The Age Old Line Sheet: A Complete Guide to Sell Your Products in Retail Stores

Posted on 19 October in Sqetch Academy

The team at Sqetch gave you tips for tech packs and everything you need to know to make manufacturing easy. We brought you founder stories and expert advice on contacting the perfect factory, and now, we give you another piece of magic to help grow your fashion business.

In this blog, we’re going to discuss the finer details on how to create your own wholesale line sheet. We’ll cover the essentials every line sheet must have. And we’ll give you tips and tricks how to sell your products, once the line sheet is created. By the end of this post, you’ll have the knowledge needed to sell your products, and drive more profit to your business.

Remember, creating your products is just the start. If you truly want to achieve top results, you must know how to sell them. Here we go!

What is a line sheet?
Maybe you’ve heard of line sheets, or maybe you haven’t! Either is okay, we won’t judge. But what in the F, is a line sheet anyways?!

Simply put, a line sheet is a document with a ton of information about your products and your brand. Almost the holy grail guide to your company. They are used for selling, mostly wholesale to bigger companies or boutiques. When you create your fashion line sheet, it’s important to think about ways to make buying easy. The sheet should clearly map everything you are providing, down to origin of the product and price.

What’s On A Line Sheet?
Unlike a tech pack, line sheets could be pretty easy to create either in Adobe InDesign, Excel, or even Microsoft word using tables. For the most part, they are pretty straightforward and versatile with how they are presented but we will start with the fundamentals. There are 2 parts of a line sheet. To get your first set of brownie points, keep reading for  the first things you need to include.

Part one of the infamous, line sheet!
This part is pretty simple to start. The first part of a line sheet is providing basic information. We start out with your details. This is everything from your logo your pricing.

At the top, visible for everyone to see would be:

  • Your Logo
  • Your Full Name (or the name of the contact person)
  • The name of your company
  • Contact information (from email to mobile numbers)
  • A sexy summary of your brand.

That’s easy, isn't it.

Okay! Now, we move into the harder stuff, wholesale information. This is still all part one, but a bit more detailed. It is key to creating this document clean but detailed. Buyers want to know everything you have to offer as a brand. Think of this as a proposal, a pitch, or even fishing. You are presenting something juicy to them and hoping that they bite; hard. You want them to grip on for dear life and stay there until you reel them in. Your bait is everything when it comes to line sheets.

To do this well, here  are the more detailed details of what you need to include in your line sheet that isn't your name or company name. If you ask yourself these 8 questions, you will be able to provide everything you need for the buyer. 

1. What is your wholesale price? - You should include the individual wholesale price of each product. This allows buyers to handle their budget and order a good amount of products that will fit into that budget.

2. Are there different sizes or colors available? Many of the time, your product will run in different sizes.What are they? Providing sizes lets each buyer know if your product will suit their customers and their needs. Some stores have extended sizes that are XXS and XXL. They would need to know if your brand and garments are extended as well.

3. How much of each product do you have? This is straightforward and easy to understand why they would need this information. If a buyer wants 100 pieces in one size and you only have 50, that opens up a time-consuming discussion that could have been avoided if you presented this information upfront.

4. What is your minimum order? Are buyers required to buy at least 100 pieces, or will small orders be tolerated?

5. What are the essential things we should know about your product? This section is important as well. Details will include, origin of the product, item name and numbers, material information, product measurements, size options and dimensions.

6. Can they see the product? - You should include photos, as well as material information. But, don’t get too fancy. It is important to highlight the product which means possibly keeping the item on a flat white background where they can clearly see it with all details.

7. What is the recommended retail price (RRP)? - This is where knowledge of some lingo comes in handy. RRP, also known as manufacturer’s suggested retail price or MSRP is a price that the manufacturer see’s fit. Buyers may decide to go higher or lower for various reasons but the intention of an RRP or MSRP is to stabilize and standard prices regardless of location.

8. Any best sellers or top products? - Let them know which products are popular or which you are selling because of popular demand.

Part Two With Those Added Essentials
In another section of the line sheet, you should map out the minor details of your arrangement. This section may be a bit secondary but probably still extremely important when attempting to catch a buyer’s attention. This part includes your business deal, and could make or break your chance to make a real connection and contact with the buyer. If the details in this section are super appealing, a buyer may continuously come back for more.  This time, we have 5 questions you should ask yourself:

1. What is your Shipping policy? - Do you have a carriage-paid level? Meaning, if the buyer spends over a certain amount of money, would you offer free shipping to them? Free shipping may be a good way for a buyer to purchase more of your product. After all, they are saving some cash and with a specific budget in place, more garments may help their store a bit more.

