Selling Herbal Crafts

Selling Your Herbal Crafts
Date Submitted: October 29, 2006by Lucinda Jenkins LPNHC

It’s that time of year for craft shows and bake sales and fund raisers. Are you looking for new items and ideas to present to your customers and increase profits? Herbal crafts are flying off the tables around the country. The herbal “bug’ has bitten America, folks just can’t get enough. Millions of dollars are being spent on herbal items and the appetite just keeps growing.
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We have a list of known items that will increase your profits plus keep your customer healthy and happy in a natural herbal way.

Herbal teas are a hit this year. We find that using an unknown tea ingredient (unknown to the American public)like South African Rooibos attracts attention . You can combine peppermint or citrus peels to the rooibos for different and new flavors.

You should also hand out a very small flyer about the healthy benefits of Rooibos tea. (We would provide you with that information).

By purchasing three different teas in bulk you can offer several different combination.

For instance you purchase Rooibos, Peppermint, Chamomile You can offer
Rooibos tea
Peppermint tea
Chamomile tea
Rooibos and Peppermint,
Chamomile and Rooibos
Chamomile and Peppermint tea for indigestion

Now here is the kicker to this,,, these teas are all a healthy cup of tea but can also be a great bath tea. Rooibos is great for skin conditions as is chamomile and peppermint is an energizing bath tea.
Herbal Bath teas are a hot selling item also!!
A simple recipe for an herbal bath is

1 part chamomile
1 part oatmeal
2 part epson salt
1 part crushed lavender buds
1 part calendula petals
Combine together , offer a small 3×5 cotten drawstring bag for you customer to use in the bath .
or fill a heatsealable teabag and offer 3-4 teabags.
( I just fold and staple my teabags shut)

Besides herbal tea, green tea and gourmet black teas are very popular. Teas with uncommon names sell well. Green teas can also be mixed with other herbs to create your own signature type teas. Using a creative name to your blended tea increases sales.

Herbal soap loaves still continue to gain popularity. People love to see you slice a piece of soap for them. Offer samples for smelling only so that the rest of the bars do not get handled by 1,000 different people. Some venders forget that they can wrap and decorate the whole 1 pound loaf of soap and offer it that way. It makes a great gift!

Herbal Pet Products are a big seller. I have found that people will spend money on their dog or cat before they will send it on themselves. Catnip pillow & toys are very easy to make. Just sew together your cut out pattern of material and stuff with catnip. They will be gone at the end of the day.

Pain relief pillows are also a great seller. These can be made is various sizes . The neck pain relief pillows seems to be very popular. These contain flax seed , lavender, rosemary, lemon verbena and other herbs.

Lavender Sachets are popular. Using material and lace scrapes are a great way to use up end materials yet produce a heavenly smelling products. Patchouli Sachets have a seductive scent but also repel moths.

Need more help? Check our website for more recipes and ideas to use . Good Luck and have a prosperous season! Lucinda of Glenbrook
About Author
For more ideas and herbal craft recipes and supplies Vist Glenbrook Farms Herbs and Such
Living Healthy! Living Well! It doesn’t have to cost a fortune


Joining A Direct Sale Company

Definition of Consultant
A Consultant is someone brought in for a limited time to solve one or more specific problems. This can be done under a contract for a specific problem or on a longer term contract for ongoing needs related to a specific problem.

{Examples: Business coaching, mediation support, I do believe an appraiser would too be considered an independent consultant}The term consultant is often used interchangeably with the terms independent contractor, freelancer, and vendor.

An Independent Contractor is a person or a business that follows an independent trade, business, or profession in which they provide goods or services to the public. { Truck driver/owner operators,painters, interior decorators, ect.. are included in this area} The business contracting for their services must have the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result. In other words, they contract for certain work to be done, but do not tell you when, where or how to do the work.

The term independent contractor is often used interchangeably with the terms vendor, freelancer and consultant.

A Vendor is a seller of products or services. Often in contracting with a business or the government, the supplier is called a vendor. The term vendor is often used interchangably with the terms independent contractor, freelancer, and consultant.

