Archive for the ‘Buying’ Category

Top New Designs for Spring & Summer 2018

October 20, 2017

Retailers, Early Buy is in full swing! If you haven’t already, contact your Territory Manager to set up an appointment, or order online to take advantage of free freight and extended dating on new items for Spring/Summer 2018. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got the list of which garden flag and Door Decor designs are leading the pack so far. Let us know your favorites and get those orders in soon – Early Buy ends November 15th!

In no particular order, here are the best sellers so far!

“USA Mason Jar” Garden Flag by Susan Winget (31682)

“USA Mason Jar” Door Decor by Susan Winget (DD1682)

“Bucket Full of Peonies” Garden Flag by Susan Winget (31662)

“Butterflies in Check” Garden Flag by Jennifer Brinley (31636)

“Butterflies in Check” Door Decor by Jennifer Brinley (DD1636)

“Springtime Bunny” Garden Flag by Susan Winget (31649)

“Springtime Bunny” Door Decor by Susan Winget (DD1649)


“Marigolds and Zinnias” Garden Flag by Sally Eckman Roberts (31686)

“All You Need Is Love” Garden Flag with lyrics by Lennon & McCartney and artwork by Stephanie Burgess (31726)

“Flower Pickin’ Time” Garden Flag by Susan Winget (31668)

“Flower Pickin’ Time” Door Decor by Susan Winget (DD1668)

“Goldfinch on Jar” Garden Flag by Jane Shasky (31630)

“Geranium Variety” Garden Flag by Sally Eckman Roberts (31663)

“Geranium Variety” Garden Flag by Sally Eckman Roberts (31663)

“Red Geraniums” Garden Flag by Nicole Tamarin (31664)

“Patriotic Floral” Garden Flag by Sally Eckman Roberts (31678)

“Cardinal with Variegated Roses” Garden Flag by Susan Bourdet (31634)

“Heart with Stripe” Door Decor by Nicole Tamarin (DD1690)

“Love Everywhere” Garden Flag by Sydney Wright (31691)


“Spring Burst” Garden Flag by Nicole Tamarin (31665)


“Fresh Tulips” Garden Flag by Sally Eckman Roberts (31666)

“Love Sprouts” Garden Flag by Annie LaPoint (31689)

“Luck of the Irish” Door Decor by Jennifer Heynen (DD1685)

“Easter Bliss” Garden Flag by Wendy Wiinanen (31643)

“Egg Toss” Door Decor by Sally Eckman Roberts (DD1647)


“Hydrangea Beauties” Garden Flag by Sue Zipkin (31654)

“Hydrangea Beauties” Door Decor by Sue Zipkin (DD1654)

“Spring Birdhouse with Clematis” Garden Flag by Susan Winget (31632)

“Morning Beach Ride” Garden Flag by Suzanne Nicoll (31639)

“Summertime Fun” Door Decor by Aimee Sue Malott

Early Buy Best-Sellers Spring/Summer 2017

October 24, 2016

Early Buy is almost over! If you’re a registered retailer, login to our website or contact your Territory manager to place an order before time runs out!

With free freight and extended dating, Early Buy is too good to pass up… and it ends on November 15th! If you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find 20 of the best-selling designs so far (in no particular order). I hope this helps you get your order going, and that you and your customers enjoy all of our new products for spring and summer!


“Morning Ride” by Susan Winget

“Fancy Floral” by Jennifer Brinley

“Splash of Color” by Gail Flores

“Bunny Delight” by Lori McDonough

“Patriotic Watering Can” by Susan Winget

“Patriotic Tractor” by Susan Winget

“Baseball Season” by Susan Winget

“Hummingbird Delight” by Susan Bourdet

“St. Pat’s Shamrocks” by Bethany Shackelford

“Potted Geraniums” by Jennifer Brinley

“Easter Babies” by Susan Winget

“Garden Bouquet” by Sally Eckman Roberts

“Field of Butterflies” by Sally Eckman Roberts

“Hydrangeas” by Gail Flores

“Cardinal Beauty” by Susan Bourdet

“Pretty Pansies” by Jennifer Brinley

“Vintage Watering Can” by Sally Eckman Roberts

“Bluebonnet Dream” by Martha Collins

“Easter Beauty” by Gail Flores

“Planting Time” by Susan Winget

Like what you see? Let us know your favorite designs in the comments! If you’re registered on our website, click here to login and order Early Buy online! Happy shopping!

