Careful what you ask for. QVC is definitely the “end-all, be-all” in the on air game. They are also one of the most difficult accounts to work with in the country (tougher than Walmart).
They face unique challenges that typical retailers do not. Although their orders might be called “for stock” do not keep inventory beyond the product that is sold for a given airing.
Particularly with new items, it is almost certain that the product going in is as a “Guaranteed Sale” - meaning that you will have to take back anything that they don’t sell.
Depending on the segment (day, time and show) this can spell disaster for an upstart entrepreneur.
The second challenge again goes to their no-stocking status in that they deal with a return rate that isn’t much different than most direct sales companies (20-25%), and you guessed it – that product comes back to you as well (sometimes in pretty bad shape).
They have another option for some vendors they call “drop ship”, but obtaining drop-ship status requires that you jump through a series of hoops, including quality control issues you would never dream of, packaging adjustments, special shipping packs and methods, mail backs and inserts, as well as customer service and return policies to suit their customer. Each has a cost to you. By the way, the only way to become a drop ship vendor is by having several successful airings.
All of this ties to one of the worst accounting systems I have ever seen, so you really never know what has been paid for or not. And just when you think you have it worked out; their chargebacks take you to new levels of frustration.
I know I’ve painted an ugly picture and am sorry to do so, but have many years working with this account. They are special in every way, but cannot be handled like any other retailer.
If I haven’t deterred you, Kudos. If you simply must have this account, don’t give up, they may pass you over the first few times, but familiarity and comfort with you can lead to getting that airtime you so crave.
In the meantime cut your teeth on some of the other powerhouse specialty retailers as mentioned by the other SuN members. You might actually make a little money with them.