The pros and cons to taking orders first
Picking the right program can be a daunting task, considering there are so many choices. When deciding how to raise money, you should first ask what type of sales campaign you should consider.
There are many ways to classify fundraisers, but the 2 types that will be considered here are brochure and product selling.
With a brochure fundraiser, schools have the opportunity to present several options to potential customers. People will make purchases once they’ve reviewed the choices and the items are then delivered to the customer within a few weeks by the seller.
On the other hand, groups can order product up front at a discounted price, then turn around and sell it at retail to the end consumer. The difference between the retail price and the discounted or wholesale price is the group’s profit. Choosing what's best for your group may come down to:
- Previous experience
- Group Size
- Socioeconomic Factors
- Competing Groups
- Understanding your students and parents
Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each type will help you make the best choice for your organization.
Advantages to a Brochure Fundraiser
Money is collected before the merchandise is ordered so there is no up-front money required to get started.
- Buyers typically have a larger variety of items to choose from.
- Merchandise arrives already sorted by seller for easy distribution.
- Works well with medium to larger size groups.
Disadvantages to Brochure Sales
- Sellers don’t have an actual product to show; therefore customers may be apprehensive to buy without seeing it first.
- Requires a 2-step process: 1.) Students must first collect the orders and money and 2.) Then go back to their customers and deliver the merchandise.
- Shipping charges can come into play for smaller groups who may not be able to meet ordering minimums.
Advantages to a Product Fundraiser
- Showing the actual item for sale to the potential buyer may make it easier for some to make a decision.
- Point of sale transaction means that students can collect the money and hand the customer their item at the same time.
- Items are usually less expensive and thus more affordable for some people.
- Works well for smaller groups.
Disadvantages to Product Sales
- Deciding how much to order up front can be challenging.
- Groups that order too much have to deal with extra product.
- Harder to track sales and manage with larger groups.
- Occasionally there is an issue with students not selling or returning the items that have initially been distributed to them.
Unless you already have previous sales history or experience to go on, once you’ve carefully considered all of your options, deciding which type of sale will work best for your organization may come down to sheer gut instinct.