Fall/Winter 2016 Early Buy Bestsellers

May 6, 2016

Quick! Get those Early Buy orders in before time runs out!

With free freight and extended dating, our Early Buy program is the best deal of the season, and it ends on May 15th! If you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Below are 20 of this season’s best-selling designs to help you get your order going. I hope you and your customers enjoy all of our new products for fall and winter!

Holy Family by Susan Winget (31393)

1-31393-Holy Family-Susan Winget


Woodland Santa by Susan Winget (71394)

5-71394-Woodland Santa-Susan Winget


Denim Sunflowers by Jennifer Brinley (31440)

16-31440-Denim Sunflowers-Jennifer Brinley


Red Barn Snowman by Susan Winget (11434)

2-11434-Red Barn Snowman-Susan Winget


Winter Gathering by Susan Winget (91388)

3-91388-Winter Gathering-Susan Winget


Cardinal Christmas by Diane Kater (71439)

9-71439-Cardinal Christmas-Diane Kater


Snowman Birdfeeder by Jane Shasky (91374)

8-91374-Snowman Birdfeeder-Jane Shasky


Welcome Neighbors by Susan Winget (01423)

6-01423-Welcome Neighbors-Susan Winget


Time to Rake by Jennifer Brinley (31401)

4-31401-Time to Rake-Jennifer Brinley


Autumn Gate by Sally Eckman Roberts (01414)

10-01414-Autumn Gate-Sally Eckman Roberts


Lantern Festival by Sally Eckman Roberts (11411)

12-11411-Lantern Festival-Sally Eckman Roberts


Cardinal in Snow by Hautman Brothers (71385)

13-71385-Cardinal in Snow-Hautman Brothers


Mum’s the Word by Sally Eckman Roberts (91415)

14-91415-Mum's the Word-Sally Eckman Roberts


Autumn Porch by Susan Winget (31412)

7-31412-Autumn Porch-Susan Winget


Santa Wishes by Diane Kater (11390)

15-11390-Santa Wishes-Diane Kater


Harvest Pumpkins by Martha Collins (71416)

17-71416-Harvest Pumpkins-Martha Collins


Santa’s Porch by Susan Winget (91392)

18-91392-Santa's Porch-Susan Winget


Winter Wreath by Sally Eckman Roberts (31433)

19-31433-Winter Wreath-Sally Eckman Roberts


Meeting Place by Two Can Art (11387)

20-11387-Meeting Place-Two Can Art


Old Glory Barn by Susan Winget (31420)

11-31420-Old Glory Barn-Susan Winget


Like what you see? Let us know your favorite designs in the comments! Registered retailers can login and order Early Buy online now! Click here. Happy shopping!

Top 10 Early Buy Best Sellers – Fall/Winter 2013

May 29, 2013

Fall/Winter Early Buy ends June 5th!

So if you haven’t placed your order(s) yet, now’s the time! To help you make any last minute decisions, we’ve pulled together a Top 10 list of best selling Early Buy collections. Scroll down to see which designs (listed alphabetically) are topping the charts.

For Early Buy program details, click here.

For tips on how to get the most out of our Early Buy program, click here.

To shop our Early Buy catalog, login here.

Autumn Lantern Collection

Autumn Lantern Collection by Diane Arthurs
(09331, 19331, 39331, 79331, 99331)

Birdhouse Santa Collection

Birdhouse Santa Collection by Susan Winget
(05013, 15013, 35013, 75013, 95013)

Fall Basket Collection

Fall Basket Collection by Susan Winget
(05002, 15002, 35002, 75002, 95002)

Fall Favorites Collection

Fall Favorites Collection by Sally Eckman Roberts
(07941, 17941, 37941, 77941, 97941)

Fall Flowers Collection

Fall Flowers Collection by Sally Eckman Roberts
(07940, 17940, 37940, 77940, 97940)

Halloween Owl Collection

Halloween Owl Collection by Jennifer Brinley
(02770, 12770, 32770, 72770, 92770)

Halloween Treat Collection

Halloween Treat Collection by Anne Tavoletti
(06354, 16354, 36354, 76354, 96354)

Winter Basket Collection

Winter Basket Collection by Susan Winget
(05001, 15001, 35001, 75001, 95001)

Winter Box Welcome Collection

Winter Box Welcome Collection by Susan Winget
(05000, 15000, 35000, 75000, 95000)

Winter Feeder Collection

Winter Feeder Collection by Susan Bourdet
(05973, 15973, 35973, 75973, 95973)

Which new design do you think will be the best seller this Fall/Winter season? Let us know in the comments below.

