Let's start with the basics, shall we? What exactly is a sampler???
A sampler is a collection of products submitted by a variety of businesses. Some products may be "sample size", while others are "full size" products. Either way, they should be accurate representations of the businesses' products that they offer for sale through their websites.
Most samplers limit participation to Handmade businesses, but some do not. The reason that most samplers focus on Handmade is a simple one: selling Handmade online is tough! Samplers came about as a way to help Handmade businesses advertise. Think about it for a moment -- when you go to a craft sale, do you walk through the show with your hands in your pockets? Or do you pick up things that interest you in order to inspect the workmanship? And let's not forget about sniffing the scented items and maybe even trying out a few samples (I know many of the shows around me have food vendors who offer samples, and even some of the bath & body vendors offer samples). This interaction is lost online. There's no sniffing, trying, or inspecting.
Samplers provide a way to sniff, try, and inspect before purchasing from an online Handmade business. And they are a great way to "meet" new Handmade businesses! The bath and body market, as well as the jewelry market, are quite flooded right now. What better way to bring attention to your products than by putting them in the hands of folks who love and appreciate Handmade and want to support Handmade businesses?!?
Samplers really are a great investment, for both the Handmade businesses and the buyers! We'll be discussing this more as time goes on, and tomorrow we'll be looking at the question, "So let me get this straight -- these businesses (samplers) SELL the products that the Handmade businesses send them for free???" (LOVE this question!)
Any questions you'd like addressed, please post them in the comments! Till we meet again....