After the Sale is Over

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Requesting samples of items you are selling as a fundraiser to showcase and market them can increase your profits, but can leave you wondering - what should we do with them after the sale is over?  Read on for some creative (and fundraising) ideas.

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When you decide to sell a product to raise money for your team, group, organization or school, do you think to ask for samples to showcase the items for those unfamiliar with the product?

Sample products are a great way to promote your sale and increase sales.  Some companies offer discounts to purchase sample items, others offer sales packages for display that need to be returned, while others might require you to buy samples outright.  Your committee will need to discuss what is best based on your budget and ability to promote the sale with or without tangible sample items to display.  There might be an initial outlay of cash to purchase the samples, so it's important to decide if it is worth the investment.  We often think that it is.

Once you receive your samples.....

Whether you purchased the items or they are given to you, now it's time to showcase the samples.  Use a trophy case in the front hallway, display them in the office, or even have friends use the products in public places.  The more you can create a buzz about your product, the greater the profit potential.

If the samples were free, consider using them as "Thank You" gift to your committee volunteers once the sale is over.

If you had to purchase the samples, why not make a bit more money for your group by doing one or all of the following:

  • Bundle products and make a basket for a raffle.  You can sell raffle tickets or tickets could be free to anyone who participated in the sale.
  • Bundle products and make a basket for your next silent auction.
  • Use as sales incentives or prizes for participants.
  • Sell them as you would if someone were ordering them.
  • Use as teacher, coach or staff gifts.

Getting people excited about your products is the best way to insure a successful sale.  By ordering samples and showcasing them, your are assured that sales will increase due to product knowledge.  Market them as you would if you owned a store.

Once the sale is over you can either make a few extra dollars or use as a reward for a great sale.

Our first Mixed Bag sale

When we held our first Mixed Bag sale, we set up an area in our school office so parents could see and touch the items. This was especially important since we were offering this product for the first time. We received a substantial discount for the samples so we felt strongly that it was definitely worth the investment.  Each item was clearly labeled with the name of the specific product, the pattern and the price.  Having the colorful display as visitors entered the building drew more attention to the sale and more orders were placed when buyers were able to handle the product to confirm quality and sizes.  And, the excitement of one customer as they handled the samples often drew others in to come and check out what all the excitement was about!

After the sale was over, we used some of the samples in a raffle baskets and others were given to our amazing volunteers as a "Thank You."

The same sales strategy can and should be used whenever possible, whether your product is spirit wear, wrapping paper, candles, first aid kits, umbrellas, school supplies, pizza or pie kits, personalized pans or products imprinted with student artwork.  The more your customers are able to interact with your product, the greater your sales potential.  And even greater things can come from your samples when the sale is over.  It's a win-win!

Do you have creative ways to market and use your samples?  Please share with us!

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