Entrepreneurship

Going on TV for QVC, behind the scenes (video)

On 9/19/2017, I went on air to represent our company Tree To Tub on QVC

For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t), QVC is the largest TV shopping program in the world, selling $8.7 billion worth of stuff a year! It’s also where giant brands like Dyson got started!
Earlier this year, an advisor and friend of us, Rick (founder of 100% Pure), suggested QVC as a new sales channel. It seemed like a great idea because of QVC’s unique ability to tell good stories on national TV, reaching millions of potential customers that we wouldn’t be able to reach on the internet.
Well, that’s also the same reason why EVERY company wants to be on there! It’s extremely competitive and difficult to get your foot in the door. Long story short, we pulled some strings and got connected to the buyers there, and very fortunately we got a meeting with them because the buyers loved our brand. We don’t want anything to go wrong with  this deal, so we hired Media One, the same agency that brought Dyson to QVC.
Here’s our initial buyer meeting, the meeting where we would pitch to QVC and they tell us whether they’ll take us on. We flew into Philadelphia, drove to West Chester (a nice little town where QVC is based), strategized with our agency, and headed to the QVC headquarter for the meeting. Surprisingly, we didn’t have to pitch much, and majority of the meeting was brainstorming with the buyers which products to offer and pricing.  We got a deal!
After that, it was then a series of production and logistical nightmare to make sure we deliver everything to their warehouse on time. Just to give you an idea, it took Brian about 6 months from our initial meeting to setting everything up.
Now things are finally ready to go, they scheduled a Guest Class and airing day. Since I’m the person behind our brand story, I would represent Tree To Tub. I wasn’t too excited about it because I don’t feel comfortable on stage, not to mention national TV, plus it was hard to leave my island life in Thailand. But hey, no money, no freedom.
A short video memo of the QVC prep and airing:

Guest class is QVC’s way to help whoever’s going on air be TV ready. It’s especially necessary because QVC is always LIVE. It was a fun day working with QVC reps and hosts, learning things like where to look, how to talk, and all kinds of interesting TV techniques. I was with 7 other guests representing different brands, some are founders, some are employees of the brands. Having a presumption that QVC has a “cut-throat” culture, I was really surprised how genuinely nice everyone was, and how everyone really felt like a big family.
Prepping for the big day: First of all, I needed some decent clothes (my wardrobe consists of mostly tank tops and free t-shirts), so we went to Nordstorm and bought a nice HUGO BOSS shirt and pants for $400 (which we then returned after the show of course)! Then, I got my first ever manicure, so viewers wouldn’t get disgusted by my pathetic looking nails. After all, it was non-stop practices and rehearsals in the hotel room to make sure I know what to say, and I say it with lots of passion and energy.
The big day: We arrived before the show to meet our host Amy, and briefly discussed the talking points. While everyone set up the demos and displays, I went into the bathroom to calm my nerves. I was nervous as hell! It was almost the same feeling before stepping into the ring of my Muay Thai fight, besides this time I’d be talking to the camera, not elbowing someone’s face.
It was time. I walked up, greeted Amy, and after that I honestly don’t remember much besides the bright studio lights. The supposed 6 minutes felt like just 1. I was just happy that I didn’t screw up, and it was over. We were all more than ready to grab a drink and celebrate (which then turned out to be a wild Tuesday night involving topless drag karaoke in the small town of West Chester).

You can see the full recording of the airing here:

If you interested in working with QVC

The step-by-steps of getting into QVC

  1. Get an initial meeting with the buyers team
  2. Get a verbal commitment at the initial meeting
  3. Work out paperworks, send in products on time
  4. Schedule guest class and airing day
  5. Working with a good agency from the start will save you a ton of time and stress.

How the QVC deals work

  • Typically QVC want you to sell to their customers at a huge discount, and they take ~55% from all sales
  • It’s consignment based, which means, they don’t buy your products, they just sell your inventory for you, you send your products to QVC’s warehouse, they ship to their customers, you get paid for only what’s sold, and they have the right to ship the leftover inventory back to you. This also means you take inventory risk.
  • QVC is very data driven, and they essentially care about just one metric, sales per minute. If your product sells more per TV minute than other products during that time, they want you there.

Bonus

This movie Joy is based on a real QVC story and stars Jennifer Lawrence.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section.

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