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    What to do about your vendor selling to consumers directly online?

    Q: "How would you handle a vendor you've been buying wholesale from loyally, supporting and displaying their products, decides to start selling direct to the retail customer directly online?"They often offer discounts and free shipping. " 

    A: All retailers - your manufacturers are going to be going direct to consumer. That's a fact of life.

    Get over it.

    They've always gone to a lot of other places that you didn't actually know or understand. The other thing is I think what most small independents don't realize is you go to a trade show. You see this widget, you like this widget. The minimum order is 12.

    So you say, "Oh, can I get six and pay with my credit card?" So you order six. Meanwhile, another guy comes in. He says, "How many thousands of these can I get?" And they're like, "We'll give you a boatload. Here's the price. Awesome."

    Who are they going to spend more time with? The person that can buy a lot or a little? The problem with most independents is you think that because you bought something from them, you should get the exact same treatment as a very big vendor and that just doesn't happen.

    Retail veterans understand this, that yes, most customers are looking online and they can buy from you or the manufacturer direct. Which is why you need a website, which is why you should have spent some money - not something that your brother's, sister's, girlfriend's, uncle's, brother's cousin can do for free or on a dime, but actually be in business so your customers can shop with you.

    Maybe be on the Amazon Marketplace because I know an awful lot of people are meeting with success on that.

    You can't go around just saying, "They're not treating me right," of course, they're not treating you right.

    If you were selling a hundred thousand of it, they would treat you like a king. Now get over it and move on. That is not helping you make a great customer experience for your customers.

    What  that is helping do is to just feel bad about yourself and you know what? There's no time for that. There's simply no time.

    Customers in your shop are in your shop. It's your opportunity to sell to them right there, right then. If you don't, don't make it a losers limp - they're all going online. No they all aren't but you didn't engage with the stranger enough today, build enough rapport and make the sale.

    Do something you can control - learn how to sell your merchandise and stop finding reasons to feel bad about your business partners - your vendors.

    See also, How To Beat A Lower Priced Competitor, Your Vendor

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