a wholesale prices? Well, in case there is confusion, your minimum quantities, which we talked about earlier, so how many of each skew do they need to purchase when they're placing their order your materials inside? So this is where you get into the details of your product. How is it made? What materials are being used? Was there a particular production method, that's of interest that you should be telling them about that's part of manufacturing process? Or, if there's, anything else it's special about it? Is it made from unique or recycled materials? Is it made in a certain, you know, made in the usa, or made in a certain place that's, like of importance, you know, note those things that make it unique and make it yours and really stand out from what the others are doing? Yeah, laura, you have a question, yeah, just on that note, like, what if everything in that collection has, like a special something special about it made from recycled materials or whatever should you keep noting it over and over? Or does that get redundant in the product product description? They've the same materials for each one? Or is it different for each one? The same the same then I would put it at the top, like in a header. We've got a couple of examples, but there's actually, this is a good one. So this is from jennifer's matters of delay she's, one of my t sbc alums. So she included this description right here. That kind of talks about what the product is, what the inspiration was behind it. This is if all the material ball of that collection is made with the same types of materials, I would put that in something like this that way, it's just one central is place. You're not being redundant or, you know, repeating the same things over and over, but you, this will apply to you, you know, she talks about the different chains, and she talks about the different materials. So it's all in a way that is pretty clear and easy to show. And then she shows those air the three styles in the different ways so that the buyer can see what each one looks like, you know, katie one of our viewers had a question about the contact information they said when you're including your contact info in your catalog should you list your hours and time zone that's a really yes, I would say do it if you have the space to do it, go ahead and include that you know, some people work regular business hours but I think it's a time zone that's most important to include because you know, people are ordering internationally sometimes too so yeah, I think that's a great idea and that I would put instead of putting that type of information and the voter id put that at the back where you have your terms and conditions and we'll show you some examples of that too. Um so yeah, I wanted to just show that like this is a great example of telling the story of how their may know what your question was impeccable timing, by the way so you know it tells the story of how it's made it's got the tactical information of you know what's the m o que what's the price what's the skew number it's got it all right there it's quick and easy for the bard take a look at and decide what they want another example I wanted to show you is from simply created this is a candle company that took some of the business courses I've worked on it's a little bit hard to see on the screen but again she's got the story up here she's got the size of her candles these air her travel candles it it says fourteen hour burn time that's an important thing to note right? If you're selling candles you need to know what's the burn time and retailers probably going to compare those types of things she talks about the new sense I really like these call outs in the circles here it says new scent and then this one says best seller it's really great to focus on showing people what's new in there in your catalog and so having something like this really is a great way to do it she talks about the materials used and then her photos a really great too you know they're all consistent they're bright they look really great so it paints a really good image of what they look like on the store shelves and then to she says their branding here in the in the a bird's eye view photo which is nice it and it works really well for her products anyone have any questions about product listings know what to include? No, it was a question of a general question about catalyzed job that was interesting yeah I wasn't jeffrey's asked a follow up to one of the previous questions what about having a digital catalog available on an ipad a treasure booth then send the buyer's home with a line sheet that has a q r code to access your online catalog opposed to having I think hard copy, right. So there's been a little bit of a shift at the trade shows. I still have an advocate for having a printed catalog at trade shows in particular, but people are using different systems like handshake or oh gosh, I'm the other ones there. Salesforce. Thank you, there's. A few different services where you can load your products into their system and it serves as a line sheet so people can order through the ipad so that's one way to do it. But in terms of a take home piece I have seen people use you know they'll d postcards and have either a link or acu arco, but most of them it's, just a link to an issue catalog. That's the service issue it's ss ew ew dot com where you can upload your catalog s o people will include a link to where people can find it, and then it's just more of a postcard so that's an inexpensive way to give out the information. Now the problem I see with that, though, is it creates an extra step that they need to take to get to that information. So if you're on a budget and you really can't print your catalogs, but if you're doing a show, I really would encourage youto have printed catalogs there, but if you can't, you know a postcard with a link is a good alternative, but again, it creates that extra hurdle for the retailers to go through to get it creating hasn't thought I just wanted china, and we just I own a sales rep group crowing canary, and I'm going to speak with katie tomorrow on one of the segments, but we just finished doing new york now, which is a gift trade show, and we still give out a phenomenal number of catalogs and I'm sure kitty's going to mention this too, but it can't be said enough that there are buyers that go to the trade shows that air not only just looking to collect those materials for later, but that actually want to place orders like later in their hotel rooms. Eso that's very common for someone together, catalogs the first day come back the second day and say here's, the catalog back here's, my order and, you know, also there are people that simply just won't buy off of digital catalog, so not to be a cautionary tale or say you have to print catholics but it's just another reason to consider that as your budget grows and you make room for growth within your business that's a really great point thank you for reminding me that they do they go back to the hotel and mark them up and I think if you don't have a digital catalogue but you're making the investment to do something as costly as a trade show you need to find the budget for that printed catalog I think you're going to leave money on the table if you don't do it and you know when if you do a trade show you're going to order more than what you just need for the show so you'll get a little bit of a break on the printing and he had two needs you to question this kind of piggybacks on everything but a couple of slides ago you said to put the whole cell price in the catalog so what air the positive and negatives about saving money, putting the price in or