How to spot a bad wholesaler

Dodgy suppliers - they are out there, so beware

Unfortunately, there is no scientific test you can apply to know if your wholesaler to find out if you are going to be left with 300 broken vacuum cleaners that suck in more than one sense of the word. As is common when you are starting up a business, for all the calculations and careful planning, sometimes a good or bad gut instinct can serve you best of all.

“Most people will get a feel for whether they are comfortable with an individual quite quickly and this gut instinct is often very accurate,” explains Richard Grady. “I would tend to be happier dealing with a large wholesaler with pleasant premises and a friendly atmosphere, although, that said, I have also traded with some very good suppliers that have operated from very unpleasant lock-up units on rough industrial estates!”

Generally speaking, a good wholesaler will take the time to talk to you and listen to your needs. The more they are prepared to do for you suggests that they are reliable and their stock will not let you down – customer service, after all, is essential to wholesalers who rely heavily on repeated visits from shop owners and small firms.

On the other side of the coin, if you turn up to a derelict garage and are confronted by a nervous looking ‘wholesaler’ who thrusts a box of pickles into your hands before snatching your money and speeding off in his GTi to the sound of wailing police sirens, you should maybe consider looking elsewhere for your supplies in the future.

Trust your first impressions, if you are not happy you can always change your wholesaler until you find somebody you are comfortable dealing with.

A good wholesaler will take the time to talk to you and listen to your needs.

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