Colette: The biggest question on everyone’s mind in home-based internet business is “where do I find products to sell?” Well, you find them right here on our show. Every week we interview a genuine wholesale supplier that we have fully verified and listed in OneSource at worldwidebrands.com which you can use for your own home-based internet business. Today we’re speaking with Alan Zohott, Owner and President of ATCO Systems Inc. You can find them online at ATCOlapelpins.com.
Colette: Alan, welcome to the show.
Alan: Good afternoon, how are you?
Colette: Wonderful, thank you. I’m taking a look at ATCOlapelpins.com right now. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about your company?
Alan: I started this business in 1986 as kind of a part time hobby. By the summer of 1988 we had gotten so busy that I either had to go full time or drop it, and I decided I’d go full time with it. We are currently licensed by about 150 colleges and universities primarily located in the Midwest, East, and South.
Colette: Wonderful. These are what kind of products, it looks like sports pins, like hockey and soccer?
Alan: We design and manufacturer tie tacks, lapel pins, key chains, and earrings, primarily with college logos. And everything is custom made, however we have also done commercial work for companies like General Motors, Motorola, AT&T. We’ve also done lapel pins for service organizations, unions, and several military organizations.
Colette: So then sellers have the ability to do something like custom made pins, then.
Alan: Yes. Everything we do is custom made.
Colette: So what would you say is the minimum number of pieces for custom made?
Alan: A hundred pieces.
Colette: I understand you are a light bulk wholesaler?
Alan: Yes we are. About 98.5% of our business is working with university owned bookstores, alumni associations, and athletic departments. When their orders come in we usually repackage their pins, mount them on display cards indicating we’re licensed to do their pin, and ship the product directly to the customer. Usually we’ll try to get orders out within 24 hours.
Colette: That’s great. Now, how do you support your internet sellers, do you provide some information for them?
Alan: Of course. First of all, I have to emphasize one thing: we do not drop ship to our wholesalers’ end users. We will, of course, ship directly to our wholesalers, again, trying to get the orders out within 24 hours. The average retail price of our product ranges between $5 and $6. It simply is not financially feasible to drop ship a couple of pins or key chains to an end user when I’m charging a wholesale price to the wholesaler. Cost of shipping, invoicing, and maintaining records is simply prohibitive.
Colette: You make such a great point there Alan. This is something we try to explain to online retailers. Now all wholesalers out there will do drop shipping. It’s just like you, as an online retailer, you’re looking at your profit margins. Wholesalers have to look at their profit margins as well and, like we educate on our site at worldwidebrands.com, you can find out that’s why we have a light bulk wholesale category. This is our wholesalers who will still work with online retailers, but you have to be able to do a minimum order requirement. They won’t do the drop shipping.
Alan: I did want to make one comment. We also have retail customers that we sell directly to through the internet and we do ship directly to them, however, we do require prepayment for all retail and many of our wholesale customers. We accept checks, money orders, MasterCard, VISA, and PayPal.
Colette: That’s absolutely wonderful. Now, they can find all that information on your site and, once again, Worldwide Brands has qualified ATCOlapelpins.com in OneSource. You can find out more information at worldwidebrands.com. That is our show for today. Alan Zohott of ATCO Systems Inc., thank you for joining us.
Alan: Thank you for the opportunity.
Colette: Don’t forget, if you want to stay up to date with the latest product sourcing tips, access free spotlighted suppliers, and even find local tradeshows in your area, then sign up now for your free subscription to the product sourcing newsletter at ProductSourcingNews.com. Join us again next week. Thanks for listening. I’m Colette Marshall.