Choosing Prospective Suppliers- What to Ask

Working with new vendors can be challenging. There is so much competition within each category as it is (how many collar/leash lines can you count?). Just walking down the aisles of the major trade shows can be very daunting. How do you choose between vendors?  To help with that decision, here’s a comprehensive list of questions that you should ask.

1.    Does the product match my store’s image?

2.      What makes this line different? 

3.      What other brands are available? 

4.      What is the story behind the line? (stories make good talking points) 

5.      How saturated is the product line in my area?  6.      Is this product sold in PetCo, Pet Smart, Target, WalMart? 

7.      How complete or extensive is this line? 

8.      What is the price point? Does this match my target market? 

9.      How does the packaging fit the boutique’s image?  10.  What marketing support is available? (information sheets, books, magazine articles to display, product samples, consumer brochures, point of purchase display (Floor & Counter), shelf talkers)

11. What kind of product knowledge opportunities does the company offer?  Do they offer information pages, in-store training, phone training, educational brochures or manuals? 

 12.  How often does the company launch new products? (This is important because you want always want something new to offer your clients.)  13.  What is the availability of the product? · Do you order from a distributor?· Do you order direct from the manufacturer?·   Can you order on line?·    Is there a local sales rep available? 

14.  What is the minimum for order?·         Initial order ·  Dollar amount·  Quantity per piece· Handling & shipping 

15.  Are there bar codes on the product (Important if you are working with a point of sale system)  16.   Are product photos available to add to your website? 

Please comment and let us know how you choose your suppliers… or any horror stories you’ve had when you’ve made the wrong decision.For more information on happytails, give me a call on 866 HAPPY 20 or email me directly-

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