HSN PRODUCT SEARCH: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is HSN Product Search?
Think you’ve got what it takes to become the next HSN® Customer Favorite? Welcome to the HSN® Product Search - a nation-wide, open call seeking the country’s most clever creators, designers, brands, and product innovators. Ready to share your creativity, tell your story, and open the doors of discovery to the next big, must-haves?
Apply to HSN® Product Search and be discovered! We’re looking for uniquely brilliant finds in fashion, beauty, electronics, culinary and all things home. Keep reading for more information on this exciting event and to learn more about the application and pitch process.
Is My Brand/Product Right for HSN?
A product is right for HSN when it meets the following criteria for success:
- Can it be demonstrated through live or produced content on our platforms?
- Does it fill a space in our current product assortment?
- Does it solve a problem or make life easier?
- Does it appeal to a broad audience?
- Is the product new, revolutionary, innovative and unique?
- Does the product have a great story of discovery or entrepreneurialism?
What Types of Product is HSN Looking for? Are there any product categories that are not able to be submitted to HSN Product Search?
If you’ve got a great product, we want to know! Our products span a diverse range of categories, including: Apparel, Accessories, Footwear, Jewelry, Beauty, Home Décor, Home Innovations (including Health & Fitness), Electronics and Culinary. Please click here for a list of Prohibited Products.
Within these categories, we look to offer our customers unique products that are making their debut on HSN or are entirely exclusive to our network. This exclusivity gives the products we feature an inherent compelling angle that we can bring to life through storytelling across our multiplatform network.
Do You Have Any Tips for Producing a Great Product?
Give yourself the time to build a quality product. A good product is developed when the appropriate amount of time is allotted for design, sourcing, testing, and development. Do your homework before you decide who will produce your product. Assess the supplier's internal quality processes, production capabilities and references. Be personally involved in testing your product and push it to its limits. Focus on safety, performance, workmanship, and packaging—you only get one chance to make a first impression with your customer.
Why do we host a Product Search Event outside of our evergreen Product Pitch Program?
HSN has been a leader in recognizing, embracing and finding small business owners and has become a trusted source for entrepreneurs to showcase their products through our various platforms for over 45 years. The HSN Product Search event supports our mission to seek out seeking out innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs deliver the joy and excitement of new discoveries every day. Through this special event, we aspire to highlight the entrepreneurial spirit that is truly the heart and heritage of HSN.
Can you describe the application process for HSN Product Search?
When registration opens for the event on June 27th, you have the opportunity to submit an application through our HSN Product Search Campaign on RangeMe. You can click the link on hsn.com to navigate to RangeMe when registration goes live. Prior to the launch of HSN Product Search, you can set up a free account on www.RangeMe.com and begin building your personal profile and product portfolio Completing this information prior to the launch of HSN Product Search will streamline the required steps post-launch. Once you submit your Product Search application on RangeMe, you can continue to return to the site to review your submission(s).
Does HSN have specific requirements I need to meet in order to submit an application for HSN Product Search?
Yes. HSN requires prospective Vendors to review the below overall cost considerations for doing business with HSN. Please only apply to HSN Product Search if you are willing and able to meet the below cost stipulations. Additionally, you must be able to adhere to the Qurate Retail Group Global Business Partner Code of Conduct.
How will I know if I’m chosen to pitch my product? What are the next steps?
All submissions received by the deadline will be reviewed by HSN’s Buying Teams for the appropriate product category. If the Buying Team feels your product could be a fit for our HSN assortment, you’ll receive an email inviting you to pitch your product the week of 9/12 via a 15-minute virtual meeting hosted on the RangeMe platform. HSN will reach out with next steps and best practices upon confirmation of your pitch registration. In the meantime, if you have questions, please reach out to: HSNVendorRelations@hsn.net.
As part of HSN’s goal to foster our mutual success, there are specific areas whereby Vendors are required to support the costs of doing business with HSN. Cost considerations include, but are not limited to, the below for all Vendors (category-specific costs must be discussed with the buyer):
- Platform Funding: An automatic deduction of 0.75% of the Purchase Order (PO), serving as an allowance to help us make necessary investments in the HSN business.
- Sample Discount Policy: HSN Showroom Samples are required to be discounted. Your discount percentage will be set by Buying. If product is returned to you, it will be sent back at the cost received.
