The biggest mistake I see people make while trying to sell their product into Major Chain Store Retailers is that they start by contacting a retailer’s Vendor Department. 

Every Major Chain Store Retailer has a Vendor Department.  This department is in charge of sifting through all of the new vendor requests.  If the Vendor Department reviews a product and finds a match, they will pass the information on to the appropriate Buyer.

It is a common misconception that going through the Vendor Department is the only way for a retailer to review your product.  However, if I had waited for a retailer’s Vendor Department to get my product into stores, I would have never had the success that I’ve had over the years! 

Vendor Departments gets inundated with an endless array of products to review. By the time they review your product, it could take 6 months or a year to get an answer.  What’s the point?  You must go to the Buyers directly to get any traction into the retailer. 

I know for a fact that most people start by reaching out to the retailer’s Vendor Department.  This is great for you. You will differentiate yourself from the competition.  By connecting with the Buyer’s directly, you will increase your chances of getting your product on the shelves of the World’s Largest Retailers faster than you ever thought possible!

I know that some of you are concerned that you might upset the Buyer if you start contacting them directly.  But please know that after almost a decade of selling products to retailers, I have NEVER upset a Buyer by going direct!  And I’ve sold every type of product imaginable.

And even if you come across that one random Buyer that gets really angry with you about going direct, know this…the Buyer will forget about you in a matter of days!!!   Buyers are incredibly busy and get inundated with phone calls all day long.  They might get mad for a moment, but I assure you that this will be short lived. 

The truth is that Buyers understand how important their job is.  They know that it would be such a huge opportunity for a business owner to get their product into their stores and tend to be sympathetic toward potential vendors who contact them.  So just know that even if the Buyer is in a bad mood, they will get over it! 

Ultimately, contacting Buyers directly is the most effective way to get your product sold to Major Chain Store Retailers. 

About the author: 

Karen Waksman ( is a Successful Manufacturer’s Representative, Speaker and Author of “How To Sell Your Product, Invention Or Craft To Major Retailers…No Sales Experience Or Existing Buyer Relationships Required!”