This article originally appeared on GiftGuide.

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As a retailer, is there anything worse than excitedly receiving a shipment of stock from a new brand, only to discover that a store across the road has the exact same products? Although suppliers do their best to evenly distribute their wares, you will generally be selling the same stock as other stores. But what if you could be the first to discover a new brand and bring it to your customers? By choosing to stock start-ups, you can.

A unique advantage

Customers have access to so many shopping options these days—from discount retailers to online stores—that smaller gift and homewares retailers really need to give shoppers a reason to visit. One way to do this is to stock items no one else has.

Going out of your way to stock products by a start-up business will give you an edge over your competitors. You’ll be offering customers a unique experience—discovering brands they’ve never heard of—and they will want to return to see what new treasures you have discovered.

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Passion project

Creating a brand from scratch is a hard slog, and start-up founders usually have a good reason for doing so. Whether they’ve discovered a better way of making a product or discovered a gap in the market, they’re generally doing something no one else is.

Plus, as start-ups are small, fledgling businesses they can usually afford to take a few risks. Often this means their products are more innovative than their larger competitors, which is great for you, and your customers.

Take a chance

We don’t have to tell you that retail is hard, and so you might be wary of doing business with a new supplier. Will they struggle to fulfil my order? Shouldn’t I just stick with the same suppliers I’ve always used? Is it worth the risk?

A great way to minimise your risk is to look for start-up brands at industry events like The Launch Pad at the AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair. This is a space for emerging entrepreneurs in the gift and homewares sector who have to meet certain criteria in order to exhibit. By discovering brands in a space like this (rather than a random Google search) you know you’re getting a quality product from a reputable supplier.

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Feel good

Stocking start-up brands won’t just boost your bottom line―you are also supporting another small business getting started in the industry. Research shows that start-up businesses create jobs, so by choosing to stock them you are helping to support a whole network of people. Best of all, you’re helping someone live their dream.

Once you’ve seen the joy your customers get from discovering new products—and that you get from support a local business—we bet you’ll be hooked on the start-up game.

You can discover a wide range of gift and homewares start-ups at The Launch Pad at the AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair this August.

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