I want to partner with a flash sale site to sell my physical products. What do I need to know before I get started?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Required Discounts
The standard ask of a flash sales site will be that you offer your product for 25 percent of its normal value, which gives a 50 percent discount to customers and splits it evenly between you and the flash site. Some brands launch successfully this way, but some sell themselves into the ground. Ensure your business model can sustain the volume and the price before agreeing.
- Brennan White, Watchtower
2. High Commissions
Flash sale website commissions are often higher than you think, and you might have issues maintaining inventory levels. Also, your projections for improved future revenues may not be accurate, especially if traditional deal seekers are the ones purchasing your products.
- Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
3. Angry Customers
If you’re offering your products for a much lower price than your customers have paid in the past, you may find that some of your existing clientele will be upset that they’ve paid full price while other people don’t have to pay nearly as much.
- Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting
4. Long-Term ROI
Given the commission and discount required by most flash sale sites, partnering with one is unlikely to be profitable on its own. You will need to have estimates of what portion of customers will end up buying at full price to determine whether the ROI will be where you need it to be.
- Josh Weiss, Bluegala
5. Negotiable Discounts
Despite what they might tell you, you do have some flexibility when it comes to setting discounts and revenue shares. Remember, they don’t have any real product costs, so their margins are high. Find out from other sellers what has been negotiated. Look on Quora, which is a great resource for this type of information.
- Trevor Sumner, LocalVox
6. Customer Base
Really, the only value I see in flash sale sites is that you gain exposure to a new audience who will hopefully — but most likely won’t — become long-term customers. You will, however, build exposure through their website, email list or referrals. The last thing you want to do is sell discounted products to current customers who are already willing to pay full price.
- Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee
7. Creative Repackaging
Flash sale sites have a lot of benefits to offer, but they will also require massive discounts off your regular retail prices to offer to their customers. We recommend getting creative by grouping products in a way you don’t normally sell them. There are plenty of ways to repackage your products such as grouping or tweaking things to make what you’re offering exciting while keeping profit.
- Rebecca Zorowitz, Ooh La La Brands
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