Ever wanted to get your product featured on America’s original TV shopping network?
Each year, 10,000 people apply for a chance to get on HSN (Home Shopping Network) and promote their product to an audience of millions. Only 20% will ever make it on air.
In this guide, you’ll find:
- 5 ways to get a product on HSN
- A step-by-step guide to the Vendor Application process
- A list of information you need for the Product Submission forms
- Top tips for pitching a product to HSN
- HSN retail fulfillment and drop ship requirements
- A brief introduction to EcomHalo (HSN Preferred Drop Ship Partner)
Let’s get started.
What is HSN?
HSN (Home Shopping Network) is a cable TV network that broadcasts live 24/7 to millions of US households. HSN.com is a top trafficked ecommerce marketplace.
Live on air, show hosts promote a curated assortment of products. They demonstrate how the products work, highlight features and benefits, and share the brand’s story with viewers.
Hosts go on air for 2-3 hours at a time, presenting 5-10 products. Viewers can place orders by calling or texting the phone number onscreen, or by scanning a QR code to order online.
HSN is a member of Qurate Retail Group, a conglomerate of 7 leading retail brands including QVC. As of 2023, HSN and QVC combined reach over 100 million US homes. Worldwide, QVC reaches over 200 million homes via 12 TV channels. HSN/QVC reaches millions more customers via HSN+ and QVC+ digital streaming platforms, ecommerce websites, mobile apps, and social media pages. Q brands reach even more people via print catalogs and brick-and-mortar stores.
HSN promotes a diverse range of products. Their main categories are: Fashion and Apparel, Beauty, Consumer Electronics, Culinary Wares, Craft Supplies, and Home Goods.
They’re always searching for innovative products to promote across their sales channels.
How to get a product on HSN
- Every month, HSN receives over 700 product submissions
- Only 20% of products make it on air
- The average time it takes to get on air is 12-18 months
There are a few ways to get your product on HSN.
1. Submit your pitch on HSN’s product discovery platform
HSN uses a platform called RangeMe to source new products. This is the main way to get discovered by HSN/QVC buyers (professionals who source products for a retailer).
How it works:
- You create a profile for your business
- You fill out Product Submission forms for the products you want to pitch
- You wait for a buyer to reach out.
HSN buyers browse RangeMe for innovative products. If they’re interested in your product, they’ll contact you directly via RangeMe, phone, or email to discuss it further.
We’ll go into detail about the official Vendor Application process down below.
(You can’t submit a product to HSN via email, fax, or US mail. Product submissions must be completed electronically via RangeMe.)
2. Try to contact a retail buyer directly
Some services sell directories of buyer phone numbers. Other services offer paid access to databases of retail buyers, or portals where buyers can connect with vendors and suppliers. These services tend to be flawed for a few reasons.
First, cold-calling a retail buyer is rarely an option. If you cold-call (or cold-email) an HSN buyer, they’ll direct you to RangeMe.
Second, it’s not about contacting any buyer. Top retailers have different buyers for each product category. There’s no point in pitching your beauty product to a buyer who sources kitchen tools.
Third, buyers get a lot of emails and phone calls from people pitching their products. If a buyer’s contact information is on a list that someone is selling for $300, you can pretty much assume your voicemail will go unheard. It’s unlikely that you’ll get a reply.
Without insider connections, it can be hard to find a buyer in your category—much less get them on the phone.
3. Hire a retail brokerage service
Retail brokers act as middlemen between SMBs (Small and Midsize Businesses) and retailers. They introduce you to buyers, help you pitch, help you negotiate a contract, and generally facilitate your partnership with that retailer.
Brokerage services tend to specialize in one or two retailers, or smaller local chains. They’re generally more focused on brick-and-mortar stores than TV or ecommerce. They’re a good option if you’re focusing on a specific retailer or retail location—and if you make sure to verify the broker’s connections and claims.
