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How do I get a Dun & Bradstreet number for my new greeting card business?

By: Bill Wortman



I have started a greeting card business and have inventory and a website, but when I try to go to stores they ask for a Dun & Bradstreet number. I am a new business so I don’t have one. How do I get opportunities to sell wholesale, provide to stores, and market the business?Answer
1. D-U-N-S Number. In addition to having a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, you can review the following D&B and Experian information on building a business credit profile and maintaining the accuracy of information reported on your business. You can locate information and resources for obtaining a D-U-N-S Number, which explains “D-U-N-S Number assignment is FREE for all businesses required to register with the US Federal government for contracts or grants”:

Additional articles on building business credit:

2. Selling to retailers. Just like with other types of products, there is significant competition for shelf space at retailers to display greeting cards – gift shops, grocery stores, drug stores, department stores, etc. Also, the approved supplier and purchasing processes vary based on the size and type of retailer – independent, franchise, national chain, etc. For example, jobbers can often secure floor space for displays at small local stores; however, large companies may not allow jobbers but require all product suppliers to go through the formal supplier approval process.The sales history, consumer reaction, and overall success you have had with your greeting cards through your website is important information for any business proposals to retail outlets; however, each retail outlet (or chain) has its own process for soliciting, evaluating, and approving suppliers, which requires you to research and contact each company to understand the opportunity and approval process. Also, manufacturers’ reps or other distributors may be a way to sell to large companies. Identifying your target retailers and those that may offer the best initial opportunity to secure shelf space and become an approve suppler is an important first step to develop effective business-to-business marketing plans. For example, selling through independent stores or small chains may be one approach to help build brand name recognition and consumer demand for your greeting card products that you can then leverage in proposals to larger retail stores and chains. To help develop a plan to market your greeting cards to retailers, you can review example supplier information of large companies and related considerations at the following websites:Wal-Mart supplier information:




Selling to large companies:

Published: March 31, 2014

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