If you have direct sales inventory stocked in a closet and you know a large value is sitting on the shelf, it might be time to have a sample sale!

One online sales platform available for this is Cheddar Up. Read on for our Cheddar Up review and tips for holding a Cheddar Up sample sale!

What is Cheddar Up?

In its simplest form, Cheddar Up is an online platform that helps groups, nonprofits, and individuals track, manage, and collect payments. What started out as a support tool for school-related activities (i.e., when parents have to write a check to go along with a field trip permission slip) quickly grew in popularity and is now used by nonprofits, churches, HOAs, clubs, direct sellers, and small businesses alike.

Cheddar Up didn’t start as an online store option for selling direct sales inventory, but it has quickly grown in popularity because it is easy to use for both sellers and buyers, offers quick and secure payment transactions, and unlimited free withdrawals when sales occur.

How does Cheddar Up work?

Groups or direct sellers start by creating an account. Cheddar Up offers a Basic plan (most suitable for groups needing to collect payments for 1-5 items), a paid Pro plan (required for a direct sale inventory sale and designed for online store transactions), and a paid Team plan (for groups collecting recurring payments, advanced reporting, and for multiple managers to use). Read what’s included in each Cheddar Up plan, along with pricing, here.

Once the account is set up, you should create a page, add collections of items you wish to sell, and share a unique link with your social media followers, customers, and community.

When buyers want to make a purchase, they can create a free Cheddar Up account to make it easy for future payments, or they can simply click a link to complete their transaction without signing up or downloading an app.

How to use Cheddar Up for Direct Sales

Inventory sitting on your shelves is an opportunity to make money, and to avoid loss. Whether you need to move out last season’s fashions to make room for new stock, you have consumables expiring soon, or you’re just feeling overwhelmed with too much inventory, holding a sample sale could be the answer.

Are you ready to clear the shelves of your direct sales inventory and make some money??

Before creating your collection in Cheddar Up, you’ll want to take photos of the items you wish to sell. We recommend staging your products in front of a simple, clean background or backdrop, using good lighting (natural lighting by a window is ideal), and taking a photo of each item—your phone’s camera will work just fine.

Cheddar Up review - markdown example

Once your photos are ready, follow these easy steps to create your Cheddar Up sample sale:

  1. Sign up with a free account, or go Pro if listing more than five items. You will need to connect your bank account for funds to be transferred when sales occur.
  2. Create your collection and begin adding items. In the appropriate fields, include the item name, description, quantity available, and price.
  3. Choose your delivery option, such as free pickup for local customers, customer pays shipping, or free shipping (seller pays).
  4. You can further customize with item variations, such as sizes and colors. Each variation can have its own quantity and price.
  5. Select any payment options you will accept in addition to credit cards.

When your collection is ready, it’s time to share! You can share to your networks through a unique link, QR code, embed code, or by installing a button on your website.

When customers add an item to their cart, you can require them to complete a form with their contact and shipping info.

As sales transactions occur, you can view order details on the Manage page, and you can withdraw funds to your bank account at any time—without fees!

Cheddar Up fees

By default, Cheddar Up convenience fees are paid by the buyer because the company’s goal is to keep expenses at $0 for organizers/sellers. However, if you would like to cover this cost for your customers—in part or in full—or give your customers the choice of whether to pay fees or not, you have those options on the Settings page.

Most, if not all, customers will not want to pay an additional transaction fee to purchase from your inventory. In this case, it is better not to pass the fee on to your customer and instead mark up your product a couple of dollars to cover your expense.

Cheddar Up fees are dependent upon the payment method chosen by the buyer as well as the type of Cheddar Up plan the seller/group is on:

  • Credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Link: 3.95% + $0.95 for the Basic (free) plan, or 3.59% + $0.59 for the Pro or Team plan
  • eCheck is only available on Pro or Team plans, as low as $0.59 per transaction
  • Cash or check is free

If you choose to absorb your customers’ fees, the amount will be deducted from your total available for withdrawal. This is shown on your Balance Summary from the Manage page.

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Cheddar Up pros and cons

Let’s say you’d like to run an inventory sale in your VIP group, and you haven’t yet learned about Cheddar Up. You post pictures, descriptions, and prices into an album and give the direction that they are to comment, “Sold!” under the item to indicate they want that item.

You’re excited as you start seeing notifications of customers claiming items! However …

  • You miss a few comments because notifications aren’t always reliable.
  • Kim says she’d like to pick up her order from your porch.
  • Jennifer is asking for free shipping for placing a $100 order.
  • Lori wants to pay by credit card, but since you’re selling stock and not placing an order from your company, you’ll incur extra fees to run her credit card through Square.
  • Despite several reminders, you’re still waiting on payment from some customers.

Does any of this sound familiar?

We’ve found that so many direct sales consultants have tried selling their inventory or running their own “flash sale,” and the process of collecting different forms of payment from tens or hundreds of customers can quickly become a nightmare.

If you’ve tried selling your direct sales inventory in the past and found the payment collection process to be a pain. Cheddar Up is an option because payments are automatically taken care of, for every item you sell!

Additional pros:

  • You have the flexibility to mark items on sale with the click of a button.
  • The ability to offer free pickup for local customers is attractive when you have a local customer base (and you don’t mind porch pickups!).
  • Discount codes are entirely customizable and can be turned on and shared with customers.
Cheddar Up review - delivery method

All of this sounds fantastic, right? But there are a few drawbacks in using Cheddar Up for a direct sales inventory sale:

  • While the concept of the Basic (free) plan is great for groups selling fewer than five items, i.e., a 5K registration fee, if you’re selling more than five items as you will be as a direct seller, you must pay for at least the Pro plan.
  • Convenience fees are just that: for the convenience of a system handling everything for you. You won’t have these fees running a sale on your own.
  • There is a nonrefundable $15 fee if a customer disputes a payment.

Our Take | Is Cheddar Up Worth It?

From a financial perspective, having inventory sitting on a shelf is never a good thing. That’s money you’ve spent that you still need to earn back.

Consumable goods are especially at risk of expiring or spoiling, which could mean a total loss.

When given the options of running a sample sale on your own, or using a user-friendly platform that processes payments and withdrawals securely, we think Cheddar Up takes the cake.

Cheddar Up’s customization options, the ability for your buyers to pay convenience fees, and having frugal options such as discount codes and free pick-up far outweigh the cost of the Pro plan for direct sellers looking to sell their stock.

Let us know in the comments … how do you sell your direct sales inventory?

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