4. Attend a trade show or product expo
People sometimes get recruited from trade shows, craft fairs, product expositions, and other B2B (business-to-business) events. It’s an option if you know for sure that HSN buyers will be in attendance.
Some resources might advise you to hire a PR firm or publicist to promote your brand on social media, giving you a higher chance to get noticed by someone affiliated with HSN.
Of course, extra marketing—whether at a trade show or on TikTok—can’t hurt. But there’s no guarantee that an HSN buyer will notice, or that social media attention will grease the wheels of the application process.
5. Choose EcomHalo, a Preferred Drop Ship Partner
Hey, that’s us!
Here’s what we do:
- Directly introduce you to a retail buyer in your category
- Fast-track the pitching and testing process, cutting 1+ years down to a matter of days
- Manage all your inventory management, order fulfillment, and drop shipping needs
We’ll talk more about who we are and how we help later on.
For now, let’s take a deep dive into the official HSN Vendor Application process.
How to fill out the HSN Vendor Application
First, you should familiarize yourself with the type of product HSN is looking for.
Their main product categories are: Apparel, Accessories, Footwear, Jewelry, Beauty, Home Decor, Home Innovations (including Health & Fitness), Electronics, and Culinary.
You can find a full list of product categories (and prohibited products) on HSN’s RangeMe page.
Home Shopping Network’s list of criteria for a successful product:
- Highly demonstrable
- Solve a problem or make life easier
- Appeal to a broad audience
- Have unique features and benefits
- Not necessary, but a bonus: Great story of discovery, invention, or entrepreneurship
As you can see, they’re looking for innovative, useful products that can be demonstrated live on air or in a video, that appeal to a lot of people. Also, they love a good story.
Quick HSN viewership demographics:
- 83% female (for TV—ecommerce traffic is 63% female)
- 52% in the 35-54 age bracket
- $65,000 average household income
- Top 3 markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago
So, let’s assume your product is the perfect fit.
Great! Head on over to HSN.com’s Submit Your Product page, which directs you to the HSN/QVC RangeMe page.
There, you’ll be prompted to create an account and fill out your business profile.
This is the first step of the Vendor Application.
You’ll be asked to provide basic information about your business or company:
- Business name, logo, year founded
- Business type: Manufacturer, Broker, Reseller, Other
- Annual gross revenue (if applicable)
- Are you EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) capable? (They want to know if you’re using software that can send electronic notifications of customer transactions, such as Purchase Orders and Shipping Confirmations, via approved file formats.)
Once you fill out the basics, you can start adding products you want to pitch. Each product requires that you fill out a Product Submission form.
How to fill out the HSN Product Submission form
This is where you get into the nitty-gritty details of your product and brand.
You’ll be asked to provide a lot of practical information about your product:
- USP (Unique Selling Proposition): a keyword or label that categorizes your product to make it easier for buyers to find. Examples: organic, sustainable, award-winning, etc.
- SKU (Stock Keeping Unit): a unique, scannable product ID number assigned by your manufacturer
- Cost to retailer: the wholesale price per unit that a retailer pays you (i.e., the dollar amount HSN pays per unit if they buy your inventory at wholesale price)
- MSRP (Manufacturer-Suggested Retail Price): the retail selling price (i.e., the dollar amount HSN could sell your product for, via their retail channels)
- Product images: clear, high-quality photos of the product appearing how it would in stores (in the packaging, against a white background)
Then, you’ll be asked about manufacturing and distribution:
- Development status: Working Prototype, Factory-Produced Sample, Fully Developed and In Production
- Where is the product manufactured?
- Is the product currently being sold anywhere?
- Lead time: the time it takes to manufacture, ship, and deliver a finished product
- Products per case: the number of products in each case you’re able to ship to a retailer
- Case price: how much the retailer pays you for one case of product
- Can you drop ship?
Drop shipping is a form of order fulfillment where a seller accepts customer orders without keeping stock on hand—instead, the supplier ships products directly to the customers.
