30 September, 2019

What Information Do I Need to Create a Line Sheet?

Line sheets aren’t an option — they’re a necessity. You know you need them to take your brand to the next level, but the actual creation process can be stressful to navigate if you don’t know the business landscape going in. There are certain pieces of information your line sheets absolutely need and other things that should never be included, so it’s key you know the difference.

7 Must-Have Line Sheet Features

Line sheet templates provide a great starting point for the design process, but the next step includes inserting key information to showcase your products in the best possible light. The right specs tell buyers what you’re selling, what iterations are available, how much they need to buy and so much more.

The exact roster of details depends on your industry and your goals (a jewelry line sheet is different from a laptop line sheet, for instance), but there’s still basic information that applies to most any line sheet, regardless of product. 

Here’s exactly what you should include in your line sheet:

1. Branding and Contact Information

You’re selling your brand as much as you’re selling your products. Make sure you include the following information in your line sheet:

  • Logo
  • Tagline (if applicable)
  • Name (or the name of the buyer’s point person)
  • Website address
  • Email address
  • Street address
  • Phone number

Sick of making manual line sheets? Learn more about Linesheets — the tool that makes your job easier. 

2. Product Name and Number/SKU

With each product you list, you’ll also need to include a name and reference number for every single unique product. Unique identifiers like SKUs help buyers know what they’re ordering. Plus. it helps you answer questions quickly by looking up SKUs rather than hunting through your spreadsheets and inventory for specific names that you might not be able to remember.

3. Product Images and Descriptions

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when buyers want to visual the merchandise you’re peddling. Depending on the line sheet layout you choose, you may or may not have room for a description; while a single-product sell sheet is ideal for including a lot of text, a 5×3 sheet with 15 total products leaves little room for exposition. If an image and a few specs are all your audience has to go on, make them count.

Include photos that are:

  • Professionally staged
  • Well lit
  • Cropped to focus on the product
  • In focus
  • As accurate as possible in terms of color

Overall, aim for polished photos and nothing less. If you have room to include multiple angles — even better — though that won’t always be feasible.

As for the descriptions, use the space you have and create content that’s more factual than flowery. After all, this isn’t a catalog. The retailer will take care of aspirational descriptions when they market your products to the end user. Your job is to highlight value and provoke imagination — make buyers yearn to see your products on their shelves.

See: 5 Benefits of a Line Sheet Maker

4. Size and Color Options

If you put together a line sheet with just an image of a stunning raw silk blouse in a pale blush, your buyers will be confused. While pale blush is lovely, unless you include alternatives (either in photos or descriptions, buyers will think the blush option is their only choice. The same goes for sizing. When in doubt, over-communicate. Answer buyers’ questions before they can even ask them. 

Find Out: 4 Reasons You Need Line Sheet Software

5. Wholesale and Suggested Retail Prices

It always comes down to money. Everyone is interested in protecting their bottom line and buyers have budgets to work with. Knowing what your products cost at the outset is vital; knowing what your suggested retailers charge from them in store or online is just as important. Whether or not stores heed your advice is another matter, but providing that information lets buyers gauge profitability and know how much an initial order might run.

6. Minimum Order Info/Pre-Pack Quantities

The ordering needs of a small boutique vary greatly from those of a big-box retailer. When a corporate buyer onboards a new product or line, they typically require larger quantities. Including your minimum order requirement and product availability lets everyone know upfront whether they’ll have access to a steady stream of products or if you’re offering a limited run of a more exclusive product.

If you’re offering pre-packs of goods in a fixed combination — an equal amount or percentage of smalls, mediums and larges in each pattern — that should be mentioned, too. Also indicate whether those terms are flexible in case buyers are interested in custom ordering capabilities.

Related: What Is a Line Sheet?

7. Payment Terms and Shipping Info

When do you expect your customer to pay? Do they have to pony up the cash upfront before you ship or do you offer Net 30 or Net 60, giving customers a month or two after receipt of goods to pay in full? Also delve into shipping. This can be a simple as a line or two at the bottom of your line sheet listing your preferred shipping method, estimated cost of shipping and turnaround from order date to shipping date. Your refund, return and/or cancellation policy appear in this area as well. 

Learn: 3 Ways to Use a Product Sell Sheet to Make More Money

The Bottom Line

The essential components of a successful line sheet are just the beginning of your design process. For more information on how you can up your sales game by taking your line sheet creation to the next level, sign up for Linesheets today. 

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Photo credit: Monkey Business Images:Shutterstock.com

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