Top 10 Early Buy Best Sellers – Spring/Summer 2013

December 3, 2012

With the end of our Spring/Summer 2013 Early Buy program fast approaching, we thought it might be helpful to share which designs have been most popular so far. Early Buy ends December 15th, so get your orders in now to beat the Christmas rush!

For Early Buy program details, click here.

For tips on how to get the most out of our Early Buy program, click here.

To login and shop our Early Buy catalog, login here.

Meanwhile, take a look at the Top 10 Early Buy best sellers!

Bloom by Jennifer Brinley

Bloom by Jennifer Brinley

Red Truck by Susan Winget

Red Truck by Susan Winget

Rose Garden Cardinal by Susan Bourdet

Rose Garden Cardinal by Susan Bourdet

Gerbera Daisy by Gail Flores

Gerbera Daisy by Gail Flores

Geraniums by Tim Coffey

Geraniums by Tim Coffey

Ranunculus by Jennifer Brinley

Ranunculus by Jennifer Brinley

Glory Garden by Susan Winget

Glory Garden by Susan Winget

Pretty Pansies by Elena Vladykina

Pretty Pansies by Elena Vladykina

Sunny Monarchy by Kathleen Parr McKenna

Sunny Monarchy by Kathleen Parr McKenna

Butterfly Ballad by Jennifer Brinley

Butterfly Ballad by Jennifer Brinley

To shop these designs and earn great Early Buy benefits, login here.

Favorites aside, which design do you think will be #1 for Spring/Summer 2013? Tell us in the comments below.

How Independent Retailers Can Increase Summer Sales

June 25, 2012

Now that the heat is on and summer has officially started, many of our retailers have been asking how they can increase sales this summer. To answer that question, we turned to Al Hardee, a veteran of the gift and garden industries, for some quick tips.

Summertime Watermelon

Al is the rep principal at Chesapeake Marketing Group with his own territory of customers right in the heart of flag country. Al and his team have represented Magnet Works for over 5 years, and he’s been in the flag business for over 20 years. He loves playing golf and offshore fishing on his boat. Needless to say, he’s a great resource for independent retailers that sell outdoor decor.

Here’s what he had to say:

1) Everybody Likes Vacation – “The summer season is often overlooked by retailers that say they aren’t near a beach or resort. Many times retailers forget that their customers want to commemorate travel traditions and keep their vacation in mind all year. I recommend that retailers consider stocking outdoor decor that reminds people of vacation, no matter where a retailer’s is located.”

2) Localization – “Magnet Works’ Localization program is a great opportunity for retailers to stock summer designs that will stay relevant year-round. Any retailer near a destination can customize a coastal or summer-themed design and count on them to sell throughout the year.”

Just Chillin' by Joy Hall

Just Chillin’ by Joy Hall

3) Summer Icons – “Vacation themes aside, there are many images and icons that help customers celebrate summer – flipflops, sunflowers, watermelons, popsicles, etc. These are a must for retailers who are hoping to boost sales this summer.”

4) Don’t Rush into Fall – “Not only could we have a long summer due to unpredictable weather, but also many retailers in the south can keep summer flowers growing in their garden through October! So leave that merchandise out longer as you begin working fall designs into the mix. Plus, with a mix of fall and summer designs, you’re likely to increase your multiple sales!”

Do you have any summer sales success stories or questions for Al? Let’s all learn from each other! Please share in the comments below.

Photo by stevendepolo

How a Rep Can Help a Retailer

June 14, 2012

It’s sometimes funny how, even though I work for a gift vendor in the gift industry, I still can’t avoid shopping for birthday gifts at the last minute.

Recently, I visited a favorite retailer of mine to get a last-minute gift when I literally tripped over a local sales rep. She was down on the floor with product spread all over as she was straightening out a display and helping the retailer check inventory for a reorder.

“Hi there,” she said to me. “What are you looking for? I’m actually a sales rep here, but maybe I can help you.