In recent years, HSN and many other top retailers have begun pivoting to a drop ship model with their vendors. In retail, a drop ship model means that vendors are responsible for managing and shipping their own inventory.
Being able to drop ship isn’t a requirement to partner with HSN, but it’s a huge bonus.
Sometimes they’re able to set you up within their own drop ship program. If they can’t, you’ll need to partner with a 3PL (third-party logistics) company.
We’ll go into detail about the HSN drop ship requirements later on.
Next on the application, you’ll be asked about marketing:
- Target audience or ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)
- Market protections: if you’ve filed a patent, trademark, copyright, etc.
- What’s the story? If there’s a unique or compelling origin story behind your company, founder, product, etc., they want to hear it.
- You can also upload a pre-recorded product presentation video (2 minutes or less). Unlike product images, this is optional.
Don’t have all the data? Don’t panic. Many fields are optional. HSN prefers to source products that are retail-ready or close to it, but it’s not 100% necessary. You need more than a concept (you must at least have a Working Prototype) but it’s okay if you don’t have a sales record, or a warehouse of product ready to ship.
Once you’ve completed the Product Submission form, click Submit for Approval.
RangeMe’s Product Approval team will review your product(s) within 24-48 hours to make sure it meets their basic requirements. HSN buyers won’t see your product until it gets approved.
If your product doesn’t get approved, you’ll get an email explaining why and what to do next.
Common reasons a product won’t get approved:
- Unacceptable product image (dark, low-quality, etc.)
- Unrealistic pricing
- Descriptions not in English
- Listed in the wrong category
Once your product is approved, it automatically becomes visible to HSN/QVC buyers.
For 28 days, your profile will only be visible to HSN/QVC. After that period, you’ll be discoverable to other retailers on RangeMe.
So… I submitted my application. Now what?
Now you wait.
Ideally, you’ll hear from an interested buyer (via RangeMe, phone, or email) within 30 days. But due to the high volume of submissions, you’re not guaranteed to receive a response.
If a buyer does contact you, the next step is to discuss your product further. That might mean setting up a phone call or virtual meeting. The buyer may also request a sample of your product.
(Note: Starting June 27, 2023 and running until September 2023, HSN is holding a special Product Search Event in addition to the normal Product Pitch Program. The Product Search Event also takes place on RangeMe. They’re looking for products that could be the next HSN Customer Favorite. To qualify, a product must be making its debut on HSN, and must be entirely exclusive to the HSN network. If your product is chosen, you’ll be invited to pitch the week of September 12, 2023. You can read more about this event on RangeMe.)
How to pitch a product to HSN
You did it: you got a buyer on the line. However, this is only the beginning.
In a 2015 interview, celebrity chef Eduardo Garcia of Montana Mex hot sauce said: “It took us 16 months to get on air, and that wasn’t even a long time.”
You can expect the standard pitching and testing process to take over a year. It’ll take longer if your product isn’t ready to be manufactured and shipped in certain quantities, or if there’s any issues or delays during the product evaluation process.
Let’s not worry about that yet. First, we’ve got to nail the pitch.
Top tips for pitching to Home Shopping Network
1. Tell a compelling story
So, the end goal of your pitch is that HSN wants to put you/your product on TV. What do people watch TV for? A story. Yes, even when it’s an unscripted show where hosts are selling products.
No matter how unique or useful your product is, the thing that will truly make viewers stop what they’re doing, pay attention, and pick up the phone to place an order is a compelling story.
It’s TV: it’s about the spectacle. The character. The against-all-odds. People watching HSN want to connect to the person on-screen. (Or the story a host is telling about your product.) They want to relate to you. They want to understand you, understand the problem you’re trying to solve, and why you care about solving it. And they want to be entertained.
When you get that first meeting with an HSN buyer, you want to make sure your story shines. You want them to think: “Oh, we need to get this person on TV.”
Here’s some questions that can help jumpstart your storytelling:
- Who are you? Where do you come from? What’s your backstory?
- What’s the origin story of your business?
- What did you overcome to get where you are?
