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WholesaleEZ.com, Merchants News

From the desk of “Jennifer Lincoln’ V.P.

    I’m excited to tell you the story from the very beginning, when my husband and I founded Merchants Media, which is a national wholesale trade magazine called Merchants News and the website WholesaleEZ.com.

    CEO and President Darren Lincoln , graduated with a BS in Computer Science from University of West Florida http://www.cs.uwf.edu in 1985. After graduating he accepted a job with Systems Products International , Miami FL. http://www.spiinc.com Software development firm specializing in software for hotel and timeshare reservations. In 1986 He started a new division where he sold and developed reservation software for Preston Henn from the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop http://www.floridaswapshop.com, this is where the #1 Flea Market Reservation Software in the USA was born and is still in existence in the all top grossing flea market properties in the USA.

1986-1987 He spent the next couple years traveling the USA and visiting all the flea markets, establishing life long relationships with all the proprietors, selling this software to all major flea markets as well as flea market chains.

His client list began to grow and was the who’s who in the USA Flea Market Owners and Management scene. http://www.fleamarketguide.com

His interest in the merchant’s side of the business grew, as it was this software that generated their daily, weekly and monthly invoices. Some of the problems facing flea markets were their lack of merchandise selection so flea market managers wanted to offer the general public an even better merchandise selection. So he decided to bring even more wholesalers information to thevendors of each flea market. He ran across a small magazine called The Flea Market News http://www.wholesalenewspaper.com out of North Carolina. “Which was a small regional wholesale information newspaper”. At that point, he contacted the owner of that newspaper and she agreed to sell us the Florida/Southern region Flea Market News. He had also contacted the Clark’s Guide http://estore.websitepros.com/stores/1144644/cataloglist.html out of Pensacola, but Dot Clark, the owner, would not sell her Guide to Flea Markets book for less than $1,000,000 and we didn’t have the mil so the Florida/Southern Flea Market News was born. We loved it! Darren was in ad design, distribution and management and I “Jennifer” was in sales. In order to get our new paper off the ground, the only thing we had was a copy of the North Carolina edition of the Flea Market News. Now, I needed to sell ads for our own new publication. Florida/Southern Flea Market News

    So, I took a road trip by myself, I drove the whole state of Florida to sell all the flea market owners advertisement in of our new great product, Florida/Southern Flea Market News. I remember meeting with Rick Waller of the Market Place Flea Market in Jacksonville. He was delighted that Darren and I had a new publication, gladly he said, he would advertise with us. He asked me, “Can you use this for my ad?” (It was a negative film from a prior print he had done), I replied, “Oh Yes,” I can use that. I got back in the car, called Darren on the old big BellSouth brick cellular phone and said, “I don’t know what Rick Waller just gave me for the ad, but I told him I could us it”. My first sale!!

    Now, we’re off to the races, since Darren’s background was in flea market software, and we had over 500 flea markets on file in U.S. Now, we had a publication with the opportunity of a tremendous distribution. Nationally we had more flea markets on file but we started small. So we traveled to all the flea markets in our home state Florida; to personally hand deliver our copies. We had the copies piled in our van and put them in a little red wagon, we would shout out “Flea Market News” as we handed a copy to each vendor. We were very proud.

    As time went on we had expanded our distribution into many other states and changed the company name to Merchants News to get away from the stigma of flea market merchandise. Because the higher end wholesalers would not advertise in a flea market magazine, and by this time we had retailers all over the USA with subscriptions. Plus it was much more fitting. We worked very hard to get our clients business. It’s a fact that many of the wholesalers that advertised back then in late 1980’s and early 1990’s, still advertise with us today. Advertisers like,
Accessories Palace (at that time he was called WT Weil), http://www.accessoriespalace.com
Sunny Trading, http://www.sunico.com
Asia Pacific, http://www.aptcinc.com
International Market World, http://www.intlmarketworld.com
SRE Inc, http://www.sportsaddictinc.com

    From that point (1995-Present) we started to attend the big trade shows like ASD/AMD http://www.asdamdshows.com in Las Vegas and Merchandise Groups, http://www.merchandisegroup.com in New York. We were really building a name for ourselves. However, in the beginning we did not know we had competitors with wholesale trade magazines. Closeout News, Sumner Communications and Flea Market Merchandiser. Well, Closeout News was then out of Michigan and focused more on surplus and liquidation merchandise and Sumner’s magazines were no problem, because they were out of Connecticut and spilt the country into three. East Coast Merchandiser, Midwest Merchandiser, and Western Merchandiser plus they segmented the market even more with another magazine called COVER. Which stands for Close-Out Variety Editorial Report. Over the years they have become an excellent source of competition and we trade advertisements on a monthly basis. We probably share 500+ wholesale advertisers via the internet between WholesaleCentral.com and WholesaleEZ.com and 100 in print via Merchants News. But, the Flea Market Merchandiser local in Davie, Florida was the most challenge and it was huge. He personally took lots of photos of merchandise from big wholesalers inventory printed them in full color and I did not, I had to pick up my game and go to the customers locations and shoot the merchandise photos, “Thank GOD for Email” Darren designed the ads and together we put it on the streets, and in to the buyers hands. Well, eventually, Flea Market Merchandiser went out of business. This was great news for us our magazine flourished a we added 50 new big customers.

    Mean while, we had so many Miami Importers and Exporters that advertised with us. We started another magazine or newspaper for them. It was called, the Miami Import Export. We distributed this through out Miami, in all the wholesale districts, the free trade zones, and the International Airport. We had readers from all over the world, Brazil, Venezuela and the Caribbean. Eventually 1996, a new Mayor of Miami was elected Alex Pinellas. He came in and in late 1998 he did not appreciate our newsstands on the streets and wanted to tax us as much as $100,000 dollars per year for Miami distribution. After a tough “Freedom of Speech and the Right to Distribute Handbills” fight through mid 1999 we simply pulled our boxes of the streets of Miami, combined Miami Import Export into Merchants News http:///www.merchantsnews.com and went big time nationally. By this time it was the end 1999 and the start of Y2K, the Internet was popping about the everywhere you turned so we jumped right in and started www.merchantsnews.com. After many revisions along the way to www.merchantsnews.com, we decided to change the name to www.WholesaleEZ.com so it would be more friendly to Inkotomi and Googlbot and it worked. PR4 Ranking

    Today, we have a new and improved version 8.0 of WholesaleEZ, which reaches over one hundred thousand retailers every month. We hope you can find what you are looking for and enjoy what we have to offer in print and online. We are coming up on out 20th year in business and are now celebrating over 1000+ wholesalers as advertisers and a national readership of Merchants News of over 30,000 retailers.

Thank You for Visiting.

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