Picture this: you come up with an amazing beyond-belief product and are over-the-moon with excitement to get it up off the ground. You spent countless nights and an infinite number of hours brainstorming from the moment the lightbulb turned on in your head for your bit of brilliance. You have worked hard to put together your initial concept, meticulous design and are ready to share your work-of-art with the world. Visions of your product on store shelves dance in your head as you diligently work hard to find buyers. Everything seems to be moving swimmingly as you finally get the first bite for a potential purchase order, but one thing is missing: a line sheet.
If you are new to the wholesale industry, then you might be scratching your head as to what a line sheet might be and we don’t blame you! Learning all the lingo can be tough, especially if you are running a little low on sleep due to spending each night trying to perfect your product, but that’s okay! Grab a cup of coffee and keep reading because we are going to tell you the 5 steps to create a line sheet!
First, What is a Line Sheet?
Before we hop right into the steps on how to make a line sheet, it might be a good idea to first explain exactly what it is! Also known as a sell sheet, wholesale line sheet, or product sheet, a line sheet is kind of like a little catalog. It is an important document that should provide potential buyers with the necessary information to make a purchase order. It can consist of many pages or be as little as a single piece of paper, but it is a tool that you will use to present your product to buyers. Line sheets include:
- Product images
- Color options
- Size options
- Wholesale prices
Line sheets should be an organized resource that represents your brand allowing you to get your product in front of potential buyers to generate more wholesale orders from retailers.
Okay, but isn’t that the same thing as a catalog?
Like we mentioned, a line sheet is similar to that of a catalog, but they are not the same thing. Both are valuable sales tools that really showcase your product, but sometimes when you meet a buyer for the first time, they are going to want to see a line sheet first.
A catalog is an awesome way to tell your brand’s story. It commonly includes more stylized images of your product with enough space to showcase background info on your company, designer, policies, terms and conditions. Catalogs are great to give the first impression of your brand offering all of the additional information about the company in hopes to compel buyers to place an order. However, when you enter the industry, you will find buyers are very busy people that simply just want the facts.
A line sheet does not include all of the company ‘fluff’ about how you were on a hike one morning and as the sun was rising and the birds were chirping you came up with this incredible product idea – no. A line sheet is simple but still gets the point across without the bells and whistles and fancy photos found in a catalog. A line sheet makes it easier for a potential buyer to focus on one specific product or collection.
Who Uses a Line Sheet?
Historically, line sheets originated from the fashion industry. Many times, buyers in the fashion industry may express interest in a product or collection only to find that it isn’t available in the desired size, the color of cut. A line sheet eliminates the need for wholesalers to ask these questions because all of the information can be found right there in front of them.
Today, line sheets are not limited to the fashion industry but are now found just about everywhere when a product is being pitched. Although there are tons of products that can use a line sheet, some of the most common ones are:
- Beauty products
- Home goods
- Sporting equipment
How do I Get a Line sheet?
Great question and the answer is – drum roll please – you can’t! Many aspiring entrepreneurs come up with an incredible product idea with an amazing vision ready to attack their first meeting with a potential buyer only to get stuck because they come to the realization that they can’t just purchase a line sheet. A line sheet is something that you, being the talented entrepreneur that you are, put together all on your own!
If you are in need of a great line sheet but are unsure as to how to make one, then we’ve got you covered! Here are # steps to creating a line sheet.
1. Pick an Awesome Template
Sure, you can hire someone to make your line sheet, but that can come with a hefty price tag. Or you can open up a blank document and start from scratch, but that can take a ton of time that you just don’t have. When you are creating a line sheet, it is a good idea to start with a template to help guide you.
2. List the Meat and Potatoes
Once you have the template down, it is time to start putting your product down on paper! This is when you will list all the meat and potatoes regarding the information of the product that you are presenting to the buyer. Some of the practical information that should be included on your line sheet are:
Your logo is an extremely important part of your company’s brand and makes a significant impact on how the public will perceive you because your logo is intended to be the face of the company. Put your logo at the top of the page of your line sheet to make ownership obvious.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes with all the excitement, listing something like contact information might slip through the cracks. It is very important to list all of your contact information clearly, so the buyer does not have to flip through pages to try and track you down. Make sure you also list the contact information to your sales representative as well. You will want to make sure to include:
- Company name
- Contact name
- Phone number
- Email address
Name of the collection
The name of the collection is more commonly found in the fashion industry, so this does not necessarily apply to everyone, but if you are grouping items make sure you have the reason known.
Product name, SKU number or other unique ID
Including product information on your line sheets is a no brainer. It’s very important to stay organized through every step of the supply chain making the item name, SKU number (stock keeping unit) and or other unique IDs critical to running a smooth operation. Customers need to know what they are buying, and you need to know where to find the product that they choose. Make sure this is listed clearly next to each product on your line sheet when presenting to a potential buyer.
If the product comes in different sizes, it is important to list this on your line sheet, so the buyers know what the options are.
Just like the size, if the product comes in different colors, you will want to list this, so the buyer is aware as to what is available. If applicable, you can include Pantone numbers, fabric swatches or custom color blocks.
Images with custom blurbs
Make sure to include a few pictures of your product to really paint the picture of what you are looking to sell. A line sheet is supposed to be simple so short product descriptions that are quick and to the point are great as well.
Show me the money! The price is one of the most important items to list on your line sheet. You need to include both wholesale pricing and a suggested retail price.
When you meet with a potential buyer for the first time, it might seem a little intimidating and although it might be tough, it is extremely important to be honest with them. Make sure you tell the buyer and list on your line sheet how much you can handle, how many items you require per order such as order minimums, and what your inventory currently looks like.
Sometimes, a product might be seasonal or be limited to a specific time of year. This is important information that needs to be listed clearly on your line sheet. Be clear about expiration dates and timing to avoid any confusion moving forward.
Terms of sale
Lastly, your line sheet needs to include the term of sale. Simply put, this refers to the agreement between you, the seller and the buyer or customer, looking to purchase your product. The term of sale will include any return policies, shipping info, guarantees, etc.
3. Customize your Layout
Make your line sheet personal by customizing the layout! Keep it simple and still appealing to the eye but have fun with it! You can change the fonts, play with the style, add colors that compliment your logo and move pictures around until you have it right.
4. Final Review
Once you have completed your line sheet and customized the layout to make it look exactly how you like, it is very important to review it before sending it off to any potential buyer. This is extremely critical as you do not want to send off a line sheet with any spelling errors or typos that would cause the buyer any confusion. A good way to do this is to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and ask yourself, “would you purchase your product?”
Review your line sheet and double check for the following:
- Visible logo
- Minimal text with consistent font
- Contact information is accurate and easy to find
- The payment terms, shipping details, and terms of the sale are correct
- The images are clear and of high quality
Another important question to think about is what makes you unique? Will your line sheet stand out in a crowd? What makes your line sheet better than the rest? You want your line sheet to be concise and professional, but also keep in mind buyers look at line sheets daily. Make sure you do what you can to really set yourself apart so the buyers can feel the love and energy you have for your product simply by looking at a piece of paper.
Once you have completed your line sheet using a line sheet template and made all the final edits, it is time to take a deep breath and smile because you made it to the finish line! Download your template to your desktop so you have it readily available. Pop open your email list of potential buyers, cross your fingers and start sending!
Line sheets are an extremely important tool for anyone that is looking for potential buyers. In fact, today most buyers will not even set up an appointment to meet with someone until they have had a chance to review a line sheet. If you are an entrepreneur with dreams of seeing your product on shelves, then follow these 5 steps to create your line sheet and you will be right on your way!