Another way the word Vendor is used is to describe a business being run on a street, such as a newspaper vendor.

Direct Selling, or Direct Marketing as it is sometimes called, simply means grass roots, face-to-face distribution of products. It used often to refer to door-to-door selling. {A section on what to ask Direct Sale Representatives is included in our Wholesale/Dropship print booklet}

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) opportunities seem to be everywhere you turn these days, not only online, but in every part of your life including school and church, where  entrepreneurs lobby even their bible study groups to buy their product or service. Even police departments have been invaded by MLM schemes. The San Diego police department actually had an illegal pyramid scheme discovered within one of its departments!

Equally prevalent are the misconceptions of what this business is and whether it really is a legitimate business or a scam. Trying to find “truth” in this morass of information is a challenge. The appeal of a business with minimal investment and a support system in place cannot be denied. But is this for real? Let’s take a look.

One of the most confusing aspects of assessing the viability of many of the business “opportunities” being hyped is the variety of terms used to describe them. MLM is also frequently called network marketing, consumer direct marketing, or seller assisted marketing and other terms continue to surface.

Multi-Level Marketing
MLM is essentially any business where payouts occur at two or more levels. For instance, if you make a sale, both you and the person who recruited you will get a portion of the proceeds. This is the most commonly used term partly because its definition fits within the legal restrictions for this type of business.

As you can see, even Direct Sale Companies fall into this area, but have a better image due to proper accreditment. On the downside though, there are many companies that get a bad mark due to unreliable representatives/consulants.

Network Marketing
Network Marketing means that a distributor network is needed to build the business. Usually such businesses are also MLM in nature in that payouts also occur at more than one level. The term Network Marketing is sometimes also incorrectly used to indicate that the business uses a network of product suppliers in order to offer a broader selection of products. Businesses that describe themselves this way are usually trying to differentiate themselves, suggesting that their program is superior to other programs.

Consumer Direct Marketing
Consumer Direct Marketing is a deceptive term that labels the distribution chain as consumers rather than distributors. In such businesses the distributor must also buy the product for their personal use.

I have seen and heard this so much over the past year. I am not MLM but when you sign up you end up finding out, you can not purchase or support another area of a business that is in competition with the said company. And you must buy their products to make sales. Now of course that is not all that bad, if you love the products and are in need of them. But to have to keep up a quota in order to make a living really in the end makes you very little money. You will see as  research MLM..Network Marketing that they are not much differnet that alot of direct sale companies.
Seller Assisted Marketing
Seller Assisted Marketing Plans is a term used by California law to describe a variety of business forms which include MLM. A minimum $500 investment must be involved to qualify as a Seller Assisted Marketing Plan.

Here is some information to help you decide if this is a good path for you.

The Legality of Multilevel Marketing

The Truth Behind the Claims

How to Find a Good Multilevel Marketing Business

Questions to Ask Before Investing

Industry Watchdogs

While no one really makes the millions promised by so many of the scams, many people find a very satisfying career in some of the multi-level marketing ventures. With the right company, you may find like-minded colleagues who are pursuing similar goals. In some ways, it can be the best of all worlds — no boss, but a good social network and a job where hard work pays off. However, don’t leap without looking carefully. There are also deep shoals that can draw you in over your head rapidly. If you tiptoe into the water carefully, checking that you have firm footing all the way, you will find yourself swimming happily into entrepreneurship.

Network marketing, also known as multi-level marketing (mlm), is a type of business in which payouts occur at two or more levels.

To decide if network marketing is right for you:

Decide what type of product you would be interested in selling
Identify network marketing businesses that might be of interest.
Eliminate any that have not been in business at least three years.
Eliminate any that are not publicly traded.
Give the business strong consideration if it is part of the Direct Selling Association.
Investigate your state laws on network marketing.
Try a variety of potential products you might choose.
Find out as much as possible about the product and its retail potential.
Ask what type of bonus or commission plan the company offers.
Learn what other benefits such as health insurance may be available through the business.
Talk with as many people as possible about the product, customers as well as sales people.
Research the potential market for this product.
Set up a personal financial plan with goals, checkpoints and how you will decide to quit if this doesn’t work for you.
Choose which company you want to work with and sign on.