putting another she tore that's a really great question thank you for bringing that up when I first printed my catalog, I didn't print my pricing in the catalog remember rewind my story I didn't have my pricing right, so I did not print the pricing in the actual booklet instead I used an insert sheet andi, I had on that my terms and conditions my minimum quantities and my pricing so that's a really great way when you do your first running catalogs if you're unsure about any of that stuff for those things they're going to may change that's a great way to extend the life of your catalogues so just by putting your pricing on a separate sheet that's inserted and if you're at a show or something like that or if you're mailing it out, you might want to staple it and so it's a little more secure, but yes, there once you become more confident and what you're doing and you know that things are in alignment with the industry standards, then I would say go ahead and print it into the catalog, but if you're just starting out in your unsure and you think you might be making changes, which is totally fine, you know, to see that answer change is that better than I don't like when people put little stickers over like a previous price, I think you know better I agree with you. I think the stickers are one not only a little bit of a distraction, but think of how many have to sticker I mean, that would that would be pretty time consuming, so I say play it safe and do an insert sheet if you're unsure about your pricing and, kitty, if I could just follow up something, we talk about a lot in trade to boot camp courses, is that the term line sheet? It can be used interchangeably with catalog, so know that if a buyer is coming to you saying, I'd like a line sheet ninety nine percent of the time, what they really want is a catalogue because just seeing a listing of your products isn't going to help them make a purchase and make an order, and typically the line sheet is what kid, he was just referring tio when answering denise's question that is what's going to list the pricing and all of the products line by line with the product code and the description, right? So just to kind of dissected, I'm sure, especially a lot of the at home viewers may have heard those things going around great point. I mean, I guess what's the upside of printing it and actually printing the price in the catalog. If if you don't print and you get you have more options later, what's the web sites of seventeen your pricing? Well, yeah, I mean, it's, just one less thing to print, so you're not having to do the insert sheets, but there are people that, you know. Are unsure of their pricing or they might just be starting out and unclear what their terms and conditions to be. And so it's just it offers more flexibility if, in the beginning you do that insert sheet now, if you're squared away and you've taken these courses and you know what you need to have and you've really thought through them and you know that what you're doing is in line with your industry standards and your products are, you know, priced well, then go ahead and print it in there. But if you have questions, it's, it is a nice option. So okay, that being said let's head into terms and conditions. So what kind of things do you need to think about when you're setting these perimeters? Is these parameters rather of, like what your rules are? And again, you know, terms and conditions or something that you said their rules that you make for your business be a little more stringent and writing them, but offer the flexibility if you need to to change them. So what are we covering here? We're talking about minimum order amount again, that's the amount that a company needs a retailer needs to spend with you to place that initial order. Sometimes it will be it will be a higher amount for an initial order and then usually a reorder slightly lower your turnaround times and these are things that too we did go over and great depths during my beginner beginner's course to selling wholesale but your turnaround times how long will it take you to ship the product teo the retailer what's your payment options what do you accept? Do you accept credit cards checks money orders don't do it now just kidding but like what payment options are you accepting and willing to take? What are the shipping options you only ship v a certain methods or are you flexible do work with retailers and take their fedex numbers or whatever it might be so just kind of lay out those terms and conditions of what you're willing to do or not do and then tio returns exchanges cancellation with for those of you that aren't familiar a cancellation policy is just you know does a retailer have a certain amount of time to cancel their order andan exchanges and returns how do you handle those? Do they have a certain window of time that they can do that who pays for shipping? I think you would probably include that in there as well so those are just some of the terms and conditions um there was a did you have your hand up to me? No, I got you oh, I'm sorry about that I didn't see your hands I've read it a something about returns and exchanges and something where some retailers request by back have you heard of god? Are you have any recommendations on that christine information about that that you could share? We definitely try to avoid it if you can and usually the only time it comes into play where it would be worth your while is if there's a multi chain store that is wanting like seasonal product that is available for exchange. So I just be very clear about what your policies are and it's not something I would necessarily include in your kind of boilerplate terms and conditions might be something that you just think about what your policy is if you're asked on dh someone like keira whose little more established might have experience with that, but I would say that I would only I would only really consider consider moving forward with something like that if it's a seasonal exchange and you're guaranteed to be able to exchange product for something else, otherwise you're having to think about things like well, are the products are can you even resell them like are they shopworn? You know if if you're selling box cards are the boxes ruined if you're selling jewelry or they hang tags damage so thinking about bigger picture stuff around it is it worthwhile that put in no or just leave it open and I would say but more about deciding what your policy is unless about that's not kind of standard terms and conditions so something to think about for later I wouldn't put it in your catalog. Um thank you, carina that's a great explanation I wouldn't put it in your catalog but I would just know in your head if somebody came back to you and request to this what would your response be to them about that? Um so um so how do you display these terms and conditions in your catalog? This is an example from betsy white stationary one of my t sbc alums it's a little hard to read on the screen I hope you're you guys can read it but you know she's got her she's got a few things that most people don't include, but I think it actually really fits what she's doing here she talks about her packaging details. She also talks about back ordered items if she runs out of inventory how she handles that and the option she gives to retailers on dh then to her cancellation policies here. So she says that you know they need to be made within twenty four hours of placing the order on denny cancellations not made after twin four hours incurs a ten percent recite it were stocking recycling a restocking fee so you know again you're the one to set these terms and conditions based on