- What prompted the idea for your product?
- What roadblocks did you face when creating your product? How did you overcome them?
- How does your product help people? What problem does your product solve?
- How are people currently dealing with that problem? Why is the current solution not working?
- Why are you passionate about your product, or about creating in general?
- How has your business or product changed your life?
- What did you learn in the process of creating your product? Any hard lessons? How did you apply that knowledge moving forward?
- How are you different today than when you started this journey?
Obviously, not everyone has a pitch-perfect underdog story about conquering insurmountable odds.
But everyone does have a story.
If you’ve created something, that means you saw a need for that thing to be created, and you figured out how to do it. That’s wonderful. You probably made mistakes along the way, and (hopefully) learned from them. That’s wonderful, too. That’s something people can relate to.
The best stories are about change. How you changed, how your product changed in the making, how your product can change other people—by making their lives easier, less stressful.
That’s what they want to hear: How will this product change my life for the better? How has it already changed you, the creator? How can I make that happen for me?
2. Do your market research
This goes hand-in-hand with your story. Because when you’re telling a story, it’s important to know your audience. In this case, the target audience of your product.
Who are you selling to? Who is your Ideal Customer?
It’s not enough to have an idea in mind. You need to do your research, too.
You’ll have to make sure that your Ideal Customer is someone who watches HSN.
Let’s say your product is an electric toothbrush that tells you cool animal facts while you brush your teeth. (Just bear with us.) If 80 million people are watching HSN, there’s a good chance 100% of them brush their teeth. But not all of those people would be interested in hearing cool animal facts every day. (Hard to believe, but true.)
Your job is to study the demographics. To make sure there’s a large enough audience of HSN viewers who are likely to buy your toothbrush.
To do that, you’ll have to research:
- What similar products are already selling on HSN?
- What do their sales look like? What numbers are they hitting?
- What type of customer are they targeting? How are they targeting that customer?
- How is your product different? How will it stand out in the product assortment?
- What problem does it solve that similar products do not solve (i.e., the lack of daily cool animal facts in a customer’s life)?
- If your product is already on the market: What’s the overlap of people buying your product and people who watch HSN? (How do your customer demographics overlap with HSN’s viewer demographics?)
And so on.
Some of that data is hard to find, especially if you’re not deeply familiar with HSN.
That’s a problem EcomHalo can help solve. We’ll get to that later on.
3. Prove your value
You’ve got a story. You’ve got an audience. What’s left?
Above, we went over the information you need to fill out the HSN Vendor Application forms. The HSN buyer you’re pitching to will have that information about your business and product. They’ll likely have a few follow-up questions that you’ll need to answer.
The big question: How will HSN profit from selling your product?
In the end, HSN wants to make money. Of all the products they promote on air, only about 20% sell enough units to get invited back on for multiple airings.
Some products hit it out of the park, selling thousands of units within minutes.
Some products strike out for any number of reasons: not a compelling enough story, not a clear enough demonstration of why viewers need it, not a broad enough appeal, etc.
That’s why it’s so important to do your homework and make sure there’s a healthy demand for your product.
You want to communicate to HSN: “I have a fantastic product. A lot of HSN viewers will want to buy my product. It’s inexpensive to manufacture, with a high retail profit margin. I’m able to manufacture and deliver my product in quantities and timeframes that comply with HSN’s standards. My business is compatible with yours.”
(Retail profit margin = how much money a retailer makes by selling your product after accounting for the cost of manufacturing, shipping, and other expenses.)
Enter the pitch meeting ready to prove yourself. Back up your claims with data. Position yourself as someone who will be easy to onboard, who knows exactly what demographic they’re targeting, who will maximize profit and minimize risk.
How does HSN product evaluation work?
Before your product gets on air, it must be reviewed by HSN’s internal Quality Assurance, marketing, and manufacturing teams.
They spend months testing your product and packaging for performance, functionality, safety, and so on. They have to confirm that your product meets performance, regulatory, and compliance standards, both internal and federal.