The internet has become a major source of network marketing spam. Do not join the crowd!
Networking marketing means making sales. Be certain sales is something you want to do.
Don’t believe everything you hear. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
In network marketing, if you make a sale, both you and the person above you in the organization will get a portion of the proceeds.

Consumer Direct Marketing is Network Marketing in which the distribution chain is referred to as consumers rather than distributors. In such businesses the distributor must also buy the product for their personal use.

Related Terms:

Multi-Level Marketing
Network Marketing
Pyramid Scheme

Related Information:

Multilevel Marketing (MLM)
How to Decide If Network Marketing Is Right For You Business Opportunity Scams

Related Books:

Inside Network Marketing
Network Marketing for Dummies
More Books about Multilevel Marketing

It’s not so hard to see why consumers would be drawn to ads for business opportunities that trumpet “be your own boss,” “set your own hours,” “work from home,” and “earn money quickly.” But the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that business opportunity promotions like these often are scams that take consumers’ money and fail to deliver on the promises.

Before investing in any business opportunity, the FTC suggests that consumers:

Look at the ad carefully. If it claims buyers can earn a certain income, it also must give the number and percentage of previous purchasers who achieved the earnings. If an earnings claim is there – but the additional information isn’t – the business opportunity seller is probably violating the law.

Get earnings claims in writing. If the business opportunity costs $500 or more, then the promoter must back up the earnings claim in a written document. It should include the earnings claim, as well as the number and percentage of recent clients who have earned at least as much as the promoter suggested. If it’s a work-at-home or other business opportunity that involves an investment of under $500, ask the promoter to put the earnings information in writing.

If the business opportunity is a franchise, study the disclosure document. Look for a statement about previous purchasers. If the document says there are no previous purchasers but the seller offers a list of references, be careful: the references probably are fake.

Interview each previous purchaser in person, preferably where their business operates. The FTC requires business opportunity promoters to give potential purchasers the names, addresses and phone numbers of at least 10 previous purchasers who live the closest to the potential purchaser. Interviewing previous purchasers helps reduce the risk of being misled by phony references.

Contact the attorney general’s office, state or county consumer protection agency and Better Business Bureau both where the business opportunity promoter is based and where you live to find out whether there is any record of unresolved complaints.

If the business opportunity involves selling products from well-known companies, call the legal department of the company whose merchandise would be promoted. Find out whether the business opportunity and its promoter are affiliated with the company. Ask whether the company has ever threatened trademark action against the promoter.

Consult an attorney, accountant or other business advisor before you make the deal.

Take your time. Promoters of fraudulent business opportunities often use high-pressure sales tactics. But, if the business opportunity is legitimate, it’ll still be around when you’re ready to decide.

 Family-Run Small Business Resources-
There are a variety of small business resources available that have been developed specifically to help families start and operate small businesses. Family business is defined here as businesses who are operated by families or persons in significant personal relationships. Following are some resources available for families who run or want to run a small business

Home-based businesses can either be independent businesses or telecommuting arrangements where individuals work for a major corporation from their home. Telecommuters, by virtue of the fact that they are employees, have a different set of issues than home business owners in terms of income and expenses. However, in terms of time management and office space, they have much in common. Both face similar advantages and disadvantages in working out of their home.

Young Entrepreneurs
There are a variety of small business resources available that have been developed specifically to help younger people who start and operate small businesses. Young entrepreneurs are defined here as persons who start a business before they are 25 years of age. Following are some resources available for young people who own or want to own a small business.

This information has been provided by:
Small Business Notes

When Contacting Wholesale Distributors

Rules of Thumb For Contacting a Wholesaler

1. Have your business information prepared before you submit you request for more information.

2. Have a valid business number. Many wholesalers will not do business with a Internet based  business if you are not registered business. Business resources are included in our print Wholesale/Dropship Directory.

