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Sales Rep or Trade Shows for purchases?

Dear All,

My previous post detailed looking for a sales rep to carry our
line. I have read lately in the trade journals several opinions
that stores are relying more and more on trade shows to do their
buying, and that sales reps are becoming a thing of the past. What
do you all think? Do you prefer to buy at the major shows or have a
sales rep visit you, and why? How many shows do you attend a year?

Thank you all for your advice.

david lee jeweler
david lee
Mason City, Iowa


We design and manufacture an 18kt and also platinum line of jewelry,
we exhibit at several major wholesale shows per year, we also have a
sales rep who work primarily on the West Coast, (our business is on
the East Coast).

The positive thing about having a sales rep is:

They can come to your store per an invitation and can show the WHOLE
line to the buyer, but most importantly they can also show it to ALL
of the sales associates who ultimate know what the customer wants. If
they love the line and can help pick out or suggest certain things
that might sell, that’s great, after all it is THEM who deal with the
customer. A lot of buyers just buy, period and don’t deal with the
selling part of the business.

Also, if customers know you have a sales rep, they might feel more
comfortable having them come into their store in an relaxed
atmosphere rather than a frantic running around with no time to
really concentrate on what they are seeing and buying and sometimes
ultimate buy the wrong thing, then it doesn’t sell and another set of
problems comes up…eek!

Sometimes it is wise to have best of both worlds if you can swing

Best of luck,

Hi Brenda,

I posted a similar questions about sales reps and loose color
several months ago. One person responded. You may want to post this
question on Polygon, or I can post for you.

My experience, as a sales rep, is the jewelers are relying more on
the trade shows and established accounts. If your business name is
not something recognized in the trade, few jewelers (30% or much
less) have any time for a sales rep. Most reps today are carrying
several lines. A sales rep with established accounts may help you
the most. However, I can imagine with the extra risk, they will be

I feel during trade shows the jeweler is on the offense (vs. defense
toward a salesman) The response is much more kind. To add a further
note, I feel the internet is a growing trend. Several large media
firms have decreased spending toward TV and radio, and the revenues
for online sales are steadily increasing.

In fact, I’ve grossed many times more revenue using my website than
I ever grossed in the years on the road. With a larger amount going
overseas to countries such as Japan, HK, and Europe.


Ed Cleveland