Help needed - gift shops

miozio

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I am having trouble locating people in charge of gift shops here in Dominican Republic. Whenever I walk up to a shop assistant, I always get the same answer - "The owner is not here and I don't know when he is coming and I don't have the phone number"

It seems like all the stores have the same items for sale and they don't need anything new.

The thing is, I am a videographer and wanted to distribute my DVDs about the most beautiful sights of DR. I don't have time to open a new store being really busy with my main work.

I am not at all a sales guy and it is especially hard for me to get accustomed to the local ways of running a business. I would really appreciate your advise, I am looking for those gift shop owners or distributors who would be interested in this film.
Thanks in advance
Dmitry

You can watch the film trailer on youtube
Dominican Republic Beaches in relaxing HD film - YouTube
 

caribmike

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Jul 9, 2009
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Well, trying similar things before (not w/ DVD's or such) I would say there is not much possibility that they buy it from you (not b/c it is a film but in general). Maybe on commission, not sure...
 

miozio

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It's much easier with stores run by expats, they are interested and I found two who now sell these DVDs. But most of the shops are run by Dominicans who are never there. Commission based deals are out of the question here in DR ... :disappoin
 

drstock

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Oct 29, 2010
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How about getting a Dominican (assuming you're not) to work as a sales agent for you? He/she will probably be much better able to get to talk to whoever does the buying and you could pay them a commission on whatever they sell. If they have any success they will also be more willing to spend the time on it that you can't.
 

Jumbo

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Jul 8, 2005
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People need to see it playing to buy it. Are you ready to have a DVD/TV at all sale sites? Not sure what you are selling it for but a $15 download would not do it for me. It is a nice trailer. Not sure how long the link will be up since it is an advertisement for your website.
 

miozio

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Yep, I knew that everything sooner or later will end up with me (an expat) dealing with girls :) Good idea but I would rather not, I do have a wife you know...... The best scenario for me would be a reliable sales person who knows how to reach out to those gift shops.

And also, where do they all buy their gift items? I couldn't localize a single wholesale place either...
 

miozio

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I am not selling anything here on DR1, I am only asking for help. I agree that a TV would help sell it, in fact I have sales statistics proving this. Sure enough, there is always a way to make this happen.
 

miozio

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"How about getting a Dominican (assuming you're not) to work as a sales agent for you?"
This is very strange, I think I read between lines about sales girls :) LOL
 

CaptnGlenn

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I've seen (and purchased) matted photos at a gift shop, that were definitely supplied by the photographer. The same shop was selling a couple of the books that were written by other DR1 members. IIRC the cookbook and the general info book for expats. I agree with the comment that the purchasers would have to see the the dvd playing to be enticed to buy it. I can't imagine someone just seeing a random video for sale and buying it without some kind of idea of what they are getting. Also, with all due respect, I think a video is a much harder sell than photos or other art. I mean, who's going to sit in front of their TV or monitor and watch a video of the beach unless they shot it themselves, or had some other pressing reason to? (no, I didn't click your link and watch the promo)
 

miozio

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I've seen (and purchased) matted photos at a gift shop, that were definitely supplied by the photographer. I mean, who's going to sit in front of their TV or monitor and watch a video of the beach unless they shot it themselves
I am just curious why you bought those photos, don't you take your own pictures while in DR?
The DVD is actually a guide to the best out of beaten track beaches in the country and not the usual Punta Cana hotel resort guide. I actually may need to talk to someone from Ministerio de turismo about this as the matted photos were probably approved by them...

Just think about it, what do they sell at gift shops? Most of those items were made in China with "Dominican Republic" tag applied.
 

La Rubia

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Though I don't know much about tourist shops, the answer you are getting sounds like the same ones that the people watching a house tell visitors--what they really mean is that the owners are in NY and aren't necessarily "hands-on" on owners and the person in charge doesn't have the authority to make those decisions.

I skimmed the video. My unsolicited 2 cents is that as a female I'd be tempted to buy it if I saw it while I was at a nice spa getting a massage (not the fully body Sosua kind). That way I'd have something visual to de-stress with and remember my relaxing time when I returned to my 9-5 rat race routine at home. It's the association with the massage that would get me, more than my beach experience in the DR, because those "virgin beaches" have mostly been plucked and it's the real adventurer and expat who tends to make it to those. So I'd go for high-end spas or possibly hotel gift shops, not the stand alone everything available shops.

And frankly, if I'm going to buy a video of the DR, I'd also want some "hotter" images like Carnival and dancing, so you'd probably do better with more than one with a few clips at the end of each one promoting the other.
 

CaptnGlenn

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I am just curious why you bought those photos, don't you take your own pictures while in DR?
The DVD is actually a guide to the best out of beaten track beaches in the country and not the usual Punta Cana hotel resort guide. I actually may need to talk to someone from Ministerio de turismo about this as the matted photos were probably approved by them...

Just think about it, what do they sell at gift shops? Most of those items were made in China with "Dominican Republic" tag applied.

These photos were taken in caves, of the Taino cave drawings. The actual photography is mediocre at best, (although I appreciate the effort necessary to take them), BUT the subject matter is GREAT. The cave paintings are really cool, and I thought they would make interesting decorations with a real Dominican flair for my apt. I rarely do any serious photos when I'm there, because I'm on vacation and photography is what I do every day for work! When I do personal photography, (other than the usual family photos), I tend to lean toward fine art figure studies.
 

miozio

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The cave paintings are really cool, and I thought they would make interesting decorations with a real Dominican flair for my apt.
That is a unique buy, really and I haven't seen anything like this in those gift shops, always have hard times picking what to buy as a truly Dominican gift. Those photos are also not for sitting and staring at, they are decorations! Picture a live Dominican scenery on your flat screen TV hanging on a wall, isn't this decoration also?
 

miozio

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the owners are in NY and aren't necessarily "hands-on" on owners and the person in charge doesn't have the authority to make those decisions.
You are so right, it is exactly this way, whenever I reached a manager he/she would state being unauthorized to sell other items.