3 Key Questions to Ask a New Pet Sales Rep

1. What lines do you represent? Find out if they are competitive with your line. There has been a lot of consolidation in the pet rep business. There are only 2 full service rep firms that handle Petco, Petsmart and PSP. Yes, there are probably 100 other reps that call on them, but they don't have the resources to do the retail detailing you will need to be successful. Back to my point. It is rare that there is category exclusivity with reps anymore unless maybe you are a major food line.

2. How do you charge? This is important. Most reps will charge between 3 - 8% commission of your wholesale cost. The reputable reps will ONLY charge on what they sell. If a rep asks for a retainer - RUN, don't walk away. If a rep believes in your line they will do the upfront work to get the appointment and present your product on good faith.

3. What are your retail merchandising capabilities? This is also important. Petco & Petsmart have abysmal execution rates. Basically this means that your product has a 50% or less chance of being displayed properly on the store shelf if you rely on store staff. A good rep will have a "detailing" team that can go out and get your product from the back room and get it to the shelf. Sometimes this service will be included for the commission rate, sometimes it will be charged separately. It usually depends on the $$ size of your line.

Good luck and good selling!

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