Industry: Retail

How to profit when buyers are broke

October 26, 2009: 3:32 PM ET

Even in a recession, savvy retailers can boost their business.

The Flower Lady, Suwanee, Ga.
How does a florist sell more in this economy? We changed our business to designing weddings and events only, as the everyday flowers are not selling. We had to throw out too much product at the end of the week -- flowers are perishable!

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  • Turning customers into repeat buyers

    Sales don't just wander in your front door. Here's how to cultivate up a steady stream of shoppers.

    Sanjay, Huntington, N.Y.
    We have a retail shop of clothing and jewelry. I sit all day waiting for the customers. How can I utilize that time on my computer, and do something that will generate extra cash for my business?

    Oct 19, 2009 10:01 AM ET
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  • When customers abandon their property

    A dry cleaner considers turning customers' absentmindedness into a tidy tax break.

    Taylor, Jackson, Miss.

    I own a dry cleaning business and was wondering what to do with all the forgotten or left-behind clothes. They date back a few months or as far back as a year. I read that by donating them I could get a tax write-off.

    Aug 20, 2009 10:22 AM ET
    Posted in:
  • My landlord wants rent on a broken lease!

    Sorry, it's legal, and you may even have to pay more than just the rent.

    Richard Barker, Aprizona Florist, Covington, Ga.
    Our business went south, and as a result we had to break our lease. Less than 30 days later, the landlord rented the space to a new tenant. Six months after that, we were served with papers demanding $12,000, which is the remaining rent on the lease. Is it legal for MORE

    Mar 30, 2009 6:14 PM ET
  • How to get inventory when you're low on cash

    For retailers that don't want the overhead of stockpiling merchandise, drop shipping can be a cost-saving option.

    Mike, Queens, NY
    I started a home-based wholesaling business six months ago and got four credit cards totaling $18,000. I was scammed out of $10,000 and invested another $4,000 into a Web site and advertising. Now my cards are almost maxed out, and I need the cash or credit to purchase merchandise. Business people tell MORE

    Mar 27, 2009 11:11 AM ET
  • How to get your product on retailers' shelves

    A good distributor can make or break your product line. Here's how to find the right one.

    Deziree Williams, Sugar Free Baby, Los Angeles
    I have a children's eco-friendly clothing line. We are taking it slow because we are branding our line and are in some ways picky about who we sell to. I have recently been approached by a distributor, but I'm not sure if this is the best way to MORE

    Feb 5, 2009 7:04 PM ET
  • How fashion designers break into boutiques

    We asked the experts and created a step-by-step guide to getting noticed on the fashion scenes.

    Samantha Risto, Risto Designs, New York, NY
    I recently launched a small women's clothing business in New York out of my apartment. I would like to know how I can sell to small retailers and boutiques. Do I just show up at their store with samples in hand or is there an "established" way of doing MORE

    Jan 15, 2009 5:35 PM ET
  • When a rival comes after your Web site domain

    How to avoid Website trademark disputes, and where to turn when you run in to one.

    Phil Schmidt, President, Capital Medical, Sacramento I created a Web site in 2004 to help me sell medical equipment for a third-party manufacturer. Two years later a competitor trademarked [sic] my domain name. Recently the competitor threatened to sue me unless I shut down my Web site. They claim they have used my domain name since MORE

    Jan 13, 2009 2:05 PM ET
  • How to get your product on QVC

    If you want to reach a national audience through the home-shopping networks, you'll need mass-manufacturing capabilities and a catchy storyline.

    Mona Kahn, Salt Lake City
    I am a jewelry designer and I want to present my merchandise to a larger audience. How do I get my products on ShopNBC, QVC or similar outlets?

    Jan 4, 2009 11:34 PM ET
  • Sales tax: A state-by-state wrangle

    If your business drop ships, be prepared to investigate state statutes for every location in which your suppliers do business.

    Chris Crocker, Smyrna, Ga.
    Our business drop ships from its various suppliers. We are having more and more vendors tell use we need sales-tax numbers to be exempt from being charged sales tax when shipping to various states outside our state of residence. But it was my understanding that the federal government MORE

    Dec 9, 2008 9:56 AM ET
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