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Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,986
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

A note to QVC buyers

[ Edited ]

I realize these are challenging times, but my comments stem from not only now, but for many years in the past as well. 

 

When buying product, especially something to be featured as the TSV, variety and quantity are important. Oftentimes like today's Luminara candle sets TSV, there are many colors (or sometimes it will be many styles) offered. But the ones that will be the most popular are gone in just the first presentation sometimes, and most colors or choices don't even make it until noon. 

 

I understand that you can only buy what the manufacturer or wholesaler has or will commit to. But you are a huge company, with incredible buying power. I don't believe that you cannot get the manufacturer to get you what will sell, in quantities that not only will satisfy the customer base and provide availability throughout the day, but increase your sales/profits as well. 

 

When items sell out in several choices in such a short time, I have to believe that it's possible the QVC buyers don't know their customer base, or don't have the skills to get their suppliers to deliver what they know (or should know) will sell. 

 

I can look at an offer and tell you what will be popular, what will sell out quickly, and I don't understand how your buyers don't. When I first saw the pre sale email for the Luminara candles, I knew the plum and the rust would sell fast, and sure enough, they were gone during the 7 am show, and grey gone shortly after that. And so very few were brought in, considering your audience. 

 

I've considered that some colors may cost more for Q to buy and they get a deal if they buy more of the plain ivory/white. I've considered that they don't want left overs, want to move as much of the product as possible, so heavily stock the more neutral offers, then when many choices are gone, 'force' the consumer to settle for the plain jane.

 

I just know that when you sell out of four choices in colors of a featured item before noon, you have lost a lot of interest, a lot of profit and when it happens repeatedly, which it does and has for a long time on QVC, you must not have buyers that are competent.

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,794
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@Mominohio   I have no idea how they make those decisions, but here's one thought your post started in my mind.

 

If it were easy for buyers and vendors to predict what would sell out, would we have Marshall's, TJMaxx, Home Goods, Big Lots, Steinmart, and on and on and on.   Don't they all pretty much exist by buying up odd lots of other retailers' cast-off?

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,974
Registered: ‎06-07-2010

Every color is available according to the website.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,935
Registered: ‎02-02-2015

Re: A note to QVC buyers

[ Edited ]

I don't believe there is any way to hit it right on the mark on how much inventory the QVC buyers need to ensure they have on hand. That's a lot of money out of pocket for the company to tie up on something that may or may not sell. 

 

The public is a fickle lot! ha! Having known a buyer for a major department store (men's wear section) for many years, she would have to make selections on her buying trips a year in advance. If she guessed wrong on what the public would want a year later, her store was out a lot of money. She had a stressful job, but she loved the excitement.

 

And I have heard QVC vendors say that they need to plan way in advance too. I believe it was the gal from Quacker Factor who once said during a presentation that their TSV was planned the prior year. So that means they needed to start producing something they thought was going to sell well and QVC's buyers needed to be able to predict way in advance which colors/sizes would be the most profitable. I'm sure that is based upon past performance of QF, but still.....who really knows?

 

Some items sell out fast. Is that because they didn't order enough or it really was a good deal? Others don't sell out in a day. Does that mean it wasn't a good product or they ordered too much? I would not want the stress of having to make those company-based, bottom-line decisions. You would get fired with a few misses, I suspect.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,259
Registered: ‎10-03-2014

@Mominohio 

 

"I have to believe that it's possible the QVC buyers don't know their customer base, or don't have the skills to get their suppliers to deliver what they know (or should know) will sell. 

 

I can look at an offer and tell you what will be popular, what will sell out quickly."

 

Yes!  It's very possible, and probable.  It's been going on for some time. 

 

Rick let it slip "all of the buyers are Millennials", meaning young.

 

There was a blurb QVC frequently showed last July with 2 of them looking to be in their 20's.  They were assuring us they were keeping an eye out for the Christmas trends making sure we get the latest available. 

 

I remember when younger hirees learned the ropes working under seasoned experts.  Not anymore.  The young ones are hired to replace those more experienced.  They are cheaper.

