Manufacturers Looking for Reps
The Minneapolis Mart (UMAGA) is a wholesale merchandise mart housing an organization of manufacturer’s reps. UMAGA is the service organization run by the representatives.
Listed below are the most common ways to obtain a rep:
We will send an e-mail blast, letting our representatives know you are a manufacturer looking for a rep. This e-mail is sent to approximately 116 manufacturer’s representatives who have showrooms at the Minneapolis Mart and also travel the 5 state area (Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota) calling on retailers. To take advantage of this e-mail blast, please send us the following information.
- That you are a manufacturer looking for a rep, and would like your information sent to the rep’s at the Mart.
B. Your company name, address, telephone number (with area code), e-mail address, website address, and contact name.
C. A brief description of the product.
D. The sales territory available (desired).
E. The commission rate paid (normally 15-25%)
F. A brochure, photo or small sample of the product (if you mail your information to us and a sample is available).
Anything you send to the Minneapolis Mart becomes the property of the Minneapolis Mart.
If a representative is hired by you, we will turn over to the new rep whatever you have submitted. However, if you do not obtain a rep, whatever you have submitted will be disposed of in 90 days. If you do not obtain a rep the first time, you may resubmit the ad information every 90 days.
The UMAGA staff will make every effort to help make a connection between you, the manufacturer, and one of our representatives.
You may visit the Minneapolis Mart on Mondays, or the last day of any show, to walk through the mart and meet with reps in their showrooms. At this time you can discuss with them your product and the possibility of them taking on your line.
3. You can obtain a “Buyer’s Guide” (directory) of the Minneapolis Mart’s manufacturer’s representatives by requesting it by phone, in writing, fax or e-mail. After obtaining this directory you may contact representatives directly.
This directory includes:
A. Names, addresses, telephone numbers, and lines represented by each manufacturer’s representative at the Minneapolis Mart.
B. Classification of products by type.
C. An alphabetical listing of all manufacturers represented at the Minneapolis Mart.
D. Information about the Minneapolis Mart.
Your company may participate in our Temporary Show held January, March and August. Exhibitors can rent booth space, display your own product and take orders directly from retailers (stores). Each booth is rented for $15.00 per square foot.
Each booth includes:
A. 3’ side pipe & drape and 8’ back pipe & drape
B. Free 3½ x 1½ colored Buyer’s Guide Ad
C. Two chairs and a wastebasket
E. 7” x 44” Exhibitor Identification Sign
F. A listing of the customers who attended the show, for future sales leads (for a nominal charge)
G. Exposure to reps looking to obtain your lines to sell in their booth/showroom
Small manufacturers need to be aware of the following:
If the manufacturer needs to make off their products say $10.00, which would cover the cost of the materials, labor, shipping to the retailer, commission to the rep, and profit, then the consumer will probably pay $20.00 for this product. Retailers double the price paid for a product when they sell it to the consumer.
In addition to being aware of what the product will sell for, the manufacturer must be able to ship at the representatives take orders for. If a manufacturer can only produce 500 items per month, they need to let the rep know that they cannot take orders for more than 500 items per month.
How to Select a Rep.
You may wish to ask potential reps the following questions in your search process.
What territory do you cover?
What is your sales experience, both showroom and road?
What type of stores do you call on?
Do you have a showroom manager?
How much space can you give to our product?
How many reps work in your group?
Are you and your reps full- or part-time?
What is the average number of days a week that you and your reps spend on the road?
How many appointments per day do you and your reps average in a day?
How often do you revisit stores?
What were your gross sales last year?
Please list the number and names of lines/products you represent.
Ask the rep to describe his or her long-term vision for their business.
What do you feel puts your group above others?
What can you do for our company?
Include references from manufacturers and customers.
Every few years, review your rep by looking at the volume and profitability of orders, and from where they’re coming. For example, is business coming from a few large customers or has your rep firm built a broad base of business in its territory?
Questions the rep may ask you:
Have you severed your relationship with your current rep?
Why are you looking for a new rep?
Is your firm computerized?
Smaller vendors: Do you have a catalog with price lists and item numbers?