Becoming a moisture meter distributor is a major step—whether you’re starting a new business or expanding your existing hardware/flooring/specialty tools store. There are numerous challenges to overcome, from stocking the right moisture meters for your target market, to finding the optimal floor space for your moisture meter inventory, to marketing your new products to your customers.
To help you out, here is some advice for how to become a moisture meter distributor so you can hit the ground running:
How to Become a Moisture Meter Distributor: Choosing Your Moisture Meter Specialties
One of the most common mistakes that new moisture meter distributors make is assuming that all moisture testing tools are the same—they’re not.
There are many moisture meters on the market that cater to very specific needs. After all, while both farmers and restoration experts are concerned with moisture content, they are testing very different materials and have different requirements within their respective industries.
So, it is vital to carefully consider the type of industry you want to serve when you become a distributor selling moisture meters. This choice will heavily influence your moisture meter inventory and the way you market your business to customers.
How do you choose a specialty for your business? If you’re starting a new business, it pays to do some research into your local market. What kind of moisture meter-using customers are in your area?
For example, if there are a lot of property management or real estate companies in your area, then it may pay off to focus on finding moisture meters suitable for performing building inspections. Real estate agents may need to perform periodic inspections of the properties they’re selling—but they might not have much expertise with moisture meters. So, carrying simpler moisture meters such as the J-Lite or the TechScan might be best since these meters are very user-friendly.
If there are a lot of restoration companies in the area, then selling moisture meters optimized for restoration—such as 2-in-1 devices or devices with multiple reading scales (wood, drywall, and reference)—would be the ideal inventory. If your business is near a lot of farmland, then stocking moisture meters optimized for agriculture would be best.
If you have the time, money, and floor space, you could choose to specialize in serving multiple industries.
For moisture meter distributors who already have an existing business, the choice of moisture testing tools should be dictated by the industry or industries you already serve. For example, a hardware store servicing the “do-it-yourself” market may want to focus on building inspection moisture meters designed for non-experts. Meanwhile, a flooring store may want to carry wood moisture meters.
Choosing Your Moisture Meter Inventory
While selecting the industry you want to serve is essential for narrowing down your selections for your moisture meter inventory, there are other factors to consider. When you become a distributor, it’s important to think about who your customers are and ask:
- Why do they need a moisture meter?
- What is their moisture testing tool budget?
- What is their level of expertise with moisture testing tasks?
- What kind of conditions will they be testing moisture in?
All of these are important questions when you become a distributor selling moisture meters. The answers to each of these questions helps you narrow down your ideal moisture meter inventory for your market so that you can stock moisture meters that your customers will want to buy.
For example, knowing why your customers need a moisture meter helps you select moisture testing tools that will be useful to them. If they need to test moisture for water damage restoration work, then you know they’ll need a moisture meter with the ability to check moisture content in a variety of building materials. If you know they need to document these moisture content measurements for insurance or legal purposes, then a moisture meter that can store and transmit readings, like the Navigator Pro, may be invaluable to their work.
Knowing the average budget for the majority of your customers can also help you pick the right moisture testing tools to meet their needs. After all, it does no good to stock inventory that is too far outside of your customer base’s price range—even if those meters would be perfect for their needs.
Getting a feel for your customer’s overall level of expertise is one of the biggest challenges in becoming a moisture meter distributor. However, it’s important for the long-term success of a moisture meter distributor. Some of this knowledge might come after a new business opens its doors—just asking customers directly what they’re looking for and if they’ve used moisture testing tools before. The industry you serve may influence the average level of expertise your customer have with moisture meters—water damage restoration professionals are more likely to be used to using moisture meters than DIY enthusiasts.
Finally, knowing what kind of conditions the moisture meters you’re selling will be used in can help you choose the best moisture meters for your customers’ needs—or the right moisture meter accessories to pair with your meters so they’ll last longer. For example, if your customers are going to be using moisture meters in excessively damp spaces, it may make sense to make sure they have waterproof storage cases to be stored in when not in use. Or, if the meters are going to be used in cramped or dark spaces, meters that have light-up displays may be beneficial to your customers.
Getting to know your customers’ needs helps you pick the best moisture meter inventory to meet those needs. It can also help when selling moisture meters, since you’ll be able to make informed recommendations backed by solid reasoning. This helps you complete sales and present yourself as a trustworthy expert at the same time.
Securing a Steady Supply of Moisture Meters
One crucial aspect of how to become a moisture meter distributor is being able to find one or more reliable sources of moisture testing tools. After all, you cannot sell moisture meters if you don’t have them in stock—well, you could special order them, but that may take time and your best chance to beat online stores is by having what the customer wants when they want it.
