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How to get the very best value from your wholesalers

By Jim Connolly

We have all heard that saying, that if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. However, when it comes to retail, we find many store owners are prepared to go for the cheapest wholesaler or supplier.

The most successful retailers tend to take a very different approach. This successful approach is what I want to share with you here.

4 Core areas of retail success

There are many elements required for retail success. Right now, I’d like to focus on the 4 core areas, where the most successful retailers are extremely strong.

It looks like this:

  1. They have a great team of salespeople.
  2. They have effective marketing.
  3. They have valuable customers, who buy from them and recommend them.
  4. They have great suppliers who, partner with them.

Most retailers get the first 2 elements right

They work hard on building a great team and they invest in marketing. However, many retailers end up letting their customers down, because of the shoddy service they receive from the cheap or bargain basement suppliers they rely on. They want the best for their customers, but fail to get the backup they need from their wholesalers.

By doing this, they fail on the 2 of those 4 core areas of retail success.

Paying the real price

What the most successful retailers have discovered, is that there are usually significant, hidden costs attached, when buying from the cheapest suppliers.

Here are just a small number of the most common problems, which can cost retailers dearly:

  • Low quality merchandise.
  • Merchandise that is not as advertised.
  • Incomplete orders / missing parts.
  • Unreliable delivery times.
  • Poor or non-existent customer service.
  • Missing paperwork.
  • Unexpected price increases.
  • Lack of transparency.
  • Broken fulfillment promises.

The list goes on.

Yes, by keeping your costs low you can improve your profit margins. This makes those super-cheap wholesale prices seem attractive. However, for this to work, it presupposes that the price you were quoted is the actual price you pay.

As you start to encounter problems, such as those mentioned above, any gains you make from the low prices can be more than wiped out. Then there are the other costs, such as the cost of disappointing your customers, because a cheap supplier let you down. Let’s not forget all that added stress, too.

A better value alternative

I’m not suggesting you ignore great deals. Finding the best value deal is an essential part of building a great retail business.

What I am suggesting, is that there is a world of difference between something that is cheap and something that offers you great value.

Value is about the whole package:

  • The merchandise.
  • The quality.
  • The reliability.
  • The customer service.
  • The transparency.
  • The longevity.
  • The trust.
  • And yes, the price.

The price needs to be great. It needs to represent real value. However, price needs to be seen as a major component of the overall value and not the single, driving factor in picking suppliers to partner with.

Time and again, we find that success in the medium and long term comes from this: Buying from suppliers who offer you great value, allowing you to offer your customers great value – and at a great profit to you.

Suppliers who partner with you?

I used a term a moment ago, ‘suppliers who partner with you’. That’s not just a throwaway line. It’s the way that the most successful business owners I know consider their suppliers. They build great, long-term relationships with their suppliers and know they can rely on them, when (not if) things go wrong.

They don’t need to get stressed or waste time dealing with low grade or non-existent customer service. Instead, they can plan ahead, with confidence.

They can focus on looking after their customers, rather than chasing suppliers.

Here’s a suggestion

Take a look at the suppliers you currently use, because of their low prices. Now consider if they are offering you real value or just cheap prices. Think about any problems you have regarding the quality of the service you receive or the quality of the products they supply. Weigh up the overall cost and make sure you’re getting amazing value.

I hope you found this information useful. More importantly, I hope you do something with it.

To find out how CTS Wholesale can help your retail business, simply click here.