Sam’s Club is one of the largest retailers in the U.S. and getting a product into it is a dream of many sellers.
As of October 31, 2022, Sam’s Club runs 600 membership warehouse clubs in 44 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In this article, you will learn how to sell your product to Sam’s Club and get your product listed both in-store and on their e-commerce site.
Why You Should be Selling to Sam’s Club
If you manage to get your product into Sam’s Club, your product will be introduced to millions of customers. Sam’s Club serves more than 47 million members in the U.S. with locations nationwide, as well as in Brazil, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Selling to Sam’s Club may open other doors for merchants.
According to Ron Embree, president of River Bend Industries in Fort Smith, and Blake Pointer, CEO of My Brothers Salsa in Rogers, Sam’s Club connections gave them new possibilities.
Making relationships while doing business with Sam’s Club turned out to be quite helpful for expanding distribution. Pointer claimed that using data from Shopper Events (formerly known as “Road Shows”) and Sam’s Club sales, he was able to meet with a Wal-Mart buyer and secure 84 locations, or all of the Wal-Mart and Neighborhood Markets in Arkansas.
In addition, Embre said that the experience at Sam’s Club gave him a blueprint for interacting with Wal-Mart and other major shops. Selling to large retailers also requires vendors to be flexible and understand the retailer’s process. The pace of retail is one of Embree’s first lessons from working with Sam’s Club.
How to Get Your Product into Sam’s Club
Here are the steps for selling at Sam’s Club.
Know your customer
Before investing a lot of effort and money in designing a product, you should ascertain whether or not anyone will want to purchase it.
Find out if your product can be protected
Find out if you can protect your goods from being copied at a low price. Study up on copyright and product patents.
Test your product
Be sure there is a market for your product and that the customer understands what you are selling when it’s on the shelf and nobody is there to explain it.
Perfect your pitch
By knowing your stats, your retailer, and your logistics well and out before you speak to decision-makers.
Don’t go it alone
The key to success in retail, if you haven’t already, is that you can’t go it alone. You can reach success faster with the help of excellent salespeople, customer service representatives, and marketing partners than you could if you tried to do it alone.
How to Contact Sam’s Club Buyers
Every few years, retail buyers typically switch jobs or firms. With the use of this tactic, retailers can be sure that their customers are choosing the greatest product for the best placement each time and aren’t receiving “kick-backs.”
Because buyers are frequently held to a strict volume sell-through criterion that they must meet, they are risk averse. Your task as a supplier or vendor is to persuade them that customers entering the stores aren’t just aware of what you’re selling; they’re also actively looking for it right now.
Call Sam’s Club Buyers
Request the names of the buyer and assistant buyer for your category by calling the Sam’s Club corporate line. Always leave a voicemail for the person to whom the dispatch connects you.
Connect with them using that information on LinkedIn, RangeMe, or any other professional social network. As they may have a better background, ask your trade bureau agent to put you in touch with the Sam’s Club buyers.
Be On Sam’s Club Radar
Make your brand known to Sam’s Club buyers through third-party websites & industry media sources by using advertising, public relations, and marketing.
The objective is to position your brand as the obvious choice when Sam’s Club is looking to either fill a spot or develop a new category. Be everywhere they look.
Take note of current events and any trends that can help your product fill a particular void, such as non-GMO or vegan leather.
Future opportunities will only increase as a result of your investment in your brand. When you physically exhibit your goods at a future Sam’s Club buyers meeting or trade event, being “top of mind” will have a spillover impact.
Learn Hard Facts
Sam’s Club customers are often in a position where they have chosen “winners” and are able to cut through the hype.
Pay attention to the numbers, know your lowest possible price before a discussion, and consider how fees and chargebacks might affect your stance.
Recognize that long-term success may offset short-term sales, but that it is not sustainable to finance sizable Sam’s Club purchase orders when the net result is negative.
You can approach sales with an active listening strategy and the knowledge that every customer at Sam’s Club probably knows more than you do. You can also learn to accept no as a perfectly fine response, which might have saved you millions of dollars in the long run.
Tips for Successfully Selling to Sam’s Club
Here are a few tips for successfully getting your product into Sam’s Club.
Ask yourself the right questions
Before attempting to sell your goods to Sam’s Club, you need to make a few simple considerations. Is there already a need for your product, or do you need to create one? Do you realize that Sam’s Club would be eager to carry your goods? Can you handle the level of production if you can work out a deal with Sam’s Club? Do you want to license your product to a manufacturer who will handle distribution or do you want to sell straight to Sam’s Club?
Prepare yourself to profit
Does Sam’s Club have access to enough profit margin from your product? Can you make enough money from the sale of your product to pay for wholesale distribution, packaging, shipping, commissions, and marketing? To ensure that you can make enough money to justify the effort, check Sam’s Club policies for additional costs that you will need to factor into the price of your product. If you deal with a bargain shop, they’ll aim to eliminate all of your profits so that their prices are as low as they can be.
Assess whether Sam’s Club is the best place for your product
You first come into contact with Sam’s Club when you scour their store for competing products. If Sam’s Club already has a similar product, it will be very difficult to get hold of yours. Spend some time at your local Sam’s Club to see what types of products they carry, talk to the manager and see if they think your product will do well in their store.
Pitch your product to Sam’s Club
Decide whether a representative or yourself will introduce your product to Sam’s Club. They’ll probably ask you about finances and logistics, thus the success of your presentation will depend greatly on your business acumen.
Companies frequently use brokers to present their products to Sam’s Club because it is more probable that your product will advance to the next round if the person presenting it has industry expertise or a personal connection to Sam’s Club.
Complete the paperwork
Sam’s Club frequently requires you to complete an application process. However, you should speak with a buyer at Sam’s Club and let them know your plans before submitting the documentation required by Sam’s Club. The application process might go more smoothly for your application if you have a contact inside the organization.
Be prepared for the requirement for more volume
Sam’s Club carrying your goods will almost certainly result in a big rise in volume. You should be prepared to increase output and let your manufacturer know about this chance.
Not only is it challenging to get manufacturing, logistics, and distribution to work together, but it also takes a lot of time to maintain good customer relations. Therefore, consider using a B2B sales app that enables you to keep track of your items in real time so you can avoid stock outs while maintaining your stock levels.
If you want to sell your goods to Sam’s Club, make sure to properly analyze the market, plan for an increase in production, and utilize all of the tools at your disposal to expand your company. Do not forget to leverage technology such as mobile sales software or B2B eCommerce software to streamline your sales process. For more details about our software, contact Orders In Seconds.