Jul 22, 2013
What are your vendor frustrations?

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn’t – for our readers, from our readers

“What are the common frustrations experienced when dealing with vendors and how do you think things could be improved?”

Lori Blake, Owner
Celebrated Occasions
Springfield, Mo.

It frustrates me when a vendor wholesales to us and then turns around and also has a retail site online and cuts the price and offers more products that we do not have access to. I think they should choose if they are in the wholesale business or retail business.

It’s also frustrating when the corporate vendor offers massive discounts to big box/chain stores and then charges the independent retailer more for the same product. The independent retailer works harder for the vendor and has more product knowledge than most people that are employed for a short period of time at chain stores. If we are loyal to them, they should show loyalty to us and create some exclusivity.

Charlie Johnson
Balloons by Absolute Value

I guess my big gripe about wholesalers is on-hand inventory. Just-in-time inventory systems often don’t include input from users. A classic example is that you should never run out of silver or gold Mylar stars during graduation system. Wholesalers should be aware and adjust normal stocking points to seasonal trends such as graduations.

An easy solution for this problem is to talk to your customers, especially the bigger customers, and get a feel for what they might need during a special season. A wholesaler should never run out of standard colored latex, period! A need for larger back stock of these colors is a must. One way for a wholesaler to lose a customer is to always be out or unable to completely fill an order of standard items.

Brenda Fink
Party Magic
Godfrey, Ill.

1. Calling about product and the person in customer service is not familiar with the product. 2. Placing a pre-order for holiday product and they do not ship complete and do not back order. To place a re-order is time consuming and there are minimums to be met. For example, I have received plates and no napkins. Luckily this is only a handful of companies.

Denise Hagopian
Heavenly Choice
Montebello, Calif.

The past two years Mylar balloons have had a higher than average defect rate -mostly valves that are sealed shut in packages and edges cut off – and no one wants them back. Distributers should at least give a percentage allowance based on purchases. It is an incredible waste of time to find invoices to prove who you bought them from. We must purchase double on each 36-inch letter to account for problems, which isn’t feasible in this economy.

Lewis Wildman
Jordan’s of Princeton
Princeton, N.J.

Vendors that have incompetent people answering the phone, if they answer at all. “We have a new system please listen to all the prompts.” Just answer the phone!

Also, vendors that ask you to enter an account number so the call can be directed and then when connected, ask me again for the same info. And of course, the person answering has no clue about the resolution of a problem.

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