- Scrap Agreements (similar to an RTV allowance): Traditional (Non-Drop Ship) Vendors are subject to scrap agreements. If a Vendor has negotiated a Scrap Agreement, the rates range from 3-12% based on category averages. The Scrap Agreement review period options are 3 or 6 months.
- Dunn and Bradstreet Review: HSN utilizes a supply chain-monitoring tool to ensure the integrity of our supplier network. The cost is $350 for a new Vendor, and $150 per annually thereafter, which will appear as an “Administrative Fee” on your remittance information.
- Travel to and from HSN Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida: Vendors are responsible for all travel expenses associated with visiting HSN for product meetings, educational programs, guest trainings (when hosted on site) and/or on-air presentations (if applicable).
- GS-1 and GTINs (UPCs): Membership fee for GS-1 (company prefix required) and renewal fee based on number of required Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs/UPCs) purchased. To learn more about the costs for GS-1 and GTINs, Click Here. For more information on GS-1 and GTINs at HSN, Click Here.
- Non-Compliance / Vendor Chargebacks: HSN reserves the right to implement costs for failure to comply with our set Vendor Performance Standards. To review compliance policies, as well as a fee schedule for failure to comply, please Click Here.
- Buyer, QA and Showroom Samples: Several types of samples, including Buyer, QA and Showroom Samples are required. HSN exercises best efforts to return all merchant jewelry samples to Vendors. However, HSN has no legal obligation to keep track of or to return samples. Vendors are expected to follow up with their Buying Team if samples are not returned to them within six months, so that the team can decide whether to hold the samples or return them. No compensation will be provided for lost or missing samples.
- On-Site Inspection / Pre-Shipment Finished Goods Audit (PSFGA): POs that require an on-site inspection / Pre-Shipment Finished Goods Audit (PSFGA) will be charged per PO, based upon the following tables: Click Here.
- Third-Party QA, Lab and Packaging Testing: Cost varies based upon product type, testing requirements and claims requiring substantiation. It is imperative that you are aware of required testing for your product type, and what substantiation is needed in order for your claims to be approved by our Quality Assurance and Legal Teams.
- Item and Master Carton Labels: HSN’s Vendors are responsible for the costs associated with labeling both Master Cartons and their individual items. HSN provides its Vendors with the ability to produce their own labels or choose their own label Vendor. HSN recommends Label IT and Verified Label & Print as preferred providers of our labels.
- Freight: Freight cost depends on the type of freight term, which may include, but is not limited to: Booking and Document Fees, Export Customs Declaration and Gate Fees, Origin Port Security, AMS, VGM Fees and Transportation (Air/Ocean).
- Customs Duties and Clearance Fees: Cost varies by import shipment.
- Sourcing Social Responsibility (SSR): An audit of the factory performing the final assembly of HSN goods. The Vendor would be notified in advance of this requirement; cost varies.
- Factory Process Audit (FPA): An audit of the factory to verify good manufacturing practices in quality systems. This audit is required only for proprietary brands; cost varies.
- Drop Ship Set-Up: HSN does not charge Vendors to be set up for Drop Ship; however, Drop Ship Vendors must be able to make use of one of HSN’s supported formats: EDI, CSV or XML. If the Vendor chooses to use a third-party provider for this purpose, the expense is incurred by the Vendor.
- Drop Ship Packing Slips: Drop Ship Vendors are responsible for ordering crack-and-peel packing slips and can place orders for these via the HSN Drop Ship Team. These slips are provided at no cost to the Vendor, but HSN must be given 10 days’ notice prior to the Vendor needing them delivered.
- Images and Video Assets: If image and/or video assets are needed as part of your content strategy, it is the responsibility of the Vendor to develop the assets.
- “At Home” Equipment and Skype: If remote airings are scheduled, Vendors and Guests are responsible for the equipment needed to Skype into virtual on-air presentations, such as laptops, headphones, etc.
- On-Air Product Samples: Vendors are responsible for ensuring that the Guest has samples at their remote locations, in addition to the prop needs for any demos on/off campus. These can include Culinary, Cleaning Products (such as vacuums), Beauty Model Samples, etc. whether the airing is taking place on-set at HSN or virtually from the Vendor/Guest’s home. HSN does not send or loan samples.
- Vendor Rep Stylists: Vendors sometimes use a Vendor Rep to help set up in the studio (or Guest’s home). Set-up can include a range of services, including styling of items to preparing demos, where the Vendor Rep then stores the props in their warehouses. Vendors must separately work out these styling costs directly with third-party Vendor Rep.
