When I started a new line of candles years ago and was trying to find new sales reps. The first thing I did was walk trade shows.
The Las Vegas Gift Show is at the World Market Center in Las Vegas. I have learned over the years the gift industry is great place to start looking for reps first.
I start by walking the show and just looking around to see who the players are. I look for showrooms that either don't have what I want them to carry or they have a lot of what I want them carry, in this case candles.
I just walk in the showrooms that I like and ask "who makes decisions on the lines that you carry here?" Don't be afraid to ask, they want to pick up good lines just as bad as you want to sell your products.
Make sure that you have these five things before you start looking for sales reps.
1. A catalog or line sheet showing clear photos of the products with item numbers.
2. Business cards with contact email and phone number on them.
3. A website and email addresses with the name of your company, it looks more professional and they will take you much more serious.
4. Clear pricing on your products with the correct gross margins built in and an allowance of 15% commission for the sales reps.
5. Samples of your products.
As an example of what your pricing should be to make it work for both you and the sales reps as well as the retailers, use this formula.
Cost of Goods $1.00
Wholesale Cost $3.00
Retail Cost $6.00
I have always used this this formula over the last twenty years, if you use this formula you will always make money. I say one dollar COGS, one dollar overhead and one dollar profit. The only exception I make on this formula is if it is very large volume then I will wholesale for $2.00 and retail for $4.00 for every $1.00, however it has be large volume as in 1,000's of units.
Make sure you wear comfortable shoes when you set out on your trade show journey. At the end of the day nobody is going to remember what shoes you wore and your feet will thank you. My shoes at the Vegas Show....my fitbit says I walked six miles that day.