Retail StoreWow! Sometimes it takes literally tripping over them to realize just how much reps can do for retailers.

But I’ll save you the “trip” and share 5 of the ways that reps can help retailers on a regular basis:

1.)  Inventory Management: A sales rep’s success depends on your success, so it’s in their best interest to make sure you’re stocking the items that will sell. When you sell out of an item it’s hard to remember to reorder it – it’s out of sight out of mind. What product has become a top seller? What haven’t you even tried yet?  Take advantage of your rep’s expertise – ask them to help you identify what is missing from your product offering and what items you should add to your next reorder.

2.)  Customer Service: On a busy retail day, your sales rep is always an extra greeter for your customers. They also have a lot of product knowledge they can share with you and your customer.

3.)  Display/Merchandising: Reps have learned some great tricks from other retailers when it comes to displays. They know how to catch a customer’s attention. Next time you’re planning to update a window or product display, reach out to your local reps and pick their brains for creative ideas.

4.)  Trending up or trending down?  Sales reps can help be your eyes and ears to the retail world outside your doors.  They can help you identify which items are “hot” and which are NOT. Ask for their thoughts!

5.)  Specials? Sales? What’s New?  Always ask your reps about specials that are going on or that may be coming up. They’re a great resource for this information and can offer suggestions when your next buying season rolls around.

If you’re a retailer, your reps can be an invaluable resource. Don’t hesitate to contact them and ask for help next time you need it.

How do you feel a rep can best support you as a retailer? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Top 10 Early Buy Best Sellers – Fall/Holiday 2012

June 7, 2012

Want to know what’s topping the charts for Fall and Holiday? Just scroll down a bit!

REMEMBER: Keep Debbie’s recent post in mind as you look over this list. You can use this list to maximize your Early Buy benefits! While regional differences should be considered, these are the top designs overall. So if any of these designs are high on your favorites list, consider adding more of them to your Early Buy order – they’re sure to sell-through quickly!

Without further ado, here are the top 10 designs from Fall/Holiday Early Buy 2012 in seasonal order:

Bountiful Blessings by Elena Vladykina (#32632)

Bountiful Blessings by Elena Vladykina (#32632)

Fall Abundance by Susan Winget (#34082)

Fall Abundance by Susan Winget (#34082)

Glorious Mums by Sally Eckman Roberts (#37921)

Glorious Mums by Sally Eckman Roberts (#37921)

Fall Frolic by Bernadette Deming (#36830)

Fall Frolic by Bernadette Deming (#36830)

Pumpkin Patch Cat by Jennifer Brinley (#32760)

Pumpkin Patch Cat by Jennifer Brinley (#32760)

Warm Winter Wishes by Susan Winget (#34086)

Warm Winter Wishes by Susan Winget (#34086)

Christmas Lantern by Diane Arthurs (#39328)

Christmas Lantern by Diane Arthurs (#39328)

Christ is Born by Susan Winget (#34085)

Christ is Born by Susan Winget (#34085)

Wild Party by Susan Bourdet (#35965)

Wild Party by Susan Bourdet (#35965)

Woodland Snowman by Diane Arthurs (#39330)

Woodland Snowman by Diane Arthurs (#39330)

Tell us which design is your favorite in the comments below!

How to Get the Most Out of Early Buy

May 24, 2012

For Magnet Works retailers, it’s time to take advantage of our best promotion of the year – our Early Buy program. These are the biggest benefits of Early Buy:

  • $500+ order – Net 45 and free freight*
  • $1,500+ order – Net 60 and free freight*
  • $3,000+ order – Net 90 and free freight*
Full, but not over-stuffed display

A full, but not over-stuffed display is much easier for customers to shop.

But there are more ways to get a better return on your Early Buy investment, without necessarily spending more money!

1.) Break It Down into Multiple Shipments The amount of extended dating you qualify for is determined by the combined total of your Early Buy orders. That means you can break your Early Buy into multiple shipments! For example, you can write two $250 orders instead of one $500 order and still get Net 45 dating and FREE freight. This approach will keep new product arriving in intervals, instead of all at once. Your fixtures will stay full, rather than over-stuffed. And it will improve your cash flow because you have the potential to sell through your first batch of product before the next invoice comes due.

