Mr. Checkout is a national association of independent wagon-jobbers and full-line distributors. We distribute product to approximately 35,000 independent stores around the country and are always seeking the next hot new product. If you have a product, we want to hear from you!

Recreation Store Distributors

Distributing to Recreation Store Distributors is all about satisfying the store’s needs in what type of products their customers demand. Recreation Store Distributors want a product that has been established and will sell quickly. Contacting local Recreation Store Distributors is a good first step to get a feel for what products do well in that market.

Finding a distributor who already has an established relationship with independent specialty retailers is essential. The distributor and retailer relationship is important in product placement in Recreation Store Distributors. If a distributor has a good reputation with an independent specialty retailer the process of getting products into the store is a lot smoother.

Building a relationship and a positive track record is a very important part for the distributor. It is important for the distributor to do some research on what kind of specialty products do well in each specialty store, which can be dependent on where they are located. If a product does well in one independent specialty store the likeliness the distributor will put it in other stores is high. In Recreation Store Distributors and independent stores in general it is all about shelf space and what sells well will claim that shelf space. Products that do not, will be given less space or no space in order to move in a new product that sells well.

Recreation Store Distributors look for products that are innovative and will set them apart from competitors. So, new products have a better chance of making it into an independent specialty store  vs. a big box retailer. An independent specialty store will have a stronger personal relationship and knowledge with products compared to big box stores as well. This is beneficial to everyone involved because having knowledge about the product in stores will improve sales.

In order to get a product into an independent specialty market contacting the correct distributor is the first step. The next step would be sending samples and other pertinent information to that distributor if requested. They like to see proof of sales and selling points of that product. Communicating about price points and minimum order quantities is very important. If the distributor likes the product and thinks it would be a good fit for their route they will purchase the product.

If the product does well in stores, the distributor will continually order more. Proof of sales will bring more orders and getting in contact with other distributors in other parts of the country is the next step. A product with proven sales in a few Recreation Store Distributors will make its way to Recreation Store Distributors all across the nation through different distribution channels. Establishing and building relationships with distributors is the best way to get products into Recreation Store Distributors.

Popular Recreation Store Distributors

Every kid gets a toy. As the kids grow, their toys become more mature. Till adulthood, we still want that product that brings the fun out in us. That is why at children parties, it is not surprising to see adults playing with toy guns. Recreational items may be for a particular age group but it is really for everyone.

Getting this product from the manufacturer to the final consumer might seem somewhat of a problem if the distributor isn’t in the picture. The distributor basically gets the product to the retail stores.

Here is a list of popular recreation store distributors in the United States. Kindly note that this list is not arranged in any particular order or fashion.

Sportsman’s Supply

Sportsman’s Supply is one of the largest distributors of top of the line brand name fishing, ice fishing, hunting, archery, optics, marine electronics, marine accessories, camping, and water sports products. This is an Authorized Wholesaler of Sporting Goods including manufacturers such as: Coleman, Callaway, Daiwa, Okuma, Snugpak, Wilson, and many more.

H&J Closeouts

This wholesaler always adds new closeout inventory from general items to whole licensed NFL, NCAA, MLB, and even NBA items. Its merchandise changes weekly. The distributor has stock in products such as hats, apparel, videos, pool toys, training gear, and golf tees. This makes it easy for you to still turn into measurable profit. While offering customers the merchandise that they need at prices that they can afford.

SH Distributing

SH Distributing, Inc. is a manufacturer, wholesale distributor, and licensed transporter of quality marine and recreational products. The company specializes in trailers from Yacht Club, Eagle and its own Sport Haven brand. The company also offers a full line of docks and boat hoists from Shore Master, Shoreline Industries, PolyDock Products, and Rhino Marine Systems. In addition to manufacturing and distribution, we represent several of the top-selling boat lines in the country, including Berkshire, South Bay, Trifecta and NauticStar.