3. If you have a question about the company make it simple and to the point. A real wholesale  supplier does not have time to jump through hoops trying to figure out what you are asking for.

4.If you do have questions pertaining to a policy make sure you do your homework first.

  a. Look at the customer service page.
  b. Jot down notes so you can go back and use the KISS method of        inquiry. Keep It Simple Stupid
    (Hey, I did not create that )

  c. Do not argue with their shipping policy. This I have heard so many times from home based businesses saying they are writing the company to complain about the cost of shipping.    Bad move on your part. You are a small seedling, they don’t need your business.
Most     legitimate wholesalers are in business for a reason.
They have product, demand and customers base.

5. Build a relationship with your wholesaler. Do not try to play big business if you are a small    business. Everyone knows how to read between the lines. Use the accurate method of building   your business “Integrity” Tell them your needs, and ask for suggestions on products that are best   suited for your target market. Some products are better suited for quick turn around and may  often be out of stock. Generally pick products that are kept at a higher inventory, and then    choose some quick profit products for your monthly sales. Customers love sales!!

6. It is not necessary to maintain a large inventory for your business these days. There are thousands of “Real” Drop Ship Companies that will work with you for little to no money involved.
An excellent resource for locating wholesale products from thousands of legitimate companies can be found in the The Drop Ship Source Directory.

7. Another great method of purchasing wholesale products and often using the drop ship method is purchasing from other home based businesses. Small business is a huge industry itself. There are products that are not found in retail locations because many Mom & Pop operations create them at home and sell only on the public venues. Never under estimate the power of networking to find reliable products for you home based business! Stop on over to Ryze Network and join one of the many business groups offered. Ryze is free!

Define Affiliate Marketing

This will be touched upon in our print wholesale/dropship booklet further..

affiliate marketing

Revenue sharing between online advertisers/merchants and online publishers/salespeople, whereby compensation is based on performance measures, typically in the form of sales, clicks, registrations, or a hybrid model.
The advertisers/merchants are typically referred to as affiliate merchants and the publishers/salespeople are referred to as affiliates.

Benefits of affiliate marketing include the potential for automating much of the advertising process (accepting & approving applications, generating unique sales links, tracking & reporting of results) and payment only for desired results (sales, registrations, clicks).

Paying only for performance shifts much of the advertising risk from the merchants to the affiliates, although merchants still assume some risk of fraud from partner sites.

Affiliate marketing has contributed to the rise of many leading online companies., one of the first significant adopters, now has hundreds of thousands of affiliate relationships. It is not uncommon to see industries where the major players have affiliate programs–often structured in a similar manner and making similar competitive changes over time.
affiliate merchant

The advertiser in an affiliate marketing relationship.
The affiliate merchant is responsible for implementing a sales tracking system, providing a selection of linking methods, attracting affiliates, monitoring results, increasing results, and paying affiliates. Some (or all) of these functions may be outsourced.

Affiliate merchants may track their program in-house using an affiliate software program or through a 3rd-party affiliate network. Actual day-to-day management of the program can similarly be kept in-house or outsourced.

affiliate network

A value-added intermediary providing services, including aggregation, for affiliate merchants and affiliates.
For affiliate merchants, services can include providing tracking technology, reporting tools, payment processing, and access to a large base of affiliates.
For affiliates, services can include providing one-click application to new merchants, reporting tools, and payment aggregation.

affiliate fraud

Bogus activity generated by an affiliate in an attempt to generate illegitimate, unearned revenue.
Fradulent activity by affiliates comes in both automated and non-automated varieties. Automated scripts attempt to mimic the activity of legitimate, human visitors. Non-automated schemes may involve coordinated efforts by humans actively generating excess clicks or registrations.
After the fact, affiliate fraud can sometimes be spotted by checking activity logs for unusual patterns. Proactive protection may involve manually approving affiliate applications, although this minimization of fraud must be balanced against the risk of losing legitimate, productive affiliates who don’t want to wait for approval.