your own systems, your own processes and it's best to be firm in writing, and then you can always be a little bit more flexible. Um, when it comes to certain circumstances, like the buyback question, or if somebody comes to you with a special circumstance, you know you can weigh that and make a decision based on what's happening so but again, she's got her minimums. She's got her ordering and payment information. She talks about how she ships items. She also offers some displays and packaging options, or talks about rather how she displays things and how they come packaged on dh, then the back orders and cancellations over there, too. One thing I wanted to mention and we talked about I talked about with some of the students before we came on live is the same issue is a really good resource. If you want to look at some other catalogs and see how they're laid out and see how they function. The websites I s s u u dot com and leave, and you can search for wholesale catalogs by, you know, makers of different kinds that are offering different products, so whatever products you offer, whatever you sell, hop on there and try to see if there's some, you know, other companies that you can look at more for just inspiration, not for steel, of course, but just looking at how they structure things and that's a good place to kind of look at what's in common industry standards are too surrounding your products. Are there any japanese and some catalogues for clients, and they can also print them out and have them sent to their home off of issue. Oh, okay, yes, yes, you're right. It may be more expensive, dahlia. Yeah, I mean, it would like if anything, if you're only printing one of something it's going to cost more than if you're running two hundred fifty, but that's a really good option. Two I didn't realize they were doing that. Yeah, I just had one other tiny fall of thought, which is when it comes to looking at issue in particular, I think it's really smart to look outside your own industry, to just to look beyond what we're accustomed to for you know that word inspiration can be a little tricky because we're not wanting to completely emulate someone else's brand, of course, but, you know, just see new perspective and checking out the way other industries or doing things can have a great benefit, absolutely. I agree all right, so you also want to include in your catalog you want to tell your story you want to talk about why you started your business, why you're passionate about the work you do when inspires you I you know, who's the person behind the brand to again I mentioned earlier that retailers really like working with independent manufacturers because they like to hear your story they like to hear what you got in the business and they like to tell their customers about that too. So why including that in the catalog you know you're you're showing them more than just your products you're showing them you know, what's happening behind the brand so I want to run through a couple of examples with you this is again is jennifer's from matters of delight she includes, you know, a photo of herself which I think is fun and gives people look at oh, this is who's making the products you know, she makes this jewelry by hand and she talks about, you know, the inspiration behind her line and it's, you know, geometric and clean lines and a touch of wins you know, she really paints a picture of how she came to make these products and why they're valuable and important to her and then she talks about some of the logistics to like, I'm in san francisco and you know, she talks about her love for what she does. So you really can get a sense of who she is and where the brand's derive from how these products are made. So it's important to tell that story in your catalogues you and you know, this is the kind of thing tio where I was talking about that. Thanks in double for other purposes. This is perfect for your web site, you know? So if you're doing a copy for your website and photos and things like that, you know, use it in your catalog, use it on your web site, really leverage this stuff, so you're not recreating the whale. Um, okay, this is a great one. I love this from farewell paper to this little, hard to read on the white screen, but it's two women who on this business together, it's a very fun brand it's a very snarky and, you know, just it's a fun brand. So, you know, there's aren't even complete sentence, but it's talking about, you know, there for fun, color, friendship, laughter, eighties dance parties, inside jokes, funny bitches, snail mail, celebrity sighting, small gestures like donuts is listen, you really get a sense of who these girls are, and then, you know, they include photos, but they're more they're fun and they're in line with their brand, and it really tells you a little bit about who they are. I like to how they have, you know, their own handwriting here at the bottom to explain so shows their personality in mirrors, their products on dh it really explains who they are, not why there are, but who they're so and then I've got one more example I wanted to share, which is jia from betsy wait stationery, which we saw her terms and conditions on the screen, but she has she has on her, okay, so she has her this great picture of her in her studio, which is really fun and really shows who she is, but what I wanted to point out in its list. This is tough to read, but she has the brand and the designer, so she really talks about who her brand is and why she does what she does again, going back to that why you make what you make, why do you love it on dh? Then the designer, she talks about how she started her company and the motivation there, and then to again signing her name at the bottom there that's just it's fun, it's personal, it makes it feel like you're sitting down with g n hearing about her line, so, um anyhow, I just wanted to share those examples with you. Yeah, come up. Yeah, in the question deck about terms of conditions so great. So somebody wanted to know what you say in terms of damage products that gets shipped to the retailers. Okay, so if they have the retailer see that damage in that case, I have only had that happened a couple of time, and I've always replaced it. I've always just said new product. I have asked them to provide a photo or some sort of documentation of the blocks that was damaged or something, and that was that was more so I could put in a claim to ups or whomever I shipped through, not because I didn't believe the retailer the cost of sending them new product is usually pretty small, and it will go a long way and building that relationship with the retailer. So if something does arrive damage, apologize, fix a mistake, create a solution and move on. But, you know, I do ask that you I don't want to burden them with an additional step or additional work, but I do usually ask for a photo just so I can for acclaim, purpose, not because I need them to prove that things didn't make it. You ever thought to say if it's a higher end product, there's something that was like a five hundred dollars, order, then it would be appropriate to just issue a call tag on dh? You could maybe put that in your terms, and conditions is well, that is gonna call tag if you for anyone that's not aware, is something generated by fedex or ups, usually in which you pay for the return shipping for a product and that's pretty standard. If there are any problems with something that you want returns, then you make it easy for them. All they do is printed out, and whoever comes and picks up their deliveries can do that for them. Yeah, great point. Yeah, higher end items, for sure, you want to get that back.

