Manufacturer Reps (Apparel / Accessories)

Working as a manufacturer representative requires a great level of comfort with ambiguous situations.  Sports equipment reps are often required to do a significant amount of traveling in their set geographic sales region.  This can include driving long distances as well as both short and long plane flights.  The main goal of the manufacturer’s rep is to increase the customer base through achieving annual sales, revenue and gross profit goals within a specified territory.  Along with these goals is the requirement that reps maintain the brand image within all of the retail sites they place their products in.

Because of the travel requirements placed on reps, they often have to be able to relocate anywhere that the company distributes its products. 
The ideal candidate for this position is a self-motivated, energetic, goal-oriented and customer focused individual. Sales Representatives work on gaining new business, maintaining existing business and other customer projects that require constant in person and phone interaction with customers.  Sales Representatives are often fully trained and given the tools to succeed and communicate with their customers by the company they rep for.

A strong background in retail service, service management, or previous manufacturer repping is a plus for perspective employees. For most companies, a bachelor’s degree is also required.  Another key proficiency for those looking to be a rep is a strong understanding of the companies product mix.  Most companies carry a significant number of items, and the better versed you are in these products the better off you will be.


Compensation is usually based upon a salary that ranges from $30,000 to $65,000+.  On top of the base salary, other benefits including; significant commissions, bonuses, travel allowances, and often discounts on company products are also commonly received.  Most of these sports companies also have 401K plans and good health benefits, but as you can see in the interview with Biff Wilburn, these benefit packages vary greatly between companies.  Pay is commonly on a bimonthly schedule.

Interview with Biff Wilburn – Smith Sunglasses Sales Rep