- Step 1: Research the product Use your computer to research the product you're interested in purchasing. Look at online catalogs and gather as much information as you can, such as the item's make, model, color, and identification number. You may also be able to find this information in a manufacturer's print catalog.
- TIP: Many manufacturer's use codes to identify their products. Popular codes include UPC, EAN, SKU and ISBN.
- Step 2: Find the manufacturer Search the internet for the manufacturer's website. Many manufacturer's sell directly to the consumer through their websites. If not, the site may direct you to the manufacturer's retail partner.
- TIP: Compare the item's retail cost to the factory-direct price. If the retailer marks down the price to a greater discount than its wholesale cost, there's no point in trying to chase down the manufacturer.
- Step 3: Visit a factory store Visit the manufacturer's factory outlet store. Many larger manufacturer's offer imperfect or discontinued items at its factory outlets. Bring the product information with you and be prepared to deal with imperfections.
- Step 4: Check out an e-commerce site Look up an e-commerce retailer. Although many e-commerce sites are set up much like retail store sites and offer products direct from thousands of manufacturers, they have no retail margin. Consumers can expect to save 20 to 30 percent of the retail cost.
- Step 5: Know return policies Know the manufacturer's return policies. Many factory outlets do not allow merchandise returns. Check the manufacturer's site, e-commerce store, and outlet for their return policy details.
- Step 6: Start buying Start buying everything you need directly from manufacturers. You may never pay retail again.
- FACT: According to an early 2010 U.S. census release, new orders for manufacturers' durable goods increased by 11.6 percent from 2009 to 2010.
You Will Need
- Internet access
- Product information
- Manufacturer's website
- Factory outlet