Home > Approach > An unusual idea

An unusual idea

This may not be the best place to ask this question, but here goes anyway. Although I am a very quiet person and far from the typical sales type, an idea occurred to me recently that might be worth trying.
There seems to be big demand out there for stuffed animals. I thought of buying one or two of the animals online , a small panda and a small polar bear to start. I already have a wholesale supplier lined up. I could sell these stuffed animals anywhere, on the street or just meeting people in the normal course of a day. I will sell to one or two people at a time, keep a low profile to avoid any hassles with the authorities, and get a permit if it becomes necessary. I could even do this while traveling around and have the supplier ship the stuffed animals to UPS, Fed EX offices, etc.
If I just introduce myself, show them what I have, price them inexpensively, let's say ten dollars or so, they will decide right then and there if they want them and pay cash. If the demand is there (the economy being a big question mark on that ), I might be able to do well, although I look at this as a part time way to make some money on the side. Any suggestions or advice on this ?



Bill - by aberdeen
To briefly continue with this, I do realize that selling stuffed animals outside of the regular channels - stores, online, etc may never have been tried before. It's possible that a lot of people wouldn't consider making the effort to buy them in the usual way, although if someone such as myself showed them an attractive animal at a good price they might buy them, if they are having a bad day so as to cheer them up, or if they are having a good day and feel they deserve to enjoy themselves. Who doesn't like stuffed pandas or ploar bears ? I will do it very low profile so as to minimize any objections or hassles from anyone.
I will keep them in a car, or a duffel bag while walking around, and basically have them hold the animals, name my (reasonably low) price, and it's all up to them if they want to buy. I am not a salesman type so I realize I have to keep my approach quite simple. I am sure there will be complications and problems doing this, so I would appreciate any type of feedback you can offer. - by aberdeen
There is a twenty minute time limit so that's why I have done multiple posts here. I am not generally "good' with people, at least in casual conversation or in groups, so the less I talk the better. Should I just have them see, touch, and hold the stuffed animals, and then tell them the price ,or tell them the price first? I don't want to overwhelm them with information, especially since they are not expecting me in the first place to come up and talk to them, although it seems to me to be a generally low pressure, feel good situation all round in my trying to sell the animals. To reduce the overload factor. I will sell either one animal or two at the most at any particular time. - by aberdeen
First, I am of the opinion that "DEMAND" for specific goods and services is a CRUCIAL piece of information that must be part of the decision making process of what goods and services to sell and should not be guessed at or assumed.

Second, the approach you described is "peddling" in the true sense of the word. Depending on distribution models for similar products in your area you could be heading down a dead-end road.

Third, assuming that demand is high for what you are offering and people in your target area respond favorably to peddling you still have to prospect and sell in sufficient quantities to make it worth your while. Most likely your production will be greatly influenced by your skill levels in those two areas. - by Jeff Blackwell
Jeff,


Thanks for your feedback. I am definitely going to try this, although it could very well not be too successful. I will just buy a few stuffed animals to start, so if it doesn't work, I will just chalk it up to experience and find something else to do to make money
I could easily be going down a dead -end and, as of right now, I don't know the demand for the animals, but will be finding out soon. It's quite possible that the demand will be much higher in certain areas, tourist spots probably, so I may have to do some traveling with this. This is not intended to be a full time venture by any means, but a way to pick up some extra money. Do you know of any websites, forums, newsletters, groups, etc. for peddlers?



Bill - by aberdeen
Jeff,

I entitled my thread an unusual idea because it likely falls outside the regular method of selling products. One of the reasons I am interested in doing this is its apparent simplicity. No prospecting or real selling needed. Just show them what I have and they will quickly decide right then and there if they want it. I have no idea how this will work out, but all I have to lose is the initial money buying the animals online and the time I take trying to sell. If it doesn't work out, then I will just go on to something else. Do you know any peddlers who might be able to offer some further advice and information regarding this?


Bill - by aberdeen
It's quite possible that the demand will be much higher in certain areas, tourist spots probably...
Given the offering I would tend to agree.

Do you know of any websites, forums, newsletters, groups, etc. for peddlers?
Peddling (sell or offer for sale from place to place) involves prospecting and selling. That type of information can be found at SalesPractice. - by Jeff Blackwell
There is a twenty minute time limit so that's why I have done multiple posts here. I am not generally "good' with people, at least in casual conversation or in groups, so the less I talk the better. Should I just have them see, touch, and hold the stuffed animals, and then tell them the price ,or tell them the price first? I don't want to overwhelm them with information, especially since they are not expecting me in the first place to come up and talk to them, although it seems to me to be a generally low pressure, feel good situation all round in my trying to sell the animals. To reduce the overload factor. I will sell either one animal or two at the most at any particular time.
Jeff gave you some excellent advice to consider especially when he brings up the issue of "making it worth your while."

Set an amount you would like to make per hour, calculate the net profit to you per unit, and divide that into your target hourly income.

So, let's say at $5.00 net per unit, divided into $20.00 as the desired income per hour, means selling 4 per hour and that includes driving time.

Don't kid yourself--cold-call-selling requires all the skills of selling.

Now my question is, "since you are not very good with people, why are you pursuing a people oriented way to make any money at all?"

If you are good at repairs and odd jobs, create a flier and distribute them in a residential area where everyone works so many hours very little gets done at home. When they do have time they want to get away. Place them in the mail box. This is not a personality contest and people just want to know if you can do the job and they will call you.

Yes I know, that is technically illegal just as peddling or doing home repairs without a license. But, if you really need the money, the most that usually happens is someone tells you to "cease and desist." And that's if someone complains. - by John Voris
John,

Thanks for the feedback. I have some other ideas I will try out in addition to selling the stuffed animals. I will only do this on a very part-time basis. Even if I do it an hour a day on average and make only ten dollars that's over three thousand a year straight cash. Maybe I am wrong ( probably am at that ), but it doesn't seem to be as if there is much sales effort involved. All I have to do is show them what I have, name the price , and it's up to them to decide right away if it's worth their while to spend a few bucks and get some enjoyment in their modern stress filled day. Finally, it sounds like a fun and low sress thing to do. I love stuffed animals and many people do as well. I have no idea of the demand out there, but if I get into a tourist spot I could do well. I wouldn't be surprised if some people buy my stuffed animals, although they might be too busy to go out of their way to go into a store or go online. I might as well try to do this, and no matter what, it could be a useful experience. Do you know of any books, websites, or forums for peddlers?



Bill - by aberdeen
John,

Thanks for the feedback. I have some other ideas I will try out in addition to selling the stuffed animals. I will only do this on a very part-time basis. Even if I do it an hour a day on average and make only ten dollars that's over three thousand a year straight cash. Maybe I am wrong ( probably am at that ), but it doesn't seem to be as if there is much sales effort involved. All I have to do is show them what I have, name the price , and it's up to them to decide right away if it's worth their while to spend a few bucks and get some enjoyment in their modern stress filled day. Finally, it sounds like a fun and low sress thing to do. I love stuffed animals and many people do as well. I have no idea of the demand out there, but if I get into a tourist spot I could do well. I wouldn't be surprised if some people buy my stuffed animals, although they might be too busy to go out of their way to go into a store or go online. I might as well try to do this, and no matter what, it could be a useful experience. Do you know of any books, websites, or forums for peddlers?



Bill
Peddling on these terms leaves only one variable---a good location. Otherwise find a local flea market. - by John Voris
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.