Founded in 1986, the QVC (Quality-Value-Convenience) network continues to sell astronomical quantities of products to cable viewers.
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It's not unusual for a vendor to completely sell out a lot of products with just a few minutes of airtime – and that makes QVC an irresistible target for small business wholesale manufacturers.
But getting your products on QVC isn't as simple as sending a few samples and hoping for the best. As you might expect, QVC has a rigorous approval process for the products it presents to its customer base. The network is keenly aware of the fact that just because a product sells like hotcakes in other sales channels doesn't mean it will succeed on QVC.
Ultimately, QVC wants products that maximize value and profits. For small businesses, that means tailoring products and pitches to QVC's proven format and business model. Here's how to survive the screening process and get your products on the television screens of loyal QVC shoppers across the nation.
- TV format. More than anything else, you'll need to make sure that your product is sellable to a TV audience. Since the product will be presented in a television studio, it should be visually appealing and capable of being displayed, promoted and demonstrated by an in-studio QVC sales associate. If the product is too large, too small or too abstract, it won't sell to a QVC audience.
- Pricing. QVC has fairly rigid pricing parameters for their merchandise. For QVC, shipping and handling fees are a big part of the pricing formula. From their perspective, they're looking for products that can be priced in a way that represents value to the consumer, but allows for the inclusion of their handling fees. The sweet spot for QVC pricing seems to be $20 and up. If your products fall below the $20 threshold, sell them in multiples or bundle them with other products to achieve the preferred price level.
- Product categories. QVC strongly discourages innovation, at least when it comes to the categories of products they sell on their network. So avoid submitting products that fall outside of QVC's existing product categories. Instead, try to fit your products into categories that have already proven themselves popular with network shoppers.
- Selling power. The best advice for any small business manufacturer interested in selling their products on QVC is to thoroughly research the network's best-selling merchandise. Translation: start watching QVC religiously and take note of products that seem to sell out quickly time after time.