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Wholesale exchange policies advice


#1

I sell wholesale and was considering adding an exchange policy, so
stores could exchange purchased items for something different within
a particular time period. (6 months?)

Does anyone have any feedback on whether stores like exchange
policies, what time period they like to see or anything else I
should know or should offer? And traditionally, who pays the
shipping? I assume the store pays the shipping to send the pieces
back, but then who pays the shipping to send the new items to the
store?

I was thinking it must be difficult for stores to keep track of all
the different policies for every vendor (when they could have
100’s). Is there something that sellers should do to make stores’
job easier?

Thanks,
Laurie


#2

When I worked in retail, there were a few suppliers who had trade in
policies. However, they usually required new purchases and only took
back about 1/2 of that purchase as exchange. By that I mean if the
store bought $500 of new merchandise they could only trade in $250 of
old merchandise for new things. This meant in affect they were
spending $750. It isn’t the responsibility of the wholesaler to make
up for the retailers lack of ability to sell what they purchase. I
only remember a couple of stores even doing this and they were pretty
big ticket item manufacturers. these were wholesalers whose
individual pieces started around $1000 per item. [ If you were doing
this with gold items you might actually make some money from the fact
that older items gold was purchased at a lower price]. But stick to
your wholesale prices if you are going to do this type of trade
back. I would really consider setting a substantial new buy base. I
wouldn’t do it for only a few pieces, your job is to sell your
merchandise just like the retails job is to sell what they purchase.

Good luck. Dennis


#3

Hi Laurie,

I hate to be the one to put a damper on what should be a good
idea…BUT…think about this idea of an exchange policy
and all the things which can cause you headaches before doing it.
Because, once you implement this into your sales policy you could end
up stuck with it.

What was originally thought to be a way to increase sales has now
become no more than a consignment. To make this work to your
advantage you would need a very large inventory base and numerous
customers which would allow you to keep this merchandise available to
be relocated if returned. If most of your customers are in the same
town or locale its hard to pass your items around.

We were a national operation for years with full time salesmen on
the road and thought we might try your idea out. It worked well in
September and October (prime buying season for xmas) and then come
January when they wanted to replace everything left from the holiday
season into new merchandise at no further cost to them.
Remember…Jewelers are salesmen first… and they want to sell
their own merchandise first. Returnable goods are window
dressing…

Companies which are most successful with this kind of a policy of
exchange are primarily huge watch manufacturers and manufacturers who
supply very large retail operations such as WalMart and large chains.
In their case the volume offsets the expense.

Why don’t you try this… Offer good “buying” customers a
policy of offering a few additional items on memo to fill out your
line in their shops. It builds goodwill and gets your items out there
to make them noticeable. However, know which customer you can do this
with and which ones will abuse it. Make each offer very individual to
each customer, If it is done on a store to store basis you can be
successful doing this and have happy customers who know they are
special.

Sali
Casmira Gems, Inc


#4
However, they usually required new purchases and only took back
about 1/2 of that purchase as exchange. By that I mean if the store
bought $500 of new merchandise they could only trade in $250 of old
merchandise for new things. This meant in affect they were spending
$750. 

I have offered this to some buyers who were hesitant about picking
up my line. It kinda gives them an insurance policy, and it says that
I’m willing to work with them to make sure it’s a good fit. I
haven’t had many people take me up on this, but I’ve found that the
ones that do exchanges don’t do it too frequently. Except for one
store that used to do that on a regular basis until she found that
she was doing a lot of special orders for customers because the piece
that she just sent back was the one they came back to purchase! She
just started reordering more frequently.

I’ve also offered it when I do follow up calls and they say the line
isn’t selling very well, ie: sold a few pieces and have some older
stuff that won’t move. It helps to refresh the case with new pieces.

I find that items sell better when you have a good strong display
(no brainer). Three pieces can look lonely and lost sitting together,
compared to a nice full display.

I don’t exchange anything that’s been worn or that was a special
order, special size, that sort of thing.

Amery Carri=ere Designs
www.amerycarriere.com