2. Tax and VAT information - Are taxes and VAT included in the purchase price? Is there any reason buyers could be excluded from paying VAT? Are there any forms to fill out for this?

3. What is your lead time?  How long will the buyer wait to get the items? Are there different prices for different shipping speeds? A good lead time is a good business. You don't want your customers waiting 3 months for a shipment.

4. What are the payment terms? - For this one, you should ask yourself questions like: Do you take credit, cash, checks? Do you require buyers to pay 100% up front, 50% up front and 50% upon delivery? How can you be most fair in your transactions with buyers so they can be happy and you be happy as well?

5. Your cancellation, damages and returns policies.  -- What are your policies if a buyer no longer wants or can have your product? Do buyers have a certain time frame they cancel an order? How would buyer return items? Are they allowed? What if your items are damaged in the mail, would they qualify for a full refund.

After all of the necessary pieces are planned, you can create your line sheet in a variety of applications and programs. Some of these applications are Adobe InDesign, a Word Document, or even Excel. Make sure your final sheet is detailed and equipped with your direct contact information. You should also ensure that your photos are visible, spelling is correct and there are minimal to no errors. You might always want to send the document as a PDF file.

Another tool to use to create your linesheet is Brandboom. Brandboom is an amazing tool where you can electronically create a line sheet with details, images and everything else that is needed to sell. In addition, you can create an online portfolio for buyers to view and even better….they can order online!

Not only does Brandboom allow for immediate purchases, you can still do things traditionally and export forms and linesheets via PDF to send by email. We tested the platform and found it easy to use and navigate. For any brand or designer who is creating fashion line sheets on their own, Brandboom would be a great first step to getting things done effectively and fast.

How To Sell To Retailers?
Now your line sheet is completed, the next step would be getting it to buyers and retail stores. We’ve thought about it all and just like making a line sheet, networking can be easy with a few twists and turns.

Drafting the perfect email pitch can make or break your brand with certain retail stores. Most likely, you have one and only one chance to impress them. Cold emailing and reaching out is a good effort, that many buyers hate. They get so many emails per day, or deliveries or customers and for your email to be looked at or better yet, opened, it needs to be as eye catching and interesting as your garments.

Here are a few quick and effective tips for contacting buyers and retail stores. Following these fast guides will help to get your brand to the forefront of the buyer’s to do and list:

1. Lose the fear and be honest about your work! We recommend that you don't be afraid to show off but staying humble..

2. Trust yourself and trust your garments. You have worked hard and if you have made it this far, it is worth it. Trust that you can complete this job all the way to the end.

3. Remember that buyers are people too; very nice people...with feelings. They can be swayed and they like to be respected, as does all people. Ask yourself, why should they care about your brand? Let them know, and make them care.

4. Tell the buyers exactly what is in it for them and their customers. Send everything they need to make a decision, from pictures, line sheets, and buyer’s packs.  Don’t wait for them to give you permission to send it. Just sent it.

5. Be engaged; this means utilizing social media, replying to them, and commenting on their Facebook or Instagram pages. Be genuinely interested in them and pay attention to their answers.

6. Use their names if known and keep the pitch as short as possible and get to the point. There is no time for storytelling.

7. Show your personality! Your brand is most likely infused with a lot of you in it. Many times, if a buyer likes a person, they are more inclined to respect and listen to what they have to say.

8. Still, mention some of your accomplishments but don't go on about how this will benefit you. You know it will benefit you, but they don't necessarily know how it will benefit them. Let them know without meaningless praise like “Your store is amazing!".

9. No assumptions. Assuming makes an ass out of you and me.  (Ass = u+me)

10. Finally, figure out what matters to their brand, and what their proudest moments are and comment genuinely. After all, if you and the shop don't value much of the same things, why do you want your garments in their store?

Along the lines of connecting, the retail and manufacturing industries are quite unique in the way they run, communicate and operated. Another important step is to make sure you use the right lingo when contacting them and sending any information. Be sure to check out “10 Essential Manufacturing Terms” to get a jump start on some terms you should know up front or when entering the manufacturing business.

What are your thoughts on this Fashion Line Sheet blog? Do you have any other tips for creating wholesale line sheets or selling your business? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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