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What Makes for a Great Wholesale Line Sheet?

April 26, 2017 By Stacey Woods

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Do you want your line sheets to help you move more inventory to the tune of exceeded sales goals and greater profits? Are you trying to avoid glitches in paperwork that could result in missed sales opportunities?

Composing line sheets is not the most thrilling task in the world, but being a key enabler for wholesale sales, especially wholesale ecommerce, it’s essential to get it right.

What is a line sheet?

A line sheet -- typically used in the apparel / fashion industry -- can be thought of as a condensed catalog (typically 1-2 pages) that provides sparse but important product information for your B2B clients.

You can envision a simple retail catalog that you receive in the mail—think retailers such as LL Bean, Victoria’s Secret, IKEA, and the like—except:

  1. bypass the fluffy marketing messages,
  2. significantly condense the product descriptions, and
  3. provide only basic, non-editorialized photographs

Line sheets also differ from traditional mail-order catalogs in that they are primarily for B2B businesses and wholesalers. The best examples of line sheets are those that provide clients and merchants a simple, streamlined, and systematic way of ordering merchandise.

How to create a line sheet

Creating a great wholesale line sheet is pretty straightforward. In essence, you should remember to veer towards restraint while providing all of the essential product information, including:

  1. product name & type,
  2. SKU/item number,
  3. wholesale & suggested retail price,
  4. varieties of the product (e.g. size, color), and
  5. order stipulations for wholesale

For instance, a fashion line sheet example could include the following entry (anchored by a clear, high-quality, color image):

  1. “Toni” denim shorts
  2. ID 123456
  3. Wholesale $50 / MSRP $100
  4. Sizes: 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 / Colors: snow white, navy blue, jet black (including accompanying color swatches would be ideal)
  5. Minimum order quantity: 10 units  

Depending on the unique needs of your company, you should group your products according to item type, season/collection, or a mixture of both. Continuing in the vein of the fashion line sheet example, the “Toni” shorts should be grouped with other shorts, skirts. If you are going the seasonal or collection route (e.g. spring/summer, women’s, men’s, children’s, home), it would still be most efficient to group like items alongside each other (rather than alphabetically or at random).

After the product details have been laid out, your line sheet should include all relevant fine print, including payment terms; shipping methods, dates, and costs; and your return/ refund/ cancellation policy.

Be concise, to the point, yet clear on all of these necessary details, especially on a sales order management software.

Best practices for a winning line sheet

Though your line sheet is primarily for practical purposes related to sales order management, it wouldn’t hurt to give a little extra thought to how you could tweak it so it can go the extra mile.

From an aesthetic standpoint, you should keep the design basic yet still appealing and easy on the eyes. Ensure that:

  1. your brand’s logo is central,
  2. contact information is provided in full and is easy to find,
  3. the font type & size are consistent, and
  4. images are of high quality & stylistically formatted in sync with one another

While some businesses will typically have only one line sheet in circulation, others may choose to be more inventive and customize the document in order to address specific customer needs. Such practices include but are not limited to:

  1. showcasing the best-selling items or special promotions at the top of the list;
  2. Including or removing items from the line sheet based on the client’s individual needs; and
  3. reformatting offerings based on the client’s order history & providing relevant suggestions

In sum, a good wholesale line sheet will provide just the right amount of detail so clients can make purchases simply and self-sufficiently. A great line sheet will also maintain modest, consistent design elements while tailoring the order/selection of products based on the individual needs of the client.