Green Supply

Green Supply, Inc. is a wholesale distributor of hunting, outdoor, camping, fishing, and sporting goods equipment located in Vandalia, MO. The company employs over 80 personnel to run its sales department, technology department, and its 120,000+ square foot warehouse. From firearms to camping tents, the wholesaler offers over 45,000 products from more than 300 manufacturers. Its products can be viewed on its website or in our catalog which has over 12,000 copies in circulation annually.

Kole Imports and Closeouts

This distributor imports large quantities of bulk merchandise directly from manufacturers overseas, warehouse them, and sell to wholesalers and retailers. Its 250,000 square-foot warehouse, located in Los Angeles, contains millions of pieces of merchandise, allowing it to provide a 99.7% fill rate on orders, and great substitutes for any out-of-stock items. At any given moment the distributor has tens of thousands of unique sellable items in stock that serve many different industries.

Here are the 6 steps you need to take to have your product picked up by a distributor.

1. Start with the right questions.) Before you try distributing your product, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions. Do you need to build demand for your product, or is there already a demand for it? Do you know that the distributor would be interested in selling your product? If you can strike a deal with them, can you handle the production volume? Do you want to sell directly to the distributor, or do you want to license your product to a manufacturer that will handle distribution?

2. Be prepared to profit.) Does your product offer enough of a profit margin for a distributor? Can you sell your product at a reasonable enough profit to cover the packaging, shipping, commissions, marketing and wholesale distribution? Check the distributor’s guidelines for other fees that you will have to build into the cost of your product in order for you to be able to turn enough of a profit to make the effort worth your while. If you work with a discount retailer, they will try to strip your profits down to zero in order to keep their prices as low as possible.

The typical breakdown of margins are: If a products costs $1 to produce, that product will retail for $4. That product that retails for $4 will wholesale for $2 to distributors and stores that purchase direct. Big box retailers like Walmart may offer to pay $1.25 to the manufacturer if the product costs $1 to produce. That is the typical profit margin.

3. Determine if the distributor is the right one for your product.) The relationship between you and the distributor starts with you browsing the store’s that they service for competing products. If the stores already has a similar product, it is going to be very difficult to get your product picked up. Picture in which zone your product would best fit on the shelf and keep in mind that the most precious asset that these big box stores value are their shelf space. Keep this information in mind when you are preparing your presentation to the distributor.

4. Pitch your product.) Decide whether it will be you or a representative to present your product to the distributor. Your presentation depends heavily on your strengths as a businessperson as they will most likely ask financial questions and logistics questions.

It’s common for companies to hire a broker to pitch their product to a distributor, as it will be more likely that your product will make it to the next stage if the individual pitching your product has industry knowledge or a personal relationship with them. The percentage of commission verses, however generally a broker will take around 5% to represent your product.

We at Mr. Checkout have experience dealing with brokers and know that there are several retail brokers that have poor business practices that can potentially damage your brand. If you are seeking a legitimate broker, please give us a call for a recommendation. It could save you a huge headache and a lot of money.

5. Complete the required paperwork.) Often a distributor will have you go through an application process. However, before submitting the paperwork required, you should contact them and let them know your intentions. Having a contact inside of the company will potentially move your application more smoothly through the process.

6. Anticipate the need for increased volume.) Having a distributor pick up your line will most likely mean a significant increase in volume. You should be prepared to ramp up your production and informing your manufacturer of this opportunity.

Having production, logistics and distribution to sync is not only difficult, it requires a significant amount of time invested in customer relations. Also, distributors may have stipulations in the contract that may penalize you for delays in shipping and production. Have an attorney explain all contracts to you if you don’t understand the terms.

If you’re looking to distribute your product through a distributor, be sure to thoroughly assess the marketplace, carefully prepare for production growth, and take full advantage of resources available to help you grow your business.


Mr. Checkout is a national association of independent wagon-jobbers and full-line distributors. We distribute product to approximately 35,000 independent stores around the country and are always seeking the next hot new product. If you have a product, we want to hear from you!