2.) Sync Your Shipments with the Seasons If properly planned, each of your shipments can help transition your store and your customers through the seasons. For example, you could start with a shipment of fall leaves and florals. Then follow that up with a Halloween shipment, and next, Thanksgiving. Then you could start bringing in Christmas designs and eventually birds and snowmen to finish out the winter. By taking the time now to plan out your inventory and purchases, you not only save money, but you free yourself up to focus on sales, marketing, and displays when the seasons arrive.

3.) Stock Up on Heavy Stuff Each Early Buy promo level includes FREE freight, so this is the best time to stock up on those heavier items like garden stakes, flag poles, yard stakes, and ornamental posts. I recommend that you add them to your first order AND to your last order, so you can maximize the savings without sacrificing too much storage space.

4.) Back Up the Hot Items If you love an item on our best sellers list, chances are it’s going to be a great seller for you. So back it up by adding it to your second or third Early Buy order as well, not just your first.

5.) Contact Your Local Sales Rep Not only will reps help you identify best sellers by design and category, but they come to your store armed with tons of helpful experience and resources. They can help you flesh out your Early Buy inventory plan or develop a sales and marketing strategy. As our reps would say, you can’t NOT do this! If ordering for Fall/Holiday will be on your To Do list eventually, it makes good business sense to order early and take advantage of all the great benefits.

Retailers, what did I leave out? What would you suggest to a retailer new to our Early Buy program? How do you break up your shipments? Please share your thoughts in a comment below and feel free to ask questions.

How to Increase Sales by Maximizing Your Inventory Investment

April 19, 2012

In general, about 80% of a retailer’s volume is driven by 20% of their inventory. As a result, inventory management can have a huge impact on sales. After all, it’s much harder to make a sale when you run out of what’s selling.

So here are some tips and tools that can help you maximize your inventory and improve business in your store:

Inventory Drill Down

Inventory Drill Down

  1. Break your inventory into categories and determine what categories with a respectable profit margin are contributing the most sales volume for your store.  Is it garden and outdoor decor, accessories, wall art, tabletop, baby, or some other category?
  2. Next, list which product lines you carry in each category and determine the best selling lines.
  3. Drill down another layer to find out what vendors are performing the best for each product line.
  4. Determine which specific items from those vendors are your best sellers.

By drilling down to specifics you can better prioritize your reorders and get the most bang for your buck. When resources are limited, be certain to reinvest in your best sellers first.

But if you want your store to remain unique, you can’t always just buy what’s “safe.” That’s why I recommend that you think of your inventory as a pyramid.

The Inventory Pyramid

The Inventory PyramidAt the base of your pyramid are the volume drivers – the ones that drive 80% of your business. They are the foundation on which you can build out the rest of your inventory, and they’re the destination items that your customers expect to find at your store. Make sure you’re never running low on these products.

In the middle of your pyramid are your volume seekers.  These items represent up and coming categories or products with high volume potential.  They complement your volume drivers and help round out your merchandise assortment.

At the top of your pyramid are your fringe factors – the eye-catching “WOW” factor items that draw customers into your store. Whether it’s a burst of powerful color, unique design, or a large scale item that doubles as a display, this merchandise demands attention and sparks a customer’s curiosity.  Investing 5-10% of your store’s open to buy in “over the top” type items give both you and your customer something to talk about.

It’s important to remember each part of the pyramid when investing your inventory dollars. Keep in mind that while the pyramid and the 80/20 rule are good points of reference, the actual amount you allocate to each will depend greatly on the size of your store, type of your store, your location, and the season for which you’re planning.

More Tools for Buyers:

Most manufacturers have a best seller list. While regional differences should be considered, it’s hard to argue against a vendor’s best selling items. Referencing a best seller list can broaden your perspective and help you make informed decisions.

GiftBeatGiftBeat, a monthly trade publication that tracks trends in the wholesale gift industry, is another great resource. Although you know your customer best, detailed insights and polling data from specialty gift stores across the country can help you stay on top of trends and track the pulse of the industry.

This week we are excited to give away a FREE 12-month subscription to GiftBeat! For a chance to win, simply click here and subscribe to our blog via email (see the “Get Updates Via Email” section on the right side of the Magnet Works Blog home page). The winner will be announced at the end of next week.

What’s the best fringe factor item you ever bought for your store? What are your volume drivers? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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