Any claims you make about your product must be substantiated with evidence. That means if you claim your product is biodegradable, or does something 2x faster, etc., you must be able to back it up with data from laboratory testing.
Meanwhile, you’ll work with the marketing, branding, and licensing teams. They’ll want to be sure you have a strong, consistent brand look and story, that demand for your product exists, and that you know how to position your product to HSN viewers.
How does HSN retail fulfillment work?
Whether HSN/QVC buys your inventory wholesale or on consignment depends on a few factors, such as production volume (a product’s ability to be mass-produced; how many units you can manufacture in a certain timeframe) and sales volume (your sales history; how many units they think your product will sell).
Generally, you must have enough retail-ready inventory to support a minimum Purchase Order of $5,000 worth of product. This number varies greatly depending on what type of product you’re selling, cost per unit, predicted sales volume, etc. (QVC’s minimum Purchase Order is typically $30,000-$35,000 at wholesale price.) It really just depends.
If HSN buys your inventory wholesale, they place a Purchase Order for a certain number of units at wholesale price. So, let’s say your product’s wholesale cost per unit is $10, and HSN places a Purchase Order for $20,000. That’s 2,000 units. You must be able to manufacture, ship, and deliver those 2,000 units to a distribution center (HSN-owned or third-party) ahead of a TV airing.
If they buy your inventory on consignment, you get paid after your product sells. So, if your product airs and HSN gets 5,000 customer orders, they’ll purchase 5,000 units at retail price and take a percentage cut of the sales revenue. You still have to comply with drop ship deadlines and requirements.
If you’re a first-time vendor with HSN, they’ll likely opt for a consignment deal. It’s less risky to them up front, because they don’t know how many units will sell yet.
What are the HSN drop ship requirements?
In recent years, HSN has begun pivoting to a drop ship model. Instead of buying a vendor’s inventory and storing it in an HSN-owned warehouse, they want vendors that can drop ship.
Again, drop shipping is a form of order fulfillment where a seller accepts customer orders without keeping stock on hand. Instead, the supplier ships products directly to the customers.
In retail, a drop ship model means that vendors are responsible for managing and shipping their own inventory.
HSN has a built-in drop ship program and distribution network that vendors can use. However, sometimes their program isn’t the best option for a vendor, or they need to otherwise supplement the vendor’s drop shipping capabilities with a third-party service provider.
Whether you’re using HSN’s drop ship program or a 3PL drop ship provider, you must be able to comply with HSN’s requirements. This includes strict SLAs (Service-Level Agreements).
A drop ship vendor must be able to:
- Reliably manufacture, store, and deliver a certain number of units in a certain timeframe (quantities and timelines will vary)
- Process and handle returns
- Send electronic notifications of Purchase Orders, Shipment Confirmations, Customer Returns, and other customer transactions via approved file formats (EDI, XML, CSV)
- Label (with packing slips) and load cartons, cases, and pallets according to HSN’s requirements
- Pass regular on-site inspections and Pre-Shipment Finished Goods Audits (PSFGAs)
Failure to comply with any of the requirements will result in a steep penalty fee. For example, the fee for a late drop shipment is 5% Cost of Goods. (You can read more about HSN/QVC’s Vendor Supply Chain Compliance regulations via HSN.com.)
The accuracy and efficiency of a vendor’s order fulfillment reflects on HSN, so they have a low tolerance for compliance issues.
If you’re sourcing your own 3PL partner, you’ll need to make sure they:
- Show a deep understanding of HSN’s drop ship requirements
- Have the logistical infrastructure to meet or exceed deadlines and regulations
- Incurred as a result of compliance issues
Need a drop ship provider you can trust? Ask HSN to refer you to an approved third-party service provider such as EcomHalo. Or, contact us directly to get started. More on that below (we’re almost there!).
How much does it cost to sell on HSN?
There’s no charge to submit a Vendor Application, undergo the product evaluation process, or get set up in the HSN Drop Ship Program. HSN doesn’t sell airtime.