affiliate directory

A categorized listing of affiliate programs.
Affiliate directories are a popular starting point for finding and comparing various merchant’s programs. The individual networks also provide aggregated information for their programs, but lack the all-in-one overview of the directories.
Many of the directories provide simple text listings, but a few offer more advanced search capabilities. Other semi-common features include articles, newsletters, and forums. A few of the biggest sites could rightfully be called affiliate portals.
There are countless affiliate directories, but only a few differentiate themselves from the rest. Be careful of directories that are only interested in hyping programs that make a quick buck for the directory, but offer nothing of lasting value for your site. A good directory helps you find the programs that are best for your site and your visitors.

return days

The number of days an affiliate can earn commission on a conversion (sale or lead) by a referred visitor.
If an affiliate program offers 45 return days, commissions are earned for conversions completed any time within 45 days of the initial click-through on the affiliate link. The visitor may later go directly to the merchant’s site and not visit the affiliate’s site again, as software is used to track the visitor’s origin.
If an affiliate program offers zero return days, commissions will only be earned for conversions completed on the initial visit following a click-through. Once the visitor leaves the destination site, the commission opportunity is lost, even if the visitor returns in a few minutes to complete a transaction.
Affiliate programs vary as to which affiliate gets credit for a sale when a visitor has followed more than one affiliate links prior to the sale; some programs favor the first affiliate, some programs favor the last affiliate.

What Does Target Market Mean

What is “Target Market” Mean
The focus of marketing effort is people. The goal is to reach a subset of the population who may be interested in your particular product. That group of people is your target market.

The term target market is used because that market is the target at which you aim all your marketing efforts. The market you are trying to reach are people with common characteristics that set them apart as a group. The more you know about a target market, the more precisely you can develop your marketing strategy. The table below shows some examples of market segments (or groups):

Type of Market Segment Shared Group Characteristics
Demographic : such as age, income, or occupation.
Psychographic:  such as music lovers or urban dwellers.
Use-based: Frequency of usage such as recreational drinking or traveling.
Benefit : Desire to obtain the same product benefits such as luxury, thriftiness, or comfort from food.
Geographic:  Location such as home address or business address.

Here are examples of target segments that can be created using the above table:

Women business owners: between the ages of 25 and 60 earning more than $25,000 annually form a demographic segment. { Age..Income..Occupation }

People who drive compact cars due to their fuel efficiency form a benefit segment.
 { Luxury..Comfort..Thriftness..}

People who want more opportunties within their isolated areas: Psychographic Segment
{ Outside larger cities..Craft/artisians..Special interest such a musicians..ect}

Design Marketing Strategies With Your Target Market In Mind
The reason you need to identify a target market is because it makes strategies for designing, pricing, distributing, promoting, positioning and improving your product, service or idea easier, more effective, and more cost-effective.

For example, if research shows that a sturdy recyclable package with blue lettering appeals to your target market and if you are focused on that target market, you would choose that type of packaging. If, however, you are product- or profit-oriented, rather than people oriented, you might choose to make the package out of plain styrofoam because it protects the product (product-oriented) or because it’s cheap (profit-oriented).

Or, if you know your target market is 24- to 49-year-old men who like rhythm & blues, are frequent CD buyers, and live in urban neighborhoods, you can create an advertising message to appeal to those types of buyers. Additionally, you could buy spots on a specific radio station or TV show that appeals to this type of buyer, rather than buying general media time. Of course in the case of small home based business it would be more benificial to look for creative ways to market your target audience that fits within a more realistic advertising structure. However, it really involves the personal goals of each business owner and their core needs for reaching the target market through effective and profitable means.

In summary, when you’re making marketing decisions and you say “kinda,” it’s costing you money. Know whom you are aiming for (your target market) and create a strategy for a direct hit.

If you are unclear of your target market a good place to start is with brainstorming with other home based business groups that are geared towards education and support. Sometimes you will be surprise that the target audience you were thinking your product/service fit into is not the best way to go. Networking with credible groups will ensure you more insights to a better core target audience.

Here are some related books on this subject:

 For more excellent resources visit the Small Business Notes Site..