Last week I was freaking out because one of my biggest suppliers went out of business suddenly and I was stuck with figuring out what to do and QUICK because he already owed me a huge order and I was running out of the stuff, namely cartridges (the new thing tattoo artists use instead of separate needles and tubes), cleaning supplies, needles, and tubes.
I went to another one of my suppliers and bought their entire line of cartridges, which is a good thing because I’ve had a lot of artists request their cartridges, but I never took the plunge because it’s a pain in the ass and expensive, blah blah.
Okay so that fulfilled my need for high quality cartridges, but didn’t help me out with the rest of the stuff I used to get from this guy.
So yesterday I messaged my biggest competitor here in the state, asking him if he’d consider giving me a distributorship. He messaged me back almost immediately and said yes. I was blown away because I thought he wouldn’t want to work with me. I’m his competition. And also tattoo artists are very particular about who they let distribute their stuff.
Anyway I ordered the full line of his privately labeled cartridges (which a lot of people were requesting anyway) and told him I wanted to pick them up myself today to save on shipping costs. He said no problem, so I headed out there this afternoon with my mom (she’s always been curious about the place).
We get in there and the guy is super nice, obviously not a tattoo artist, but rather a guy with a business-like mind, like my family, and he was thrilled to have me as a distributor because he’s been hearing about us for years and wondered why I didn’t ask before now.
He said most of his business is done outside my state, and he doesn’t have anybody distributing his stuff inside the state except for his own shop out in the middle of nowhere in this business complex and nobody wants to drive all the way out there. He has way less walk-ins per day than I do.
So not only did he give me a really good deal on all the stuff I need to get started with him, he also gave me a ton of stickers, an official distributor banner I can hang in my shop, hats, and offered to make me stickers and hats and shirts and a banner for my own shop for MUCH cheaper than I’ve been finding around the city.
He also said to check out the rest of the stuff he sells because he’s sure that he can get me at least a few things cheaper than I’ve been getting them and there won’t be any shipping costs. He set up my account online so that I could order there with special prices.
So when I got home, I started checking out all the prices on products and HOLY SHIT this is totally awesome!! Not only does he have things I’ve been trying to get distributorships for (in the tattoo industry it’s super hard to get an in with people – just the Eternal Ink distributorship took two years of pestering the owner to get), but it’s even cheaper than I’d normally be able to get it because I can’t buy in near the volume he does because I’m not big enough outside the state yet. He sells all over the world in large volume, so he gets HUGE discounts.
Besides all that other stuff, he also wants to do cross-promotion! Which is totally awesome because he’s been in this industry for 13 years, has lots of connections, and cross-promotion will be huge for me! I’m so excited!!
Only downside to all this is I had to put out a shit-ton of money on two full lines of cartridges. Ouch!