To do that, you’ll want to form close working relationships with a moisture meter manufacturer (such as Delmhorst). However, it’s important to choose the right moisture meter manufacturer to partner with. Some things to look for in a moisture meter manufacturer include:
- Product Variety. There isn’t much point to stocking any one manufacturer’s moisture meter products and accessories if they aren’t the right tools for your customers. So, when checking out potential moisture meter manufacturers to partner with, be sure to examine their product variety. This way, you can verify that their inventory is a good match for your customers based on functionality and price.
- Customer Support after the Sale. Is the manufacturer ready, willing, and able to provide support to your customers after the sale? If so, is their customer support staff based in the U.S., or a call center somewhere overseas? Does the manufacturer have resources, such as wood species correction tables and online learning/training resources to help your customers get more out of their moisture meters? This kind of post-sale support can transform your customers’ user experience for the moisture meters that they buy—so try to find a moisture meter manufacturer that provides all of the above.
- Strong Product Warranty Repair/Replacement Policies. Even the best moisture meter manufacturers can make mistakes—the question is: How does the manufacturer fix these mistakes? Finding a moisture meter manufacturer that has a clear warranty policy and works to keep warranty repair/replacement services fast and simple can help keep your customers happy with the moisture meters they buy while providing some peace of mind as well.
- Positive Reviews from Other Customers. A manufacturer with a strong history of satisfied customers is more likely to keep your customers happy. When evaluating moisture meter manufacturers, be sure to dig through their reviews to examine how consistently they satisfy their customers, and how long they’ve maintained that standard of quality. If they have a long history of positive reviews, then you’ve probably found a great moisture meter manufacturer to partner with.
- Fast Shipping for Moisture Meter Orders. Time is of the essence in any transaction—especially now that online storefronts can guarantee two-day shipping for many orders on their website. When shopping for moisture meters, your customers will want near-instant satisfaction, and your ability to provide rapid service may be the competitive advantage that puts you over an online retailer. However, when you need to make a special order, any delays may cause customers to look elsewhere. So, finding a moisture meter manufacturer that can expedite shipping for your moisture meter special orders and inventory restocks can provide a priceless competitive advantage for a new moisture meter distributor.
Checking for all the above criteria is crucial for finding a suitable moisture meter manufacturer to work with moving forward.
Saving Floor Space and Securing Your Moisture Meter Inventory
Preventing shrink is a crucial concern for any business dealing in hardware—and doubly so for moisture meter distributors carrying products with a high value. You don’t want a potential thief to walk in, grab a high-end moisture testing tool off the shelf and walk out with it.
On the other hand, your moisture meters should be visible to grab a customer’s attention to encourage a purchase decision. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure there’s enough space on the floor to showcase your entire moisture meter inventory—it’s hard to entice customers with products they don’t know you have, after all.
There are a few things you can do to secure your moisture meter inventory while saving floor space, including:
- Using Dummy Display Models. One way to show off the size and form factor of a moisture meter without putting a costly tool at risk is to use dummy display models. These non-functional devices help customers think about how they can use the moisture meters and generate interest without risking a real tool. Such models can be paired with descriptive signs telling customers some of the meter’s unique features to help them choose the best tool for their needs.
- Keeping Most of Your Stock in the Back. Odds are that your store has a section that is set aside as an “employees only” space. Keeping your most valuable moisture meter products in this space can help curtail casual theft attempts. When paired with dummy display models, you can effectively market your moisture meters while keeping them safe from theft attempts. These back areas should be kept closed off and locked whenever possible.
- Adding Security Sensors to the Interior of Packaging When Possible. While security sensors might not stop thieves from trying to steal a product, they can alert you to a theft attempt so you can identify the loss (and the thief). Inserting security sensors into packaging makes them harder to spot and remove, increasing the chances a thief will set off the alarm when passing through the scanner.
- Use Security Cameras. Surveillance systems are becoming increasingly common, affordable, and easy to install, with higher image quality than ever before. So, there’s little reason to avoid installing a few security cameras throughout the store to keep an eye on your products. Aside from acting as a deterrent, security footage can help law enforcement positively identify perpetrators to speed along the recovery of your lost assets. Simply knowing that there’s active surveillance systems in a store can help to deter theft attempts (though, you will need to make sure that you have a way to record your security footage to get the most benefit from it).
Taking a few basic measures to prevent inventory shrink can help keep your moisture meter business profitable.