Class Description

An effective product catalog is a must-have tool in the arsenal of any business with a wholesale arm.   This class will guide you through each step of creating catalog that helps you and your business appear more polished and professional.

This class will introduce you to the process of creating a compelling wholesale catalog. You’ll learn about:  

  • Leveraging dynamic product photos – even when a professional photographer is out of reach  
  • Organizing your catalog to increase sales 
  • Stretching the life of your catalog 
  • Strategies for cost-effective production and printing 
Whether you’re an independent artist taking your first steps into the world of wholesaling or a long-time wholesaler looking to refine your sales tools, you’ll leave this course with concrete, easy-to-follow steps for building a catalog that will entice your customers – and drive your sales.



Even though I've been selling my creative work through my wholesale business for several years, this class was a great refresher! It can be so tempting to make a catalog that's artistic and flashy, but Katie reminds us that the main focus should be to make it easy for your client to BUY! Katie has tons of experience with businesses buying and selling paper goods and gifts, and her insights help me focus in on the details that matter most to my buyers. Thanks for the help!

Katy Casey

This course was fantastic and gave specific tips on how to effectively create your wholesale catalog. It was a perfect resource as I hadn't even thought about creating my catalog yet, but the info I learned will help influence the direction and thought I put into building out my product line.

Tracy Clarke

I already had a digital catalog, but this really opened my mind up to the idea of a printed one and how important it can be for getting sales. It was great to see other catalog examples and learn about the variety of product that a retailer is looking for in a catalog. Really great class for anyone wanting to expand into the wholesale business.