The “cost” comes in when you become a vendor and start making sales. As you’d expect, HSN takes a cut of your sales revenue as commission, similar to any other retail partnership.
EcomHalo + Home Shopping Network
Finally, here’s the part where we tell you who we are and what we do.
We’re EcomHalo: a 3PL provider redefining what it means to be a partner.
We don’t just handle your end-to-end, purchase-to-porch order fulfillment needs. We also help you expand your brand to new retail channels—on TV, online, and in stores.
We’re especially proud of our track record with HSN.
Here’s what we do:
- Directly introduce you to a retail buyer in your category
- Fast-track the pitching and testing process, cutting 1+ years down to a matter of days
- Manage all your inventory management, order fulfillment, and drop shipping needs
EcomHalo is a Preferred Drop Ship Partner.
We’re proud to be one of HSN’s highest-performing 3PL partners, recognized for demonstrating operational excellence.
|OTD (On-Time Delivery) rate of 99.3%|
|Consistently exceed drop ship deadlines and requirements|
|Able to get vendors set up quickly (sometimes in less than 24 hours)|
- OTD (On-Time Delivery) rate of 99.3%
- Consistently exceed drop ship deadlines and requirements
- Able to get vendors set up quickly (sometimes in less than 24 hours)
Why choose EcomHalo?
|HSN TV Feature||HSN Fulfillment & Drop Shipping||HSN.com Ecommerce|
|Whether you’re a nationally known brand looking for retail growth opportunities, or a small business ready to enter big new channels—getting on HSN puts your product in front of 96 million US viewers. We get you on TV—and help you make the most of your airtime.||Already a vendor with HSN? Hoping to land that retail fulfillment partnership? Either way, we’ve got your inventory management, order fulfillment, and drop ship needs covered—always exceeding HSN’s strict standards.||HSN.com is a top trafficked ecommerce marketplace where shoppers can order your product any time, not just when it’s on air. We get you set up and selling on HSN.com in a matter of days.|
|HSN TV Feature|
|Whether you’re a nationally known brand looking for retail growth opportunities, or a small business ready to enter big new channels—getting on HSN puts your product in front of 96 million US viewers. We get you on TV—and help you make the most of your airtime.|
|HSN Fulfillment & Drop Shipping|
|Already a vendor with HSN? Hoping to land that retail fulfillment partnership? Either way, we’ve got your inventory management, order fulfillment, and drop ship needs covered—always exceeding HSN’s strict standards.|
|HSN.com is a top trafficked ecommerce marketplace where shoppers can order your product any time, not just when it’s on air. We get you set up and selling on HSN.com in a matter of days.|
What We Provide
Direct buyer introduction
No need to submit your Vendor Application online and hope for a response. We directly introduce you to a buyer in your category, then guide you through every step of the pitch.
Digital content creation
We handle product setup, content creation, digital assets, and all other HSN onboarding requirements for you. We know what information they’ll ask for and how to prepare it.
Fast-tracked product evaluation
Remember that 12-18 months of product evaluation? We handle that process for you, without you having to deal directly with HSN’s internal teams. That alone cuts months down to days.
Learn more about our partnership with HSN (and what makes it special) here.
Whether our retail fulfillment services are the right fit for you or not, we hope you’ve found this Ultimate Guide to Selling on HSN helpful and informative. Wherever your journey takes you, we wish you safe travels, big windfalls, and the absolute best of luck.
Ready to reach an audience of millions?
Julie Massey is a dynamic business development leader with a decade of experience and a consistent record of achievement in SaaS, logistics, medical device and pharmaceuticals. Julie spent eight years in healthcare sales gaining broad experience across capital equipment, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals with companies ranging from start-up to Fortune 10. She has worked with such companies as WalkMed Infusion, AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson.
Julie is a graduate of the University of Alabama, a travel and fitness enthusiast, and currently resides in Fort Lauderdale with her fiancé Ryan and their dog Moose.