Treasure Hunting: A Q&A Unveiling How to Find the Best Treasures for Your Store
When you consider the items you sell in your store – whether online or offline – it’s fair to say they create the treasures in your “store” chest. Keeping this in mind, some treasures are far more valuable than others, which is why we’re big fans of ASD Market Week held bi-annually in Las Vegas. With high margin inventory and essentially nine trade shows in one, this is not-to-miss trade show that has introduced thousands of retailers to unveiling their own treasures for their unique store success. Among them include Katharyne Shelton, founder of Facebook’s popular Treasure Hunting Group (6K members and counting) and a successful online seller. Below, Shelton shares her insight on discovering treasures to sell, as well as why ASD Market Week is a favorite trade show of hers to attend.
We hear this past March was your first time at ASD Market Week. What inspired you to check it out for your first time?
It’s so huge! I get inspired just walking around and seeing all the products here… all of them are opportunities to sell and make money.
Making money is certainly the goal for any seller. Do you have any tips on how to maximize this when buying from ASD Market Week?
I sell online via my own websites or on Amazon.com, and I love to bundle products together into gift sets, kits and packages to sell. ASD is just the place to find all the pieces to put together for new bundles and to get new ideas for unique products that no-one else is selling yet.
We love that you create your own kits and sell them as one single unit! What other insight can you offer for first time buyers to ASD on how they can maximize their own treasure hunting?
Treasure hunting to me is about finding an undiscovered treasure and delivering it to the very person who would love it. As a treasure hunter, I am always excited when I am the first to discover something new! Treasure is EVERYWHERE at ASD… There are so many new products, it’s amazing when you can spot a hidden gem that you just know will sell. In March, I loved the sparkly bags, the jewelry and clothing. There was a lot of ‘BLING!’ and my brain was exploding with ideas! My partner, on the other hand, was obsessed with the aquaponics kits he found there. I had to drag him away. There is just so many great niches and so many opportunities to bring products to a fresh market.
There’s something for everybody, that’s for sure. What do you count among the most important things you look for in items when treasure hunting?
The number thing is to know your target market. As long as there is a fan base out there that will OBSESS over your product, it will sell. I love niches, so I look for products that will appeal to a specific audience. Whether it’s Chihuahua breeders, ballet moms or couples that vacation to Aruba every year, if it appeals to them and they love it, they will buy it.
That’s fantastic advice. You also share a lot of great insight on your Facebook page, which I’m a member of. Would you say that most of your members attend trade shows regularly?
My main Treasure Hunting group has members at all stages of their hunting career. Some of them buy from thrift stores or yard sales. Some of them buy from big retail stores and resell. Many of them are now taking that jump towards placing their first wholesale order – or even buying white label products that they can customize. For those people, ASD is their paradise. Actually being able to see, feel and test the products you are interested in is an incredible opportunity that only trade shows offer. It really feels like Christmas. I don’t think there’s anything quite like ASD when it comes to trade shows.
We agree… there’s nothing else out there like ASD Market Week. You also mentioned white labelling. Can you elaborate on this?
My new group, ‘Blue Sky’, is for big thinkers. These are folks that want to create or label their own products and build their own brand. ASD is perfect for them as they can meet manufacturers and distributors who can give them the bare bones product that that they can brand or customize to fit their vision in their Sourcing section.
Another example of ASD offering something for everyone! And on that note, what advice can you offer buyers attending ASD for the first time and in hunt for their own treasures?
Don’t be scared! I know some people have nerves about talking to wholesalers, especially on their first visit, but there’s really no need. All the vendors I spoke to were friendly, patient and more than willing to help out a first time buyer. Be honest, upfront and polite and they will return the favor.
Great advice. Any other tips you can share?
As an online seller, I look at products and imagine what they would look like in the most upmarket gift boutique I can imagine. I visualize the price, the target market and the way they are displayed. This gives me a clear vision for how to sell them online.
Love that! What about any “no-no’s”?
I avoid anything too popular. I like to find the hidden treasure that I can make big profits on and pass up the super competitive hot toys.
Also great advice! Thank you for sharing your valuable insight. We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming August ASD Market Week – a trade show we never miss!
Join Katharyne Shelton’s Treasure Hunting Group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/katharynetreasure/.