 

 

Contributor
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎11-27-2017
Website shows a lot is available......until you try to buy them

The very same colors that sold out immediately last year, also sold out this year. I imagine folks had been waiting all year for the rust, In particular, to come back. It is Christmas in July but fall decorating is on our minds too. It’s a shame buyers don’t learn from year to year.
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,232
Registered: ‎01-05-2017

I get emails from QVC prior to the date of the TSV, offering me the opportunity to buy the item several days before the TSV date. I think that is one of the reasons that the popular colors sell out so quickly. Many units have already been presold.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,986
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

@Janey2 wrote:

Every color is available according to the website.


 

I've noticed this happens a lot now, but when you go to put it into the cart, it tells you it is sold out. Looks available on the product page, but won't allow you to put it in the cart. Slow at updating the systems or something I guess.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,986
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

@World Traveler wrote:

I don't believe there is any way to hit it right on the mark on how much inventory the QVC buyers need to ensure they have on hand. That's a lot of money out of pocket for the company to tie up on something that may or may not sell. 

 

The public is a fickle lot! ha! Having known a buyer for a major department store (men's wear section) for many years, she would have to make selections on her buying trips a year in advance. If she guessed wrong on what the public would want a year later, her store was out a lot of money. She had a stressful job, but she loved the excitement.

 

And I have heard QVC vendors say that they need to plan way in advance too. I believe it was the gal from Quacker Factor who once said during a presentation that their TSV was planned the prior year. So that means they needed to start producing something they thought was going to sell well and QVC's buyers needed to be able to predict way in advance which colors/sizes would be the most profitable. I'm sure that is based upon past performance of QF, but still.....who really knows?

 

Some items sell out fast. Is that because they didn't order enough or it really was a good deal? Others don't sell out in a day. Does that mean it wasn't a good product or they ordered too much? I would not want the stress of having to make those company-based, bottom-line decisions. You would get fired with a few misses, I suspect.


 

 

You are right @World Traveler , seasonals and many TSV are planned a year in advance. 

 

But like this TSV, they have done it repeatedly. They have brought in fall colors like the rust, or other specialty colors like the plum and seen them sell out within a few hours over and over and over. 

 

There is no guess work to that. When they repeatedly don't have enough of a color that is in high demand, they aren't doing their job, whether it is they don't see what is wanted, or they don't work hard enough to secure what they know they will sell.

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,986
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

@Foxxee wrote:

@Mominohio 

 

"I have to believe that it's possible the QVC buyers don't know their customer base, or don't have the skills to get their suppliers to deliver what they know (or should know) will sell. 

 

I can look at an offer and tell you what will be popular, what will sell out quickly."

 

Yes!  It's very possible, and probable.  It's been going on for some time. 

 

Rick let it slip "all of the buyers are Millennials", meaning young.

 

There was a blurb QVC frequently showed last July with 2 of them looking to be in their 20's.  They were assuring us they were keeping an eye out for the Christmas trends making sure we get the latest available. 

 

I remember when younger hirees learned the ropes working under seasoned experts.  Not anymore.  The young ones are hired to replace those more experienced.  They are cheaper.

 

 


 

@Foxxee 

 

I'm glad to hear you say this, as I have said the same thing many times and been bashed for age shaming, but the buyers they feature on their 'commercials' are rather young. 

 

And the one promo they have been running a lot, the young buyer is touting how wonderful it is that they are bringing all this farmhouse and industrial Christmas, while showing the red and black plaid (buffalo check) and red truck type things in the background. 

 

They seem to think they are right on trend when in fact the stuff they are showing in the promo has been 'hot' in the market for at least five years now. They really aren't trending on anything at QVC, which I would assume is their target to attract younger viewers and buyers.

 

I don't have an issue with millennial buyers. But they need to be able to attract a new younger demographic as well as satisfy what customer base they already have in the older ones. I don't think they understand their long time buyer and I kind of wonder if they really care.