- Models: You will discuss the need for Models with your Category Production Team. if approved by HSN, additional Model support may be booked directly by the Vendor. The Vendor will incur all costs associated with the bookings that include, but are not limited, to prep time, before & afters, live show hours and cancellation fees.
- On-Air Guests: All items airing on HSN require an On-Air Guest (product expert) for presentations. The Vendor is responsible for identifying a Guest to represent their brand. Brands may utilize a representative from their company as the Guest or any other sourced talent for presentations, but any new Guest to HSN is required to complete and pass HSN’s New Guest Certification Program prior to presenting on air. The New Guest Certification Program is at no cost to the Vendor (outside of travel when the HSN Studios are open). For Vendors needing Guest options, HSN’s Talent Team (TalentApprovals@hsn.net) can supply a list of On-Air Guests that are pre-approved to present products in each category. Please note that as each pre-approved On-Air Guest is independent from HSN. HSN cannot provide rates for each Guest.
CLAIMS & PROTOCOL TESTING
What is a claim?
A claim is anything said about a product that relates to its efficacy, performance, safety, price, or other characteristics that may incentivize a customer purchase. Claims are used for the on-air sell, assets and the web.
- X product is biodegradable
- Product X is 2x faster
- Product improves the appearance of wrinkles by X %
- Product is made of X
How do I substantiate a claim?
All objective product claims, whether express or implied, must be supported by evidence supplying a reasonable basis for the claim. Objective evidence that supports claims about a product’s performance, features, safety, effectiveness, or price must be included in the claims form on the Product Specification Sheet when submitted to QA. The following link illustrates typical performance claims for products and the substantiation needed to use the claim in the sale of the product. Please note that pricing associated with substantiation testing in order to make claims about a product are at the cost of the vendor.
What is protocol testing?
Protocol testing refers to the testing a product undergoes to confirm that performance, regulatory, and compliance requirements are met.
Is protocol testing required?
Yes, protocol testing is required for all Vendors regardless of risk level, and all products based on its individual requirements. You are responsible for ensuring your product meets or exceeds our protocol standards.
What protocol testing is required for my product?
Protocol testing requirements are available on the HSN Vendor Portal, and both UL and Interek’s portals. Contact either UL or Intertek to determine what testing is required for your product.
What labs can perform protocol testing?
Any certified laboratory may perform protocol testing. However, High-Risk Vendors and proprietary brands must use UL or Intertek for protocol testing.
How do I contact/obtain access to UL or Intertek?
- For support to sign up with InterLink™ (online test request form) user registration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- For questions regarding testing with Intertek, please contact Emily Davis at: email@example.com and Endia at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For support to sign up with PATH™ (online test request form) user registration, please email ENF.ClientSupport@ul.com
- For US questions regarding testing with UL, please contact Carol Godoy at: Carol.Godoy@ul.com
- For Asia questions regarding testing with UL, please contact Johnny Cheung at: Johnny.Cheung@ul.com
What is a re-shipper carton (RSC)?
An RSC can be used on its own to ship the product to the customer. It should be a corrugated RSC carton with minimum dimensions of 9” x 6” x 1.5” to support automation and labeling within our fulfillment centers.
When is a re-shipper required?
Any product that meets the criteria set forth by HSN must be packaged in an RSC that has minimum dimensions of 9”x 6”x 1.5” if:
- The product is in any category except Apparel, Accessories, Footwear, Jewelry, Vitamins, or Publishing
- The weight of the packaged/product is equal to or greater than 1.0 lb.
- The product is shipping to an HSN fulfillment center (i.e., not Drop Ship).
What is ISTA 3A and when is it required?
ISTA 3A is a general simulation test for individually packaged products shipped through a parcel delivery system. The test validates the ability of a package to protect the product during transit to the customer.It applies to most breakable hardlines items, weighing 1.0lb or more, in the following categories when packed in RSCs: Collectibles, Cleaning, Culinary, Crafts & Sewing, Electronics, Fitness Equipment, Furniture, Hardware, Home Décor, Lawn & Garden, Luggage, Seasonal, Tabletop, Toys.
Who can perform an ISTA 3A test?
The ISTA test should be performed at a third-party, ISTA-certified lab: ISTA Certified Laboratory Search.
Can my RSC palletize on its own, or does it have to be case packed?
The minimum size for a single-unit master carton is 1,000 cubic inches (L x W x H). If the re-shipper is smaller than 1,000 cubic inches, it must be case packed in a larger master carton of 4 or more units.